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Eagles Introduce Matt Patricia for Defensive Playcalling

Matt Patricia (Credits: NFL)

The Philadelphia Eagles are making changes to their coaching duties ahead of Monday’s game against the Seattle Seahawks, with Matt Patricia taking over the defensive playcalling, the team announced.

Sean Desai remains the Eagles’ defensive coordinator but will move to the coaches’ booth, while Patricia will now be on the sideline during games.

Patricia has been serving as a senior defensive assistant. The former New England Patriots defensive coordinator and Detroit Lions head coach joined Philadelphia in the offseason following a second stint with New England as senior assistant/offensive line coach.

Desai was hired in late February as defensive coordinator to replace Jonathan Gannon, who took the Arizona Cardinals’ head-coaching job after the Eagles’ 38-35 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LVII.

It has been a struggle on defense all season for Philadelphia, particularly of late. The Eagles rank last in opponent third-down percentage and 30th in red zone defense and have given up 30-plus points in three straight games — their longest streak since 2015.

Asked at the beginning of the week whether he was considering any coaching responsibility changes, coach Nick Sirianni responded, “No.”

“I feel good with the people that we have in this building,” he said. “We’re 10-3. We’re in control of our own destiny, and we’re going to keep rolling and finding answers with the people that we have.”

Matt Patricia (Credits: NFL)

Sirianni said he had “total confidence” in Desai, adding, “That’s why we hired him for the job.”

There has been a sense of unease in the Philadelphia locker room despite being tied for the top record in the NFL.

A team source described “too much finger-pointing” among teammates following a pair of blowout losses to the San Francisco 49ers and Dallas Cowboys over the past two weeks and not enough focus on the collective good of the team.

There was a sense that frustrations were mounting in particular among some players on defense.

Veteran leaders have been stressing the importance of staying together as the Eagles prepare for the stretch run, beginning Monday night in Seattle.

Philadelphia has the easiest closing schedule in the NFL, with two games against the New York Giants and a home tilt against the Cardinals remaining after this week.

“I think the biggest thing for this team now is really find out who the dudes are,” Eagles defensive tackle Fletcher Cox said.

“I’ve been a part of teams where the dudes in the locker room do something about it, and I’ve been part of teams where it kind of crumbles. And now it’s time to see the real leadership, the real players, the guys that’s elite on this team, myself included, step up and do something about it.”

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