The pool of candidates for the Eagles’ defensive coordinator opening just got smaller.
On Wednesday, ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reported Philadelphia and Wisconsin defensive coordinator Jim Leonhard have officially agreed to end they would no longer move forward with Leonhard’s candidacy.
The #Eagles and Jim Leonhard mutually decided they would not move forward with his DC candidacy, per league sources. Leonhard had planned to undergo hip surgery and sit out coaching for a year, but when Eagles job opened, both sides had interest in discussing the position, which… https://t.co/3zG4r6Ryy4
— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) February 22, 2023
According to Fowler, Leonhard plans on taking the year off to recover from hip surgery. While both parties were aware of this before discussing, they eventually decided it “wasn’t the right time.”
Leonhard being out is a bit of a disappointed. Wisconsin ranked 11th in yards allowed per game, and particularly shined when it came to run defense (3 yards per rush, 2nd best in FBS).
Leonhard also had a connection to T.J. Edwards, who the latter played under. Not that Leonhard being hired was a guarantee Edwards would be back, but it wouldn’t have hurt, either.
Eagles continue to cast a wide net
Now that Leonhard’s out, there are several remaining candidates that have interviewed:
- Cardinals DC Vance Joseph
- Rams DB coach and pass coordinator Chris Shula
- Eagles DB coach Dennard Wilson
- Seahawks assistant HC Sean Desai
- Michigan DC Jesse Minter
The Eagles have also talked with Georgia co-DC and ILB coach Glenn Schumann Wednesday. Last season, Georgia ranked 10th in least yards allowed per game and 5th in points allowed per game.
It’s good to see the team not limiting themselves with candidates by looking in the college ranks, and it’s even better to see they’re not rolling with retreads either (the exception being Vance).