Eagles remove candidates from their defensive coordinator search

Philadelphia Eagles (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Philadelphia Eagles (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) /

We’re approaching the two-week mark. It’s been almost 14 days since one of the best Philadelphia Eagles defenses ever assembled collapsed on football’s biggest stage. Much has happened since then.

Jonathan Gannon, one of the loss’s biggest scapegoats and Philly’s defensive coordinator of the past two seasons is now the head coach of the Arizona Cardinals. Since his exit, names have been thrown around. At the time this story was written and published, the Birds have yet to hire anyone to take his place. Here are a couple of things that we’re certain of.

One, no one is worried about the Eagles’ offense. All the concerns are about the other two phases of the game (minus Jake Elliott on special teams). Whoever the Birds hire or promote to the defensive coordinator’s chair will be under the microscope constantly.

The second point we’d like to make is this. Most of our questions about which players are returning and who walks in free agency are related to the defensive side of the ball (James Bradberry, Fletcher Cox, Javon Hargrave, T.J. Edwards, Kyzir White, Brandon Graham). Philly’s defense will undergo a facelift in 2023. That makes the choice at D.C. even more important.

Philly can’t drag their feet with hiring someone, but they don’t have the luxury of being casual either.

The Eagles have removed two candidates from their defensive coordinator search that earned a lot of buzz after being mentioned.

The Eagles’ defensive coordinator search really heated up recently when two candidates were mentioned, Vance Joseph and Jim Leonhard. ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reported on Wednesday, February 22nd that both Philly and Leonard mutually agreed that neither side wanted to move forward. One day later, we learned that we can remove Joseph’s name as well.

Joseph reportedly has agreed to fill the Denver Broncos’ void at their defensive coordinator position. He’ll join Sean Payton’s new coaching staff. He had previously served as Denver’s head coach for two seasons (2017-2018) before his four-year stint with Arizona as the Cardinals’ defensive coordinator from 2019-2022.

Leonard’s situation is different. He had planned to have a corrective procedure done on his hip and sit out of coaching for a year, but when the Eagles’ job opened, both sides had mutual interest. As it turns out, both parties determined that it wasn’t the right time for an alliance.

The NFL Scouting Combine approaches. That’s the next major event on the calendar. It will be intriguing to see if Philly decides anything by then.