In Week 5 of the 2010 season, the Eagles beat the 49ers 27-24. In 2009, the Eagles won a 27-13 game against that same San Francisco team. Andy Reid and co. also took down the 49ers in 2008 and 2006.
Johnnie Lynn was a member of the 49ers coaching staff in each of those games. He was also coaching the secondary for the Baltimore Ravens when the Eagles beat their Northeast neighbor in 2004.
Actually, Lynn was plenty familiar with the Eagles after his seven year tenure with the New York Giants – a team the Eagles swept in 2003. All told, Lynn has lost seven straight games to Reid's Eagles and is 1-10 against the Birds since 2001.
So when Lynn signed up Tuesday to become the Eagles' secondary/cornerbacks coach, it was too obvious not to bring to mind an old cliché.
"It's fantastic," Lynn said of the new job. "All these years I've been competing against these guys trying to beat them and I couldn't beat them. Now I can join them."
The other side of the equation is that the Eagles are thrilled to have Lynn on board to bring his considerable experience to work with the cornerbacks. The aim is to improve a secondary allowed a franchise record for passing touchdowns allowed. In that vein, Lynn will team with new secondary/safeties coach Michael Zordich. The two have already hit it off.
"Tremendous," Lynn said of Zordich. "We're both Jets, old Jets, we were talking about that the other night ... It's been really good. It's going to be a good partnership. Tonight, we're going to get together and just sit and talk amongst ourselves how things are going to be working. So we're real excited about that."
Lynn also goes back a long way with defensive coordinator Juan Castillo, who was a summer coaching intern with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the mid-90's, so while he expects a learning curve, the transition figures to be fairly seamless.
"It's not very difficult because all of us are looking at the same goal," Lynn said of the batch of coaches on defense. "We all want to win. We all want to do what the head coach wants and we all want to do what the defensive coordinator in Juan Castillo wants to do. We're working to work together. The goal is there and so we have the enthusiasm and the passion to do what we need to do."
As for what philosophy he'll bring to the cornerbacks, Lynn was in lock-step with Castillo and new defensive line coach Jim Washburn. This Eagles defense will be aggressive and attack-minded, while simplifying things enough to let the players do what they do best.
"That's the thing about pass defense," Lynn said, "it's a great team effort. You have the defensive line that's putting pressure on the guy. We're trying to hold the pressure and trying to hold those receivers. That's the epitome of pass coverage and team effort. It's going to work together."
One small upside for Lynn? He won't have to worry about late nights spent trying to figure out a way to stop the Eagles offense.
"They are in the top as far as receiving corps in the league," Lynn said, adding that devising ways to limit DeSean Jackson's impact is always a concern. "It's a challenge. It's good when you have weapons like that and then you have a quarterback back there (Michael Vick) that you're not sure if he's going to be there or running down the field with you. It's tough."
Fortunately, it's not a problem Lynn will have to worry about any time soon.
-- Posted by Bo Wulf, 7:30 p.m., February 9