The writing was on the wall with regards to the Eagles’ defensive coordinator position when head coach Nick Sirianni panicked after two straight losses and stripped Sean Desai of play-calling duties to replace him with Matt Patricia. Still, Desai remained on the staff, but was relegated to a coaching booth role. Now that Sirianni is starting to make plans for next season — under the assumption he’s not fired by Jeffrey Lurie — it looks like he’s officially parted ways with Desai.
Sources: #Eagles coach Nick Sirianni has let go defensive coordinator Sean Desai, who lost play-calling duties late in the season.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 21, 2024
Desai is likely to be in the mix for other DC opportunities.
The Eagles’ defense was uneven at best under Desai, but there were some bright spots — something that was never experienced under Patricia. It’s clear now that Desai didn’t deserve to be haphazardly demoted in-season, and the move created chaos for defensive players. Haason Reddick, Darius Slay, and Reed Blankenship were among those who pointed to the challenges of adjusting to a new play-caller in the middle of the year.
Ahead of the Chiefs game, Andy Reid called Desai “brilliant” and he certainly showed some of that this season, especially in the early weeks. Desai was also very honest and upfront during his press conferences, often took responsibilities for the team’s shortcomings, and was willing to guide his players as best he could.
He absolutely deserves another opportunity in the NFL, but it’s not all that surprising given everything that went down, that Desai wouldn’t be with the Eagles in 2024 — whether that was his choice, or the team’s. What was surprising is that they kept him around this long after his demotion.