Two new names have emerged in the Philadelphia Eagles’ search for a new defensive coordinator.
The Birds have interviewed Los Angeles Rams pass game coordinator/defensive backs coach Chris Shula and Michigan Wolverines defensive coordinator Jesse Minter, according to NFL insider Mike Garafolo.
Garafolo notes that Shula and Nick Sirianni overlapped on the San Diego Chargers for two seasons in 2015 and 2016.
Shula then joined the Los Angeles Rams’ coaching staff in 2017 to reunite with his former Miami (Ohio) teammate, Sean McVay. The grandson of Pro Football Hall of Fame head coach Don Shula worked his way up from serving as an assistant linebackers coach to his current title. A little interesting to see he how went from playing LB and coaching that position to moving to DBs.
For what it’s worth, the Rams ranked 24th in pass defensive DVOA in 2022. LA allowed the eighth-most yards per pass attempt. Star cornerback Jalen Ramsey made the Pro Bowl but missed out on first team AP All-Pro honors for the first time since 2019.
Shula doesn’t exactly seem like a slam dunk candidate.
Minter shares a similarity with Sirianni in that they both played college football as wide receivers for Division III Programs located in Ohio.
Minter, 39, began his coaching career as an intern with Notre Dame before eventually earning a defensive coordinator title at Georgia State. He then made the jump to the NFL ranks, spending four years with the Baltimore Ravens.
After serving as a defensive backs coach under John Harbaugh in 2020, Minter spent one year at Vanderbilt before he became Jim Harbaugh’s defensive coordinator in 2022. Minter replaced Mike Macdonald, who was hired as the Ravens’ DC.
Our friends over at Maize N Brew touched on Minter’s success last year:
Michigan Football finished the 2022 season with a 13-1 record and had one of the best defenses in the country. Michigan ranked 6th in total defense and defensive coordinator Jesse Minter was a semi-finalist for the Broyles Award during his first year on the job.
Minter’s recent success combined with his experience in both the college and professional ranks could make him an intriguing candidate.
With the Eagles also said to be interviewing Jim Leonhard, it’s clear that the Birds are considering college coaches to replace Jonathan Gannon.
VANCE JOSEPH UPDATE
Denver’s Mike Klis originally reported that the Eagles were set to have a two-day remote interview process with former Arizona Cardinals defensive coordinator Vance Joseph on Wednesday and Thursday.
But a more recent report from Klis states that Joseph had a 4.5-hour interview on Tuesday and he’ll talk with Howie Roseman and Jeffrey Lurie on Wednesday.
Joseph is also still in the running for the Denver Broncos’ defensive coordinator opening.
Here’s an interesting tweet from 97.5 The Fanatic’s John Kincade, who was based in Atlanta before returning to Philly:
The @Eagles always have an eye on Athens Georgia. Sometimes it’s not just the players they have an interest in.— John Kincade (@JohnKincade) February 21, 2023
Kincade followed up in a response that he was not referring to Georgia Bulldogs co-defensive coordinator/safeties coach Will Muschamp. That would lead one to believe he might instead be referring to co-defensive coordinator/linebackers coach Glenn Schumann.
Schumann, 32, was a student assistant at Alabama from 2008 through 2011 before serving as a graduate assistant from 2011 through 2014. He then followed Kirby Smart to Georgia as an inside linebackers coach in 2016 before he was promoted to his co-DC in 2019.
In his current role, Schumann has played a part in Georgia regularly having one of the very best defenses in college football. The program has produced no shortage of NFL talents, as the Eagles know well having drafted two Dawgs last year. Notable players who’ve been coached by Schumann include Nakobe Dean, Roquan Smith, and Quay Walker.
With the Eagles having interest in Leonhard and Minter, it would make sense if Schumann is also in the mix.
EAGLES DC SEARCH RECAP
So, in case you’ve lost track, the Eagles have six known DC candidates:
- Dennard Wilson
- Vance Joseph
- Sean Desai
- Jim Leonhard
- Chris Shula
- Jesse Minter
And Schumann might also be a contender.
One would think the Eagles would like to make a hire sooner than later.