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Eagles defense thrives under McDermott

Philadelphia Eagles first-year defensive coordinator Sean McDermott was promoted to the position on an interim basis in May because Jim Johnson, the successful group's longtime leader, took a medical leave of absence while battling cancer.

Coach Andy Reid removed the interim tag in July as Johnson's health continued to decline. Johnson died shortly after the move was announced.

The Eagles' defense has continued to thrive under McDermott, who has held many assistant positions since joining the organization in 1998. McDermott has retained many of the attacking, blitzing principles Johnson utilized in his scheme that helped to elevate Philadelphia among the league's elite defensively during his nine-year tenure.

On Sunday at Lincoln Financial Field, the Redskins' offense will face an Eagles defense that is tied for third (with the Pittsburgh Steelers) in the NFL in sacks and ranks fourth in interceptions. McDermott has adjusted well to his new role, especially under the circumstances, Reid said.

"He's done it graciously and gracefully," Reid said earlier this week in a conference call with reporters who cover the Redskins. "That's a tough situation, especially losing somebody you love, as much as he did Jim, and then having to kind of fill in those shoes and add his personality to it. He's been able to do all of that and been very good with that part of it."

McDermott was in his second stint as the Eagles' secondary coach when Reid picked him to succeed Johnson. "It's a tremendous opportunity for me," McDermott told The Post's Dan Steinberg in a recent interview. "And it's an opportunity I've prepared myself for over the course of my career, really.

"You're always working for your next job and preparing for it in some way shape or form. I just never saw this opportunity coming for me at the Eagles, with Jim Johnson being here and being a legend over the years."

He definitely earned the opportunity, Reid said. "He's a very hard worker," Reid said. "He's a smart guy to start with, he worked very hard to learn X's and O's part and he deals with people well. That's normally a good combination."

By Jason Reid  |  November 27, 2009; 12:59 PM ET
Categories:  Jason Reid  
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Next: Hall will miss Sunday's game; Rogers to start


1st to say that "the Eagles defense presents a challenge" and the Pope is Catholic... Brilliant JR.

Posted by: Diesel44 | November 27, 2009 1:09 PM | Report abuse

ESPN is dredging up archival material to post on its website and I recently saw this posting speculating about who the next HC of the Skins will be, circa two years ago. All the names presented by John Claytonic, ESPN's super duper NFL analyst are way off and there is this howler from him; "it may be hard for him to settle on just an assistant". So what actually happens? Snyder settles on a position coach, one notch lower than an assistant! Hah!

Who'll Be The Next Redskins Coach?

Redskins owner Daniel Snyder likes big names, so it may be hard for him to settle on just an assistant. Gibbs plans to stay with the organization through the hiring process, which certainly will help Redskins defensive coordinator Gregg Williams' chances for the job. Here's who might get consideration.-- John Clayton

Jason Garrett - Dallas Cowboys Offensive coordinator
Garrett is a hot name because of his impact on the development of Tony Romo. He's a candidate in Baltimore and Atlanta, but the team that gets him might have to wait until after the Super Bowl if the Cowboys win two playoff games.

Brian Billick - Ex Ravens coach
Billick is a big name and he's a winner. He's still stunned by his firing from the Ravens, but his résumé is hard to ignore. Having worked in Baltimore, he knows the media market, which is an asset for the owner.

Jim Caldwell - Indianapolis Colts Assistant head coach/QB coach
Caldwell brings The Tony Dungy Effect to a franchise. He is calm and stoic. Peyton Manning speaks about his understated value to the offense. Caldwell is a lead candidate in Atlanta and is drawing strong consideration from the Ravens.

Russ Grimm Arizona Cardinals Assistant head coach/offensive line coach
Snyder scored points with Redskins fans by hiring the Redskins' Hall of Fame coach, so why not hire one of their greatest offensive linemen? Grimm was a candidate for jobs in Chicago and Pittsburgh and is clearly ready to take the step into head coaching.

Mike Singletary San Francisco 49ers Assistant head coach/linebackers coach
A Hall of Famer, Singletary is probably going to get an interview for the Falcons' job soon. He has been groomed the past couple seasons to be a head coach.

Rex Ryan Baltimore Ravens Defensive coordinator
Ravens players are campaigning for him to be head coach, and he reportedly had a great interview with Baltimore over the weekend.

Posted by: ElDrano | November 27, 2009 1:12 PM | Report abuse

Secondarily the redskin's O isn't thriving under Zorn or Sherm Lewis.

Posted by: Diesel44 | November 27, 2009 1:12 PM | Report abuse

What is the point of Zorn starting BMW over Edwin Williams?

Posted by: Diesel44 | November 27, 2009 1:14 PM | Report abuse

What is the point of Zorn starting BMW over Edwin Williams?

Posted by: Diesel44 | November 27, 2009 1:14 PM |

He has better social skills.

Posted by: ElDrano | November 27, 2009 1:20 PM | Report abuse

Pleeeease, Danny, don't screw this up, too.
If you're going to fire Zorn at the end of the year, DON'T LET GRAY GET AWAY.
A guy that's respected by Joe Gibbs, a former all-pro, and a good coach SHOULD BE THE NEXT REDSKIN COACH.
Of course, the NEW GM should be making that call the way Bethard plucked Gibbs from practically nowhere, but hoping for Danny to have Jack Kent Cooke wisdom and faith in his people is truly a Christmas wish right now.

Posted by: pdfordiii

Gray seems ok to me, not great, not bad, just average. The only thing I don't like is his defense of Angelina Halls' tackling. I guess you call that tackling?

Posted by: 1965skinsfan | November 27, 2009 1:21 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: TWISI | November 27, 2009 1:29 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: iubiquity | November 27, 2009 6:51 PM | Report abuse

Somebody will take the job - it does pay well. Maybe Fassel??

Posted by: coparker5 | November 27, 2009 7:31 PM | Report abuse

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