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Ex-Lions coach Jim Schwartz will step down as Eagles defensive coordinator

Les Bowe
Philadelphia Inquirer

Philadelphia – Eagles fans will no longer be able to take Jim Schwartz’s name in vain when the team’s defense springs a leak.

Sunday night’s game against Washington will end the five-year Schwartz era in charge of the Eagles’ defense, a league source said Saturday, confirming an NFL Network report.

The report said Schwartz, 54, has decided to take a year off from coaching and might retire, the report citing hip and eye surgeries. The Eagles’ defense, which lacked proven talent at linebacker, safety, and at cornerback outside of free-agent signee Darius Slay, currently is tied for 20th in the NFL, giving up an average of 26.5 points per game.

Jim Schwartz

When Schwartz spoke to reporters Tuesday, he declined to summarize the season, but spoke of last Sunday’s loss at Dallas as a case of having “too many fires and not enough hoses.” That really was the situation all season for the 4-10-1 team.

Schwartz didn’t really talk about the personnel problems, but was critical of himself in what probably will stand as his final public remarks as the leader of the Eagles’ defense.

“It’s part of the challenge of this job … trying to figure out a way to solve those problems, trying to figure out a way to minimize matchups or maximize matchups, go with your strengths, try to minimize your weaknesses. At times this year, we haven’t done a good enough job with that. I haven’t done a good enough job with that,” he said. “That’s just part of the NFL, and there’s no excuses in this league.”

Schwartz gained fame as a defensive mastermind with the Tennessee Titans, and was head coach of the Detroit Lions from 2009-13, taking the team to the playoffs in 2011. He won a Super Bowl ring with the Eagles, though his defense allowed a Super Bowl-record 505 passing yards to Tom Brady in the 41-33 Eagles victory.