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Source: Eagles hire Browns' linebackers coach Billy Davis as

bob grotz delco times

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 04:10 AM


Source: Eagles hire Browns' linebackers coach Billy Davis as defensive coordinator

Published: Thursday, February 07, 2013

bgrotz@delcotimes.com @BobGrotz

A couple of years ago Billy Davis interviewed for the Eagles’ defensive coordinator job.

The head coach at the time was so underwhelmed he decided the offensive line coach would be a better defensive coordinator.

You know how that went.

New Eagles head coach Chip Kelly likely had a good laugh talking about it before entrusting Davis to be his defensive coordinator. A league source confirmed the hiring Thursday.

“Awesome coach, great guy, learned a great deal from him,” Browns linebacker and former Eagle Chris Gocong tweeted. “Philly should be excited.”

Turned down in his coordinator bid by Andy Reid, who hired Juan Castillo for the job, the 47-year-old Davis spent the past two seasons coaching linebackers for the Cleveland Browns. His old boss in Cleveland, Pat Shurmur, is the Eagles’ offensive coordinator.

Davis is a proponent of the 3-4 defense with three down linemen and four linebackers. The Eagles operated with four down linemen and three linebackers during the previous four head coaching regimes.

Though the 2012 Browns aren’t likely to draw comparisons to the Steel Curtain, the defense kept them competitive. With veteran D Jauron as coordinator, the Browns were 5-8 with five losses by seven or fewer points before team president Joe Banner, the former Eagles president, could no longer keep the dreaded housecleaning a secret. The Browns were crushed in their last three games.

Davis hasn’t had much luck so far. He was defensive coordinator the year after the Arizona Cardinals lost in the last minute of the Super Bowl to the Pittsburgh Steelers. A decent defense got worse, the Cardinals also losing good players to free agency. He was canned shortly after the 2010 season.

Davis also was defensive coordinator of the San Francisco 49ers in 2005-06. Those teams struggled, but Davis learned from then-head coach D Nolan, who this past season did a stellar job coaching the defense of the Atlanta Falcons to its first playoff victory since the days of Michael Vick.

When Banner fired the Browns’ coaching staff, he hired defensive coordinator Ray Horton, who after Ken Whisenhunt was axed was so angry he didn’t get a chance to be head coach of the Cardinals he told them he wasn’t returning.

The Browns are paying Horton $2 million a year, a salary rivaling the check of their new head coach, Rob Chudzinski.

The Eagles reportedly were interested in Horton. The Browns, you may remember, basically threw a fit when Kelly wouldn’t immediately accept their head coaching offer.

Kelly reportedly interviewed New York Giants linebackers coach Jim Hermann for the Eagles coordinator job but the veteran coach withdrew from consideration.

Davis’ father, Bill, worked in personnel for the Eagles during portions of the D Vermeil and Buddy Ryan eras.