Next Coach Up
ITB: Likely Replacements For OC, DC
The Philadelphia Eagles are turning the page from their heartbreaking Super Bowl LVII loss.
With both their offensive and defensive coordinator moving on to be head coaches of other teams, the Birds enter 2023 with major changes ahead.
On the latest episode of “Inside The Birds,” Adam Caplan and Geoff Mosher discussed the team’s coordinator changes and gave sourced intel from the Super Bowl’s All-22 game film.
Geoff Mosher: “That one came out of nowhere. The way that came about was more abrupt than all parties would realize. Next thing you know, he stays out there and he’s the head of the Arizona Cardinals. That’s a little crazy.”
Adam Caplan: “They’ll never admit this, but why wouldn’t you interview him [before the Super Bowl]? I had heard from a couple of coaching agents, one guy said, ‘Gannon’s getting that job because he’s going to interview well.’ No offense to Lou Anarumo, but he’s just a better candidate. Someone who knows Gannon really well said he’ll be a better head coach than defensive coordinator.”
Mosher: “Talking to a lot of people around the league in the last few days, it makes a lot of sense. You can blame who you want, but Jonathan Gannon has been a defensive coordinator for two years in the NFL. Did he get out-coached by Andy Reid? Yes. The reality is he didn’t do a great job, but why him and Shane Steichen are so adored inside the NovaCare complex is that these two guys do a really good job of communicating the message, letting the players know that it’s all about them. These guys are constant, high-energy guys who constantly tell the players what’s expected of them and why they’re expected to excel because they are the best players in that room. The coaches do a great job of conveying that they have confidence in them to pull off whatever the scheme is. The players really liked them.”
Caplan: “Multiple teams I spoke with said they were told not to put the slip in for him because Johnson would not be available because he’s getting promoted to OC. Here’s what we don’t know: Who’s going to call the plays? He did call plays at UF, we did hear mixed results from people around the league who evaluated it.”
Mosher: “I believe the Eagles still have to conduct, by Rooney Rule, interviews. I believe the Rooney Rule says that you have to interview a minority candidate from outside your organization, which is why it might take a few days for the announcement that Brian Johnson is the offensive coordinator.”
Mosher: “Someone in the organization told me that this is what Howie Roseman does: they go out and try to get good veteran position coaches and assistants because they know if they lose a guy, they don’t want to have to promote someone who’s not ready. Dennard Wilson was the defensive backs coach for the Jets and was able to come to the Eagles because there was a regime change going on [with the Jets] and they were able to get a good veteran DBs coach.”
Caplan: “If they go with Dennard Wilson, they would definitely keep the same scheme. Depending on who they bring in or don’t bring in, that will determine whether they keep the Vic Fangio scheme.”
Mosher: “In general, you have now seen the final check in the box of Jalen Hurts. If this is the Jalen Hurts you are getting for the next five to 10 years, he’ll be back in the Super Bowl…Sometimes I even look at his decisions that might seem like the wrong decision, and I look at them differently now because I’ve seen him play at a high level all year and I see what his aim is. On the first drive of the game, they run a play action and he had Goedert wide open in the middle of the field. I think he saw it, but he threw it to A.J. Brown on the left side instead. Yes, he had Goedert wide open over the middle, but if he catches it, the safety comes and makes a play on him. Or he’s going to give Brown one-on-one a shot to make a play. If he gets a step on him, it’s a touchdown. I like that mentality.”
Caplan: “He’s doing a much better job getting to the [correct] shoulder. Last year, it would be behind the guy. He’s throwing with some anticipation, but he’s throwing with much better timing to the correct shoulder away from the defender. This is the growth that he’s had in this scheme.”
Caplan: “The holes were not there, we were told by multiple people. One guy told me that Miles Sanders got his body turned, he could not turn upfield. The o-line let too much penetration into the backfield.”
Mosher: “They were facing a lot of heavier boxes. They played the RPO like we saw the Bears do or what the Buccaneers did in the playoffs last year. They brought guys up. You can still get double teams out of it, but it makes it a lot harder.”
Caplan: “They played their normal front because they thought they’d be able to get a pass rush. Two people told me flat out that (Haason) Reddick could not get any footing. I know he was outspoken about it. There were so many instances that [the field] was really bad.”
Caplan: “They didn’t do anything special against Travis Kelce. They didn’t bracket him and they didn’t trail him, they just made sure they didn’t forget about him. They didn’t stop him but he didn’t go off. The big thing that got them was three and five step drops. They played the quick game. They did a little bit of pressing, not enough, you have to move them up. I get the sense their corners don’t like pressing. They went with a lot more man coverage.”
– Benjamin Paul is a staff writer for InsideTheBirds.com.
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