Instant analysis: Eagles finalize their coaching staff with new hires

It took a little longer than expected, but the Eagles have finalized their coaching staff after an extensive search. At the beginning of the offseason, the team had numerous roles to fill. Needing coaches at WR/DL/OC/DB, the Birds started their hunt early and have finally finished the puzzle. Here’s all you need to know.

Rich Scangarello

The rumors are true. The Eagles won’t be running with an offensive coordinator moving forward, instead opting to delegate the duties among several different individuals, with Scangarello being one of them.

Scangarello is an intriguing name. He spent last year as the Broncos offensive coordinator but it was very much a tale of two halves. The first was an offense filled with pre-snap motion and using a lot of deception to open up the playbook. Sexy. The other half was bad playcalling that led to numerous players (including star running back Phillip Lindsay) throwing him under the bus. Not sexy.

The good news is that Scangarello won’t be expected to call plays and prior to his stint in Denver (where the offense ranked 28th in the NFL in Yards per game), he spent two years as the QB coach for San Francisco.

It looks as though he has been brought in to essentially become the ‘Matt Burke’ of the offense, maybe mentoring Press Taylor and bringing some new ideas to the table. You can definitely make the argument that the Broncos offense was held back by Joe Flacco and if his offensive philosophy really does bring a lot of mystery, then injecting that and molding a coordinator makes sense.

Press Taylor

Taylor gets the promotion to pass-game coordinator and is famously associated with the ‘Philly-Special’. His relationship with Carson Wentz is said to be a lot more bromantic in comparison to DeFilippo’s but that’s not necessarily a bad thing and it’s likely that Scangarello will be able to help him out in that regard as a former Shanahan disciple.

Obvioiusly this is an internal move so there are bound to be reasons for concern after seeing Mike Groh’s promotion go down…like a Lead Balloon.

The other thing to bear in mind is that it’s not like Wentz took a significant step forward under Taylor. Issues like the constant fumbles and poor decisions when protecting the ball are more then coachable but remained just as prominent in 2019. Hopefully Scangarello’s influence will help here, but it will be interesting to see how the passing game evolves with Taylor coordinating that aspect, especially if he was the man pushing for plays like the Philly Special.

Matt Burke

As I reported earlier this week, Matt Burke is the new defensive line coach. Burke has worked under Jim Schwartz for most of his career, but has never coached the defensive line specifically. In addition to this, he will also be the team’s defensive run-game coordinator.

Ah, yes. Because one of the league’s most consistent run defenses since 2016 could suddenly need a coordinator…excellent.

In all seriousness, I really don’t understand anything about this move aside from the fact that Burke will know exactly what Schwartz wants out of his linemen and the best way to get it. It doesn’t make the firing of Daniels any less confusing…

If it takes responsibility away from Schwartz and allows him to focus on tweaking the secondary, then I fully get the motive. If it helps younger players key-in on assignments they otherwise wouldn’t, great. But those are big if’s…

Marquand Manuel

On the contrary to Burke’s position, the Marquand Manuel hiring may be the best of the bunch.

Manuel was let go after the 2018 season as the Falcons’ defensive coordinator. He was with the Falcons for four seasons, two as secondary coach and two as defensive coordinator.

He was an up and coming assistant coach that many thought could end up being a head coach one day. He was being called the “Sean McVay” of the defense. Manuel has been heavily credited with the development of Keanu Neal.

Manuel’s firing in 2018 sparked some outrage among fans because they felt like he was the scapegoat for the struggles of a defense that was largely injured and for the play calling from a game plan that was developed by head coach Dan Quinn.

Despite the struggles of the defense in 2018, the young corners on the team seemed to develop nicely under Manuel’s teachings and he was known to connect with the players.

Prior to being with the Falcons, he spent 2012-2014 as assistant special teams coach, defensive assistant, and assistant secondary coach. He was heavily involved with the coaching and development of the “Legion of Boom”.

He was an eight-year pro, playing safety for six different teams. His career ended in 2009, after playing nine games for then-head coach Jim Schwartz.

Now, Marquand is tasked to help develop young corners that have failed to develop over the past few seasons. Sidney Jones has failed to live up to the second round status, albeit he’s been hit by the injury big many times. Avonte Maddox and Cre’Von LeBlanc regressed last season. Rasul Douglas has had his moments but he did not the development you want in a third year corner. It remains to be seen if Jalen Mills and/or Ronald Darby (please no) will be back in 2020, but regardless if they do or don’t return, Manuel has his work cut out for him.

If the previous hype around Manuel is real, then the Eagles have got themselves a great coach for an ailing secondary.

Continued on the page below.

Mandatory Photo Credit: AP Photo/Joel Auerbach

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