HomeDa Birds NewsEagles Replace Desai with Matt Patricia as Play-Caller after Seismic Shift

Eagles Replace Desai with Matt Patricia as Play-Caller after Seismic Shift

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PHILADELPHIA – There are tweaks and then there are seismic shifts.

Sunday’s news around the Philadelphia Eagles seems like the latter.

FOX’s Jay Glazer reported that the organization is making a change at defensive coordinator with the embattled Sean Desai being sent upstairs to the coaching box in his return to Seattle on Monday night and senior defensive assistant Matt Patricia crossing paths to the sideline with the task of calling the defensive plays.

For now, Desai will keep the title of defensive coordinator, according to a league source.

The Eagles, of course, started the season at 10-1 before suffering consecutive blowout losses to their perceived top competition in the NFC: the San Francisco 49ers and Dallas Cowboys.

Through it all, the defense has struggled especially when it comes to situational football, something head coach Nick Sirianni stresses.

The Philadelphia defense will enter Monday night’s game with the worst third-down unit in the NFL and No. 30 in red-zone defense.

Sean DesaiJohn McMullen/Eagles Today

Sirianni did not indicate any of this was coming during the week and Desai took his typical turn speaking with reports on coordinator day Wednesday.

“I feel good with the people that we have in this building,” the head coach said Monday. “We’re 10-3. We’re in control of our own destiny, and we’re going to keep rolling and finding answers with the people that we have.”

Until formally addressed, the move will fuel speculation as to the role of team owner Jeffrey Lurie and GM Howie Roseman had in the decision.

In the past, Lurie overruled some of former coach Doug Pederson’s decisions when it comes to the coaching staff and Roseman is the one who finds candidates like Desai for Sirianni.

Coincidentally, Sirianni was asked by SI.com’s Eagles Today about his approach when it comes to the demands on the DC on Saturday.

“My job as the head coach is to make sure that the things I do demand are the ones that are going to get done,” Sirianni said. “Again, I hired these guys to do a job, so there are just things I know offensively that are tough to deal with defensively. So that’s kind of my approach there, as I’ve told you guys.

“Does it change? Yeah, everything is in a constant change. Everything is in a constant change. You can always change your schemes. You can always change your schedules. You’re always adjusting those things, right? You’re always adjusting those things to put the best product on the field.”

By no means did Sirianni indicate this was coming but perhaps he was laying down some breadcrumbs to Patricia, the long-time Bill Belichick assistant and the former head coach in Detroit.

Long-term, it’s hard to believe Desai will want to stay with the organization past this season.

Moving back to the original hire of Desai, the top in-house candidate to replace the departing Jonathan Gannon, now the head coach in Arizona, was former secondary coach Dennard Wilson, who wanted to shift away from some of the Vic Fangio-style scheme Sirianni prefers, a sentiment that sent the organization to Desai, a direct pupil of Fangio.

Related: Hurts’ ‘Worsened’ Illness Adds to Eagles’ Lineup Stress vs. Seahawks

More so, if the timing worked out, Fangio himself, an Eagles’ consultant in the ramp-up to Super Bowl LVII, would likely be the DC for the Eagles but the veteran coach took the DC job in Miami.

Patricia also had feuded with five-time Pro Bowl cornerback Darius Slay in the past while both were with the Lions.

The two seemed to quash any differences and Slay is now on the injury list with a wear-and-tear knee problem that required arthroscopic surgery.

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