For the third year in a row, the Philadelphia Eagles will have a new defensive backs coach.
It’s not perfectly clear if McDonald was fired or his contract expired. In either case, the Eagles were seemingly not interested in having him back for 2024.
McDonald’s departure is especially notable considering his close relationship with Nick Sirianni. McDonald was a groomsman in Sirianni’s wedding.
McDonald originally joined the Eagles as an assistant defensive backs coach in 2021. He was then promoted to defensive backs coach after Sirianni reportedly fired Dennard Wilson last year.
Whereas the Eagles’ defensive backs really excelled under Wilson in 2022, they took a step back under McDonald in 2023. The position coach is not solely to blame for those struggles; it’s clear that James Bradberry’s struggles, for example, are related to a physical decline as a result of aging. Still, the Eagles clearly did not view McDonald as part of the solution moving forward.
And so we’ll see who the Eagles end up hiring to replace McDonald. They’re reportedly hiring Miami Dolphins safeties coach Joe Kasper to have that same title in Philly, which is a bit curious because they haven’t used that title during the Sirianni era. It’s only ever been “defensive backs coach” and “assistant defensive backs coach,” although they did add a “nickels coach” last year.
There’s a decent chance the new DB coach will have ties to new defensive coordinator Vic Fangio.