Jeff McLane, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Posted: Thursday, February 7, 2013, 11:23 AM
The Eagles have hired Browns linebackers coach Billy Davis to be their next defensive coordinator, according to an NFL source.
The news was first reported by CSNPhilly.com.
Davis, 47, coached linebackers in Cleveland for two seasons, but was defensive coordinator with the 49ers from 2005-06 and with the Cardinals from 2009-10. The Eagles were granted permission to interview Davis early in the process but waited until last week.
The delay in naming Davis, who was not going to be blocked by the Browns, suggests that new coach Chip Kelly preferred someone else. The Eagles were believed to be interested in 49ers defensive backs coach Ed Donatell and Ravens linebackers coach Ted Monachino and were simply waiting until after the Super Bowl to talk with either.
Donatell was reportedly not given permission to interview with the Saints. Monachino said after the Super Bowl that the Ravens would not block him. The Eagles were linked to a few college coaches, most prominently Todd Grantham. He is slated to interview with the Saints this week.
Davis has coached primarily in 3-4 defenses, but ran a hybrid of the 4-3 and 3-4 when he was the coordinator in Arizona. Kelly is expected to favor a scheme that utilizes both odd- and even-man fronts.
Davis' defenses in San Francisco finished 32d in yards and 30th in points in 2005 and 26th and 24th in 2006. In Arizona, his defenses were ranked 14th and 31st in yards and 11th and tied for 26th in points.
Davis has an NFL pedigree. His father, Billy, coached in the NFL for 13 seasons was also once the Browns' vice president of player personnel. He was once an Eagles ball boy when D Vermeil was head coach.
Davis played college football at Cincinnati and was a quarterback and wide receiver. His coaching career began in 1991 as a graduate assistant at Michigan State. He left for the NFL the following year and hasn't left since. He was a defensive assistant with the Steelers from 1992-94 and then coached outside linebackers with the Panthers from 1995-98.
Davis then bounced around with the Browns, Falcons, Packers and New York Giants before landing in San Francisco in 2005.
Jeff McLane INQUIRER STAFF WRITER