New York Giants

Vegas odds of Eagles losing assistant coaches

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Vegas odds of Eagles losing assistant coaches

The Eagles could lose a pair of assistant coaches who have been crucial to their success. That's the cost of going 13-3.

Losing defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz or quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo would hurt the Eagles, and Vegas seems to think both have a good chance of finding a promotion (which could occur only once the Eagles' season ends).

Schwartz is 3/1 to be the next head coach of the Giants, according to odds released by Bovada on Wednesday. The favorite for the job is Patriots OC Josh McDaniels at 3/2, followed by Patriots DC Matt Patricia at 2/1 and then Schwartz.

DeFilippo made the list of two different teams with head coaching vacancies: the Bears and Lions.

DeFilippo is 9/2 to be named the Bears' next head coach. That ties him with McDaniels for second on Bovada's list, behind only former Eagles offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur (3/1). The Bears would make a lot of sense for DeFilippo. They have a ton invested in the future of young QB Mitchell Trubisky, who they traded up to 2 to draft last year.

DeFilippo is also 8/1 to get the Lions job. Patricia, Teryl Austin, McDaniels and Mike Vrabel all have better odds. 

The NFL trend in recent years is to go with an offensive-minded head coach. Sean McDermott's hiring with the Bills last offseason was an exception. Schwartz, too, could be an exception because of his previous head coaching experience and fiery personality. Don't sleep on the Cardinals when it comes to Schwartz — he could step in to help replace the retired Bruce Arians' gusto. 

How hard could coaching losses hit Eagles?

How hard could coaching losses hit Eagles?

Andy Reid's original coaching staff in 1999 included names such as John Harbaugh, Brad Childress, Ron Rivera, Leslie Frazier, Pat Shurmur and Steve Spagnuolo.

Frazier left after the 2002 season, Rivera one year later. From 2005 through 2008, Childress, Spagnuolo, Harbaugh and Shurmur left. All either immediately or soon became NFL head coaches, most very successful ones.

Along with Rod Dowhower's retirement after the 2001 season and Jim Johnson's tragic death after the 2008 season, Reid's staff underwent a gradual and almost complete overhaul from 2002 through 2008.

Do the names Mike Reed, Bill Shuey, Ted Daisher, Pete Jenkins, Rory Segrest, James Urban and Mike Caldwell mean anything? 

They were among the replacements for that initial group of assistants. None ever became a head coach, and only Urban and Caldwell are even still coaching in the NFL — both as position coaches.

That's not the only reason for the team's gradual and almost complete decline over the second half of Reid's tenure with the Eagles, but it definitely had a lot to do with it.

Reid was never able to properly replace that original group. Whatever magic he had building from that original staff was gone. And after going 75-37 with eight playoff wins from 2000 through 2006, his last six years in Philly resulted in two postseason wins and a 50-45-1 record.

Which brings us to 2018, and Doug Pederson's staff, which I think is almost as strong as Big Red's initial staff two decades ago.

Quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo, defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz and offensive coordinator Frank Reich — in that order — all may have an opportunity in the next month to become head coaches.

DeFilippo already has interviews arranged with the Bears and Cardinals, and Schwartz is scheduled to meet with the Giants for their head coaching vacancy. We're likely to learn of more interviews in the coming days.

DeFilippo would be an enormous loss. His work developing Carson Wentz from a third-string rookie out of an unheralded football championship subdivision school into an MVP candidate in just 16 months was remarkable.

Really, it's hard to imagine Flip won't get a head coaching job. He's that hot of a candidate right now. A tremendous teacher, a terrific communicator and one of those guys who just carries himself like a head coach.

All Schwartz has done is lead the Eagles' defense to its first top-five ranking since 2008, Johnson's last year here, and its first No. 1 ranking against the run in 26 years.

He has head coaching experience — he went 29-51 with one playoff season in five years with the Lions from 2009 through 2013 — but his biggest selling point is the work he did this year with a defense that was ranked 28th just two years ago and has evolved into one of the NFL's elite units.

A couple things are working against Schwartz. Most teams are looking for offensive head coaches these days. They want a head coach who can help develop a young franchise quarterback. Schwartz also may not be the ideal front man for a franchise. He's great with the media but trends toward the sarcastic and acerbic, and some teams may not want that personality as the face of the franchise. And then there's that 29-51 record in Detroit.

As for Reich, I'd be surprised if he's seriously considered for a head coaching job, simply because most teams are going to credit DeFilippo and Pederson for Wentz's development. And at 56 with no head coaching experience, Reich's not going to be considered a "hot" candidate.

The Eagles are in an interesting position with DeFilippo and Reich. Flip's contract is up, so he can go wherever he wants once the season is over. He's a coaching free agent who's going to be in tremendous demand. If he doesn't get a head coaching offer, he's sure to get numerous offensive coordinator offers.

One thing is virtually certain: He won't be back with the Eagles as quarterbacks coach. If the Eagles want to keep him if he doesn't get a head coaching job, they'd probably have to make him offensive coordinator or assistant head coach and give him an enormous raise.

Where would that leave Reich? Would they fire or reassign Reich in order to keep Flip? It's possible. If the Eagles continue to struggle with Nick Foles at quarterback, Reich could be made the scapegoat for the offense's late-season struggles to clear the way for DeFilippo.

If the Eagles do lose DeFilippo and keep Reich, I could see wide receivers coach Mike Groh seamlessly becoming quarterbacks coach. Groh was a star quarterback at Virginia and has served as a big-time college quarterbacks coach and the passing game coordinator last year with the Rams under Jeff Fisher.

Another viable candidate would be current assistant QBs coach Press Taylor, a college quarterback himself at Marshall and originally a Chip Kelly hire back in 2013.

As for Schwartz, I'm not sure there's a clear heir apparent internally, although another Kelly hire, Cory Undlin, has done wonders with the defensive backs over the last three years and would certainly make sense.

Then there's Spagnuolo, who is expected to be let go with the Giants' purge. Spags was a quality control coach with the Eagles in 1999, when Pederson played here, so there is a connection there.

Whatever is next, it's clear that some of the most important decisions Pederson has to make won't come until after the season ends.

Dysfunctional Giants hire new GM

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Dysfunctional Giants hire new GM

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — The New York Giants have hired former Carolina Panthers executive Dave Gettleman as their general manager.

The Giants (2-13) announced the hiring of the 66-year-old Gettleman on Thursday and planned to introduce him at a news conference Friday.

Gettleman has a history with the Giants. He spent 15 seasons with the franchise before becoming Carolina's general manager from 2013-2016, a span in which the Panthers played in the Super Bowl after the 2015 season. He was fired after the following season when Carolina missed the playoffs.

Gettleman will be the Giants' fourth general manager since 1979, following George Young, Ernie Accorsi and Jerry Reese, who held the job for 11 seasons before he was dismissed on Dec. 4 along with coach Ben McAdoo (see full story).

Cardinals: Ageless Fitzgerald mum on future
TEMPE, Ariz. -- Larry Fitzgerald might well be the most popular athlete in the history of the state of Arizona.

The wide receiver's resume is packed with Hall of Fame-caliber statistics accumulated over 14 seasons with the Cardinals team that drafted him third overall in 2004. Add to that his easy-going personality combined with a remarkable durability -- he's missed six games of his 224 since joining the league -- and off-the-field contributions.

A year ago, Fitzgerald and the Giants' Eli Manning shared the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year award.

And impressively, at age 34, he's still playing at a high level, all while staying mum on whether he will return for another season.

Last week, he said he would take some time off when the season ends to figure it out.

His uncertainty matches big questions with other Cardinals, including whether coach Bruce Arians will stick around for a sixth season, and whether quarterback Carson Palmer will be back with a mended broken arm at age 38 (see full story).​

Cowboys: Bryant talks struggles, nixes pay cut idea
FRISCO, Texas -- Dez Bryant didn't seem sure how to respond when asked if he would be willing to take a pay cut after perhaps the most difficult season of the Dallas receiver's career.

Once the 2014 All-Pro came to his senses, he was emphatic.

"Hell no, man," Bryant said Wednesday, three days after the Cowboys were eliminated from playoff contention with a loss to Seattle. "I believe in me."

Bryant opened up in his first lengthy session with reporters in weeks, taking responsibility for a subpar season by saying he let frustrations affect him during games. But he also said some of those frustrations were rooted in the offensive scheme, which he said he would probably address with owner Jerry Jones and coaches in the offseason.

The eighth-year pro also blamed some of his struggles on knee tendinitis, something that hadn't been revealed. Bryant was listed on the injury report for three weeks earlier in the season, including one week when he missed two practices when an ankle injury also was listed (see full story).