Report: Passed-over defensive backs coach Dennard Wilson and Eagles agree to part ways

Posted on March 6, 2023

Before the Eagles hired Sean Desai as their new defensive coordinator, they let everyone know defensive backs coach Dennard Wilson was a strong candidate.

Desai was hired last week, two weeks after defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon landed the Cardinals’ head-coaching job.

NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported this on Twitter: “After being a finalist for the #Eagles DC job that went to Sean Desai, Philly defensive pass game coordinator and DBs coach Dennard Wilson and the team are mutually parting ways, sources say. This is often the outcome when an in-house candidate is passed over for a promotion.”

Several Eagles defensive players publicly endorsed Wilson as a defensive coordinator candidate. The Eagles has the NFL’s top-ranked pass defense in 2022.

At the NFL Combine last week, Eagles coach Nick Sirianni was asked if Wilson will return to the team.

  • “Yeah, we’ll obviously go through that as we continue on,” Sirianni said. “Does the staff dynamic fit? Does Sean have anybody? 
  • “But Dennard is a great football coach. He’s done an outstanding job. If he is still our defensive backs coach, we’ll be lucky to have him because he know how good of a coach he is.
  • “We’re not to that process yet. We just finalized that Sean will be our defensive coordinator, so we’re not there yet. I think the world of Dennard and how good of a football coach he is.”


From Boston Herald Patriots beat columnist Karen Guregian, on Twitter: “I’m hearing that Matt Patricia has a shot to land with the Philadelphia Eagles on the defensive staff, presumably as a linebackers coach.”

The Eagles have a linebackers coach opening after Nick Rallis went to Arizona to be Gannon’s defensive coordinator.

Patricia, the failed head coach of the Lions, coached linebackers in New England from 2006-10. He was the Patriots’ offensive play-caller this past season but was demoted from that duty after the season.

Mike Florio, of NBC Sports, reported this exchange with Eagles cornerback Darius Slay during Super Bowl week. Slay played for the Lions during Patricia’s time in Detroit.

Florio reported that Slay told Patricia that Slay had worked out in the offseason with Richard Sherman and Aqib Talib.

“He [Patricia] basically just said, ‘You are not in that category yet,’ ” Slay said during Super Bowl week. “At that time, I only had one Pro Bowl but now I’m at five, so I want to know how he feels about that now.

“I don’t wish bad on him, but as a man, me and him just don’t get along. He’s a smart coach, he knows his Xs and Os, but the disrespect is not what I’m with.”


Mike Adams, who worked with Desai as an assistant defensive backs coach with the Bears in 2021, will interview with the Eagles, according to a report from Philadelphia Sports Network. The season with the Bears was Adams’ only coaching experience. 

Adams, who was undrafted, played defensive back and safety for 16 years with the Browns, Colts, 49ers, Panthers, Broncos and Texans. His last season was 2019. He is from the University of Delaware.

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Chuck Bausman

Chuck Bausman is an Eagles writer for Chuck formerly was the Executive Sports Editor of the Philadelphia Daily News and the Executive Sports Editor of the Courier-Post in South Jersey. He learned how to cuss by watching Philly sports.

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