Browns will reportedly interview Eagles’ coach for DC opening originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia
The Cleveland Browns will reportedly interview Eagles defensive backs coach and defensive passing game coordinator Dennard Wilson on Saturday for their vacant defensive coordinator position.
That would be a big loss for the Eagles.
The news of the Browns’ plan to interview Wilson was initially reported by CBS Sports’ Jonathan Jones, while Cleveland.com’s Mary Kay Cabot reported that the interview is scheduled for Saturday.
The Eagles have to hope the Browns drag out this process. Because Jonathan Gannon is again a candidate for the head coaching gig in Houston and the most obvious in-house replacement for him is Wilson, who won’t be able to be promoted if he’s already in Cleveland.
Wilson, 40, has been with the Eagles has their defensive backs coach since 2021, joining the staff under Nick Sirianni and Gannon. For this past season, he was promoted and the title of defensive passing game coordinator was added next to his name.
Wilson has coached defensive backs in the NFL for years. Before coming to Philly, he was with the Jets and before that with the Rams. He also had a cup of coffee in the NFL as a player after going undrafted out of Maryland in 2004.
When Gannon began interviewing for head coaching jobs last year, Wilson was of course thinking about how he’d handle thing whenever he ends up in the DC chair.
“Look, I’ve been doing this for a long time and I’ve been around some great defensive coordinators in my opinion,” Wilson said this summer. “I’ve been groomed by Gregg Williams, I’ve been groomed by Todd Bowles, who are very good in this league and are very thorough. So I’ve been tutored by them.
“I know how to run a ship, I know the responsibilities. If the opportunity presents itself, I’ll be more than ready for it. But I’m here where my feet are and I’m just trying to be the best defensive back coach I can be.”
The Eagles this season finished with the No. 1 pass defense in the NFL, giving up just 179.8 yards per game through the air.
Sure, the Eagles have one of the best groups of cornerbacks in the NFL but they’ve also needed to piece together some of the secondary because of injuries and Wilson has gotten good play out of UDFA Reed Blankenship and backup K’Von Wallace, among others.
Wilson’s players really seem to think an awful lot of him too. They praise him every chance they get.
Last year after his incredible 2021 season, Darius Slay wondered aloud why Wilson hadn’t yet been named a defensive coordinator.
“He ain’t never steered me wrong, not once yet,” Slay said. “Like I said, I’m just surprised he’s been in the game 15 years and not had a DC job because he’s a smart dude. And he played in this league before so I won’t be surprised if sooner or later he has one of them jobs.”
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