Via a tweet from @ProFootballTalk, Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer has reported that Eagles secondary coach Dick Jauron has filled the defensive coordinator vacancy in Cleveland.
Mike Florio asked Browns head coach Pat Shurmur about the report and here’s what he had to say.
“I really don’t want to confirm that. I think it’ll become public and official from the Browns’ side of things very quickly. Dick is a very well respected guy in the profession, A guy that I have known for a long, long time. I think that’ll be public at some point, the direction that we’re gonna go.”
It seems like he said everything we need to hear… except for, you know, he didn’t confirm it.
Jauron was hired last February by the Eagles to serve as a secondary coach and senior assistant. Previously, he spent 10 years as a head coach in the NFL with the Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, and most recently, the Buffalo Bills.
In those years, he had only one winning season. The 2001 Chicago Bears won the now-extinct NFC Central, but lost Jauron’s only playoff game as a head coach. That team lost to the Eagles.
If Jauron departs for Cleveland, he’ll join new head coach Pat Shurmur. Shurmur had a tenure with the Philadelphia Eagles as well, much longer than the eleven months that Jauron has been with the team. Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post elaborates.
Prior to joining the Rams, Shurmur spent 10 seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles (1999-2008). He served as the team’s quarterbacks coach from 2002-08 and helped Donovan McNabb to three Pro Bowl selections during his tenure. In 2008, McNabb set Eagles single-season records with 345 completions and 3,916 passing yards.
Between those two and former Eagles GM Tom Heckert (who now has the same job title with the Browns), Cleveland has on helluva Philadelphia connection. But nothing is officially set in stone regarding Jauron.
If he does indeed join the Browns staff, Eagles fans shouldn’t be too concerned. It’s not clear how serious the team was about making him their defensive coordinator. Many have subscribed to the school of thought that suggests that Jauron was only a fall-back option for the team, and if the Eagles wanted him as coordinator, it would have happened already.
Jauron’s only year in Philadelphia happened to be the year where the Eagles earned the title of “Worst Red Zone Defense in 25 Years”. The Birds allowed 31 passing touchdowns. There’s a lot of blame to share here, and Jauron deserves at least a little bit.
His departure would mean that by the beginning of next season, they’ll have a new defensive coordinator, a new line coach, and someone else to replace Jauron with responsibility in the secondary. An overhaul may not be a bad thing for this team, whose woes on both sides of the ball were often hidden by the “Michael Vick band-aid.” The drastic changes may be as necessary on the sidelines as it is on the field itself.