As the Eagles continue their search for a new defensive coordinator, you can cross another candidate off the list.
Former Cardinals’ defensive coordinator Vance Joseph is heading back to Denver to be the Broncos’ DC, Fox Sports’ Peter Schrager reported.
Jospeh, 50, is the second known candidate in two days to be removed from the Eagles’ list after former Wisconsin coach Jim Leonhard and the Eagles reportedly agreed to end his candidacy on Wednesday.
The Eagles seemed to have some legitimate interest in Joseph and reportedly had him on a Zoom call for 4 1/2 hours earlier in the week with plans for more talks. But now he’s back in Denver, where he was once the head coach.
While Joseph has a solid resume, his defenses are known for aggressiveness and high blitz rates. Even if the Eagles want to veer away from some of the passive tendencies we saw under former DC and new Cardinals head coach Jonathan Gannon, this would have been a huge departure.
Head coach Nick Sirianni also has his own thoughts on defense and how he wants it to look. Here’s what he said about that side of the ball in his end-of-the-season press conference a week ago:
“I really believe in the turnover differential,” Sirianni said. “I really believe in the explosive-play differential. There are things of that nature of that defense that I like.
“Then there's going to be things situationally that are non-negotiables. I guess, to say with me, whether it's third-and-long, whether it's tight red zone, whether it's two-minute, end-of-game plays, whether it's four-minute defense backed up.
"I'm naturally going to have things that I'm going to require the next defensive coordinator to do. But I also know that I'm hiring somebody to do their job to the best of their abilities, and that's why I'm hiring them.”
There are still several known candidates in the running: Dennard Wilson, Chris Shula, Jesse Minter, Sean Desai.
While the Eagles don’t have to rush this hire, they do need to act with some urgency. The NFL Scouting Combine is next week, free agency follows and the draft isn’t far behind.
While the Eagles are taking their time to hire their next defensive coordinator, the clear favorite to replace Shane Steichen as the OC is Brian Johnson. That will be an internal promotion from his current spot as quarterbacks coach.
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