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Report: Eagles hiring defensive guru one day after he leaves Dolphins

The Philadelphia Eagles aren’t wasting any time.

They’re hiring Vic Fangio on Thursday as their defensive coordinator less than 24 hours after he and the Miami Dolphins parted ways Wednesday.

ESPN first reported Thursday morning that Fangio is traveling to Philadelphia on Thursday morning to sign his contract.

Fangio, 65, is replacing Sean Desai, who was demoted in December and fired after the season, and Matt Patricia, who took over play-calling duties from Desai. Patricia’s contract expired after the season, and he informed the Eagles that he won’t be returning.

Fangio, 65, is a noted defensive guru, and was actually under contract with the Eagles as a consultant in the two weeks leading up to the Super Bowl last February. Fangio was then hired by the Dolphins. A few days after the Super Bowl, Eagles defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon left to become the Arizona Cardinals head coach.

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The Eagles then hired Desai, considered a disciple of Fangio’s as the two worked together in Chicago while Fangio was the defensive coordinator there from 2015-18.

It didn’t go well. The Eagles finished 26th in total defense, allowing 356 yards per game. They ranked 31st in pass defense, allowing 253 yards per game, and 30th in scoring defense, allowing 25.2 points per game.

The defense was especially bad during the Eagles 1-6 finish to the season, when they gave up an average of 30.4 points per game.

The news of Fangio’s departure from the Dolphins came Wednesday afternoon during the season-ending press conference with head coach Nick Sirianni and general manager Howie Roseman.

Sirianni was then asked if Fangio will become the Eagles’ top target.

‘We’ve got a lot of good targets that we’re working through, and there are a lot of guys that have done really well in their interview process, and I look forward to continuing on that process,’ Sirianni said. ‘We’ll see what happens.’

The Eagles had reportedly interviewed former Washington Commanders head coach Ron Rivera and former Jaguars defensive coordinator Mike Caldwell.

Then Fangio became available. The Eagles were long enamored with Fangio’s system. Fangio first made a name for himself as the San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator from 2011-14. The 49ers went to the Super Bowl in 2012.

He then left to become the Bears DC from 2015-18, with Desai on the defensive staff. Fangio left to become the Denver Broncos head coach in 2019, and went 19-30 in his three seasons.

After serving as a consultant for the Eagles briefly in 2022, Fangio took over the Dolphins’ defense. Miami ranked 10th in yards allowed per game, 15th in passing yards allowed and 22nd in points allowed per game.

The Dolphins, like the Eagles, were eliminated in the wild-card round, losing 26-7 to the Kansas City Chiefs.

‘We’re looking for the guy who is the best person for the job,’ Sirianni said. ‘There are many different systems that work well. We’re looking for the guy who’s going to be best for the job that can utilize the skills that our players have so they can play at their highest level.’

That will now be up to Fangio.

Contact Martin Frank at Follow on Twitter @Mfranknfl.

This post appeared first on USA TODAY

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