Birds Land LBs Coach
Former Temple DC Joins Nick Sirianni's Staff
The Eagles have finally hired a new linebackers coach.
His name is D.J. Eliot, who most recently was Temple’s defensive coordinator but has served as the defensive coordinator for three other Power 5 teams, but he might as well be known as “Not Matt Patricia.”
Despite word that new Eagles defensive coordinator Sean Desai had targeted Patricia – a nemesis of Eagles cornerback Darius Slay – to coach linebackers, the job went to Eliot, a 46-year-old, well-traveled coach who spent the past season with Temple.
Before landing at Temple, Eliot served as defensive coordinator/linebackers coach for Kansas (2019-2020), Colorado (2017-2018), and Kentucky (2013-2016). He coached defensive ends at Florida State (2010-2012), along with making coaching stops at Rice, Tulsa, Texas State, Miami (Fla.), and Houston.
Eliot, who has never coached at the NFL level, becomes the experienced defensive assistant Desai was seeking, which became even more important after defensive backs coach Dennard Wilson parted ways with the organization and took the Ravens’ defensive backs coach job.
According to Temple’s website bio, Eliot “is among a select group of defensive thought-leaders that regularly clinic around the principles of the 3-4 defense and simulated pressures.”
The Eagles under head coach Nick Sirianni have played a multiple-front defense that maintains 3-4 concepts on run downs and 4-3 concepts on pass downs.
Their defense had been drawn up by Jonathan Gannon, who Sirianni hired in 2021 after becoming head coach, but Gannon recently became the head coach of the Arizona Cardinals and poached Eagles linebackers coach Nick Rallis as his defensive coordinator.
Eliot has some familiarity with Eagles personnel, as he was the position coach for linebacker Davion Taylor, a 2020 third-round pick who spent 2022 on the practice squad, at Colorado and coached 2022 sixth-round pick Kyron Johnson at Kansas.
Eliot, a native of Edmund, Okla., played linebacker at Wyoming, graduating in 1999.
Although he coached at Temple, Edmund isn’t a recognizable name to the area compared to Patricia, former Super Bowl champion defensive coordinator for the Patriots whose head coaching tenure with the Lions from 2018-2020 was marred by losing and Patricia’s known tenuous relationship with some media and players, including Slay.
Slay most recently spoke about his feud with Patricia last month at the Super Bowl, when he recalled Patricia telling him that he wasn’t as good as some of the league’s top corners.
This year, Slay was named to the Pro Bowl for the fifth time as he helped the Eagles make the Super Bowl.
The Eagles are still seeking a new defensive backs coach and defensive quality control coach.
– Geoff Mosher (@geoffmoshernfl) is co-host of the “Inside the Birds” podcast and staff writer for InsideTheBirds.com.
Listen to the latest Inside The Birds podcast with Adam Caplan and Geoff Mosher:
Or watch on YouTube: