Don't call Jim Schwartz a usurper just yet. On Tuesday, the Eagles defensive coordinator and former head coach of the Lions made it clear that he's not trying to steal Doug Pederson's job as the head coach of the Eagles, despite what was reported by Philly.com.
"I'll say this," Schwartz told reporters on Tuesday, per NJ.com. "And I'll say this unequivocally: I am very comfortable with my relationship with Doug Pederson. I know he's comfortable in his relationship with me. What I do here is, I work extremely hard to execute the defense the way that he has outlined it for me. OK? I'm very comfortable with that. Not everybody is privy to those instructions.
"If anybody misunderstands or misinterprets any actions, just know this: Coach Pederson is aware of everything that I do in this building and outside of the building."
Schwartz then provided an example of how loyal he is to Pederson.
"This just happened about a half hour ago," Schwartz said. "Coach Pederson has a rule in the cafeteria that you can't wear tank tops or no sleeves. He wasn't in the cafeteria when I was. There was an offensive player that had no sleeves on, so I tapped him and said, 'You've got to get out. You've got to get sleeves on.'
"I know that when I was head coach, I wanted people around the building that were enforcing my rules. I did that for him. I respect that position. I'm going to execute the job the way that he outlined it for me. I think anything else, we can't really worry about."
Before we move on, let's just acknowledge how weird of a rule that is. Pederson doesn't allow sleeveless shirts in the cafeteria? Does he think biceps are a "distraction" to the team? Or is this a food safety issue? All I'm saying is that Bill Belichick frequently wears sleeveless clothing and his Patriots have been pretty darn successful in his reign.
OK, back to the main story. On Saturday, a day before Schwartz's defense walloped the Redskins, Philly.com's Jeff McLane reported that some members of the Eagles' organization believe Schwartz is trying to become the head coach:
One Eagles staffer said the only coach who probably doesn't think Schwartz is trying to undercut Pederson is Pederson. Three players, who requested anonymity, said that it has become well-known in the locker room that Schwartz is waiting to usurp power.
"He walks around the building like he thinks he's the head coach," one player said.
As previously noted, Schwartz does have plenty of head coaching experience. From 2009-13, he coached the Lions to a 29-51 record and guided them into the playoffs once. He's also seen plenty of success as a defensive coordinator. He got the Detroit job after leading the Titans' defense to consecutive top-10 seasons as the defensive coordinator and as the Bills' defensive coordinator in 2014, Buffalo finished fourth in both points and yards allowed. Last year, the Eagles ranked in the top half of the league in both categories.
So, it won't be surprising to see Schwartz, 51, get another head coaching opportunity at some point. Whether that happens in Philadelphia remains to be seen. But it is worth noting that the Eagles invested substantially in quarterback Carson Wentz and it's Pederson -- not Schwartz -- who is the offensive-minded coach.