Philadelphia Eagles: Wade Phillips is a solid Plan B at DC

(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /

If Jim Schwartz somehow finds a head coaching gig over the offseason, the Philadelphia Eagles may have a perfect Plan B in once and future DC Wade Phillips

Have the Philadelphia Eagles had a defensive coordinator their fans actually liked since Jim Johnson‘s untimely passing back in 2009?

Sure, the team had a baby Sean McDermott way before he was leading the Bills to a Buffalo playoff berth, but outside of a game here and there, the defensive side of the ball has been less than exhilarating for a town that once heralded Buddy Ryan despite his unwillingness to throw the ball more than 35 times a game.

The latest public enemy numero uno? One James J. Schwartz.

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Now don’t get me wrong, Schwartz has been fantastic at times, as he almost single-handedly willed the Eagles to the Super Bowl in 2017 as they transitioned from Carson Wentz to Nick Foles at quarterback, but for every masterful performance, there’s a certified stinker.

The stinker-to-fantastic ratio has pretty much defined the Birds’ 2019 season.

So needless to say, with Black Monday right around the corner and whispers that Schwartz may be a candidate for the vacant Washington head coaching position, one has to wonder who could step into the fray and deliver a defensive dynasty to rival Doug Pederson‘s love of throwing the ball.

Ron Rivera? No way, he will have a head coaching job by the weekend. What about Dan Quinn? Well, if you believe Atlanta Hawks owner Arthur Blank – you know, the guy in charge – his staff is safe for 2020.

Oh no, please don’t tell me we’re somehow going to elevate Corey Undlin to DC, or worse pull a Juan Castillo and make Mike Groh switch sides, are we?

Well, fear not, for there is a defensive coordinator with an expired contract with a ton of experience in the NFC East: Wade Phillips.

The Dallas Cowboys‘ head coach from 2007-10, Phillips has become one of the league’s premier defensive coordinators over his tenures in Denver and Los Angeles.

Known for running a 3-4 scheme that optimizes defensive pass rushers with an emphasis on man coverage, Phillips has unlocked the potential of players like certified all-timers Von Miller and Aaron Donald, but also misfits like Dante Fowler and older vets like Clay Matthews and DeMarcus Ware.

Could you imagine Wade getting his hands on Fletcher Cox, Brandon Graham, and Derek Barnett? We could be headed to sack city, baybee.

Granted, the Eagles would still need to figure out their cornerback situation to fully implement Phillips’ scheme, but if I know Howie Roseman like I think I know Howie Roseman, we’ll be hearing some Big 10 cornerback’s name called on draft night when a far more popular SEC receiver is still on the board – perpetuating a never-ending search for the next Leto Shepherd.

Furthermore, not only could Phillips bring a wealth of experience as a defensive foil to Pederson’s wide-eyed enthusiasm, but he could potentially bring along his son Wes, who served as the Rams’ tight ends coach in 2019 – exiling Mike Groh once and for all as offensive coordinator.

Boy howdy, if Phillips could get rid of Jim Schwartz and Mike Groh in one fell swoop he’d be a gosh darn legend.

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Will it happen? Well, I guess that depends on whether a team like Washington wants to hire a defensive-minded coach like Jim Schwartz over a band-aid like Marvin Lewis, but if that does go down, Wade Phillips is a pretty exciting option to supercharge the pass rush from a new-look defensive front. After 30 years away, why not bring back Buddy’s former defensive coordinator to accomplish what his mentor never could?