The Philadelphia Eagles are considering promoting defensive special assistant Matt Burke to defensive line coach, according to a report from ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler. The Eagles have a vacancy at the position after seemingly dismissing Phillip Daniels on Friday.
The Eagles hired Burke, 43, to their coaching staff last offseason after spending two years as the Miami Dolphins’ defensive coordinator. It was reported at the time of the hire that Burke was being brought on as a “top aide” to Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz. Burke and Schwartz previously overlapped during stints with both the Tennessee Titans and the Detroit Lions.
I asked Schwartz about the value of adding Burke to the Eagles’ staff during 2019 training camp. Here’s what he said:
“Another guy that’s been a coordinator. Gives me another set of eyes. He’ll be up in the box during games. Just gives us a different perspective. We’ve been three years in the same defense. We’re in the fourth. Getting some new blood is never a bad thing. I got a background with him. We also parted for a ways. So appreciate new insights and stuff like that. He’s not coaching a position. He’s sort of over the top. But it helps me because I’m sort of over the top, too, but there’s only so much you can see at one time. Gives me a trusted coach that I’ve been with that can help me with that stuff.”
It’s unclear exactly what the Eagles had Burke do in 2019 but perhaps the plan was always to have him bide his time before promoting him to a position coach. The weird thing about that is the Eagles hired Burke before officially promoting Daniels last year. The team easily could’ve just put him at defensive line coach in the first place.
Another weird aspect to Burke being considered for defensive line coach is ... he’s never previously coached that position since his coaching career began in 1998. The only position he ever has coached is linebacker, which he did for three different NFL teams from 2009 through 2016.
The Eagles would be wise to consider more options at defensive line coach than merely promoting Burke.