Eagles

Mike Groh reportedly joining Colts in role he mastered with Eagles

Mike Groh reportedly joining Colts in role he mastered with Eagles

If the Eagles had one of those memory-erasing stick devices from Men in Black, they would have probably used it on Mike Groh this offseason.

And then hired him as wide receiver coach.

But, alas, as technologically advanced as the Eagles are among sports teams, they don’t have that in their bag of tricks. And without it, they obviously couldn’t demote Groh from offensive coordinator to receivers coach, so the Eagles fired him.

Now Groh is going to Indy to join the guy he once replaced and he’s back in the role he had when the Eagles won Super Bowl LII.

It’s kind of a shame. Because if both sides could forget about the two years as offensive coordinator, Groh would be a great replacement for Carson Walch. But that just couldn’t happen.

While Groh lasted just two seasons with the Eagles as offensive coordinator, we might forget that during the 2017 season, Groh was a fantastic receivers coach. He was so good that he was promoted to offensive coordinator after just one year in Philadelphia.

Under Groh in 2017, the Eagles got a lot from their receivers. The trio of Alshon Jeffery, Nelson Agholor and Torrey Smith played very well that season on the way to a Super Bowl title.

Take a look at the Eagles’ wide receiver production under all four of their wide receiver coaching since Doug Pederson became head coach:

2016: (Greg Lewis) 170 receptions, 1,839 yards, 8 touchdowns

2017: (Mike Groh) 178 receptions, 2,269 yards, 20 touchdowns

2018: (Gunter Brewer) 178 receptions, 2,279 yards, 13 touchdowns

2019: (Carson Walch) 146 receptions, 1,657 yards, 11 touchdowns

This can sometimes be the problem with promoting from within. While it’s great for morale in the building, when the Eagles promoted Groh in 2018, they were weakened in two positions. Groh wasn’t as good of an OC as Frank Reich was in 2017 and Brewer (and then Walch) weren’t as good as Groh was at receiver coach in 2017.

While Groh has found a new job, the Eagles still haven’t officially replaced him yet. The Eagles still need to announce four coaching hires: offensive coordinator, wide receivers coach, defensive backs coach and defensive line coach.

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Eagles' new coach thinks team's WR corps is underrated, can be among NFL's best

Eagles' new coach thinks team's WR corps is underrated, can be among NFL's best

They're tired of being known as the worst group of wide receivers in the league.

And they may finally have a coach who can help them get rid of that tag.

"We have an expectation to be one of the top groups in the league," new Eagles receivers coach Aaron Moorehead said Thursday. "That's what we expect. This group is coming out with a little bit of a chip on its shoulder I think because of last year, and that's a good thing."

Eagles receivers last year combined for just 137 passes for 1,488 yards and nine touchdowns, the worst WR numbers in the league.

It was the fewest yards by an Eagles receiving corps since 2000, when Charles Johnson, Torrance Small and Friends had 1,481.

For the first time since 1966 no Eagles wide receiver even had 500 yards.

Out with Carson Walch, in with Moorehead, the Eagles' fifth receivers coach in five years under Doug Pederson.

It doesn't take much time with Moorehead – even on a Zoom call – to sense his confidence, passion, dedication and communication skills.

And he's already instilled a hunger in this wide receiving group to go from one of the worst in the league to one of the best.

"At the end of the day, a little added extra motivation (doesn't hurt)," he said. "In this day and age (with) social media, you can try to ignore it, but people hear what (critics) say, and I think guys understand that we do have something to prove, and that's OK. There's nothing wrong with that, and I enjoy a good challenge and I enjoy coaching a group that has something to prove."

DeSean Jackson is 33 and managed one healthy game last year. Alshon Jeffery struggled then got hurt and has been largely disappointing since he signed here. Second-round pick J.J. Arcega-Whiteside had a miserable rookie year. And rookie Jalen Reagor keeps hearing how the Eagles should have taken Justin Jefferson instead.

You can understand why this group feels disrespected.

"I think that's good," Moorehead said. "I've coached groups that people believed were the best [...] and I've coached groups that people disrespected and felt like they weren't very good, so it's not anything new to me. I think we have a really good group. I know we have a really good group. It's just up to us to stay healthy and prove it week in and week out."

The Eagles haven't had a wide receiver with back-to-back 100-yard games since Jordan Matthews in 2015.

They haven't had a 1,000-yard receiver since Jeremy Maclin in 2014.

On paper they should be better. How can they not be?

Their goal isn't just to be better. It’s to be among the best.

"So far they've taken the approach that [they're] ready to go out there and prove every day why we should be one of the top groups in the NFL," Moorehead said.

You have to love Moorehead's approach and his personality.

If his receivers can match his confidence and swagger, the Eagles just might finally have a receiving corps to get excited about.

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Eagle Eye podcast: Is Zach Ertz next in line for a contract extension?

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Eagle Eye podcast: Is Zach Ertz next in line for a contract extension?

On the latest Eagle Eye podcast, Reuben Frank and Dave Zangaro take a look at Zach Ertz’s contract situation after George Kittle and Travis Kelce got huge extensions. 

The guys pick some things they would have watched in the preseason opener, talk about Doug Pederson’s structure for practice and give their first impressions on a couple of new Eagles coaches. 

Plus, remembering the great Howard Mudd, who died at 78 this week. 

  • (1:02) — What Travis Kelce and George Kittle's contract mean for Zach Ertz.
  • (16:45) — Things we would have watched tonight in preseason opener.
  • (23:08) — Doug Pederson details Eagles’ 2020 training camp structure
  • (28:45) — Aaron Moorehead and Matt Burke speak on their roles. 
  • (36:54) — Remembering Howard Mudd
     

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