Jim Schwartz announced he won’t be returning as the Philadelphia Eagles’ defensive coordinator in 2021. His official statement shared via the team:
“I would like to express my gratitude to Jeffrey Lurie, Coach Pederson, and Howie Roseman, as well as the entire football staff and the many coaches and players I had the honor of working with. This has been an incredible five-year run and I relished every moment of it. I feel especially indebted to guys like Fletcher (Cox), BG (Brandon Graham), Rodney (McLeod), and Jalen (Mills), who I had the privilege of coaching all five seasons, as well as Nate (Gerry), DB (Derek Barnett), Vinny (Curry), and many others who I celebrated a Super Bowl Championship with.”
“I enjoyed working for this organization and coaching in the City of Philadelphia. I have given my heart and soul to the game of football, not just over the last five years here, but throughout my 32 years as a coach. Although my passion for the game remains strong, it is best for me to step back from the day-to-day of coaching for the time being. I have too much respect for the game and for everybody involved to compromise the level of commitment that I believe is necessary to do the job. I don’t know what my future holds, but I am willing to do anything I can to help this organization in any way. Thank you again to the City of Philadelphia and to the Eagles for an incredible five years. My family and I will never forget our time here.”
This news doesn’t come as a surprise since it was recently reported that Schwartz intended to let his current contract to expire. Schwartz is said to be taking a year off from coaching in 2021 as the 54-year-old contemplates retirement.
Schwartz wasn’t without his flaws but he was a perfectly cromulent defensive coordinator at worst. Heading into 2020, the Eagles had allowed the sixth fewest points per game since his Philly tenure began back in 2016. Some more relevant data points when assessing Schwartz’s performance:
Jim Schwartz— Brandon Lee Gowton (@BrandonGowton) January 2, 2021
Rank in DVOA - Rank in defense spending - Rank in health (AGL)
2016: 4th - 20th - 5th
2017: 5th - 14th - 11th
2018: 15th - 19th - 31st
2019: 12th - 24th - 29th
2020: 17th - 30th - (TBD)#Eagles
Eagles have had 11 top-100 picks in the past five years. Eight have been spent on offense.— Sheil Kapadia (@SheilKapadia) January 2, 2021
They have the third-most expensive offense in the league.
They rank 28th in offensive DVOA.
That is at the heart of their failures, not Jim Schwartz.
The feeling here is that there should be reverence for Schwartz. His defense gave up 33 points in the Super Bowl, yeah, but it only surrendered 17 combined points in the two playoff games before that. On the whole, his defenses often overachieved.
When it comes to potential replacement candidates, it sounds like the Eagles might opt to promote from within. Defensive line coach/run game coordinator Matt Burke is a name to watch. It seems like the organization has been grooming him as a potential Schwartz replacement and he has former defensive coordinator experience. Marquand Manuel is also worth considering.
Not a lot of buzz around the league about the Eagles and their vacant defensive coordinator's job. Could mean they're going with an in-house candidate (Matt Burke? Marquand Manuel?). Or maybe they're dragging their feet again like last year when they were looking for an OC.— Paul Domowitch (@pdomo) January 7, 2021
The Eagles might be able to do better than Schwartz moving forward; perhaps they’ll field some truly elite defenses under their new coordinator. But it’s also quite possible they’ll be worse off.
Thanks for the good times, Jimbo.
Will the Eagles miss Jim Schwartz?
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