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December 17, 2023

Report: Eagles defensive coordinator Sean Desai benched in favor of Matt Patricia

Matt Patricia will now reportedly make the play calls for the Eagles' defense.

Eagles NFL
Sean-Desai-Eagles-Cowboys Shamus Clancy/for PhillyVoice

Eagles (former) defensive coordinator Sean Desai

The Philadelphia Eagles have made a shocking change on their defensive staff, as Matt Patricia will replace Sean Desai on the sideline during games, according to a report from Jay Glazer of FOX Sports.

Per a league source, Desai will remain the "defensive coordinator," but Patricia will call the plays. Of course, on a team with an offensive-minded head coach, a defensive coordinator who doesn't call plays is pretty much only a defensive coordinator by title.

The Eagles' defense has been bad over the last three games, two of which were blowout losses:

 OpponentYards allowed Points allowed 
Bills 505 34 
49ers 456 42 
Cowboys 394 33 

The Eagles' defense also gave up points on 10 straight drives — and touchdowns on 7 straight drives (not including kneeldown drives) — over a span of two games against the 49ers and Cowboys. Not only were the numbers awful, but on the eye test it all looked way too easy for opposing offenses to move the ball. 

Patricia was the Patriots' defensive coordinator from 2012-2017, before landing a head coaching job with the Lions in 2018. He was fired in 2020, went back to the Patriots in a role on offense, and called plays on offense in 2022. He was relieved of those duties after a disastrous season, and landed with the Eagles as a "senior defensive assistant."

A season ago, the Eagles faced virtually no adversity whatsoever, and so far their response to two bad losses is interesting, to put it mildly. While the defense has unquestionably been bad, this is a drastic panic move that screams bad vibes for a 10-3 team that still has a decent chance at earning the 1 seed.

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