After what can only be described as a prolonged and curious search, the Eagles have finally hired their next defensive coordinator. Former Cleveland Browns linebackers coach Billy Davis will be the man who attempts to remake a defense that was simply woeful in 2012.
Several names from both the college and pro ranks were linked to the Eagles coordinator search, but ultimately the team settled on Davis.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter first reported the team had interviewed with Davis on Jan. 27. The 47-year-old Davis also had an interview with the New York Jets.
So what does this mean for the defense? Well, it’s a virtual certainty that the much rumored move to a 3-4 front will in fact occur. Davis is well-versed in the 3-4 defensive front and has obvious ties to new Eagles offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur who served as the Browns head coach for the past two seasons.
Davis served as the 49ers defensive coordinator in 2005-2006 and in the same role with the Cardinals from 2009-2010. His defenses never ranked higher than 14th in yards allowed or cracked the top 10 in points allowed. Still, I’d be quick to point out what a coach does with a bad team seven years ago doesn’t serve as a guaranteed predictor of what is to come.
It will be interesting at the least to see if and how the Eagles explain the delay in the coaching search, particularly considering the announcement comes one day after college football’s national signing day. If Davis was their man on Jan. 27, then what was the hold up? Were there other college coordinators in play?