Eagles

8 candidates to replace Mike Groh as Eagles offensive coordinator

8 candidates to replace Mike Groh as Eagles offensive coordinator

A day after Doug Pederson said the Eagles would bring back offensive coordinator Mike Groh, the Eagles have fired Groh and WRs coach Carson Walch

So now Pederson is entering Year 5 and will be looking for his third different offensive coordinator, following Frank Reich and Groh. 

Here’s a quick list of some possible candidates: 

Duce Staley: Before the Eagles hired Groh, they also interviewed Staley and didn’t hire him. Instead, they kept Duce in his role as running backs coach and tacked on the title of assistant head coach, which hasn’t really meant much. 

During his seven years as a running backs coach, Staley has done a phenomenal job. He’s highly regarded in that position, but it’s worth noting that the Eagles have been hesitant to promote him to OC, opting for a passing mind the last time they had a decision to make. If Staley, 44, doesn’t get the OC job this time, he’ll probably have to go elsewhere if he wants to move up in the coaching world. 

Press Taylor: This wouldn’t be a popular pick but he’s the only other internal candidate who really makes sense. Taylor is still just 31 and has been the Eagles’ QBs coach for two years now after the Eagles promoted him to replace John DeFilippo. The next offensive coordinator will need to have a close connection to Carson Wentz and we at least already know Taylor has that. 

For a while, it was looking like Taylor might be on the hot seat, but Wentz was fantastic down the stretch in the 2019 season. Was Wentz good enough to get his position coach promoted? Maybe. But maybe this OC hire needs to come from outside the building.  

Mike Kafka: The 32-year-old former quarterback is a hot name. Right now, he’s the Chiefs’ quarterbacks coach under Andy Reid. The thought here was that Eric Bieniemy was going to get a head coaching job and Kafka could then replace him. But that hasn’t happened, so Kafka might have to leave Kansas City to find his next job. 

Kafka actually played for Pederson in 2010-11 with the Eagles while Pederson was still an assistant. So if Doug is looking for someone he knows well and who understands what he wants offensively, Kafka makes sense. It’s been a quick climb for Kakfa, whose coaching career began in 2016 as a graduate assistant with Northwestern before Reid brought him to Kansas City. 

Jay Gruden: If the Eagles want to get away from the Reid tree, Gruden is an option. The former Redskins’ head coach was the Bengals’ offensive coordinator from 2011-13. He spent over five years with the Redskins and had a 35-49-1 record but it’s hard to win in Washington with all that disfunction. 

The 52-year-old will need to take an OC job if he wants to get back to a head coaching job. A fresh perspective might help the Eagles too. 

Pat Shurmur: Don’t laugh. Shurmur hasn’t been a very good head coach at his two stops but he’s been a pretty good offensive coordinator in the past. He was obviously the OC under Chip Kelly here in Philly but he comes from the Reid tree and has familiarity with Pederson and the basics of the offense.  

Marty Mornhinweg: Another retread of sorts, Mornhinweg is a longtime member of the Reid tree. He was the OC and assistant head coach in Philly from 2006-12. He’s been a former head coach and was most recently the Ravens’ OC from 2016-18. He’s 57 now but Mornhinweg has always been a good offensive mind.  

Mike Shula: If you want one more name from outside, how about Shula? He’s still technically with the Giants as their OC and QBs coach but there’s a new head coach in New York, so the 54-year-old might become available. He’s been around for a long time in the NFL and briefly as the head coach at Alabama. He was the Panthers’ OC from 2013-17, when they went to the playoffs in four of five seasons. 

James Urban: With the Ravens, Urban has done a great job in the last two years with Lamar Jackson and the 46-year-old has a history with the Eagles. He was actually the Birds’ QBs coach before Pederson in 2009-10, when Pederson joined the staff as an offensive quality control coach. These two worked very closely during those years. 

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NFL Draft Betting: Will LSU's Justin Jefferson go before No. 24?

NFL Draft Betting: Will LSU's Justin Jefferson go before No. 24?

With the 2020 NFL Draft just weeks away, now is the time to start scouting your first round bets - if you haven't already.

LSU wide receiver Justin Jefferson had a breakout 2019 season, teaming up with Joe Burrow for monster numbers - 111 catches, 1,540 yards, 18 TD - and a national championship.

But where will he fall in the 2020 NFL Draft?

With Jefferson's over/under set at 23.5, NBC Sports Philadelphia betting expert Brad Feinberg thinks you should take the under on Jefferson going before the 24th overall pick.

It's a combination of talent and circumstance, according to Feinberg. He expects this draft class's top three wideouts - Jerry Jeudy, Ceedee Lamb, and Henry Ruggs III - to be gone in the first 15 picks. 

After the big three are off the board, Jefferson is almost unanimously the top choice for teams in need of young, talented pass-catchers like the Raiders (No. 19), the Eagles (No. 21), and the Vikings (No. 22).

"I think 23.5 is a great bet for the under," Feinberg said, "because I fully expect one of those three teams to snag [Jefferson] up in those picks."

Earlier this week, NBC Sports Philadelphia's Michael Gatti looked at the betting lines surrounding the Eagles' No. 21 pick, and found Jefferson as the odds-on favorite at +170.

In what's expected to be one of the most loaded WR drafts in recent memory, four wideouts going in the top 23 isn't a reach. In fact, it's starting to feel like a safe bet.

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Why Adam Schefter won't guarantee Eagles draft WR in first round

Why Adam Schefter won't guarantee Eagles draft WR in first round

The Eagles need better wide receivers in 2020 if they want to return to the Super Bowl. 

With the 2020 NFL Draft loaded at that position, and the Eagles' inactivity at wide receiver in free agency, all signs point towards GM Howie Roseman targeting a star pass-catcher in the first round.

But what if... they don't?

During a Twitter AMA on Thursday, ESPN NFL insider Adam Schefter didn't exactly sound convinced the Eagles are going to take a wide receiver in the first round, and floated a few other possibilities for their No. 21 pick: 

And here's the answer, transcribed:

Jack, that is the most logical thing, is to see Philadelphia go wide receiver in round one. But what if there's a good linebacker there? What if there's a good defensive player there? What if they decide to trade the pick for a defensive player? There's a lot of different things they can do.

I would never say the Eagles are guaranteed to get a wide receiver in round one. What I would say is, that they're guaranteed to get some wide receivers in this draft, one way or another. They just might not be in round one.

It's a quick hit from Schefty, but there's plenty to unpack.

"What if there's a good linebacker there?"

The Eagles need to start valuing the linebacker position, especially considering their current roster of LBs, and if a name like Patrick Queen is high on their draft board, maybe he's a surprise pick. Eagles fans might not like it.

"What if there's a good defensive player there?"

There are some very interesting defensive prospects who could last until No. 21. Edge rusher K'Lavon Chaisson and DT Javon Kinlaw are two notable talents who would probably pique Roseman's love for first-round defensive linemen.

"What if they decide to trade the pick for a defensive player?"

This feels like a pretty obvious allusion to the Eagles' rumored interest in trading for Jaguars defensive end Yannick Ngakoue. The price for Ngakoue begins with a first-rounder, and the No. 21 pick might start an interesting conversation.

Schefter ending by saying the Eagles will leave the draft with at least one wide receiver is certainly intriguing, and might spell a second-round pick going towards a wideout if Roseman is otherwise tempted at No. 21. Could Clemson's Tee Higgins fall into the second round? Will K.J. Hamler still be available at pick No. 53?

So many question marks - but in three weeks, we'll have answers. 

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