After two seasons as defensive coordinator, the Eagles have fired Sean McDermott, the team confirmed.
A replacement has not yet been named, according to an Eagles source.
McDermott's firing comes just five days after head coach Andy Reid said that McDermott would be back next season. The 36-year-old's defense had regressed in nearly every statistical category this past season. Despite such alarming numbers Reid gave McDermott, who had worked his way up from the bottom, a vote of confidence on Monday.
“You’re dealing with a guy that’s a tremendous worker and is a very smart individual,” Reid said a day after the Eagles’ season came to an end with a 21-16 playoff loss to the Packers. “And so I look at it a little bit different than what you do in that I’ve seen him work with young guys, I’ve seen him work through injuries, I’ve seen him stay positive through those situations and still put us in a position to win football games.”
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Apparently, that was not enough to keep his job. Reid actually told McDermott that he was going in another direction on Thursday, a league source said.
Reid is away this weekend and will not have a comment, a team spokesman said.
Attempts to reach McDermott have been unsuccessful.
"I'm really surprised because I didn't expect that to happen," Eagles safety Quintin Mikell said in a text message. "I don't know how to take it."
Defensive backs coach Dick Jauron, who the Eagles granted permission to the Browns to interview for their vacant defensive coordinator position, is a candidate, according to a team source. The Eagles are expected, though, to interview a number of other possible replacements.
There are a number of former defensive coordinators looking for jobs, including ex-Browns coach Rob Ryan and former 49ers head coach Mike Singletary.
McDermott, of course, now joins that group. The Eagles promoted him in July, 2009, just days before his predecessor, Jim Johnson, died from cancer. McDermott worked under Johnson for most of his time with the Eagles. He used his aggressive style of blitzing, but his approach was different in many other ways.
McDermott liked to tinker with his defense and substitute players in and out during a series. He dealt with his share of significant injuries in two seasons, but the defense was a major crutch for the Eagles this season. It allowed a franchise-worst 31 passing touchdowns and had the worst red zone efficiency in the NFL since 1998.
"That's business," Eagles defensive end Darryl Tapp said when contacted. "Honestly, the last I heard he was coming back. Yeah, I'm disappointed. You work with a guy all year long you get to like him. But this is the business we work in."