Tuesday, August 4, 2015

The value of defensive coordinator experience

In the Eagles search for a defensive coordinator, there's been considerable attention paid toNFL experience. In fact, the presume frontrunner at this point is 49ers defensive backs coach Ed Donatell, with Georgia defensive coordinator Todd Grantham also previously discussed as a candidate. (The Eagles are not making any official announcement) Both have been coordinators in the NFL.

The value of defensive coordinator experience

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Denver Broncos´ Ed Donatell, right, looks on during the NFL Football match between the Denver Broncos and San Francisco 49ers at Wembley Stadium in London, Sunday Oct. 31, 2010. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)
Denver Broncos' Ed Donatell, right, looks on during the NFL Football match between the Denver Broncos and San Francisco 49ers at Wembley Stadium in London, Sunday Oct. 31, 2010. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)

In the Eagles search for a defensive coordinator, there's been considerable attention paid toNFL experience. In fact, the presume frontrunner at this point is 49ers defensive backs coach Ed Donatell, with Georgia defensive coordinator Todd Grantham also previously discussed as a candidate. (The Eagles are not making any official announcement) Both have been coordinators in the NFL. 

The term "retread" is often attached to a former head coach who gets a second chance, but the formula clearly works for defensive coordinators. Both coordinators in this season's Super Bowl -- Baltimore's Dean Pees and San Francisco's Vic Fangio -- have previously been defensive coordinators in the NFL. 

In fact, this will be the fifth consecutive season in which the Super Bowl-winning defensive coordinator was on at least his second NFL defensive coordinator job:

SUPER BOWL DEFENSIVE COORDINATORS, past five years

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2012 – Ravens, Dean Pees (2nd defensive coordinator job); 49ers, Vic Fangio (4th defensive coordinator)

2011 – Giants, Perry Fewell (2nd defensive coordinator job)

2010 – Packers, Dom Capers (3rd defensive coordinator job, 2 head coaching jobs)

2009 – Saints, Gregg Williams (4rd defensive coordinator job, 1 head coaching job)

2008 –  Steelers, Dick LeBeau (4th defensive coordinator job, 1 head coaching job)

And five is not just an arbitrary number. The defensive coordinator for the 2001-2006 Super Bowl champions were also on at least their second defensive coordinator stint.

This does not make it a surefire way to go. But it's something to consider, especially when considering the coordinator will work with an NFL coach who has never before spent a day in the NFL.

Inquirer Staff Writer
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