According to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, the Eagles are going to ask for permission from the Packers to talk to Green Bay assistant coach Darren Perry, who coaches the Packers safeties. Perry is 42 years old and has been with Green Bay for two years. He is credited with developing safety Nick Collins into a Pro Bowler.
Perry was with the Raiders prior to his time with the Packers, where he coached Nnamdi Asomugha to a couple of Pro Bowl seasons. Before the Raiders, he was on the Pittsburgh Steelers staff before joining Oakland. While with the Steelers, he was credited with the rapid development of a young safety by the name of Troy Polamalu.
I’m sure the existence of Collins, Asomugha and Polamalu on Perry’s resume spoke volumes to Andy Reid.
The Nittany Lion played with the Steelers for seven years and was a starting safety on their Super Bowl XXX Championship team. Maybe Perry can do the job there because of his work with Nnamdi, but Perry wasn’t the guy who developed the outstanding young corners in Green Bay.
Joe Whitt Jr. is the young secondary coach, who is credited with developing Tramon Williams and Sam Shields. Shields mentioned Whitt Jr. in a number of interviews and credited him with taking a raw rookie and transforming him into a big time player.
Also, after looking over the Eagles defensive staff of this past year, the biggest problem they had was at the cornerback position both on the field and in the coaching staff.
Dick Jauron was the secondary coach and Mike Zordich was his assistant. They both have more expertise at the safety position as opposed to the cornerback spot. Ellis Hobbs, Joselio Hanson, Dimitri Patterson, Trevard Lindley and the other Eagles cornerbacks couldn’t lean on the sidelines for a lot of help when they were getting incinerated during the season.
The Birds had no one to work with their cornerbacks on the nuances of playing the cornerback positon. The reads, fundamentals and techniques of playing the corner positon is important, but the Eagles need somebody on the staff, who has stood out there and been asked to blanket a receiver.
Unfortunately, Pro Bowl cornerback Asante Samuel is an outstanding player, but he plays a unique style which is hard to teach to another player with different skills.
Safeties are important, but the key to shutting down passing games in the National Football League is quality cornerback play.
The Eagles corners need help desperately.
I can understand why Reid would want to bring somebody like Perry, who has a tremendous pedigree of playing great football, then playing in, coaching in and winning Super Bowls, to Philadelphia.
Last week, Perry talked about how he has totally enjoyed himself coaching the young Packer players.
“This is probably as fine a football environment as I’ve ever been associated with,” Perry said, referring to Green Bay. “And that’s saying a lot coming from Pittsburgh because they’re pretty good.”
Perry his college ball for Joe Paterno at Penn State where he picked off 15 passes as a ball hawking safety.