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Report: Eagles interview Ron Rivera for defensive coordinator

The Commanders’ former head coach could be staying in the NFC East.

Dallas Cowboys v Washington Commanders Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

The Philadelphia Eagles are interviewing former Washington Commanders and Carolina Panthers head coach Ron Rivera for their defensive coordinator opening, according to a report from NFL insider Jeremy Fowler.

It’s been some time since Rivera, who turned 62 earlier this month, has held a DC title. He last did it from 2008 through 2010 with the then-San Diego Chargers. Here’s how those teams ranked in opponent yards per play and opponent offensive points per game, respectively.

2008: t-17th (5.4), 16th (20.1)
2009: t-13th (5.2), 15th (19.0)
2010: 2nd (4.6), 4th (17.0)

Rivera then contributed to the Panthers (2011-2019) and Commanders (2020-2023) defenses at some level. Here’s how they ranked:

2011: 30th (6.2), 29th (25.2)
2012: t-13th (5.3), 17th (21.0)
2013: t-4th (4.9), 2nd (15.3)
2014: t-9th (5.3), 17th (20.9)
2015: 3rd (4.9), 6th (17.8)
2016: t-13th (5.6), 19th (22.8)
2017: t-20th (5.4), 11th (20.1)
2018: t-27th (6.0), 20th (23.4)
2019: t-23rd (5.8), 31st (27.8)

2020: t-2nd (5.0), 5th (20.6)
2021: t-26th (5.7), 25th (24.5)
2022: t-9th (5.2), 10th (19.4)
2023: 31st (5.9), 32nd (28.4)

As you can see, the results have been mixed.

It goes without saying that Rivera is not appealing as a head coaching candidate but it’s possible he could provide some competency as a DC. The Eagles could conceivably want to go with a more experienced coordinator after clearly not loving Sean Desai’s inexperience to the point where they felt the need to disastrously replace him in-season with Matt Patricia.

It’s fair to wonder if the game has passed Rivera by. This would be not a cutting edge, innovative hire. And it is a bit odd that the Eagles are interested in a defensive mind that contributed to allowing two of Philly’s three highest scoring outputs in 2023 (38 and 34 points) ... and both of their highest passing yardage performances (315 and 311).

Rivera obviously has experience with the Eagles from coaching on Andy Reid’s staff in Philly from 1999 through 2023. Jeffrey Lurie has spoken very highly of him in the past:

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