Philadelphia Eagles: So long, farewell Cory Undlin, it’s been a ride

(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

For the first time in five seasons, the Philadelphia Eagles will be without Cory Undlin when they reconvene for the 2020 NFL season. Farewell in Detroit.

Cory Undlin is a good coach.

As an external, only mostly biased observer who has never met the man, let alone been coached by him, this is a line the Philadelphia Eagles have maintained for the better part of a decade.

Undlin was held in such high regard that when Chip Kelly and his defensive coordinator Billy Davis were unceremoniously let go at the end of the 2015 season, Jeffrey Lurie tabbed the former Denver Broncos dbs coach as a coach worth keeping along with future assistant head coach Duce Staley.

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And despite yet another disappointing season from the Eagles’ corners, and if we’re being honest safeties not named Malcolm Jenkins, Undlin has somehow fallen into a promotion with another team.

That’s right, after the Detroit Lions‘ 2019 defensive coordinator Paul Pasqualoni decided to leave the game for personal reasons, second-year head coach Matt Patricia has hired Undlin as his next defensive coordinator – a role that (presumably) doesn’t come with play-calling duties, but is a huge step up regardless.

Truth be told, I consider this a win for all parties involved.

After an unfortunate situation left the Lions without their guy after an encouraging 3-12-1 season – if such a thing exists – the team has landed their guy in the midst of a mad dash around the league to secure 2020 coaching staffs.

And as for the Eagles? Well, they are finally free.

Again, no shade on Undlin, he’s clearly a popular name in NFL coaching circles, but even the most generous outside observer has to concede that things have gotten incredibly stale in the NovaCare Center’s db room.

Players have typically been out of position in-game, players’ skill sets have seldom been taken into consideration when filling out a depth chart, and most egregiously of all, the Eagles’ defensive backs don’t play the ball when it’s in the air.

Since Jim Schwartz took over as the Eagles defensive coordinator in 2016, the team has only averaged roughly 11.25 interceptions a season. That’s bad. However, it’s only slightly better than Undlin’s tenure under Davis, where the team hauled in 11 takeaways.

Do takeaways alone signify a secondary’s effectiveness? Not a chance, but a glaring lack of turnovers can be a sign that players aren’t playing technically sound defensively.

Maybe chalk it up to a lack fo talent at the cornerback position, an issue the Eagles have suffered through all decade, but plenty of teams have found success without an elite cornerback, let alone a secondary filled with them.

Factor in the Eagles’ 53(!?) surrendered catches of 40 yards or more since Undlin came to town in 2015 and it’s frankly worth wondering why he lasted this long.

Next. Avonte Maddox is the perfect fix at free safety. dark

Look, making changes on a team that is statistically successful is hard, especially with a certified softie like Doug Pederson at the helm, but much like the firings of Mike Groh and Carson Welch, adding a new coach to the Philadelphia Eagles’ defensive hierarchy can only help this team moving forward.