I've been getting a lot of people asking me what I think of the Eagles hiring former Lions head coach Jim Schwartz as their new defensive coordinator. This move makes a lot of sense from the Eagles point of view. This is the first time Doug Pederson, the new head coach in the city of brotherly love, has been in charge of running an entire team. As a first time head coach (and only 3 years as a coordinator), Pederson needs somebody by his side that knows the intricacies of coaching an NFL franchise. Schwartz' previous head coaching stints adds some of that valuable experience to the young coaching staff. The Eagles desperately needed help on the defensive side of the ball. As defensive coordinator of the Titans from '01 - '08, Jim Schwartz led his defense to a top 10 ranking each year. The moves make sense for many reasons, and on both sides. However, this move will ultimately fail and set the Eagles franchise back many years.
Before I begin to dissect why this move will blow up in the city of Philadelphia's face, let me be clear: Jim Schwartz is my mortal enemy. I saw Jim Schwartz try to fight Jim Harbaugh over a hand shake while he was the head coach of the Lions. Jim Schwartz lost the Lions three games by challenging plays in the two minute warning (thus making the plays unreviewable). Schwartz yelled at reporters and cursed out fans. As the head coach of the Detroit Lions, he was universally hated by the players, media, and fans. Jim Schwartz was hired as Buffalo's defensive coordinator shortly after being fired by the Lions. Jim Schwartz transformed their talented but average 3-4 defense into a dominant 4-3 unit that ranked in the top 10 his two years he spent in Buffalo. His time spent in western New York was good enough to make people forget about his failures in Detroit.
Based on the given statistics, it should prove to anybody that Schwartz will be successful as the Eagles defensive coordinator. As a coordinator, his teams have ranked in the top 10 every year and finished in the top five rankings 5 different times. So why do I think this will fail? Schwartz is undoubtably a great coach, and it is a known fact that he has been looking for head coaching positions since he was fired by the Lions. There are more doubts surrounding new head coach Doug Pederson. If Pederson's scheme takes too long to implement or takes away the strengths of his best players (see: Kelly, Chip), the fans may be calling for Pederson's head in a couple years, and the owners may listen. No doubt Jim Schwartz will have more success running that admittedly more talented defense. As history shows, Schwartz may rally his defensive into a top 10 unit, leaving him to be Pederson's eventual successor. This will be worst case scenario for the people of Philadelphia. Be warned: a great coordinator does not make someone a great head coach.