Andy Reid said that defensive coordinator Sean McDermott will be back next season for the Eagles.
"You're dealing with a guy that's a tremendous worker and is a very smart individual," Reid said Monday, the day after the Eagles' season ended with a 21-16 loss to the Packers in the playoffs. "And so, I look at it a little bit different than 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.
"And know that he's going to do nothing but improve as a coach, just like all of us, with experience. I got a lot of respect for him and the way he does business."
McDermott, in his second season in charge of the defense, had to deal with a number of significant injuries to his unit. He lost six of his 11 starters at various points in the season. But even McDermott would have to admit that his defense underperformed this season. It allowed 31 passing touchdowns -- the worst number in Reid's 12 seasons -- and had the worst red zone percentage in the NFL since 1988.
"The problems? You can't say the scheme because they give you a play and you have to go out there and execute it," Eagles linebacker Moise Fokou said. "And if you want to blame it on personnel, then blame it on the player. But I don't think it was ... I don't know. You got me stuck. We just didn't execute as well as we thought we would. I think we had some shining moments here and there."
But what if the scheme isn't right?
"Come on, the scheme's not always going to be perfectly correct," Fokou said. "Sometimes you're going to make a mistake here and there and things are going to happen. You're never going to play a perfect game. Let me put it like that."
McDermott rose up through the ranks with the Eagles under Reid. Initially an assistant to Reid, McDermott then became a defensive coach, working mostly with linebackers and the secondary, until he was named coordinator in July, 2009 shortly before his predecessor, Jim Johnson, died.