Posted: January 29th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 69 Comments »

When Rob Ryan was fired, a few people asked about him as the Eagles DC.  My response was “no”.  Maybe “heck no”.  Or even “Please dear god no”.  It is easy to say no to Rob.  He’s never been part of a winning team as DC.  He’s only had one defense finish Top 10 in yards.  He’s never had a Top 10 scoring defense.  His highest ranking in takeaways is 13th.  There is hype with Rob, but reality tells a much different story.

At the time Ryan was fired, I had visions of the Eagles hiring some defensive guru that we’d all get excited about.  The search for a DC hasn’t exactly gone in that direction.  Ed Donatell, Billy Davis, and Ted Monachino aren’t the most compelling names.  That led me to wonder if we should reconsider Rob Ryan.

He had a job lined up with the Rams, but according to reports the situation fell apart.  Rob is a 3-4 guy.  Jeff Fisher is a 4-3 guy.  It would seem that Fisher realized Rob coaching a 4-3 wasn’t going to work, probably because his heart wasn’t in it.  Rob ran the 4-3 when he coached in college and produced some good defenses.  It was the evil Bill Belichick who turned Rob onto the 3-4.

Let’s put the other candidates up to the Rob Ryan test.

Ed Donatell:  only one losing season as DC (5 winning)…no Top 10 yardage defenses…one Top 10 scoring defense…3 Top 10 takeaway defenses

Billy Davis:  one winning season as DC (3 losing)…no Top 10 defenses in yards or points (14th is highest ranking)…1 Top 10 takeaway defense

Ted Monachino:  has never been an NFL DC…is part of a Super Bowl team this year…Ravens D was Top 10 in Pts/Yds from 2009-2011

Rob’s track record isn’t good, but none of these guys has great numbers.

I’m still not a fan of Rob’s, but it isn’t as easy to dismiss him now that we see who his competition likely is.  The argument for Rob is that he’s got the most DC experience of any of these coaches and he can put together a good gameplan.  There is also a bit of a chicken or the egg thing going on with his track record.  Not many guys who worked in Oakland and Cleveland have good numbers.  Those organizations have been bad for a long time.

Numbers aside, I still can’t get fired up for Rob.  His defenses are sloppy and can be very undisciplined at times.  That’s not something I’m all that into, oddly enough.  It might be worth it to interview him, but he’d have to be sensational to convince me that he could be the right guy for the Eagles.

I asked about Rob on Twitter and the replies were 95 percent negative.  I figured it would be more in the 85 percent range.  Apparently Jimmy Bama has permanently ruined Rob’s name with Eagles fans.  I can’t wait for the day when I get to tell Rob all the mean things Jimmy said about him.

* * * * *

Les Bowen talked to Donatell.  Ed said there has been no “official contact” with the Eagles.  This doesn’t mean there has been unofficial contact. Ed might have been saying that phrase as opposed to media speculation.  Something tells me the Niners would get pretty ticked off if they thought we were talking to Donatell as the team prepared for the Super Bowl.

The most interesting nugget is that Donatell says he is now a 3-4 coach.

“I’m a 3-4 coach now. There’s no question about it,” Donatell said. ” I just think there’s more combinations you can do, and there’s more flexibility to it.” Donatell worked as a senior advisor to the Jets, who ran a 3-4, then spent two years in Denver in a 3-4 before coming to the 49ers, who also employ that scheme.

“I went and did some extra studying, my masters work, learning from some really good guys,” said Donatell, who said he knows Kelly from a visit Kelly made to the Niners. Donatell sounded very much like someone who would like to have a crack at running his own 3-4.

Recent rumors made it sound like Donatell was more of a long shot, but who knows.  Maybe he’s still very much in the mix.

* * * * *

Jeff McLane spoke to Ted Monachino.  The most interesting nugget to me…Monachino has no agent.  There definitely is no backdoor deal in place with him.


69 Comments on “Perspective”

  1. 1 ICDogg said at 9:24 PM on January 29th, 2013:

    It would be interesting, that’s for sure.

  2. 2 Anders said at 9:27 PM on January 29th, 2013:

    Of those 4 guys, I want Donatell. It wasnt Rob Ryan terrible in his earlier spots, he has learned some new stuff and it sound like he has also learned from prior experience Sounds like the perfect DC for us.

  3. 3 Vinícius Gonçalves said at 9:29 PM on January 29th, 2013:

    Before we hire Chip Kelly, one point that was talked of some guys that did not have good results in a first job as HC and in the next opportunity they show lots of improvement and a great track record like BB and TC.
    Maybe with Donatell can happens the same thing. He has knowlodge and experience and with the last extra years he may have learn a lot.
    Dawkins said lots of good things about the time they worked in Denver. Maybe he needs a new oportunity in a new scheme to show he can be a great coach.
    For me, until now, is the best candidate.
    Rob Ryan?? Maybe as the WaterBoy (I know you love Adam Sandler movies Tommy)

  4. 4 goeagles55 said at 9:32 PM on January 29th, 2013:

    Eh…still would much rather have Donatell or Monachino.

    I still think the Eagles have at least mutual “backdoor” interest with someone. I can’t imagine filling the entire defensive staff without having someone in mind.

  5. 5 D3Keith said at 11:50 PM on January 29th, 2013:

    I’m with you. And I’m not counting out Donatell.

    That said, I’m expecting to be completely underwhelmed by the hire, whoever it is, especially when they switch to a 3-4 and not my beloved 4-2-5.

  6. 6 ceedubya9 said at 9:59 PM on January 29th, 2013:

    Interesting thing about Donatell being a longshot….we also thought that Kelly was pretty much not going to happen at one point as well. Nothing would really surprise me all that much at this point. They’ve been doing pretty well with keeping us all on our toes so far.

  7. 7 TommyLawlor said at 10:09 PM on January 29th, 2013:

    This is true.

  8. 8 bridgecoach said at 11:03 PM on January 29th, 2013:

    Why give up on Kirby Smart or Todd Grantham then?

  9. 9 ICDogg said at 11:13 PM on January 29th, 2013:

    Hell, until someone actually is announced, it could be someone no one is mentioning. Maybe even not a 3-4 guy.

  10. 10 TommyLawlor said at 11:51 PM on January 29th, 2013:

    Are you a candidate? Stay with the 4-3!!!

  11. 11 D3Keith said at 11:52 PM on January 29th, 2013:

    Yeah you gotta figure it’s going to happen pretty soon after Feb. 3 or Feb. 6, and it will all make sense then.

    I think I’m gonna have to go “In Chip I trust” until then. Scary thought, but honestly, what’s my opinion on a DC matter?

  12. 12 Mac said at 12:07 AM on January 30th, 2013:

    Don’t put all your chips in one basket.

  13. 13 D3Keith said at 12:11 AM on January 30th, 2013:

    What if they’re potato chips and it’s a picnic basket?

  14. 14 JulzPE said at 8:29 AM on January 30th, 2013:

    Aaaaand now I’m hungry. Brilliant.

  15. 15 TommyLawlor said at 11:50 PM on January 29th, 2013:

    Kirby apparently was never a candidate. Bogus media rumor. Plans to become college HC. No reason to come to NFL.

    Grantham has not told UGA of plans to talk with an NFL team. Not sure what his deal is.

  16. 16 Jamie Parker said at 10:19 PM on January 29th, 2013:

    I’d rather have Jeri Ryan than Rob Ryan.

  17. 17 TommyLawlor said at 10:28 PM on January 29th, 2013:

    I’d need an extensive interview with her.

  18. 18 ACViking said at 11:30 PM on January 29th, 2013:

    The Cowboys have been underperforming since Barry Switzer’s last SB victory.

  19. 19 laeagle said at 10:22 PM on January 29th, 2013:

    Gcobb is all in for mochachino for what it’s worth.

  20. 20 TommyLawlor said at 10:28 PM on January 29th, 2013:


  21. 21 Daniel Morman said at 10:25 PM on January 29th, 2013:

    Rob Ryan? Boy did his defense in Dallas underperform – and there is no shortage of talent there. No thanks.

  22. 22 TommyLawlor said at 10:29 PM on January 29th, 2013:

    To be fair, they had tons of injuries this year. Let’s not forget that Ernie Sims started several games this year.

  23. 23 bridgecoach said at 10:58 PM on January 29th, 2013:

    Hiring Rob Ryan would kill our Chip Kelly buzz… No. Hell No. Please dear God no… things were going so well, no… No. no. no.

  24. 24 TommyLawlor said at 11:49 PM on January 29th, 2013:

    Settle down. There’s not even talk of an interview. This is just me throwing the name out there for the sake of showing how my perspective on him changed due to circumstances.

  25. 25 D3Keith said at 11:50 PM on January 29th, 2013:

    It would kill our buzz. No disputing that.

  26. 26 Ark87 said at 11:07 AM on January 30th, 2013:

    Rob Ryan has surely been called many things in his life, but this has to be the first time He’s been called a buzz kill, haha.

  27. 27 JulzPE said at 11:18 PM on January 29th, 2013:

    Wouldn’t want nasty Rob tainting our perfect saint Chip Kelly!

    Seriously though, I’m sure if he was appointed as our DC he’d grow on me, but for the moment I just don’t like the guys character (illustrated quite well in that post by Jimmy under no.4) ignoring the fact that he’s had a relatively unimpressive defensive record.

    Yeh in a straight up comparison with the other ‘known’ candidates he looks a slightly more attractive option but the beauty of the other guys is that while their numbers are also a bit unimpressive they’ve all been away from their jobs as DC’s which they, hopefully, will have used to learn and improve. Rob has been from one DC job to the next with little improvement.

    In the end it’s up to the FO and they’ve done a pretty decent job so far, I trust them and Chip to bring in someone appropriate for the job.

    I just don’t think Rob is what the Eagles defense needs but who knows.

  28. 28 ACViking said at 11:28 PM on January 29th, 2013:

    Re: D-Coordinator Candidate

    What’s the collective view on whether to hire this experienced D-Coordinator, just based on the points-allowed by his defense:

    Season 1: 25.5 pts per game

    Season 2: 22.3 ppg.

    Season 3: 19.8 ppg

    Season 4: 20.0 ppg

    Season 5: 21.0 ppg

    Season 6: 25.0 ppg

    I’d say, with those numbers, look elsewhere.


    But those would be the numbers for our own Jim Johnson: 2 seasons in the USFL (OK Outlaws, Jax Bulls), and 4 seasons in the NFL with the Colts.

    He came to the Eagles and benefited by coaching some great players.


    We’ve exchanged views on Rob Ryan. Maybe — with better players and a head coach who demands discipline — he may produce a better defense.

  29. 29 TommyLawlor said at 11:48 PM on January 29th, 2013:

    I didn’t think Rob was as good as his reputation in 2011, but it almost seems to have shifted the other way. He’s not a complete fool, as he seems to be perceived right now. Problem is that he brings a lot of that on himself.

    As for JJ…he did help ND to win a National Title as DC in 1977. Also helped the Seattle defense play great in 1998. I think they set the NFL record for defensive TDs. He was the LBs coach, but helped with the gameplans and blitzes.

    JJ had a mixed track record, but was coming off a year when the defense he helped coach did some great things.

  30. 30 D3Keith said at 12:39 AM on January 30th, 2013:

    JJ is a great example of someone who someone inside the game saw greatness in when the fans really would not have. The story is Reid remembered his blitzes with the Colts giving him trouble, right?

    Also shows you the difference between 1999 and 2013. We barely cared about coordinators’ track records then.

  31. 31 livingonapear said at 10:51 AM on January 30th, 2013:

    I think that Chip Kelly meets my limit for big splash offseason moves. The last two years have made me very wary of loading up your six gun with seven of the best bullets money can buy.

  32. 32 austinfan said at 10:51 AM on January 30th, 2013:

    Here’s the problem with Ryan, he’s not bad but he’s not great.
    In which case, there is no reason to put up with his personality.
    Chip don’t need that distraction, a DC with a mouth without an off switch.

  33. 33 ACViking said at 11:34 PM on January 29th, 2013:

    T-Law wrote:

    “Jeff McLane spoke to Ted Monachino. The most interesting nugget to me…Monachino has no agent. There definitely is no backdoor deal in place with him”

    T-Law . . . what about mutual friends? Could they serve as a back door?

  34. 34 TommyLawlor said at 11:41 PM on January 29th, 2013:

    Mutual friends could set up a quick conversation, but not a deal. You need an agent for that.

  35. 35 Flyin said at 11:35 PM on January 29th, 2013:

    What are your thoughts about all the coaching staff hirings regarding the defense, since the DC has not been named? Do you feel there has been “unofficial” talk and the pieces are lining up in agreement for the future DC? Or is there a chance a coach or two could get Rob’ed (Rob Ryan’d…for the Flacco’s) when the DC comes on board?

  36. 36 TommyLawlor said at 11:41 PM on January 29th, 2013:

    This is all very curious. Since Chip isn’t going after elite DC types, these guys may not have a problem with the staff already being in place. I don’t know how much say JJ had in Andy hiring Spags, Rivera, Frazier, etc.

    This is going to be Chip’s staff. And I don’t have a problem with it being done like that.

  37. 37 Norman Haupt said at 12:26 AM on January 30th, 2013:

    Call Jimmy out to Rob, and he’ll tell you about his threebullies: Buddy, Rex, and Jack. The Baldwin Jack Ryan, and not the Harrison Ford incapable one.

  38. 38 Matt Hoover said at 2:22 AM on January 30th, 2013:

    Eric Mangini…that is all

  39. 39 Mac said at 11:01 AM on January 30th, 2013:

    Hmm come work like a dog in Philly or hang out with Stephen A and Skip and look like a genius by comparison and have some fun…

  40. 40 T_S_O_P said at 2:45 AM on January 30th, 2013:

    ” It was the evil Bill Belichick who turned Rob onto the 3-4.”

    Doesn’t Belichick now run the 4-3? He would seem more adaptable than Ryan. Rob obviously didn’t pick that up from the ‘evil’ one.

    Rob is also a gobshite which would seem to be the antithesis of what we have heard about Kelly.

  41. 41 Mark Sitko said at 8:16 AM on January 30th, 2013:

    Bill runs a hybrid actually – very interesting. I just finished The Essential Smart Football (eh) and it has a whole chapter dedicated to Bill. He will literally have one half of the line running a 4-3 and the other half running a 3-4. The primary difference is how many gaps each lineman accounts for -in his D some guys take on 2 gaps, while others only take one. Bill is all about flexibility – but I think at his base Bill is still considered a 3-4 man…

  42. 42 TommyLawlor said at 9:09 AM on January 30th, 2013:

    Bill can coach anything that exists. He is a freak.

    The chapter on the Pats hybrid in the book is excellent.

  43. 43 T_S_O_P said at 9:17 AM on January 30th, 2013:

    I though his comments on Parcells in the NFL football lives series was interesting. Parcells wasn’t much of a man to discuss options. I would say that CK sound far more like Belichik and therefore very unlikely to be interested in a character such as Ryan.

  44. 44 T_S_O_P said at 9:11 AM on January 30th, 2013:

    Rob clearly isn’t all about flexibility which is why I would suggest he isn’t suitable

  45. 45 the guy said at 2:55 AM on January 30th, 2013:

    Unless there’s some surprise candidate, I’m not very enthusiastic about the situation at DC. Seems like the choices are either guys with the kind of experience you’d hope for (running an NFL defense) who didn’t do it well when they had a chance, or guys who don’t have the experience but possibly have some upside.

    If I didn’t already consider the upcoming season a lost cause, I’d be getting a little worried.

  46. 46 Anthony Hart said at 9:22 AM on January 30th, 2013:

    Well who is out there that you’d get excited about? If you had your pick of all of the reasonable candidates who would you choose? What great guru is left out there and would want to come to a team that’s about to start rebuilding?

  47. 47 Mike Flick said at 6:23 AM on January 30th, 2013:

    One thing we proved with the head coaching search.

    There is no leak in the Eagles organization. Most of the info coming out is from the other side. So if we talk to a guy who keeps his trap shut, then us on the outside are clueless.

    This is also good information to know with the draft coming out. They will try to use deception to trick other teams, and we will get caught up in that as well.

  48. 48 livingonapear said at 6:44 AM on January 30th, 2013:

    Hiriring Rob Ryan for your defensive coordinator is the equivalent of signing Vince Young to be your backup QB.

  49. 49 Mike Flick said at 7:50 AM on January 30th, 2013:

    That actually may be a really good analogy.

    You put up with a lot of crap for something special. Rob Ryan comes with a lot of baggage that a new head coach shouldn’t have to deal with. You are really looking for a guy to set the tone on the defensive side. He has all the negatives of his brother, but not enough of the positives.

    Vince Young had a lot of baggage, but his upside was not high enough to warrant putting up with the downside.

  50. 50 livingonapear said at 10:21 AM on January 30th, 2013:

    But also you feel better because you got a name guy back there. How can you go wrong when you get someone that everyone knows?

  51. 51 Christian Therealw said at 8:03 AM on January 30th, 2013:

    Tommy: Judas! Won´t listen to your podcast anymore. Will fastforward when you are speeking and just listen to Jimmy!

  52. 52 TommyLawlor said at 9:04 AM on January 30th, 2013:

    Would be an interesting experiment. Would he sound more like a genius or jackass?

  53. 53 Mark Sitko said at 8:10 AM on January 30th, 2013:

    Tommy – you say the argument for Rob includes this: he can put together a good gameplan.

    Do you really believe that to be true? Every game we played against his Dallas D was like watching a gameplan built by a new Madden player. Remember Shady running ALL OVER his D in multiple games? I think he has NO skill when it comes to building a gameplan – Rob can hype his players up and talk trash to the opposing players at inappropriate times, that’s about it. He is a disgrace to his Father, and the 46 D Buddy invented – AND – he makes his foot fetish goofball of a brother look like a decent football coach…NO THANK YOU.

    PS – on the Donatell front – what do all these ignorant beat writers mean when they say that Donatell’s name is cooling off? (even Caplan said this and I trust him fully) I am not saying he is our guy – but to say his name is “cooling off” a week before we are allowed to talk to him about the job is stupid. Of course it is cooling off – TO YOU – you just heard about this guy and then had to wait…that is the media cooling off – there is no way to know what the Eagles are thinking…exhibit A – WE GOT CHIP KELLY – are the philly writers so stupid that they forget the lesson of the Chip Kelly hiring in just 2 weeks? Totally ridiculous…I trust Lurie and Chip – they will get the best guy available…and I like Donatell the best – great numbers and he made that DB group look a lot better than they should…

  54. 54 Mark Sitko said at 8:22 AM on January 30th, 2013:

    What is really starting to scare me is realizing what pieces we need to become a 3-4. Can you talk about this in an article? Maybe once a 3-4 DC is named? I see us needing an NT obviously – a DE to replace Jenkins soon – Cox will be an amazing DE – Kendricks I want to believe can step in at ROLB or ILB – Ryan is the other ILB – but who is the LOLB – Graham will try but is no lock – so what – NT, LOLB, ROLB/ILB, and a DE? Sure – maybe we can do that this offseason…but what keeps me up at night is thinking about finding those 4 players AND a Safety – and maybe a few CBS – we have so many holes already without overhauling the front seven – thoughts? What are realistic expectations?

  55. 55 Ark87 said at 11:23 AM on January 30th, 2013:

    In situations with very square pegs in round holes, we will likely snatch up some cheap journeyman style FA’s to fill in the places we can’t fill in with high draft picks. It wouldn’t be pretty or ideal, but the truth is we don’t spend the majority of our snaps in the base D anyway. At this point, it isn’t likely to return to the defensive glory days any time soon. But it can be functional, “good enough” so to speak.

  56. 56 Skeptic_Eagle said at 9:38 AM on January 30th, 2013:

    It seems odd tom me that only after a few days, did the Rams realize Ryan ultimately wanted to run a 3-4, versus a 4-3, and that the situation was unworkable. Curious story. Personally, I think there might be a little more to it than what has been reported. Maybe Ryan’s personality didn’t mesh with Fisher, and that was the big sticking point. How much did Fisher’s relationship with Buddy play into the whole thing?

    If you ascribe to the theory that more can be learned in failure than success, Ryan’s definitely got a track record of being humbled. Does he accept his part in those failures, though? From outward appearances, I’d say no, but you don’t know what’s in the guy’s mind. I actually have a little higher opinion of him as a defensive schemer than most, but if he can’t get out of the way of his own ego, and hasn’t learned anything from the evidence of where he’s come up short, I don’t want anything to do with him.

  57. 57 Mac said at 9:56 AM on January 30th, 2013:

  58. 58 TommyLawlor said at 11:37 AM on January 30th, 2013:

    How times change, huh?

  59. 59 Kevin_aka_RC said at 10:00 AM on January 30th, 2013:

    My issue with Rob Ryan: he’d want it to be “his show” rather than be part of “Chip’s staff”. Chip keeps talking about the program, but Ryan has never shown to be a dedicated team-first guy.

  60. 60 ezgreene said at 10:30 AM on January 30th, 2013:

    I continue to wonder why Mangini’s name never surfaces with the Eagles. He’s run a 3-4 and Belichick always has aspects of a 4-3 on his defenses. He could easily oversee a medium term migration from the latter to the former.

  61. 61 Mac said at 10:57 AM on January 30th, 2013:

    If Goodwin falls to the late 2nd/early 3rd round… is he too good to pass up?

  62. 62 Ark87 said at 10:58 AM on January 30th, 2013:

    Barring one hell of a (pleasant) surprise, there is no sure thing candidate on the table, no slam dunk hire, whoever we get we will just have to hope it works out…again. Which in reality as fans, that’s all we can do anyway, just the confidence is dwindling. If steady and experienced with a good track record isn’t on the table, is there a wild card that might be excellent? I say take a chance on that LB coach. We will be a D in transition anyway, take a shot I say.

  63. 63 Iskar36 said at 11:14 AM on January 30th, 2013:

    I agree with this logic. Ideally, I agree that having a veteran DC is very valuable, but none of the candidates available have had any kind of sustained success (some have not even had success at all) as a DC. There are multiple reasons that may have occurred that do not involve how good/bad the DC himself was, but they are still very unpromising candidates. To me, hiring a promising positional coach with DC aspirations makes a lot of sense (given that they have the necessary experience and quality resume) as a secondary option.

    The one thing I will say negatively about that option is that Kelly and the FO have already filled the majority of the defensive staff, and they filled it with guys that have very little NFL experience (do any of the coaches have NFL experience for that matter?). If we hired a DC who lacked DC experience, it would have been a lot better if the defensive staff had significantly more NFL experience to help support the DC. I don’t think it is impossible for it to work, but I do think that is one of the drawbacks of hiring the staff before hiring the guy to coordinate that staff.

  64. 64 Ark87 said at 11:40 AM on January 30th, 2013:

    Yeah, regarding the second paragraph, I agree completely. I actually started a post yesterday wondering if these defensive assistants had some link to any coach coaching in the super bowl. Just seems odd to pick everyone before we officially have a DC or scheme. I’m hoping we already got our guy, otherwise this whole thing seems sdrawkcab ssa.

    Like I said….fingers crossed

  65. 65 Iskar36 said at 11:53 AM on January 30th, 2013:

    I think the logic behind the defensive staff picks is that most if not all of these guys are promising coaches and from what I have read, good teachers. I don’t think any of them are going to be like Washburn in the sense that they are focused on having a certain system in place, so I doubt any of these guys will actually disadvantage the DC once he is in place. Having said that, when you hire the DC, he may have certain ideas where he thinks certain positional coaches provide a bigger advantage in order to implement his ideas. That’s why I prefer hiring the DC before the positional coaches.

  66. 66 A_T_G said at 11:38 AM on January 30th, 2013:

    It is like the classic story of the mechanic who hung a sign saying his work was high quality, fast, and cheap. And underneath in smaller print it said, “pick any two.”

    If we can’t get experienced, proven, AND potential-filled, the question becomes which two do you pick? Experienced, no proven success, but with potential? No DC experience, but proven success elsewhere and potential?

  67. 67 Ark87 said at 11:43 AM on January 30th, 2013:

    Yeah, definitely no right answer here. Luckily the FO has the benefit of interviews and inside sources to guesstimate potential and likeliness of success.

  68. 68 Mac said at 11:02 AM on January 30th, 2013:

    If Goodwin falls to the late 2nd/early 3rd is he too good to pass up?

  69. 69 Mac said at 12:38 PM on January 30th, 2013:

    Top of the 3rd round Goodwin is still available… do you pull the trigger?