American Football

Eagles coaching news: Dennard Wilson out, Matt Patricia potentially in?!


Super Bowl LVII - Kansas City Chiefs v Philadelphia Eagles
Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images

After officially announcing some updates to Nick Sirianni’s coaching staff, more changes are underway for the Philadelphia Eagles. There are multiple news items to get to entering this week:

  • Eagles passing game coordinator/defensive backs coach Dennard Wilson is leaving Philly.
  • Patriots senior football advisor Matt Patricia might be coming to Philly.
  • Mike Adams might be coming to Philly.

Let’s unpack these developments on a coach-by-coach basis.


Here’s how we learned that Wilson will be leaving:

Indeed, Wilson’s departure seemed not unlikely once the Eagles hired Sean Desai to be their new defensive coordinator.

This seems like a significant loss for the Birds. Wilson contributed to a pass defense that ranked No. 1 in DVOA, No. 1 in opponent yards per pass attempt, and No. 1 in dropback EPA. The Eagles’ success in this area likely prompted the Cleveland Browns to interview Wilson for their DC job that instead went to Jim Schwartz.

Wilson was certainly aided by the talent he was given to work with. But he deserves credit for getting the most out of his unit. C.J. Gardner-Johnson just had a career year despite joining the Eagles on short notice. Marcus Epps developed into a full-time starter. Darius Slay bounced back from a bad 2020 season to make two straight Pro Bowls. James Bradberry made the AP All-Pro second team after getting cut by the New York Giants. Avonte Maddox started playing the best football of his career to earn a multi-year extension. Reed Blankenship emerged out of nowhere as an undrafted rookie free agent to look like a potential long-term starter.

Some of these players — most notably Slay — publicly endorsed Wilson as a defensive coordinator not too long before the Desai hire.

Despite this, the Eagles clearly didn’t make keeping Wilson a priority. There was no limit on paying what it took to keep him around.

Speaking at the NFL Combine, Sirianni set the table for Wilson’s departure while noting that Desai will want to bring some assistants that fit his vision for the Eagles’ defense.

It will not be surprising if Wilson goes on to have success elsewhere and becomes a DC down the road.


So, there’s this:

Lol, what?

For those unfamiliar, it’s worth noting that Guregian is Boston-based. So, one could theorize that this information is getting out there because it stands to benefit Patricia in terms of giving him leverage.

It’s hard to make sense of this otherwise. Sure, the Eagles have a linebackers coach opening after losing Nick Rallis. And Patricia has experience coaching that position having done it from 2006 through 2010 with the New England Patriots.

But that’s a long time ago now.

More recently, Patricia flamed out as the head coach of the Detroit Lions and got demoted out of his role as the Patriots’ offensive play-caller in 2022. Those are different jobs than coaching linebackers, yes. Still, why the eagerness to add him to the mix?

Especially considering the awkward dynamic that could be set up with Patricia being reunited with one of his most outspoken critics: Slay.

It all started because Slay told Patricia that Slay had worked out in the offseason with Richard Sherman and Aqib Talib.

“He basically just said, ‘You are not in that category yet,’” Slay said during Super Bowl week. “At that time, I only had one Pro Bowl but now I’m at five, so I want to know how he feels about that now. I don’t wish bad on him, but as a man, me and him just don’t get along. He’s a smart coach, he knows his Xs and Os, but the disrespect is not what I’m with.”

Perhaps the Eagles are confident that Patricia and Slay can co-exist. Or perhaps Slay isn’t in the plans moving forward?

We’ll see.

For what it’s worth, Desai does share some connections with Patricia.


Former NFL defensive back Mike Adams is set to interview for a job on Desai’s defensive staff, according to a report via Bryan Cameron from Philadelphia Sports Network.

Adams previously served as an assistant defensive backs coach with the Chicago Bears in 2021. That was Desai’s sole year as a DC. So, an obvious connection there.

Adams also has local ties. The Paterson, NJ native finished his college football career at the University of Delaware.

It seems like a bit much for Adams, who only has one year of coaching experience, to take over Wilson’s job. Perhaps the Eagles would look to promote assistant defensive backs coach D.K. McDonald and have Adams be the backfill?

In any case, another name to keep an eye on.

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