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May 29, 2024

Eagles Interview Ron Rivera for Defensive Coordinator Role

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Jan 23, 2024

The Philadelphia Eagles have interviewed former Washington Commanders head coach Ron Rivera for their vacant defensive coordinator position, according to multiple reports.

Background on Eagles Defensive Coordinator Opening

The Eagles defensive coordinator role opened up last week when the team fired Sean Desai after just one season. Desai’s defense struggled down the stretch, giving up 416 yards in the Eagles’ 38-35 Super Bowl loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.

In addition, Eagles senior defensive assistant Matt Patricia left to take the defensive coordinator job with the New England Patriots. So head coach Nick Sirianni had two major holes to fill on the defensive staff.

Ron Rivera’s Coaching Profile

Rivera has extensive experience as both a head coach and defensive coordinator in the NFL:

  • Head coach of the Commanders from 2020-2022
  • Defensive coordinator for the Bears from 2004-2006
  • Linebackers coach for the Eagles from 1999-2003

He interviewed for the Eagles’ head coaching job in 2016 that ultimately went to Doug Pederson. Rivera has ties to Philadelphia and would be a high-profile hire.

Rivera Fired by Commanders After Three Seasons

The Commanders fired Rivera in early January after three straight losing seasons. In his first year, Washington won the NFC East at 7-9 but lost in the playoffs.

They struggled to find consistency at quarterback between Carson Wentz, Taylor Heinicke and others. The defense also took a step back, finishing toward the bottom of the league.

Eagles Connection and Scheme Fit

Bringing in Rivera would be headline-grabbing for the Eagles. He spent five seasons in Philadelphia as a linebackers coach and even played for the team in the 1980s.

It’s expected Rivera would install a base 4-3 defense, which differs from the 3-4 hybrid scheme the Eagles ran last year under Desai. But with versatile players like Haason Reddick, that likely wouldn’t require huge roster changes.

What Coaches Said About the Interview

Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni:

“Ron obviously has a great track record as a defensive coordinator and head coach. We’re still working through the process but he’s a great candidate.”

Commanders head coach Eric Bieniemy on Rivera:

“Ron did a lot of good things for this organization. I have all the respect in the world for him and I know he still wants to coach.”

Fox Sports’ Jay Glazer:

“The Eagles need someone to fix the defense, especially the pass defense. Ron Rivera would give them instant credibility.”

Other Eagles Defensive Coordinator Candidates

In addition to Rivera, the Eagles have also lined up interviews with other top defensive coordinator candidates:

Mike Caldwell (Former Jaguars DC)

  • DC for Jacksonville in 2022 under Doug Pederson
  • Linebackers coach for Tampa Bay 2020-2021
  • Has history with Pederson which could appeal to the Eagles

Sean Desai (Recently fired Eagles DC)

  • Eagles may consider bringing Desai back after his unit struggled late in the year
  • Ranked in top half of NFL in yards and points allowed in regular season

Other names linked:

Kris Kocurek (Dolphins)

Ryan Nielsen (Saints)

What Happens Next

Rivera has said he has multiple offers to return to coaching after being fired by Washington. Based on early reports, the Eagles job seems to be near the top of his list.

Potential timeline:

  • Early this week – Eagles conduct initial interviews
  • End of week – Second interviews, Ron Rivera decides on best opportunity
  • Early next week – Announcement of new Eagles defensive coordinator

The Eagles don’t want this process to drag out long. Replacing Desai and Patricia quickly will be key so the new coordinator can evaluate personnel and install the scheme.

Impact on NFC East, Eagles Super Bowl Odds

If the Eagles hire Rivera, it could shift the balance of power in the NFC East. The Cowboys were able to keep defensive coordinator Dan Quinn, who drew head coaching interest.

Team Defensive Coordinator 2024 Super Bowl Odds

Dallas Cowboys | Dan Quinn | +1200 |
Philadelphia Eagles | Ron Rivera* | +800 |
Washington Commanders | TBD | +4000 |
New York Giants | Wink Martindale | +6600 |

Bringing in a veteran coach like Rivera would likely make the Eagles favorites to defend their NFC Championship. It all depends on if they can close the deal and sign him.

Conclusion

The Eagles pulling off a hire of Ron Rivera’s caliber would send shockwaves through the NFC. It would vault their defense back into contention and solidify their status as Super Bowl frontrunners.

Rivera’s veteran leadership could put the Eagles defense over the top. His past ties to Philadelphia only make this potential pairing more intriguing. The next week will be crucial in determining if he lands with the Eagles or explores opportunities elsewhere. But right now, Philadelphia seems like the best fit.

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AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

To err is human, but AI does it too. Whilst factual data is used in the production of these articles, the content is written entirely by AI. Double check any facts you intend to rely on with another source.

By AiBot

AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

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