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Week 17 Preview & Season Review

Jim Schwartz To Take 2021 Off, Pederson Expected Back

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By Paul Bowman, Sports Talk Philly Editor

On Saturday, NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reported that Eagles DC Jim Schwartz will not be with the team in 2021.

The veteran coach is expected to let his contract retire and take a year off as he contemplates retirement.

Meanwhile Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network reports Doug Pederson is expected back in 2021 with personnel changes.

While many fans are likely happy to hear of Schwartz's departure, the news is concerning.

Schwartz is the one who put the Eagles in position to have a top-five defense in 2017 that greatly helped carry the team to their first Super Bowl.

In the three seasons since, Schwartz has managed to put together a defense that ranked in the top half of the league despite an offense that routinely turned the ball over already in field goal range and injuries in all three seasons.

In two of the last three seasons, the defensive line has lost any real depth and wound up relying on four guys to play with random players off the street.

At no point over the last three seasons have the Eagles put anything into a linebacker (excluding a third-round pick in a guy that barely played football - Davion Taylor) and again relied on UDFA and seventh-round picks to man the position.

Finally, in all three of the last seasons, he has had a secondary that began without a CB2 and wound up playing corners that were not in the NFL a week or two before. He had Malcolm Jenkins for two seasons and got Darius Slay for most of this season. That amounts to one playmaker not on the defensive line each year.

It's unlikely the Eagles find a coordinator that can make a system work in the top half of the league using no resources in most of their position groups. He certainly had bad games, but with games that bad and a defense that ranks in the top half of the league, what does that say about the defense outside those games?

The grass isn't always greener, but fans can certainly hope.

Matt Burke and Marquand Manuel are two possible internal candidates for the position with people like Gus Bradley, Mike Zimmer or Dan Quinn being the top of many fans' lists externally.

Additionally, the reports of Saturday expect Doug Pederson back, likely not news fans want to hear after three straight season of incompetence on the offensive side of the ball following Frank Reich's departure.

There are expected to be personnel changes, so that likely means the Eagles bring in a traditional OC to call plays in an attempt to fill Reich's role, but the Eagles brought in a multitude of offensive minds this season and the team, quite obviously, did not improve.

There are nearly no coaches on the offensive side of the ball that can be looked at as having done a good job. Duce Staley may be the only one who could get such a compliment this year and even he was putting Scott in on run plays late in games and pushing Jordan Howard out there in an unproductive season.

The Eagles seem intent on keeping Roseman and Pederson around, likely with Wentz, and instead surrounding them with personnel to support them, much like they brought in John Dorsey as a consultant for their player evaluations to assist Roseman.

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