Earlier this week, a report surfaced that the New York Jets were targeting Eagles quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo to be their next offensive coordinator.
The Eagles aren't going to let that happen.
According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, the Eagles have denied the Jets permission to interview DeFilippo.
When assistant coaches are under contract, their current team has the right to deny other teams from interviewing them, even if it's blocking a promotion. The only time they can't block a coach from an interview is when a team wants to interview them for a head coaching job.
It seems very possible the Eagles are hesitant to let DeFilippo interview for another offensive coordinator job because they might need him to be their offensive coordinator next year.
According to various reports, the Buffalo Bills intend to interview Eagles offensive coordinator Frank Reich for their head coaching job. If Reich leaves, 38-year-old DeFilippo would be a pretty obvious choice to replace him.
Blocking DeFilippo could also be important for quarterback Carson Wentz's growth. DeFilippo, on a daily basis, spends more time with Wentz than any other coach on the staff.
Before joining the Eagles, DeFilippo spent one season as the Browns' offensive coordinator before another head coaching change happened in Cleveland. DeFilippo was with the Jets in 2009 as their assistant quarterbacks coach. It looks like he won't be going back there this offseason.
While the Eagles have been figuring out their new-look coaching staff, one of the more important people in the NovaCare Complex is leaving.
Head athletic trainer Chris Peduzzi announced on Tuesday that he is stepping down from his role with the team.
"We thank Chris for his contributions over the last 19 seasons and we wish him and his family all the best," the Eagles said in a statement.
Peduzzi took over as head trainer after Rick Burkholder went to Kansas City with Andy Reid in 2013. But Peduzzi had been with the Eagles in some capacity since 1999, when he joined the franchise as an assistant trainer.
“It has been an honor and a blessing to be part of this organization for the past 19 seasons,” Peduzzi said in a statement released by the Eagles. “I especially want to thank Mr. Lurie for his faith in me to care for the health of his players. I never took that lightly. I also want to thank Coach Pederson and Howie Roseman for the opportunity. I have had the pleasure of working alongside so many great people, from my staff and co-workers to our coaches and of course the players. More than anything, I am going to miss those daily interactions.
"However, I do believe the time is right for me and for my family to step away and take some time off. This was not an easy decision, but one that I have put much thought into and I appreciate the organization’s support and wish them all the best in the future. I am so proud of what we have been able to achieve together. To bring the Lombardi Trophy to Philadelphia this year was an amazing experience and I believe we have built a strong foundation that the team can continue to build on for years to come.”
The right choice isn't always the easy one. Ultimately, we won't know for some time if the Eagles' tabbing Mike Groh for the job of offensive coordinator over Duce Staley was the correct call. But we know they didn't take the easy way out.
Staley has spent 14 seasons with the Eagles as a player and coach. He's been in charge of the Eagles' running backs since 2013 and even interviewed for the head coaching spot after Chip Kelly was fired following the 2015 season. He has the utmost respect of the guys who have played for him and from the organization. His time coaching in Philadelphia has spanned three head coaches (Andy Reid, Kelly, Doug Pederson). That tells you how the folks in the executive offices feel about him. He would have been the easier choice. He juggled egos and the Eagles' crowded backfield skillfully. He smoothly integrated Jay Ajayi into the Birds' system after a midseason trade.
Duce checked a lot of boxes. But Pederson and the Birds chose to go with Groh, who has been with the club for just one season. (They did, according to a league source, reward Staley with a new title: Assistant head coach/running backs.)
The 46-year-old Groh coached the Eagles' wide receivers last year and is credited with helping Nelson Agholor find his game and confidence. Groh has coached in college and the pros for 18 seasons, including a stint as the offensive coordinator at his alma mater, Virginia. Perhaps that gave him the edge in Pederson's and the team's eyes.
Despite Pederson's calling the plays, the job of offensive coordinator is not just a title. Frank Reich played a huge role game-planning and acting as a sounding board.
Can't imagine Staley is too happy about this development. It will be interesting to see if he chooses to stay or go elsewhere. But if the track record of Pederson and Roseman is any indication, they did a pretty good job putting together the staff that helped them win their first Super Bowl. So they've earned some trust on the hiring end.