There's a story up on Philly.com today about how the Eagles should have at least interviewed current Panthers defensive coordinator Sean McDermott. You can read the entire thing here. The piece reveals that the Eagles did reach out to McDermott in some capacity, but the team did not actually interview him.
Smolenski said Roseman did at least call McDermott, 41, now in his 17th season as an NFL assistant and his seventh as a coordinator. Neither Smolenski nor McDermott elaborated upon the purpose of the call, but it appears it was a cursory nod; thanks, but no thanks.
There's no question McDermott was a popular choice among the fans. Proof:
Carolina pitching a first half shutout against the Seahawks last Sunday did nothing to quell those who wanted the team to show interest in Philadelphia's former defensive coordinator.
But did the Eagles really err by not interviewing McDermott? While I don't think it could have hurt, I don't think they made a mistake by not taking him more seriously.
The affinity for McDermott is odd to me. It always seems like a lot of revisionism. McDermott's time in Philadelphia did not end well. Eagles players openly criticized him and wanted him gone. Fans were very supportive of the move at the time:
What's McDermott done since being fired to make him worthy of being a head coach? Yeah, the Panthers have had some really good defenses. No doubt. But how much of that is him? I'm genuinely asking. Take away Ron Rivera, Carolina's defensive minded head coach, and just how good is McDermott on his own?
That's a question NFL teams currently aren't willing to answer. The Eagles weren't the only team to "snub" McDermott this offseason. He interviewed for only two of the seven head coaching vacancies: the Browns and the Buccaneers. Cleveland was arguably one of the worst coaching destinations due to their questionable ownership and lack of a quarterback. Then again, hot coordinator Hue Jackson did end up there. Tampa Bay, on the other hand, seemed locked into promoting offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter ever since firing Lovie Smith. McDermott's interview with them was probably more of formality than anything meaningful.
Now, it's certainly fair to criticize the Eagles for how they handled their coaching search. Philadelphia only interviewed six candidates and two of those were in-house candidates Duce Staley and Pat Shurmur. Ben McAdoo was reportedly the Eagles' top choice before the Giants felt pressured to lock him up. Then the Birds had interest in Tom Coughlin but he turned them down. So the Eagles were left with Doug Pederson, who, like McDermott, is a coordinator who served behind a head coach (Andy Reid) on the same side of the ball.
Pederson may or may not have been the best choice. That remains to be seen. McDermott wasn't necessarily theAnd t slam dunk option some make him out to be, though.