One day after receiving a nice vote of confidence, Jim Schwartz has reportedly decided to walk away from the Philadelphia Eagles. The long-time defensive coordinator is contemplating retirement as he takes a year off from football.
Schwartz will allow his contract to expire after Sunday’s season finale against the Washington Football Team, according to NFL Network’s Tom Peliserro. The 54-year-old was one of Doug Pederson’s first hires when he took the head-coaching reins in 2016. His coaching career has spanned 32 years, including 28 in the NFL.
Schwartz made headlines earlier this week when he revealed the Eagles’ “no-hat rule” for Week 17. He doesn’t plan to rest starters versus Washington and essentially hand them the NFC East title. They will have to earn it on the field.
“We’ve got to have a no-hat rule this week,” Schwartz told reporters on Tuesday. “We can’t let opponents put division win hats on at the Linc [Lincoln Financial Field]. There’s a lot of pride in that, and all our focus has to be accomplishing that this week.”
The Eagles’ defense ranked 21st overall in the NFL in 2020 while allowing 370.8 yards and 26.5 points per game. However, Philly boasted the fourth-best pass-rushing group with 46 total sacks.
Injuries have taken a toll all year and the team will be without several key starters on Sunday. Starting defensive end Derek Barnett (calf) and starting defensive tackle Fletcher Cox (neck) are both out. Ditto for linebackers Shaun Bradley (neck) and Duke Riley (biceps).
“It’s football. Guys are going to get hurt,” Schwartz said. “You just have to figure out a way to put it together and come out with wins, and like I said, we haven’t done a good enough job of that this year, and as a result, we lost an opportunity for the playoffs.”
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Pederson Looking Forward to ‘One Voice’ in 2021
One of the major storylines for the Eagles heading into the 2020 campaign was their collaborative coaching staff. Instead of naming one offensive coordinator, Pederson decided to rely on a wide-ranging group of offensive innovators.
They added three new names to an expansive coaches roster, including Rich Scangarello (senior offensive assistant), Press Taylor (passing game coordinator/quarterbacks coach), Marty Mornhinweg (senior offensive consultant), Andrew Breiner (pass game analyst), Duce Staley (assistant head coach/running backs coach), Jeff Stoutland (offensive line coach/run game coordinator).
“There’s a lot of positive that comes out of those communications and those talks, those ideas,” Pederson told reporters on Friday. “Really everybody has great ideas. That’s part of putting plans together.”
Many feared it was “too many cooks in the kitchen” and some players have hinted at that being the case. Pederson himself indicated that he would prefer to get back to “one voice” in 2021, with that voice being his own. He also mentioned Taylor and Breiner as two key sounding boards in that room.
“But at the end of the day I want to make sure there’s one voice, and that’s my voice, that’s heard offensively and nobody else’s,” Pederson said. “That’s the part that I’ve got to get across to the staff, and I have done that. I want to make sure that there’s one voice talking to the quarterbacks, whoever is in this room. Press has been in that room, Andrew Breiner has been in that room.”