A new head coach means that change is afoot everywhere with the Philadelphia Eagles organization. There are huge questions surrounding the supporting cast that will surround Chip Kelly. It appears that the offensive coordinator piece is in place, with former Cleveland Browns head coach Pat Shurmur reportedly joining on with the Eagles.
The move marks Shurmur’s return to Philadelphia, who worked as an assistant under Andy Reid for 10 seasons, as first the tight ends coach from 1999 to 2001 and as quarterbacks coach until through 2008. The NFL experience and familiarity with the Eagles organization makes the appeal of the move somewhat understandable, but Shurmur’s reported role is just one small step in a series that Kelly needs to install. And quickly.
Among other questions, all eyes are focused on Kelly’s plan for the defense and who will be named as the defensive coordinator. One change that may be afoot with that move is a change from a 4-3 to a 3-4 defense. Reid quickly changed defensive schemes in his new position in Kansas City, and it sounds like the move is something that the team is seriously considering.
“What we do when we have have our meetings is make sure we are talking about guys in different schemes. As you can see, Andy [Reid] went to a 3-4 in Kansas City and he’s always talking about versatility. In the last year or two we’ve been talking about getting versatile players. When we have our first meetings in December we’re making sure that we’re talking about them in both schemes on defense and what they can do in different schemes so that if we were to make a transition, we could do that more readily.”
Roseman’s words, of course, by no means indicate that a move is imminent. But as the Eagles are examining everything from draft strategy to coaching staff, it’s another option that’s on the table. Particularly as the team’s once legendary defense has faltered considerably in recent seasons, the Birds are considering every possibility that may help it’s new leader succeed.