Saturday, April 18, 2015

Winston Moss' ties to Eagles

ARLINGTON, Tex. -- The Eagles' lead candidate for their defensive coordinator vacancy has yet to emerge, but the future leader of their defense could very well be Winston Moss.

Winston Moss' ties to Eagles

Packers linebackers coach Winston Moss could be a candidate to be become the Eagles defensive coordinator. (Mike Roemer/AP)
Packers linebackers coach Winston Moss could be a candidate to be become the Eagles defensive coordinator. (Mike Roemer/AP)

ARLINGTON, Tex. -- The Eagles' lead candidate for their defensive coordinator vacancy has yet to emerge, but the future leader of their defense could very well be Winston Moss.

The Packers inside linebackers coach has a direct link to the team in that he once worked under former Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Johnson. Moss was a defensive quality control coach in Seattle when Johnson was the Seahawks' linebackers coach in 1998.

"He had such an impact on me that I will carry it the rest of my life," Moss said Tuesday during Super Bowl XLV Media Day. "He was such a tough guy. It was almost like a mentorship. He allowed me to do certain things as a quality control coach that some coaches don't do. He allowed me to coach in the media room. He allowed me to take drills over. From that very first year, he didn't know me very well, he saw the potential and he said I can give this guy a chance. So we hit it off from there and I've had nothing but admiration for coach Johnson."

Johnson, of course, died in July, 2009. Sean McDermott was his replacement, but lasted only two seasons and was fired last month. The search for a replacement has now lasted nearly three weeks. There are a number of viable candidates among the Packers and Steelers coaching staffs.

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Aside from Moss, there's Green Bay defensive line coach Mike Trgovac, outside linebackers coach Kevin Greene and safeties coach Darren Perry. Moss, though, clearly wants to be interviewed for the job.

"The Eagles have some established talent there right now," Moss said. "It would be fun to work with that group. They work extremely hard. They play on a fanatical level. They have some playmakers on that defense. In carefully looking at them and then competing against them twice [this season], that would be a fantastic opportunity."

Moss said that he still sees Johnson's imprint on the Eagles' defense.

"It's a very tough culture there," he said. "It's a very aggressive culture there. It's a very fearless culture. You can tell how Andy Reid attacks people from his offensive scheme that that's what he wants. And I believe that I have that same passion. I have that same relentless, fearless desire to get a defense to want to be able to compete at that same level."

The Packers, under defensive coordinator Dom Capers, employ a 3-4 defense, but Moss has had experience with a 4-3.

"The most important thing from my perspective is to identify the talent that's already on the team and then, if it's conducive, to go to a 4-3 scheme," Moss said. "I can do that as well. If it's more important to stay within a 3-4 scheme I'm very well-equipped to do that, as well."

Perry, who the Eagles are reportedly interested in interviewing, has only played and coached in a 3-4, but he said the notion that he couldn't coach a 4-3 was "overrated." Trgovac is the only one of the four to once be a coordinator when he was with the Carolina Panthers.

Trgovac has been quoted as saying he isn't interested in returning to being a coordinator at this time because of family issues, but he did not close the door on that possibly being next year.

Moss, meanwhile, wants to be a coordinator -- whether it's now or sometime in the near future. 

"There's only rumors working right now," he said. "But I got into coaching to coordinate. I had a passion about calling plays, being very, very competitive vs. whether your competing vs. a quarterback, whether you're competing vs. another offense and their scheme. ... I feel as though I bring something. I can bring out the best in players, in the group of men. So with that being said, I would look forward to the challenge to not only being a coordinator, to be a successive coordinator, to be a championship coordinator."

Inquirer Staff Writer
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