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Eagles defensive coordinator tracker: Vic Fangio now the favorite after Dolphins departure

In a move speculated on for weeks, Ian Rapoport reported that Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni had fired defensive coordinator Sean Desai.

The Eagles finished the season with six losses in their last seven games, with those losses by an average of 15 points, and their only win since Week 12 came against the Giants after they nearly blew a 17-point lead.

Desai was stripped of playcalling duties before Week 15, and the move comes after Philadelphia finished their second-half collapse with a 32-9 loss to the Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa Monday night.

With the move now official, we’re tracking coordinator candidates ahead of the Senior Bowl and the new league year.

Eagles will interview former Jaguars defensive coordinator Mike Caldwell

Oct 5, 2023; Ware, United Kingdom; Jacksonville Jaguars defensive coordinator Mike Caldwell at press conference at the Hanbury Manor Marriott. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 5, 2023; Ware, United Kingdom; Jacksonville Jaguars defensive coordinator Mike Caldwell at press conference at the Hanbury Manor Marriott. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Caldwell played linebacker for six different teams from 1993-2003, including the Eagles from 1998-2001. He recently served as the Jaguars’ defensive coordinator for the last two.

Caldwell earned rave reviews for developing Devin White and Lavonte David during his time in Tampa and he’d certainly improve the overall play and development of Eagles linebackers.

Eagles interview former Commanders and Panthers head coach Ron Rivera

Nov 14, 2022; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts (1) and Washington Commanders head coach Ron Rivera meet on the field after the game at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 14, 2022; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts (1) and Washington Commanders head coach Ron Rivera meet on the field after the game at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

After being fired by Washington, the long-time coach will interview for the Eagles’ vacant defensive coordinator job.

After being relieved of his duties in Washington, Rivera told reporters that it would not be difficult to return to being a defensive coordinator again after spending years as the top guy. He last served as a coordinator with the Chargers from 2008 to ’10 before taking over as the Panthers’ head coach.

He also was the Chargers’ linebackers coach in 2007 — after serving as the Bears’ defensive coordinator the previous three seasons.

The Commanders Wire recently looked at Rivera’s previous success during his seven seasons as a coordinator.

  • 2004: No. 12 total defense, No. 13 scoring defense

  • 2005: No. 2 total defense, No. 1 scoring defense

  • 2006: No. 5 total defense, No. 3 scoring defense

  • 2007: No. 14 total defense, No. 5 scoring defense (DC for part of the season after Chargers fired Ted Cottrell)

  • 2008: No. 25 total defense, No. 15 scoring defense

  • 2009: No. 16 total defense, No. 11 scoring defense

  • 2010: No. 1 total defense, No. 10 scoring defense

Rivera has been a head coach for 13 years, compiling a 102-103-2 record. He was 26-40-1 in Washington, including 4-13 this past season. Washington won the NFC East in his first season but did not finish with a winning record during his four years.

Vic Fangio

Nov 2, 2023; Frankfurt, Germany; Miami Dolphins defensive coordinator Vic Fangio at press conference at the PSD Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 2, 2023; Frankfurt, Germany; Miami Dolphins defensive coordinator Vic Fangio at press conference at the PSD Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

A new horse is set to enter the race, and Vic Fangio could end this search for a new coordinator before it even begins.

In a stunning turn of events, Fangio parted ways with the Dolphins just minutes before the Eagles’ end-of-season press conference with GM Howie Roseman and head coach Nick Sirianni was set to begin.

The architect of the defense run by Jonathan Gannon and Sean Desai, Fangio was supposed to be the guy last offseason before the Cardinals tampering situation took on a life of its own.

Story originally appeared on Eagles Wire