Eagles coordinator linked to Giants' head-coaching job

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Eagles coordinator linked to Giants' head-coaching job

UPDATED: Sunday, Dec. 31, 2:20 a.m.

Fears of Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz departing for a head-coaching job this offseason are on the rise, as rumblings increasingly tie the assistant to the New York Giants’ vacancy.

ProFootballTalk’s Mike Florio points to a loose connection between Schwartz and Giants consultant Ernie Accorsi. That may seem like somewhat of a reach, but 24 hours later, longtime NFL reporter Michael Silver said he expects Schwartz to be a “strong candidate” for the job. Then, ESPN's Adam Schefter reported early Sunday morning Schwartz is expected to interview with the Giants within the next week while the Eagles are on a bye week.

Adding to the intrigue, Florio filed a separate report stating the Giants are interested in candidates with previous head-coaching experience. Schwartz previously coached the Lions for five seasons.

There’s no reason to think Schwartz would turn down a head-coaching job, so let’s focus on the Giants’ supposed interest.

A situation like this probably makes the most sense for Schwartz. It’s kind of difficult to imagine a franchise that’s in total rebuilding mode would want a retread, particularly a defensive-minded coach. Yet, despite finishing with no more than three wins in 2017, the Giants appear intent on trying to compete next season. Eli Manning is expected back for his 15th season, and New York did win 11 games just last year. Hiring somebody with previous experience definitely can be appealing in that situation.

As far as the connection to Accorsi is concerned, it sounds flimsy. First of all, it’s unclear how much pull he has now that the Giants have named Dave Gettleman general manager. Furthermore, Accorsi’s presumed interest in Schwartz is based on the idea Patriots coach Bill Belichick recommended it, which may or may not be true, and may or may not matter.

Still, that’s three reports linking Schwartz to the Giants, one saying he'll get an interview.

What happens from there could also be based on where the Eagles’ season goes from here.

The Giants would have an opportunity to meet with Schwartz next week during the bye. However, if the Eagles advance in the postseason, the Giants' brass may not be too keen on the idea of waiting around for his season to end. NFL teams often move to hire coaches quickly so they can get to work on assembling a staff and planning for the offseason.

It’s possible Schwartz becomes a victim of the Eagles’ success, given there will be several experienced candidates on the market in January. Will the Giants feel he’s somebody worth waiting for should it come to that?

Maybe. Schwartz’s stint with the Lions wasn’t as awful as it’s often remembered. He inherited a 0-16 team and had them back in the playoffs in his third season there. It’s not like his successor, Jim Caldwell, has Detroit tearing up the league.

Schwartz has also transformed an Eagles defense that had not been dominant in close to a decade into a top-10 unit within two seasons. The Eagles rank fifth in total yards allowed and sixth in scoring as 2017 comes to a close.

Of course, everybody knows Schwartz can coach defense. It’s also been suggested he views a coordinator position with the Eagles as a way to get his name back in the mix for a head job.

It worked. Schwartz is a legitimate candidate and may have multiple interviews. Who knows, he could turn the Giants down for a job someplace else.

OK, he probably won’t be in quite that high demand. The point is, there are a lot of moving parts here. The Giants’ interest in an interview might be overstated and doesn’t mean he’s a shoe-in for the job. And if the Eagles last to championship Sunday or even the Super Bowl, the Giants could easily decide to go in a different direction, even if they are hot for Schwartz.

Where there’s smoke, there’s usually fire. It remains to be seen whether the Schwartz talk is a small brush fire or a raging inferno.

Rating the rumor: Certainly a possibility

Shooters Everywhere: Sixers bomb Hornets into submission

Shooters Everywhere: Sixers bomb Hornets into submission

It says something when J.J. Redick and Dario Saric, the Philadelphia 76ers two best sharpshooters on the season, can go a combined 3-10 from deep -- and the team can still end up tying a season high for triples made. That happened last night against the Charlotte Hornets, as J.J. and Dario's calibration was off for most of the night, but Marco Belinelli got red hot, Joel Embiid was left too open too often, and Robert Covington stayed schemin', as the Sixers shot 18-44 from deep and pulled away late from Charlotte, winning 108-94. 

It was typical of the condensed season series between these two teams -- the Hornets made the Sixers sweat for the better part of three quarters, even leading by seven at the half, but just got outmuscled late by the Sixers' superior talent and execution. Good to be that one of the two teams, of course, and our two stars proved the main difference again, with Embiid scoring 25 on 10-17 shooting while matching a career high in boards (19) for the second straight game, and Ben Simmons posting his his third triple-double in four games, including a sparkling 15 assists with 0 turnovers -- numbers only hit by one other player (Atlanta's Dennis Schroder) this season. (Joel and his nine turnovers was one TO away from a very different sort of trip-dub, but who's counting?)

Still, the Sixers' MVP in this one might've been RoCo, who scored 18 on 6-12 shooting and at least made life tough for Hornets guard Kemba Walker. You just can't say enough about how much more dangerous this team is when Covington is hitting regularly, and after about a three-month frigid spell, Robert has has rediscovered his early-season form -- shooting 47% from the field and 42% from three this month after only hitting 35% (and 29% from deep) in February. Cov's defensive toughness and general hoops IQ makes him a net asset even when he's a bricklayer from deep, but when he converts reliably, he just might be the damn team MVP. 

Three in a row for the Sixers now, who still sit entrenched in the sixth seed -- but with a huge Wednesday coming up, where the three teams immediately ahead of them all have major challenges (Cavs-Raptors, Pacers-Pelicans, Wizards-Spurs) while the Sixers get to host the tanktastic Memphis Grizzlies. Just a game and a half separates three through six in the East, and the Sixers still have by far the easiest schedule remaining. Anyone still think Brett Brown needs to be fired?

Your next haircut can sport Joel Embiid's face

USA Today Images

Your next haircut can sport Joel Embiid's face

Trust the process?

How about trust the haircut?

Sixers employees Matt Yoder (left in the picture below), an account executive in group sales, and Sam Spector (right), an account executive in ticket sales, got in on the fun of Barber Appreciation Night at the Wells Fargo Center on Monday.

You've got to love these haircuts.

(USA Today Images)

(USA Today Images)

Who wouldn't want Embiid's face depicted in their hair? After all, the playoff push is heating up, so you've got to look ready.

Over 100 barbers from the Delaware Valley were expected on hand for the evening and pregame networking event, which was all presented by Maestro's Classic.

Don't be surprised if the Embiid cut catches on throughout the city.

No doubt, you'll be the coolest kid at school (or work).