We are closer to the Eagles naming a defensive coordinator, though it doesn’t feel that way.
A common thought as the rest of Chip Kelly’s staff got filled out was that there was a defensive coordinator all but locked in, and it was just a matter of said coach getting through with his Super Bowl run before it became official.
The presumed candidate was San Francisco defensive backs coach Ed Donatell, whom Brian Dawkins strongly endorsed on Sunday. There was little to suggest otherwise. Early hot names like Georgia’s Todd Grantham had cooled, Giants linebackers coach Jim Herrmann pulled out of the running, and Donatell’s name was the only one that had any stick to it.
Maybe he still is the guy. But as the days trudge on and the news cycle flips over, a couple new names have made their way into the conversation.
One name we told you to keep an eye on was Browns linebackers coach Billy Davis, who has served as defensive coordinator for both the Niners and Cardinals over his career. As it turns out, Davis interviewed for the job on Sunday.
Ravens linebackers coach Ted Monachino is now in the Eagles’ sights as well, according to the Inquirer. Monachino has been an assistant for both the Jaguars and Ravens, but never a defensive coordinator.
Steve Spagnuolo came onto the market and, given his relationship with the Eagles and his background, it makes sense that Kelly would at least have a conversation with him. Spagnuolo’s defenses of late have failed to come close to mirroring the ones he had in New York, and there are no signs at this point that he is in serious consideration for the job.
The idea that a wink-wink agreement with Donatell was in place is now out the window, and that raises some questions. Is it troublesome, for instance, that most of Kelly’s staff was assembled without the input of the eventual DC?
The Browns’ season has been over for some time; why interview Davis now? Did the Eagles not want Herrmann, or did Herrmann not want the Eagles?
The idea of Donatell being the coach in waiting brought a feeling of structure to the process, even if you didn’t think much of him as a candidate. Now it all feels up in the air. The important thing is to get the right man for the job, and it is still entirely possible that happens. We just feel a little farther away from a conclusion than we did a week ago.
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