According to a report from NFL.com, Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz will not be returning to the team next season. Schwartz will instead allow his contract to expire and take a year off from coaching.
The report is also quick to mention that the team actually approached Schwartz with the intent of signing him to a contract extension.
This comes as a shock in one sense, but understandable in another. Schwartz is now 54-years-old and has been in Philadelphia since 2016, having now coached for 28 years in the NFL with previous stints in Detroit and Tennessee.
2020 has been a season filled with adversity and setbacks for Schwartz and his defense, which has recently suffered a monumental collapse. Kyler Murray threw for 406 yards in week 15 and Andy Dalton sliced the group apart to the tune of 377 yards on Sunday. There’s a strong chance that a year so tumultuous for the organization may have prompted Schwartz to step back.
As for the future, the Eagles will have breathing room. Matt Burke, formerly the Dolphins’ defensive coordinator has spent most of his career working under Schwartz and after returning to his side in 2019, became the defensive line coach this season, helping the unit rally to a truly dominant season where they’ve amassed 46 sacks so far. Burke would be the logical heir to the throne if the Eagles want to keep things in-house.
There are obviously options further afield, but losing Schwartz will be a big blow to a defensive locker room that has come to know and love him. Jim Schwartz has become synonymous with the brand of football the Eagles try to play defensively and whether you like him or not, he will leave the defense in a better place than when he found it…which is all you could ever really ask.
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