It’s been six days now since the Eagles fired offensive coordinator Mike Groh, and while numerous other NFL teams in the market for offensive coordinators have filled their openings, things have been mum over at 1 NovaCare Way.
Not a peep.
There’s no rule that says the Eagles needed to move quickly on this, but nearly a week after the team cut ties with Groh, several candidates are off the board, including highly regarded LSU passing coordinator Joe Brady and former Eagles offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur.
Ten teams had offensive coordinator openings, and six of them have already been filed.
In addition to the Eagles, new Giants coach Joe Judge hasn’t named an offensive coordinator, the Jaguars haven’t hired a replacement for former Eagles QBs coach John DiFilippo, and the Vikings haven’t filled Kevin Stefanski’s opening.
No candidates for the Eagles’ OC vacancy have even been identified, which is unusual.
All of this could mean one of four things:
1) Maybe the Eagles aren’t interviewing anybody because the guy they have their heart set on is still in the playoffs. That would point to Chiefs quarterbacks coach Mike Kafka, a 2011 Eagles draft pick who’s spent the last two years as Pat Mahomes’ position coach and has a long history with Doug Pederson.
2) Perhaps the Eagles have been interviewing candidates over the past week but have been doing it quietly. This is possible but would be unusual. Almost always, this sort of info gets out either through agents, other coaches or front office officials. For no official candidates to even be identified yet is surprising.
3) Perhaps Pederson and the Eagles’ brain trust are simply waiting for the Senior Bowl practices, which begin Tuesday in Mobile, Ala. Senior Bowl week is like a huge convention for out-of-work coaches, and it’s where teams with coaching openings are able to meet numerous candidates in a short period of time.
4) Then there’s the conspiracy theory: What if Pederson was telling the truth when he said Groh (and Carson Walch) would be back? And not until after that presser was the actual decision to make a change at OC made. If that were the case that means the Eagles wouldn’t have even begun the information-gathering process and start studying candidates until late last Wednesday or even Thursday. That would have put them well behind other teams looking for OCs and could explain why no candidates have even been identified while other teams have been making hires.
Of the seven coordinators who have been hired so far, four of them were hired within 24 hours of the job opening up.
You would think if the Eagles had an ideal candidate in mind when they got rid of Groh he would be here by now. Unless it’s Kafka or conceivably someone else with one of the Final 4 teams.
The good news is there are still numerous qualified candidates out there.
In fact, seven of the eight candidates that Dave Zangaro identified the day Groh got fired are still available: Duce Staley and Press Taylor from Pederson’s current staff, Kafka, forner Redskins head coach Jay Gruden, long-time Reid assistant Marty Mornhinweg, Shurmur assistant Mike Shula and Ravens quarterbacks coach James Urban.
The fact that it’s been nearly a week doesn’t seem like a good sign for internal candidates like Staley and Taylor.
DiFilippo, the Eagles’ QBs coach during the 2017 Super Bowl season, remains the most logical choice. He did such a terrific job with Wentz and Nick Foles during the Super Bowl season it earned him a coordinator job with the Vikings. And he’s got an obvious comfort level with Pederson and his schemes.
But he’s been fired twice in the last 15 months, and he might not as much of a no-brainer as it initially seemed.
As the days go by, we really don’t have any more of an idea who the Eagles will hire. But the list of people they can’t hire keeps getting longer.
Here’s a look at the offensive coordinator activity league-wide this offseason:
Dec. 30 … Fired Chad O’Shea
Dec. 31 … Hired Chan Gailey
Jan. 13 … Fired John DiFilippo
Position still vacant
Dec. 31 … Fired Mark Helfrich
Jan. 13 … Hired Bill Lazor
Jan. 7 … Fired Kevin O’Connell
Jan. 7 … Hired Scott Turner
Jan. 9 … Fired Mike Groh
Position still vacant
Dec. 30 … Fired HC Pat Shurmur
Incumbent OC Mike Shula a candidate to keep job
Jan. 12 … Kevin Stefanski named head coach of Browns
Position still vacant
Dec. 3 … Fired HC Ron Rivera and OC Norv Turner
Jan. 14 … Hired Joe Brady
Rams did not have official offensive coordinator in 2019
Jan. 10 … Hired Kevin O’Connell
Jan. 12 … Fired Rich Scangarello
Jan. 12 … Hired Pat Shurmur
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