NFC East: Ed Donatell

With the Super Bowl in the books, there are no more restrictions on the Philadelphia Eagles' ability to hire a defensive coordinator. If Baltimore Ravens assistant Ted Monachino is in fact a candidate, the Eagles are free to formally interview and even hire him, depending upon his championship parade commitments. Similarly, they can now go after 49ers assistant Ed Donatell, or anyone on either of the Super Bowl coaching staffs.

It had been believed for much of the week in New Orleans that the Eagles were in fact waiting until after the Super Bowl to hire one of the coaches from the game, and it's possible this will move quickly now, though Jeff McLane suggests here that it's possible national signing day this week could have an impact as well if Chip Kelly is looking to hire from the college ranks. Georgia's Todd Grantham is among those who have been mentioned.

When Kelly got the job, I wrote that his two most important decisions were at quarterback and defensive coordinator. He is now arriving at the time of the offseason at which he must make those two critical decisions. Especially if he plans to switch from a 4-3 defensive alignment to a 3-4, it's vital that he select a leader who can oversee that transition and make it as smooth and effective as possible.

Breakfast links: Live from Louisiana

January, 28, 2013
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NEW ORLEANS -- Greetings, and welcome to Super Bowl week, which is a bit of an eat-your-heart out affair for NFC East fans this year. The New York Giants beat the San Francisco 49ers, and the Washington Redskins and Philadelphia Eagles beat the Baltimore Ravens, but those are the two teams here for the Super Bowl this week, and as I mentioned Sunday I will be here all week and for the game as part of ESPN.com's Super Bowl coverage team.

That doesn't mean I plan to forget the NFC East teams, of course. Or the links.

Washington Redskins

As you likely have heard by now, Redskins left tackle Trent Williams did not enjoy his Pro Bowl experience in Hawaii. Perhaps this will be merely the first of many Pro Bowl invites for Williams, and he'll be able to play in the game next time. The good things for him are that he's all right and does not appear to have been the cause of the trouble.

One of the several positive things that came out of this surprise Redskins season was that they appear to have found some answers on their long-suffering special teams units.

New York Giants

Ohm recently put up a list of breakthrough candidates for the Giants in 2013, leading with second-year running back David Wilson. I think the way the running back situation shakes out will be among the most interesting storylines in Giants training camp come August. My sense is that Ahmad Bradshaw had his chance to show he could hold up as the lead back and couldn't do it. It remains to be seen what Wilson would do with such a chance, but he just might get it.

Some Giants fans may be getting antsy about the idea of Victor Cruz and restricted free agency, simply because the long-discussed deal has not yet been done. I don't get the sense yet that there's anything to worry about. I expect Cruz to sign with the Giants long-term this offseason.

Dallas Cowboys

Todd Archer writes that Anthony Spencer's first Pro Bowl appearance, which came Sunday night, may also have been the final time he wears a Cowboys helmet. Spencer's dicey contract situation, combined with the Cowboys' dicey cap situation, is one of the tricky stories of the offseason in Dallas.

And Calvin Watkins, in his mailbag, writes once again that the Cowboys do not need to be in this offseason's quarterback market and that they're better off with Tony Romo than they'd be with any other currently available option.

Philadelphia Eagles

The feeling among some in NFL circles is that new Eagles coach Chip Kelly should be able to succeed in Philadelphia, but that it will require time and patience. I think we're all interested to see how much of that he gets.

If Ed Donatell is Kelly's pick for defensive coordinator, one of the great all-time Eagles defenders supports the move strongly.

NFC East links: Chip Kelly filling out staff

January, 24, 2013
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Dallas Cowboys

The Cowboys have targeted Auburn assistant Rich Bisaccia for their special-teams coaching vacancy, Todd Archer reports.

Jay Ratliff didn’t get the message after the death of teammate Jerry Brown, so maybe cutting him will make it clear, writes ESPNDallas.com's Calvin Watkins.

The recent spate of changes in Dallas -- overhauling the coaching staff, changing the team’s defensive philosophy, taking play-calling duties away from coach Jason Garrett -- runs counter to what Garrett had been preaching from Day 1: Stick to the plan. Rainer Sabin of the Dallas Morning News has the story.

New York Giants

Ohm Youngmisuk continues his Giants top-five lists with a look at injuries to monitor in the offseason, leading with receiver Hakeem Nicks.

Big Blue View reviews the performance of the special-teams unit during 2012, and looks ahead with the outlook for next season.

Philadelphia Eagles

The Eagles will reportedly hire Ed Donatell, who has been the 49ers' secondary coach the past two seasons, as defensive coordinator, reports Cam Inman of the Bay Area News Group.

After bringing Dave Fipp aboard as special-teams coach, new head coach Chip Kelly is close to adding veteran offensive mind Bob Bicknell and Mike Dawson, with whom Kelly coached at New Hampshire, to his staff, CSNPhilly.com reports.

Washington Redskins

Cornerback DeAngelo Hall had surgery to repair damage to his right pinkie finger, the Post reported; he is expected to be free of his splint in about a month and ready for rehab work.

Wide receiver Joshua Morgan had surgery recently. Details on the surgery haven't been revealed, but on Friday Morgan published a photo of himself in a hospital bed with a "giant cast around his right foot, ankle and lower leg," according to Rich Campbell of the Washington Times.

A couple of Redskins players avoided being "catfished" when they found out that a woman they communicated with via Twitter turned out to be a fake, reports the Washington Examiner's John Keim.

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