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Former Eagles DB coach Dennard Wilson is the Titans’ new defensive coordinator

It’ll be interesting to see how he fares as a DC.

Super Bowl LVII - Kansas City Chiefs v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images

One year after being passed over for a promotion with the Philadelphia Eagles, former defensive passing game coordinator/defensive backs coach Dennard Wilson has found a defensive coordinator role with another team.

Wilson is reportedly leaving the Baltimore Ravens to join the Tennessee Titans as the play-calling defensive coordinator on Brian Callahan’s new coaching staff.

It’s interesting that the Ravens didn’t promote Wilson to replace Mike Macdonald, who left for the Seattle Seahawks. Then again, Baltimore has some other in-house candidates — such as Anthony Weaver, who interviewed for multiple head coaching openings — who’ve been with the organization longer than Wilson.

By all accounts, Wilson had a strong year with the Ravens. He oversaw the development of first-team All-Pro safety Kyle Hamilton and Geno Smith, who had a career-high seven interceptions. At cornerback, Marlon Humphrey allowed the lowest passer rating of his career. Ditto for old friend Ronald Darby.

Not exactly surprising considering his track record with the Eagles:

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.

It was pretty odd when the Eagles interviewed Wilson to replace Jonathan Gannon but then Nick Sirianni reportedly ended up firing him. It’s fair to wonder how the 2023 season might’ve gone differently had they retained Wilson instead of hiring Sean Desai, who was eventually demoted in favor of Matt Patricia.

Ultimately, though, the Eagles got the DC they wanted all along in Vic Fangio.

Still, it’ll be interesting to see how Wilson fares in Tennessee. And the Eagles can be glad that he ended up in the AFC as opposed to the NFC East since the New York Giants interviewed him multiple times.

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