There’s a pretty good chance that the Philadelphia Eagles will lose at least one of Nick Sirianni’s assistants to a head coaching job. It’s quite possible they’ll lose both offensive coordinator Shane Steichen AND defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon considering they’re both interviewing for open positions.
The Eagles might also be in jeopardy of losing the internal candidates who figure to replace them.
DENNARD WILSON INTERVIEWING WITH THE BROWNS
Eagles defensive passing game coordinator/defensive backs coach Dennard Wilson is interviewing for the Cleveland Browns’ defensive coordinator job, according to a report from Jonathan Jones.
The Browns have interviewed former Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz (!) and former Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores thus far. They’re also waiting to interview Seattle Seahawks assistant head coach/defensive assistant Sean Desai.
It’s not hard to see why Wilson is an attractive candidate. The Eagles’ secondary has regularly played well under his guidance. Darius Slay was a Pro Bowl selection this year while James Bradberry made second-team All-Pro. C.J. Gardner-Johnson led the NFL in interceptions despite only switching to safety and joining the Eagles’ roster shortly before the season. Undrafted rookie free agent Reed Blankenship has played much better than reasonably expected when called upon.
Wilson gave off an impressive impression when he spoke to Eagles reporters during a rare press conference in training camp ahead of the 2022 season. He’d probably do very well in an interview setting.
The Eagles are high on Wilson. They likely would’ve promoted him to defensive coordinator had Gannon been hired away last year. He’s a natural candidate, then, to replace Gannon if the Eagles’ DC gets a coaching job. One would think the opportunity to remain in Philly for the same position would entice Wilson ... but we’ll see if they offer it to him. In the event that Gannon stays, Wilson could certainly look to go elsewhere.
JETS LOOKING AT EAGLES ASSISTANTS
NFL insider Ian Rapoport mentioned that Eagles quarterbacks coach Brian Johnson and Eagles consultant Marcus Brady are both “strong candidates” for the New York Jets’ offensive coordinator job.
Johnson deserves some level of credit for the way that Jalen Hurts has dramatically ascended from Year 2 to Year 3. Not unlike Wilson, he’s also impressed during rare media appearances. Johnson’s track record goes beyond working with Hurts; he oversaw Kyle Trask’s development at Florida and he worked with Dak Prescott at Mississippi State.
It would not be surprising to see former Eagles executive and current Jets general manager Joe Douglas go after a member from Philly’s coaching staff.
The Eagles might want to retain Johnson by promoting him to offensive coordinator. Whereas Wilson seems like the obvious in-house candidate to replace Gannon, however, Johnson might not be that guy to replace Steichen. The Eagles could look to move Kevin Patullo, who is Nick Sirianni’s right-hand man, into that role. There’s also Brady, who — unlike Johnson — has NFL offensive coordinator experience.
Of course, Brady only joined the Eagles in November. The Eagles likely added him in part because they anticipated losing Steichen and/or Johnson. If they lose both, perhaps the Eagles could look to move Patullo to OC with Brady taking the QB coach role.
Losing assistant coaches comes with the territory of being a legitimate championship contender. There are worse problems to have. Still, the Eagles will need to do their best to fill out the staff with more talent in the aftermath of these departures.
UPDATES: The Jets reportedly interviewed Kevin Patullo for their OC job. They’re also reportedly set to interview Brady. Meanwhile, there is buzz that Johnson could be a member of Carolina’s staff if Steve Wilks is retained.