Sunday night could be the final game for Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz, according to Tom Pelisserro of the NFL Network.

Per the report, Schwartz intends to take the 2021 season off, leaving the Eagles looking for a new defensive leader.  Schwartz's contract is expiring and while the Eagles wanted to bring him back. The 54-year old has been dealing with s few ailments and thinks its the right time to take a break.

One of the NFL's most respected defensive coaches, Schwartz is still thought highly of by the Eagles, who previously approached him about an extension. But after dealing with multiple recent hip and eye surgeries, Schwartz believes it's the right time for him to step away from the daily grind, at least in the short term, per sources.

Schwartz has not been the most popular guy during his tenure with the team, but his defenses routinely rank in the top 10 in many categories.

He has been with the Eagles since Doug Pederson was hired back in 2016, and his defense was a big part in the teams first ever Super Bowl.  That season the Eagles were No. 1 in the league against the run and No. 4 overall in points per game.

"I’ll tell you, our relationship has evolved tremendously," Pederson said on Friday when asked about his relationship with Schwartz. "I think we've been more on the same page over the years, me just getting to know him each year and understanding him as a coach and a coordinator."

"Obviously, his defenses historically have been top defenses in the National Football League. Of course, when guys are healthy and all of that."

"Our relationship's been great. I think as the season progressed this year, I thought the defense actually was doing some really good things for us and keeping the offense in these football games here down the stretch, creating takeaways and sort of stymieing the run game from our opponents, things of that nature."

"I think overall it's been really good."

Per ESPN:

The Eagles ranked among the top 10 in rushing defense (1st, 93.4 YPG), red zone defense (2nd, 49.5%), third-down defense (3rd, 35.4%), scoring defense (7th, 20.8 PPG) and takeaways (9th, 94) over his first four seasons.

Since that Super Bowl run, the Eagles have been crippled by injuries, especially in their secondary.

Fans have been frustrated by Schwartz lack of blitzing and sticks defense, though the Eagles have been one of the top teams at sacking and getting to the quarterback during his tenure and one of the top teams on third-down.

Like him or not, the loss of Schwartz will be a big one for the Eagles, he is one of the most respected defensive minds in the game.

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