Sunday, May 31, 2009

Coach Added To The Staff

The Eagles recently hired former Dallas DC Brian Stewart. This is obviously a move based on the health of Jim Johnson. It is starting to seem that Jim won't be with the team this year, at least in his normal role. Sean McDermott is the Secondary Coach, but he is currently running the defense. That creates a void on the staff.

Stewart is a natural fit for a few reasons. He was the Secondary Coach for the Chargers prior to going to Dallas to run their defense. Stewart and Andy Reid both were at Northern Arizona together. Stewart played CB and Reid was an Assistant Coach. Finally, Reid and the Eagles love to acquire people who know the NFC East when they can. Stewart knows the Redskins and Giants offenses very well. He also knows the Cowboys inside and out after working there for 2 years.

I had mixed feelings after watching Stewart on Hard Knocks last summer. He seemed like a very bright, emotional guy. My concern was that the players didn't seem to respond to him as a leader of the whole defense. I'm not sure what to make of this. Jerry Jones runs a very loose ship and that undermines the entire coaching staff in Dallas. Stewart could have been a victim of that. The other main possibility is that he might not be the kind of guy who is meant to lead 25 men. Stewart has been a good position coach, but there is a big difference between handling 8-10 players and 25.

Bringing him to Philly to help the defense or run the Secondary is a smart move. He's proven he can handle those jobs. He knows the NFC East. Plus he gets to join a winning environment. There won't be pressure on him to fix anything. He's coming here to be part of the group. Being in a high-character, professional environment will probably freak him out.


Here is an interesting article on Brett Veach, Andy's assistant. I always enjoy reading about the assistant coaches and personnel guys. They do so much work, but get so little attention.

Brett Veach article



shlynch said...

Some guys also struggle under a defensive head coach. Look at Leslie Frazier -- his first job as DC in Cincy took a similar path to Stewart's tour in Dallas. He went to Indy, learned some lessons from Tony Dungy, and emerged as a far better coach now with Minnesota.

But the bottom line is that before he was a defensive coordinator, Stewart was a highly-regarded position coach. That is what he is being asked to be here. And given the vast inexperience of the positional coaches -- remember, Shuey has the most time with our defense, having been named the quality control coach way back in 2007, while the other guys were hired in 2008 or were coaching STs last year -- it is pretty important to have a guy on the staff who has some actual experience to lend to McDermott.

Tommy Lawlor said...

The point about the HC is very good. With that guy looking over your shoulder it can affect you and the players.

I think Stewart is a very good positional coach. I certainly didn't want to come across too negative. Just wanted to point out what I had taken from watching him last summer.

Stewart was a very good addition to the staff. Dallas did us a big favor by letting him go.