Catching up with McDermott, Spags

Sean McDermott begins his second season as defensive coordinator of the Carolina Panthers. (Bradley C Bower/AP file photo)

Many of the players who were on the field for Sean McDermott's final game as the Eagles' defensive coordinator are no longer with the organization.

Juqua Parker, Daniel Te'o-Nesheim, Trevor Laws, Brodrick Bunkley, Asante Samuel, Dimitri Patterson, Quintin Mikell and Ernie Sims were all in uniform for the team's playoff loss to the Green Bay Packers.

I sometimes wonder if McDermott looks at the moves the Eagles have made since that game - signing Jason Babin, Cullen Jenkins and Nnamdi Asomugha; trading for Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and DeMeco Ryans; and drafting Fletcher Cox - and wonders why he wasn't given the same level of talent to work with before getting fired.

McDermott spent 2011 coaching the Panthers' defense, a group that finished 27th in the league, allowing 26.8 points per game. They added linebacker Luke Kuechly in the first round of the draft and will now try to catch up with an offense led by one of the league's most dynamic players in Cam Newton.

Speaking to Anthony Gargano and Glen Macnow, McDermott said the Panthers are trying to model themselves after the Eagles in many ways.

"I’ve moved on, and the Eagles have moved on," McDermott said. "They’re a successful organization, and for us as a young organization down here and where we’re trying to go, they’re a team that we’re trying to compare ourselves with in a lot of ways. Make no mistake about it. I think that the Eagles, whether they were down last year or not, there’s a lot of teams that are trying to play catch-up to Philadelphia and the Eagles and what they do and the success that they’ve had over the years up there, spearheaded obviously by Andy Reid. When we look at ourselves, we’re trying to get to where they’ve been in terms of the multiple NFC championship games and what not."

The Panthers, who finished 6-10 last year, visit the Eagles in Week 12 for a Monday night matchup at the Linc.


When Andy Reid tries to sell everyone on Juan Castillo this summer, don't forget: the Birds wanted to add Steve Spagnuolo (in some capacity), but he chose to go to the Saints instead.

That was before the bounty scandal surfaced, Sean Payton was suspended for the year and Drew Brees' contract squabble became an issue.

Spagnuolo will take over a defense that allowed 21.2 points per game in 2011 (13th in the league), and if he somehow turns New Orleans into one of the league's better defenses (a major challenge, given the state of the franchise), he could be in place for another head-coaching gig in 2013.

"Yeah, there's a burn there, I'm not going to lie to you," Spagnuolo told Greg A. Bedard of The Boston Globe about getting another head coaching job. "I think the professional thing to do in this situation is you concentrate all your efforts and all your focus on the job that you have right now."


Lots of good stuff in our Eagles section this weekend. In case you missed it, check out:

Jeff McLane's feature on Andy Reid going back to his home town in California.
Jonathan Tamari's feature on Eagles WR Mardy Gilyard.
Paul Domowitch's column on Joe Banner.

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