PHILADELPHIA -- The Philadelphia Eagles will hire Cleveland linebackers coach Billy Davis to be their defensive co-ordinator, a person familiar with the decision told The Associated Press.
Davis previously served as defensive co-ordinator in Arizona and San Francisco. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the team isn't announcing any coaching hirings until new coach Chip Kelly completes his staff.
Davis spent two seasons with the Browns. He began his NFL coaching career as a defensive assistant in Pittsburgh in 1992. The well-travelled Davis coached for Carolina, Cleveland, Green Bay, Atlanta and the New York Giants from 1995-2004 before going to the 49ers as their defensive co-ordinator in 2005.
After two seasons in San Francisco, he joined the Cardinals as linebackers coach in 2007 and was promoted to defensive co-ordinator in 2009.
Davis replaces Todd Bowles, who wasn't retained after former coach Andy Reid was fired.
Bowles took over for Juan Castillo after six games last season. Davis becomes the Eagles' fourth defensive co-ordinator since longtime assistant Jim Johnson died from cancer in 2009.
Sean McDermott replaced Johnson, but was fired after the 2010 season. Castillo made the unusual move from offensive line coach to defensive co-ordinator in 2011, but lasted 22 games.
Davis' defences struggled in his two years in San Francisco. The 49ers finished third-worst in points allowed and last in yards allowed in 2005. They were last in points and 26th in yards in 2006.
Davis had slightly better defences in Arizona. The Cardinals finished 14th in points allowed and 20th in yards allowed in 2009. They were 30th in points and 29th in yards in 2010.
The Eagles are coming off a 4-12 season, and have missed the playoffs the past two years. They allowed 444 points last season.