Posts for jim schwartz

Is Jim Schwartz Smart Enough to Understand He’s Not a Head Coach?

Coggin Toboggan - January 8, 2018

If you believe the rumors, next year Jim Schwartz will be the newest head coach of the New York Giants. Or the Arizona Cardinals. Or the Indianapolis Colts. Or the Chicago Bears. Every off-season one assistant coach or coordinator is the hot coaching ticket to fill one of the vacancies for the numerous shit-canned head coaches from the previous season.

I understand why the Giants’ fan base would be excited to hire a guy like Schwartz. Great defensive coordinator. Firey attitude. Smart, sharp hairline without a trace of hair gel to remind them of the ex-greaser failure Ben McAdoo.

But here’s the thing….Jim Schwartz is not head coaching material and hopefully he’s smart enough to know it.

Schwartz has a good thing going with the Eagles. The media loves him, he gets to coach an extraordinarily young and talented group of defenders, and he doesn’t have to worry about ANYTHING on the other side of the ball. All of his energy can be used to cook up new and intricate defensive schemes to terrorize NFC East opponents and administer vast amounts of head trauma to opposing quarterbacks.

It’s perfect for him, and at the same time it’s what made him such an abject failure as a head coach in Detroit.

Oh, do you not recall his tenure as head coach of the Detroit Lions? It’s probably because he went 29-51 over the course of five forgettable seasons. Yes, he went 10-6 one year, but the one thing anyone even remotely remembers about that season was his tug of war handshake with Jim Harbaugh. Do you remember anything else? I’m sure Matt Stafford threw a few touchdowns to Calvin Johnson – with fans getting excited because THIS WAS THE YEAR the Lions would actually “make some noise” in the playoffs – and then threw some horrendous interceptions in their one and only playoff game and that was the end of the season…what else could have happened? Continue Reading

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Have Defense, Will Travel

Tim Reilly - October 13, 2017

With a win over the Carolina Panthers, the Eagles head into their mini-bye week with a 5-1 record. Undoubtedly, a number of narratives and storylines will emerge in the next few days from NFL pundits and journalists seeking to explain the Eagles’ success.

Allow me to add my own voice to the cacophony of the cognoscenti. If you want to understand why the Birds are currently sitting atop the NFC, look no further than the often competent, sometimes dominant play of its defense.

Heading into the season, the Eagles’ early slate appeared to be a daunting challenge for a young team fielding an inexperienced secondary. After opening the season in Washington against a team that had won five in a row against them, the Eagles were scheduled to fly to Kansas City to take on a tough Chiefs squad at Arrowhead,¬†one of the NFL’s loudest stadiums. Philadelphia would then play their home opener against the New York Giants before flying across the country to take on Eagle-killer Philip Rivers and the San Diego Chargers. A home contest with the Arizona Cardinals and a road date against the Panthers on a short week rounded out the frame.

In August, a 3-3 record seemed like the best-case scenario for an Eagles team that limped to the 2016 finish line with a 1-7 record away from Lincoln Financial Field. How would the defense contend with Kirk Cousins, who has made a living in recent years carving up the Eagles’ secondary? Would they have any answers for Andy Reid’s creative offensive scheme? Could they slow down a pass-happy Giants team that was loaded with weapons at the wide receiver position? Would Rivers torch them like he did in 2013, when he threw for 419 yards and three touchdowns? Did the Eagles have a realistic chance of derailing the high-octane Cardinals offense? Could they contend with Cam Newton?

Once again, we learned that it is folly to look ahead in the NFL by looking back. The past is not always prologue, especially for a young team that has been developing an imposing defense.

The unit is led by coordinator Jim Schwartz, who has been granted the autonomy by head coach Doug Pederson to run the defense as he sees fit. Schwartz’s reputation for arrogance preceded him when he arrived in Philadelphia, and there were speculative¬†rumblings in the media at the beginning of the season that he might have been undermining Pederson.

Notwithstanding the man’s real and perceived faults, Schwartz has proven himself an exceptional coach. Through six games, his defense has been fundamentally sound. They tackle well, swarm to the ball, pressure the quarterback, and maintain gap discipline (most of the time).

It all starts with the front seven, which is the strength of the unit. The Eagles boast a bevy of quality pass rushers in Chris Long, Brandon Graham, Vinny Curry, and Derek Barnett. Fletcher Cox and Tim Jernigan have dominated the interior. Meanwhile, the linebacking corps has benefited from the strong play of Nigel Bradham, Jordan Hicks, and the resurgent Mychal Kendricks. Continue Reading

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