Eagles Hire ‘Phenomenal’ Temple Coach, Snub Matt Patricia

Matt Patricia

Getty Matt Patricia looks on in Denver.

The Philadelphia Eagles have a new linebackers coach. No, his name is not Matt Patricia. The former Detroit Lions head coach — and well-known Darius Slay hater — won’t be joining Nick Sirianni’s staff.

Instead, the team decided to hire D.J. Eliot who served as defensive coordinator and outside linebackers coach at Temple University in 2022. The Eagles officially announced the move on Twitter by re-posting a picture of Eliot wearing an “It’s a Philly thing” sweatshirt. He’s “gonna fit right in.”

Eliot shouldn’t feel too much pressure calling plays under the lights at Lincoln Financial Field. He got a taste of it at Temple since they play their home games there. The Owls topped the American Athletic Conference with 38 sacks in 2022 and ranked second in passing yards allowed (198.6 yards per game), according to the Eagles’ website.

‘He’s phenomenal. He’s doing a phenomenal job. Extremely organized. Has a great system,” Temple head coach Stan Drayton said of Eliot last spring, via OwlScoop. “Has a great progression of teaching. He genuinely cares about our players, so it is just a matter of time we are going to see the production pay off and his investment pay off in these young men because he is definitely pouring it into them.”

The 46-year-old has an extensive college coaching resume dating back to 1999, including stops at Kansas, Colorado, Kentucky, Florida State, Tulsa, and Texas State. He even took on a two-year stint as a recruiting coordinator at Rice University in Houston, Texas. He has no prior NFL coaching experience. Eliot also played linebacker at Wyoming before going on to serve as a graduate assistant at his alma mater.

Cardinals Introduce Nick Rallis as Defensive Coordinator

The Arizona Cardinals officially introduced Nick Rallis as their new defensive coordinator in a press conference last week. Jonathan Gannon pried him away from the Eagles in a semi-controversial move.

Rallis, a former linebackers coach in Philly, was a rising star in the organization and a guy Nick Sirianni seemed intent on keeping around. Now he’s out in the desert where he intends to put his stamp on the Cardinals’ defense and “solve problems.”

“I always pride myself on bringing energy and love for the job and the sport every day,” Rallis told the Cardinals’ website, “but one thing I strive to be and from my staff is to be highly emotionally intelligent. To be the same person every day. Ultimately it’s being in a state of mind that is optimal to solve problems.”

Dennard Wilson Joins the Baltimore Ravens

The Eagles are currently in search of a new defensive backs coach after Dennard Wilson split for the Baltimore Ravens. There was a report that Sirianni fired him after he went back on a loyalty pledge due to missing out on the open defensive coordinator position. That job went to Sean Desai who served as associate head coach and defensive assistant last season in Seattle.

Meanwhile, the Eagles reportedly (via Philly Sports Network’s Bryan Cameron) interviewed Mike Adams for their vacant defensive backs coaching position. Adams was an assistant defensive backs coach under Desai a few years back in Chicago. He was a two-time Pro Bowler at safety during a 15-year NFL career.

Read More