Eagles

Eagles reportedly offer former Chip Kelly assistant ST coordinator job

Eagles

Former Eagles special teams coordinator Dave Fipp left earlier this week to join the Detroit Lions, so now the Eagles have to replace him.

And another former Chip Kelly assistant might be the guy.

The Eagles have reportedly offered 49ers assistant special teams coach Michael Clay the job, according to The Athletic's Zach Berman. The Athletic also initially reported the Eagles' interest in Clay.

Clay, 29, played for Kelly at Oregon and then got his first coaching job under Kelly with the Eagles in 2014. In 2013, Clay signed with the Dolphins as an undrafted free agent but the very next year he was in coaching.

Clay began his coaching career as a defensive quality control coach in 2014 and became the assistant special teams coach under Fipp in 2015, Kelly’s last year in Philly.

After Kelly was fired and took the job in San Francisco, he brought Clay with him. Chip was fired after one year by the Niners but new head coach Kyle Shanahan kept Clay on staff and he’s been there ever since. But after six years as an assistant special teams coach, Clay might be ready for the next step.

We don’t know if the Eagles are interviewing other candidates for the special teams coordinator position, but the updated Rooney Rule requires teams to interview at least one minority candidate for any major coordinator position. Interviewing Clay will fulfill that responsibility.

The Eagles’ special teams under Fipp were once really strong. In NFL writer Rick Gosselin’s annual special teams rankings, the Eagles were 1st in 2014, 5th in 2015 and 1st in 2016 before a gradual decline. They were 17th in 2020.

 

So maybe Clay would be an ideal candidate to get them back to the level they were when he was in Philadelphia as an assistant coach.

But it’s worth noting that injuries the past few seasons have been devastating for special teams. As offensive and defensive players get hurt, special teams loses all its players, who become replacements for starters. It all trickles down. But there’s definitely room for improvement.

Subscribe to the Eagle Eye podcast:

Apple Podcasts | Google Play | Spotify | Stitcher | Art19 | Watch on YouTube