Report: Birds Seeking LBs Coach
More staff changes may be coming to the Philadelphia Eagles beyond the coordinator positions.
The team will reportedly interview Joe Barry to be the linebackers coach under new defensive coordinator Vic Fangio, per NFL Network
— Jane Slater (@SlaterNFL) January 26, 2024
Barry spent the previous three seasons at DC for the Green Bay Packers.
While the veteran coach has had mixed results with three different stints at running a defense, also with Washington from 2015-16 and the Detroit Lions from 2007-08, Barry has been a dependable positional coach at LB for over two decades.
Barry coached the Rams’ linebackers from 2017-20. He also was the Chargers linebacker coach from 2012-14. Most notably, he was the linebackers coach for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ legendary Tampa 2 defense from 2001-06, winning a Super Bowl in 2002.
The Eagles are also bringing back former Jags DC Mike Caldwell to interview for the LBs coach gig, per the NFL Network:
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 26, 2024
Caldwell, a former Eagles linebacker and former Eagles assistant coach, had recently interviewed for the Eagles’ DC gig before Fangio emerged.
Caldwell coached Eagles linebackers from 2011-2012 under then-coach Andy Reid before moving on to coach linebackers in Arizona under defensive coordinator Todd Bowles.
The ILB position is crucial to a Fangio defense that often will go heavy on the defensive line as well as backend, leaving a light second level that requires off-ball linebackers to take on big responsibilities.
As of now, the Eagles have not made any official announcement on the team’s current inside linebackers coach D.J. Eliot.
Eliot joined the staff in 2023 to replace Nick Rallis, who became the DC for Jonathan Gannon and the Arizona Cardinals.
It was Eliot’s first NFL coaching job after spending multiple decades across 11 different NCAA Division I teams, most recently as the Temple DC in 2022.
Resources were already bare at the position following the departures of T.J. Edwards and Kyzir White to free agency following the 2022 season.
Different combinations of Nakobe Dean, Zach Cunningham, Nicholas Morrow, Shaquille Leonard, Christian Elliss and Ben VanSumeren were unable to come close to replicating production in 2023.
– Benjamin Paul is a staff writer for InsideTheBirds.com.