Profiles of the 2009 Philadelphia Eagles Coaching Staff

(Philadelphia, Pa) — All one has to do is pick-up a sports page on Mondays to see that too often in the NFL a team’s head coach gets too much praise or criticism after football games.  Unfortunately in the “What have you done for me lately NFL” weekly head coaches’ popularity meters continue to swing like a pendulums within the media and team’s fan base.  Head Coaches are paid handsomely for their roles within organizations, but to be honest with you many team wins and losses can be directly attributed to the preparation and execution of assistant coaches and support staff working with an NFL team’s 53-man roster.  Most assistant coaches are undervalued and overworked while leading nomadic lives chasing their dream of one day being a football team’s headman.  Some of the team jobs they must do while the head coach is focusing on “figurehead” duties (media relations, overall game planning, team functions and other duties) are breaking down film, doling out daily motivation, teaching, giving tough love and of course discipline to players.  Sure the head coaches get the glory and paycheck from winning, but every head coach from Steelers Super Bowl winner Mike Tomlin to a high school JV coach knows it is his assistant coaches, who are the lifeblood of a football team. 

Eagles head coach Andy Reid is no different than other good coaches in NFL history as he has had some quality coaches working for him during his 10+ years in Philadelphia.  Reid’s coaching record of  97-62-1 (.610) regular season and 10-7 (.588) playoff records [All-time team leader in wins, percentage, and playoff wins] could have never been compiled without leaning on his assistants and staff in good and bad times.  Reid has had three current head coaches (Rams Steve Spagnuolo, Ravens John Harbaugh, and Vikings Brad Childress) and three current coordinators (Vikings Def. Coor. Leslie Frazier, Rams Off. Coor. Pat Shurmur, and Chargers Def. Coor. Ron Rivera) on his staff at one time or another.

Reid’s 2009 Coaching Staff is an eclectic group of older and younger coaches who may also one day sprout another branch off Big Red’s coaching tree.

Andy Reid- Head Coach, VP of Football Operations – The Eagles main man on the coaching staff will again be calling the plays along with offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg, keeping track of timeouts, and working with GM Tom Heckert on player personnel. Grown from the Mike Holmgren West Coast Offense tree, Reid is an offensive specialist head coach, who has an affinity for throwing the football.  Reid rose from a former offensive line at BYU to the Packers tight ends and quarterback’s coach under Holmgren before landing the Eagles head job in 1999.  was A key member of the Green Bay Packers 1996 Super Bowl Championship coaching staff, Reid also has had stops at San Francisco State (1983-1985), Northern Arizona University(1986), UTEP(1987-1988), and then the University of Missouri (1989-1991) during his long coaching tenure. Reid’s career highlights include coaching in Five NFC Championships, one Super Bowl, and sending 19 players to the Pro Bowls


Marty Mornhinweg, Offensive Coordinator/Assistant Head Coach – When Mornhinweg came to the Eagles in 2002 as a special offensive assistant after a rather inauspicious head-coaching job with the Detroit Lions (5-27 record over two years in 2000 and 2001), everyone thought Reid was doing a friend a “solid”.  But Mornhinweg has slowly distinguished himself as a good play caller and he has a good pulse on the Eagles players and scheme.  Mornhinweg also was grown from Mike Holmgren’s West Coast Offense tree and was a member of the Packers 1996 Super Champion coaching staff (quarterbacks coach).  In his coaching career Morhinweg has also had stops at Montana University, UTEP, Northern Arizona, SE Missouri State, San Francisco – NFL (offensive coordinator, 1997-2000) and the aforementioned Lions position.  In 2008, the Eagles set a franchise record for the most points scored in a single season (416).

Juan Castillo, Offensive Line Coach – One of the few coaches that Andy Reid kept around from the forlorn Ray Rhodes era was Castillo. The former tough USFL linebacker (San Antonio Gunslingers) has made one heck of an NFL offensive line coach and for the past 12 years the Birds have had one of the best blocking units in the NFL.  In two of the last three years the Eagles have ranked high in running the ball and Castillo’s group was a big part of mercurial running back Brian Westbrook reaching the 1,000-yard plateau in 2006 and 2007.  Some of Castillo’s prized Pro Bowl players have been OT Jon Runyan, OT Tra Thomas, and OG Shawn Andrews.  Look for an even greater year from the Birds O-line in ’09 as Castillo has the huge athletic group of LT Jason Peters, LG Todd Herramins, C Jamal Jackson, RG Stacy Andrews, and RT Shawn Andrews. 

Other Key Offensive Coaches: Tom Melvin – Tight Ends Coach (8th year in position), David Culley – Wide Receivers Coach (11th year in position and former first black quarterback in the SEC with Vanderbilt ’73-’77), Ted Williams- Running Back Coach (13th year in position), James Urban- Quarterbacks Coach (1st year in position and has been with the team since 2004), and Doug Pederson – Offensive Quality Control (1st year with Eagles, was a former starting QB for the team in 1999 and served as a veteran backup with the Packers).


Jim Johnson, Defensive Coordinator – The cornerstone of Andy Reid’s coaching staff is Johnson as the respected veteran defensive stalwart coach has 42 years in the business.  Johnson has been a steady warrior in coaching circles since 1967 when he was head coach at Missouri Southern.  The veteran defensive coordinator, who is known as the “Mad Scientist” of the blitz, will again lead the Eagles defensive unit (#1 ranked in the NFC in 2008 — allowed 274.3 yards per game in the regular season).  Johnson joined the Eagles staff with Andy Reid in 1999 and he has had great success getting pressure on the quarterback (48 sacks in 2008) and he has produced 26 Pro Bowl players in Philly.  The venerable coach has lived a nomadic coaching existence, but everywhere he has landed his teams are tough defensively and quarterbacks better beware.  Some places Johnson has coached were Drake University (1969-1972), Indiana University (1973-1976), Notre Dame (1978-1983), Oklahoma Outlaws – USFL, Jacksonville Bulls – USFL, St. Louis Cardinals – NFL (1986-1993), Indianapolis Colts (1994-1995), and Seattle Seahawks (1998 – linebackers coach).  This piece would not be complete without wishing Johnson the best as he battles cancer this off-season.  I know the Eagles players and staff will be anxiously awaiting his return.

Sean McDermott, Secondary Coach/Interim Defensive Coordinator – A young (32-years old) respected coach who has literally grown up in the Eagles organization over 11 years going from a scouting assistant to a quality control coach to coaching the secondary and linebackers.  McDermott is a Philadelphia area native, who was an All-Catholic hard-hitting safety and National Prep Champion wrestler for LaSalle High School.  He got the itch for coaching after a stellar career at  William & Mary College.  McDermott is quickly becoming known as one of the NFL’s up and coming coaches along with Bucs head coach Raheem Morris and Broncos head coach Josh McDaniels.  Under his tutelage, the Eagles secondary has always been one of the NFC’s best and has sent members Brian Dawkins, Lito Sheppard, Michael Lewis, and Asante Samuel to the Pro Bowl.  Former Eagles safety Brian Dawkins credited McDermott with his rejuvenated Pro Bowl play in 2008.  The 2009 season will be a special challenge for the developing coach as he his duties will increase from defensive signaler to interim defensive coordinator while Jim Johnson recovers from his battle with cancer. 

Other Key Defensive Coaches: Rory Segrest- Defensive Line Coach (3rd year with team and he was switched from Special teams Coor. to his new position),  Bill Shuey – Linebackers Coach (With the team since 2003 and the 2009 season will be his second as LB’s Coach), Mike Caldwell – Defensive Quality Control Coach (former NFL special teams ace and linebacker, who will be in his 2nd year on the staff), and Otis Smith – Assistant Secondary Coach (2nd yr with the team and first on staff.  A former standout cornerback, who won Super Bowl rings with the New England Patriots)

Special Teams and Other Staff

Ted Daisher – Special Teams Coordinator – When the Eagles decided that former Special Teams Coordinator Rory Segrest would be moving to the defense, the team wanted a veteran coach to fill his shoes.  The team got their wish as they added back Daisher to their special teams unit.  Daisher has over 30 year of experience in coaching including stops at Illinois (1979), Northern Illinois (1980-84),  Eastern Michigan (1985-88), Cincinnati (1989-92),  Army (1995-97), Indiana (1998-2000), East Carolina (2001-02), Eagles – NFL (2004-2005, special teams quality control coach), Oakland – NFL (special teams coor. in 2006), and Cleveland – NFL (special teams coordinator 2007-2008).  Daisher will be looked to continue to develop a special teams unit that was vastly improved in 2008 (great coverage, returned a kickoff for a touchdown – first time since 2001 and a punt return for a touchdown – first time since 2003).  Hopefully the veteran coach will be able to develop returnmen DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin, and Quintin Demps on the level of Browns Pro Bowl player Joshua Cribbs.

Other Key Coaches and Staff:  Jeff Nixon- Special Teams Quality Control Coach (3rd season with team), Mike Wolf- Strength and Conditioning Coach (15th season),  Jeanie Subach – Nutrition Consultant, Jay Merlino – Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach (8th Season), Barry Rubin – Strength and Conditioning Assistant (2nd Season), and Rick Burkholder (Head Trainer)


Lloyd Vance is a Sr. NFL Writer for Taking It to the House and an award -winning member of the Pro Football Writers of America (PFWA)


One Response

  1. Right on the money. The head coach is like the CEO. He must delegate authority. Trust is a very big issue as well too. He must trust his assistant coaches. His life is in their hands. The head coach gets all the glory as well as all the blame when things go south. That’s the nature of the beast. Check out my blog Bobby Gee
    With that said. I still think Andy Reid calls a very bad game. Some times it is down right stupid and dumb. My grandmother could call a better game. She’s been dead since 1976.

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