Eagles

Losing John DeFilippo feels inevitable to Eagles QB

usa-john-defilippo-eagles.jpg
USA Today Images

Losing John DeFilippo feels inevitable to Eagles QB

If Eagles quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo needs a list of references to go along with his resume, Nick Foles and Carson Wentz would be happy to give their endorsements.

DeFilippo is among the trendiest head-coaching candidates on the market, with the Arizona Cardinals and Chicago Bears reportedly requesting interviews so far. That's two of the six NFL teams in need of a new coach, and one — the Oakland Raiders — seems completely absorbed in trying to land Jon Gruden.

Given his work with Eagles quarterbacks and the development of Wentz in particular, DeFilippo's departure may be inevitable. At least, Foles seems to think so.

"He grinds," Foles said after practice Wednesday. "He puts us through some stuff, which is awesome.

"He's a great coach. I know he's focused on us right now, but I also know he's going to be a great head coach someday, and I'm excited for his opportunity."

It's no surprise DeFilippo is a commodity. Last offseason, the Eagles actually denied the Jets permission to interview the 39-year-old assistant for their offensive coordinator opening. DeFilippo was also on a list of a dozen assistants recommended by the league as candidates for head jobs back in December.

Then there's his work with Wentz. The Eagles signal-caller remains a popular choice to be named MVP despite missing the final three games of the season with a torn ACL. Wentz threw for 3,296 yards and a franchise-record 33 touchdowns with only seven interceptions.

After earning the top playoff seed in the NFC, the Eagles have a bye this week, creating a window for teams to interview their assistants. Despite the prospect of a promotion elsewhere, Foles says DeFilippo remains committed to the task at hand.

"He has a lot of great things on the horizon," Foles said. "He knows that, but he knows the most important thing right now is the current and present time."

Wentz was unavailable for comment but has taken opportunities to laud DeFilippo's approach in the past.

"He's just really detailed," Wentz said in November. "He's systematic with his thought process for some of the things that we put in and install.

"We kind of dot every 'i,' cross every 't' together."

The endorsements can't hurt, and it's clear that DeFilippo's methods with his QBs are well-received.

Pederson interviewing 2 for Eagles' OC job

usa-duce-staley-doug-pederson-eagles.jpg
USA Today Images

Pederson interviewing 2 for Eagles' OC job

While many folks are off for Presidents Day, Eagles head coach Doug Pederson is hard at work trying to figure out how to replace Frank Reich. 

Pederson is spending his Monday interviewing running backs coach Duce Staley and wide receivers coach Mike Groh for the Eagles' vacant offensive coordinator position, a league source confirmed to NBC Sports Philadelphia. ESPN's Tim McManus first reported the news Monday. 

It's possible one or both coaches could take over in some sort of offensive coordinator role. 

Reich left his post as offensive coordinator earlier this month when he accepted the head coaching job in Indianapolis. While it might not seem like an OC who doesn't call the plays has a big role, Reich was a good sounding board for Pederson and seemed to be very-well trusted by the head coach. He also helped put the weekly gameplan together. 

It makes sense that the Eagles don't want to go outside the organization to hire an offensive coordinator. Pederson trusts Staley and Groh and the chemistry inside the NovaCare Complex was tremendous during the Eagles' run to Super Bowl LII. 

Either way, Pederson is going to oversee the offense and call plays. Staley or Groh, if one or both are promoted, will handle some extra responsibility, but it'll still all be on Pederson. 

While Staley has been with the Eagles as a coach since 2011, working his way up from a quality control coach to running backs coach in 2013, Groh is a newcomer. He was added to the staff before the 2017 season to take over for Greg Lewis after the Eagles fired him. Groh did an impressive job last season, particularly with helping transform Nelson Agholor from a bust to one of the team's more explosive weapons. 

LeGarrette Blount makes his desire to stay in Philly clear

usa-legarrette-blount-eagles.jpg
USA Today Images

LeGarrette Blount makes his desire to stay in Philly clear

LeGarrette Blount is fresh off of his third Super Bowl title and second in two years with two different teams. 

It sounds like he doesn't really want to go to a third team in three years. 

Blount, 31, played on a one-year deal worth around $1.25 million with the Eagles in 2017, but is set to become an unrestricted free agent when the new league year starts on March 14. He made it pretty clear on Sunday that he wouldn't mind coming back to Philly for another run. 

"It's early so we'll see," Blount said on NFL Network. 

"Obviously I like it a lot there. They like me a lot there. It's a mutual respect and a mutual agreement thing about how we feel about each other. Obviously, you guys know how I feel about the team, the guys; I love those guys. 

"I can't say enough about Duce (Staley), just for the simple fact for how well I was coached there and how good he helped me understand things. I feel like Duce is one of the best running back coaches, one of the best coaches I've ever had in my entire life. I obviously want to be a part of that for a while, so we'll see how it goes."

Blount began the year as the Eagles' top running back, but lost some of his role once the team traded for former Pro Bowler Jay Ajayi. But Blount still played a significant role in the Eagles' run to winning Super Bowl LII. 

During the season, he was the team's top rusher with 173 carries for 766 yards and two touchdowns. But then in Super Bowl LII, he had 14 carries for 90 yards and a touchdown, helping the Eagles to a 41-33 win over his former team, the Patriots. 

The Eagles are going to bring back Ajayi and second-year player Corey Clement. After that, things get murky. Blount and Darren Sproles (coming off injury) are both set to become free agents. 

Blount wasn't shy about his love for the Eagles during his interview on Sunday. He cited trust and how they handled the Ajayi trade with him as big reasons why. 

"They talked to me throughout the process of it happening," Blount said. "They were like, 'we're trading for Jay Ajayi, we just want to let you know.' Like I said, that's obviously another big thing for me, the honesty in that building and how open they are and how they don't keep any kind of secrets for you. They just tell you how it is. It's a big respect thing. Duce was the first person to reach out to me and be like, 'hey, we traded for Jay Ajayi. I just want to let you know.' Again, man, that's why it's a place that I love and I hope to stay there." 

Late in the six-and-a-half minute video, the crew brought out Clement while Blount was answering a question about the rookie. Blount laughed during the middle of his answer, but then got back on track and praised Clement. The two became very close during the 2017 season. 

After Blount's answer, Clement got to chat with his teammate and said getting to work with Blount was a "tremendous opportunity" and would clearly like to keep the core group together in the running back room next season. 

Obviously, it's not up to Clement, but Blount will play a big role and we already know what he thinks of the Eagles.