Winning the Super Bowl does have a downside. The Eagles have now lost their top two offensive assistant coaches under Doug Pederson.
Not long after they already lost quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo to the Vikings, the Eagles are now losing offensive coordinator Frank Reich, who has agreed to become the Indianapolis Colts' new head coach. Reich is expected to be officially introduced in a press conference on Tuesday.
Reich received a five-year deal from the Colts, according to NFL Network.
"Frank is a tremendous coach and very deserving of this opportunity," Pederson said in a statement released by the Eagles. "He was a valuable member of our staff and we have all benefited from working with him over the last two years. As good as he is as a leader and teacher, he's an even better person. We could not be more excited for him as he takes this next step in his career and we wish him and his family all the best."
The Colts were prepared to hire Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels and were even ready to introduce him as their new head coach last week, but McDaniels backed out of the deal, which re-opened the coaching search. Maybe the Colts lucked out; Reich was extremely well-respected in the NovaCare Complex.
With DeFilippo and Reich gone, the Eagles have two big holes to fill on their coaching staff. Their top two internal candidates are running backs coach Duce Staley and receivers coach Mike Groh. It would make sense for Staley to finally get a promotion to OC and for Groh to take over as QBs coach, while young assistant Press Taylor could then become the wideouts coach, but the team hasn't decided anything yet. Pederson does like the idea of promoting from within, though.
It'll be important for the Eagles to make the right decisions when they replace their coaches who leave. In the early Andy Reid days, many of his coaches left and the team sometimes struggled to replace them with the same quality of coach.
If you're wondering why DeFilippo couldn't have just waited around to see if the Eagles' offensive coordinator position opened up, it's a fair question. But in Minnesota he'll get a chance to call plays, something that didn't seem likely in Philadelphia while Pederson is still in town. And because DeFilippo's contract was up, the Eagles couldn't block him from leaving this year.
Reich, 56, has been the Eagles' offensive coordinator for the last two years and has acted as an offensive sounding board and collaborator with head coach and play-caller Pederson. The two seem to have a very close relationship.
It's pretty safe to say Reich will be a "players coach" in Indianapolis. The players in the Eagles' locker room really respected and loved to play for him. He's a down-to-Earth guy, who happens to be a pretty intelligent offensive mind.
Before joining the Eagles, Reich was the offensive coordinator with the Chargers and before that was their quarterbacks coach. Reich had a long career in the NFL as a quarterback, most notably as Jim Kelly's backup in Buffalo.
It's a good sign that other teams want to hire away the Eagles' coaches and it simply comes with the territory for successful teams. But it will be important to see how they replace them once they leave.