Philadelphia Eagles: Passing on Robert Saleh would be a mistake

(Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)
(Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) /

Robert Saleh is too good for the Philadelphia Eagles to pass up.

On the eve of the final game of the 2020 season, the Philadelphia Eagles are making noise around the league with the future of their coaching staff.

First, it was reported that defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz would not be with the Eagles after this season, as he will take a year off from coaching and possibly retire from there.

Not long after, news came out that head coach Doug Pederson is expected to be back after this season, and he will meet with Jeffery Lurie after Week 17 to talk more about that.

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It’s interesting that the news on both coaches came out before the final game of the season, as both were considered to be on the hot seat for next year. You could make the case that either could have stayed or left after this season. Ultimately, it looks like Pederson will stay at least another year.

Although the news has come out that Pederson most likely stays, is it really the best move for the Eagles going forward? Don’t get me wrong, Pederson has done a good job previously as head coach, going 4-2 in the playoffs and bringing home the first ever Super Bowl in franchise history. But sometimes the voice in a locker room becomes stale and a change needs to be made.

If a head coaching change were to ultimately happen for the Philadelphia Eagles, it should be bringing in Robert Saleh.

We’ve talked previously about how bringing in Saleh would be a good move for the Eagles. With the defensive coordinator position open and the head coaching job still in the air, the Eagles need to take a long look at how much sense it would make to bring in Saleh as the head coach.

Looking at his previous coaching history, Saleh’s approach to defense already matches the roster make up of the Eagles. In his previous four years with the San Francisco 49ers, Saleh has put together a dominant group on the defensive side of the ball. His defense has been anchored by the defensive line, as he was able to work with a group invested mightily in. Players like Nick Bosa, Arik Armstead, DeForest Buckner, and Javon Kinlaw have been very productive under Saleh. With the current capital and talent that is invested in the Eagles defensive line, it wouldn’t be hard to see that group thrive under a coach like Saleh.

Another positive from Saleh’s coaching career has been his ability to develop linebackers in his defense. Before becoming defensive coordinator with the 49ers, Saleh was the linebackers coach with the Jacksonville Jaguars. In his time, he was able to coach up Paul Posluszny and Myles Jack, again two linebackers who thrived under Saleh’s coaching. Shift the focus back to the 49ers and you’ll find Fred Warner, a current Pro Bowler and one of the best linebackers currently in the NFL. If there’s one thing about the Eagles, it’s that they need help developing linebackers and Saleh could pass his knowledge down to them.

The thing that has drawn me most to bringing in Saleh as the head coach of the Eagles is how hard his players play for him and the effort he gets every week. The 49ers are probably the team that has been hindered the most by injuries. On both sides of the ball, they’ve been completely decimated. They’ve essentially had injuries to every position group and had every excuse to lose out this season.

With as bad as the injuries have been, Saleh has gotten his defensive group to play hard every week and compete until the end. They had every right to put up a miserable record this season, and they find themselves with a respectable record given all of the injuries. It’s been incredible seeing the effort his players give him, as they’ve been able to shut down high powered offenses like the Arizona Cardinals and Los Angeles Rams twice.

Aside from his personal experience, the trend of defensive head coaches is continuing to go up as we reach the end of the season. Brian Flores has the Miami Dolphins in a win-and-in situation to make the playoffs. Last year, they were 5-11. Joe Judge is playing the last game for a division title for the New York Giants. Last year, they had a top five pick. Ron Rivera is a win away from a division title for the Washington Football Team. Last year, they had the second overall pick. The trend is working, and it’s going to continue to work as time goes on.

With the recent news of Jim Schwartz and the job of Doug Pederson not completely confirmed, the Philadelphia Eagles need to look at bringing in Robert Saleh as the new head coach. By doing this, they would be bringing in a coach with a defensive mindset, essentially killing two birds with one stone. You can pair him with a defensive coordinator to improve the defense, and hire a true offensive coordinator to let run the show on offense. It may seem like a long shot, but this could be the best route for the Eagles.

Next. Dan Quinn is the ideal replacement for Jim Schwartz. dark

There’s just a sense that defensive minded coaches get their players to play for them and get the team on the right path very quickly. It’s been proven right the last few seasons, and the Philadelphia Eagles would be wise to join in on it.