Former Wisconsin Badgers defensive coordinator and interim head coach Jim Leonhard has primarily been in the shadows after announcing he wouldn’t return to the university after he was passed for the full-time head coaching role.
Some have assumed that the longtime Badgers coach would elect to take a year off after his contract ended, but that may not be the case, as ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reported that Leonhard interviewed for the recently vacant defensive coordinator position with the Philadelphia Eagles.
The #Eagles have interviewed former Wisconsin defensive coordinator Jim Leonhard as they look to fill their DC job, per league source. Leonhard was a 10-year NFL safety who is respected in league circles.— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) February 20, 2023
The Eagles lost former defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon to the Arizona Cardinals as their next head coach after the Super Bowl, leaving them with a vacancy at both coordinator positions, as former offensive coordinator Shane Steichen left to be the next head coach of the Indianapolis Colts following Philadelphia’s loss to the Kansas City Chiefs as well.
Leonhard, 40, joins external candidates Vance Joseph and Sean Desai as potential options to fill the role, and would be a good fit with the Eagles philosophically with his scheme.
After a ten-year career in the NFL, Leonhard took a season off before joining Paul Chryst’s staff at Wisconsin as the defensive backs coach before earning a promotion to defensive coordinator after the departure of Dave Aranda, where he had been until this season.