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Dennard Wilson quickly finds new NFL home after not being retained by the Eagles

Super Bowl LVII - Philadelphia Eagles Practice Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

Two days after it was reported that defensive passing game coordinator/defensive backs coach Dennard Wilson would not be returning to the Philadelphia Eagles, he has quickly found a new NFL home.

Wilson is joining the Baltimore Ravens as their new defensive backs coach. They had an opening to fill after D’Anton Lynn left to become Chip Kelly’s new defensive coordinator at UCLA.

It should come as no surprise that it did not take long for Wilson to find a new job. There is ample reason to believe he did strong work with the Eagles’ secondary.

This seems like a significant loss for the Birds. Wilson contributed to a pass defense that ranked No. 1 in DVOA, No. 1 in opponent yards per pass attempt, and No. 1 in dropback EPA. The Eagles’ success in this area likely prompted the Cleveland Browns to interview Wilson for their DC job that instead went to Jim Schwartz.

Wilson was certainly aided by the talent he was given to work with. But he deserves credit for getting the most out of his unit. C.J. Gardner-Johnson just had a career year despite joining the Eagles on short notice. Marcus Epps developed into a full-time starter. Darius Slay bounced back from a bad 2020 season to make two straight Pro Bowls. James Bradberry made the AP All-Pro second team after getting cut by the New York Giants. Avonte Maddox started playing the best football of his career to earn a multi-year extension. Reed Blankenship emerged out of nowhere as an undrafted rookie free agent to look like a potential long-term starter.

And yet it’s interesting that the Eagles didn’t make a stronger effort to retain him. The Inquirer’s reporting indicates that Wilson was not miffed to the point of wanting to leave when it came to being passed over in favor of Sean Desai for Philly’s DC opening. They framed it as Nick Sirianni firing Wilson.

In any case, Wilson is gone. He’s a member of the Ravens now. It’ll still be interesting to monitor his career moving forward, especially in relation to evaluating how Desai fares in Philly.

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