Philadelphia Eagles: Keeping Jim Schwartz must be top priority


While the Philadelphia Eagles defense can be frustrating to watch at times, losing defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz would only make matters worse.

As you’ve most likely heard by now, Philadelphia Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz will be interviewed by the Cleveland Browns for their vacant head coaching position on Wednesday. Schwartz is often the easy scapegoat for the Eagles defensive struggles, but in reality, he’s been one of the best defensive coordinators in the NFL since his arrival in Philly.

For starters, his defenses have allowed just 16.1 points per game at home during his four-year tenure, the best mark in the NFL during that time span. They’ve also allowed the fifth-fewest points per game overall since 2016, surrendering just 20.4 points per contest. On top of that, Philly’s defense has only given up 30 or more points eight times in the 70 games Schwartz has coordinated the defense.

A common Schwartz complaint among fans is that he’s terrible at getting off the field on third down. While his defenses do seem to have a tendency for giving up big plays on third down at the most inopportune times, claiming his third-down defense is ‘bad’ is just flat-out wrong. The Eagles have ranked in the top-ten for third-down defense in each of the past three seasons.

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He’s no Jim Johnson, but given the lack of talent Schwartz has had to work with over the past few seasons, the product he’s put on the field each week is remarkable.

Howie Roseman made a concerted effort to invest capital into the Eagles offense last offseason, while subsequently ignoring some of the glaring holes on the defensive side of the ball. Currently, the team is without a premiere pass rusher. They lack any resemblance of a lockdown corner, and they don’t have any playmakers at the linebacker position whatsoever.

Even with all of that being said, Schwartz’s defense completely overachieved down the stretch in 2019 and played a huge role in the team’s late-season turnaround.

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There aren’t many suitable candidates with Schwartz’s pedigree that could replace him if he did leave. Wade Phillips is the only veteran defensive mind on the market right now, and his 3-4 scheme just wouldn’t fit the Eagles’ current defensive makeup.

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It’s hard to predict whether Schwartz will even take the Cleveland job. It would be a second chance at a head coaching gig, but the Browns have shown no stability in their front office for over a decade, which could turn Schwartz off from accepting the position. The Eagles must do whatever it takes to keep Schwartz in Philly. Otherwise, the Eagles defense, which is already lacking in the talent department, could be in big trouble next season.