For many young players, people expect them to show improvement after getting a year under the belt. However, no one ever talks about coaching doing the same thing. In 2010, I expect the Eagles coaching staff to improve their performance.
The first person I look at is Eagles defensive coordinator Sean McDermott. Last season, he was thrust into the position unexpectedly after the passing of Jim Johnson. As a rookie, he had to deal with replacing a Hall of Fame safety and an emerging superstar at middle linebacker.
Needless to say, it wasn’t the optimal position you’d like to see a guy put in his first year; however, I believe he dealt with the adversity pretty well.
After an offseason geared at improving the defense, we should be able to expect some serious improvements on that side of the ball. McDermott now has many more tools in his belt and a year of play calling experience to learn from.
I’ve heard many complain that McDermott wasn’t as aggressive in blitzing as Johnson, but I expect that to be different this year. The Eagles defense is geared largely around speed and we should see a lot of different players flying around the field.
Offensively, Marty Mornhinweg has the challenge of bringing in a new quarterback to his system but I don’t see this being any type of setback. The quarterback he does have now is a great fit for the scheme. He has a million weapons around him and has the accuracy to distribute the ball all around.
He also had a year to experiment with a wildcat quarterback. It was very clear that the formations towards the end of the year were much more effective than the one’s early in the season. I think Mornhinweg has some big plans for Michael Vick this year and we will see those flashes of brilliance that we saw in 2009 on a more regular basis.
The team also has some new guys that don’t have that experience with the team but do have a ton of experience elsewhere. I’m excited to see the improvements Bobby April can make with the special teams unit and think a guy like Dick Jauron is exactly what a young secondary needs.
Overall, I’m very happy with the coaching staff we have heading into the 2010 season and expect them to do big things this year.