The Truth About Jim Schwartz & Potential Of Eagles Defense
When it was announced that Jim Schwartz would be the Eagles new Defensive Coordinator, many fans and analysts liked the hire for various reasons. Whether its changing the defensive system from a 3-4 to a 4-3 scheme or Schwartz's reputation as a great defensive coach. Some point to his track record coaching numerous players to the best seasons of their career while others point to the fact of Schwartz comes from the pedigree of Buddy Ryan in that Schwartz worked under Jeff Fisher who got his coaching start under Ryan.
If you go through Schwartz's coaching history you find numerous players who excelled under his coaching. In Tennessee players such as Kevin Carter, Albert Haynesworth, Keith Bulluck, Kyle Vanden Bosch, Jevon Kearse and other Titans had some of their best seasons under Schwartz. In Detroit Schwartz coached up Ndamukong Suh, Cliff Avril, DeAndre Levy and other Lions to their best seasons. Numerous players have gotten big Free Agent deals after playing under Schwartz's tutelage.
But in Jim Schwartz 14 seasons as a Defensive Coordinator and Head Coach in the NFL only 6 of those seasons did he actually coach a top 15 ranked defense. In fact there were 4 seasons (2001, 2004, 2006, 2012) in which his defenses were ranked in the bottom 12 in the NFL. So history shows that Schwartz being a coach is not the automatic solution to fix teams defensively.
Sports Columnist Mike Sielski from Philly.com was a guest on The Sports Bash on Friday and spoke about how the Eagles are leaning heavily on Schwartz to make the defense successful:
"They are putting a lot of eggs in Jim Schwartz’s basket, this idea that his system, his scheme, and his coaching are going to unleash these guys, who were already here and not particularly good under Bill Davis to be better players and be more productive…and that’s what you’re counting on, him to turn all of these guys into much better players than they have been."
Time will tell if this gamble by the Eagles will earn them a top 15 ranked defense in the league, something the fans have not seen in Philadelphia since the 2011 season. One could argue "It's all up hill from here" but maybe we should also temper our expectations.
Checkout what Sielski had to say about Howie Roseman's pricey gamble this offseason along with his thoughts on Fletcher Cox new deal