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Eagles hire Dick Jauron.... McDermott's days numbered?

Eagles hire former Bills Head Coach Jauron

By Lance Epstein


Andy Reid finally has his secondary covered.

Former Buffalo Bills and Chicago Bears head coach Dick Jauron was officially hired Wednesday by Philadelphia Eagles as Defense Backs coach and Senior Assistant.

"I was flattered when Andy called and I just couldn't resist taking it," Jauron said. "The job is a position I love, working in the secondary."

The ball started rolling in a six to eight hour meeting between Jauron, 60-83 as head coach, and Reid. They discussed the Eagles defensive scheme which led to the Eagles ending their hunt for a new defensive backs coach.

"I love the defensive scheme," Jauron said. "The pressure is really interesting. I'm really excited about working in it… It'll be great and exciting for me to be able to get inside of it and see if I can learn it and contribute to it."

This hiring can be interpreted to have a multitude of implications. Maybe Reid is just filling a vacancy. Or perhaps, Andy Reid was not as happy with first year defensive coordinator, Sean McDermott, as he let on last year. On the other hand, Reid might be thinking of the future if McDermott flies the coup soon rather than later.

For many this was just another hire, and there is some credence to this logic.

Jauron will be the Eagles fourth defensive back coach in the past year and fills an opening since Brian Stewart left to become the defensive coordinator at the University of Houston. The instability of the defensive backs coach started before Stewart, when the Eagles released Otis Smith before training camp.

Having four coaches for the same position in less than a year takes its toll, which became obvious down the stretch with the secondary. In the last three games of the season, the Eagles secondary could have used a veteran DB’s coach to straighten out its coverage.

In the final two games at Dallas (even the Broncos game), Asante Samuel, Sheldon Brown and Joselio Hanson looked pedestrian against Roy Williams and Miles Austin. The safety play by Macho Harris and Quinton Mikell was equally as appalling.

Another hint Reid might just be solidifying his coaching staff with proven coaches is that he extended the offer to his friend Jauron (Eerily similar to hiring of offensive coordinator Marty Morninwheg seven years ago as a senior assistant, who was an assistant along with Reid in Green Bay). During the early 90s, Reid and Jauron were both assistants under Mark Holmgren with the Green Bay Packers. Jauron a defensive backs coach and Reid the quarterbacks coach.

“Long before he became a defensive coordinator and head coach in this league, Dick Jauron was considered to be one of, if not the best defensive backs coaches in the game," Reid Said. "We welcome his experience and knowledge of the game and look forward to adding him to our defensive coaching staff.”

Furthermore, Reid for the first time in his tenure as the Eagles head coach has two former head coaches on his staff. This clue could quite possibly be what Eagles fans have been yearning for since Reid’s tenure in Philly. Assembling the best coaching staff, and Eagles organization going all out this off-season. For Eagles fans, they hope this is one of the first pieces that fetches the elusive Lombardi Trophy to Philadelphia.

However, an alternative motive to this decision may conceivably be looming. Immediately, after the season ended, Reid had multiple press conferences praising McDermott for job running the defense with amount of injuries he was dealt (Stewart Bradley, Ellis Hobbs and Omar Gaither).

The Eagles finished 12th overall in total defense but ranked 17th against the pass and could not manage to get off the field on critical third downs. Normally Reid’s press conference or interviews have him proclaiming, “he needs to put the team in a better position to win,” and does not focus on his assistants.

If the media noticed the decline from Jim Johnson’s third ranked overall defense in 2008 and implied that McDermott’s youth and inexperience was the problem, then Reid obviously has the same inquiries and his praise might be a ruse.

Additionally, Reid might also be skeptical with his young defensive coordinator since reports surfaced that Asante Samuel refused to pay attention or lsiten to McDermott. This could just be an isolated player not respecting McDermott or perhaps behind the scenes he has lost the veterans on defense.

Juaron, 59, will provide McDermott with influence on the defensive game plan and experience that the 36 year old has not yet acquired. McDermott seems to think Jauron will only help the defense be stronger in 2010.

First and foremost, Dick Jauron is a person with tremendous integrity and his football background speaks for itself,” McDermott said. “I’m excited about his addition to the team and look forward to utilizing his experiences in the way of adding value to our defensive staff.”

While, McDermott might see him as an asset in making his job easier, do not be surprised if Reid envisions him as a replacement in the wings in case McDermott fails. If anyone knows Reid, he always has a calculated back up plan.

Another strategic back up plan by Reid can be interpreted as well. Late last season, McDermott’s name surfaced at the top of the list for multiple head coaching vacancies (ironically the Buffalo Bills were one of them-- Replacing Jauron).

If McDermott improves the Eagles defense in 2010, he will become a hot commodity in the coaching circuit and could leave for greener pastures. In this scenario, Reid will already have a coach in place (Juaron) that has experience and is familiar with the system.

The hiring Jauron is a typical Reid hire: full of intrigue, strategically planned and definitely put the Eagles in a better position to win.

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