Eagles

Report: Eagles block Jets from interviewing QB coach John DeFilippo

Report: Eagles block Jets from interviewing QB coach John DeFilippo

Earlier this week, a report surfaced that the New York Jets were targeting Eagles quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo to be their next offensive coordinator.

The Eagles aren't going to let that happen. 

According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, the Eagles have denied the Jets permission to interview DeFilippo.

When assistant coaches are under contract, their current team has the right to deny other teams from interviewing them, even if it's blocking a promotion. The only time they can't block a coach from an interview is when a team wants to interview them for a head coaching job. 

It seems very possible the Eagles are hesitant to let DeFilippo interview for another offensive coordinator job because they might need him to be their offensive coordinator next year. 

According to various reports, the Buffalo Bills intend to interview Eagles offensive coordinator Frank Reich for their head coaching job. If Reich leaves, 38-year-old DeFilippo would be a pretty obvious choice to replace him. 

Blocking DeFilippo could also be important for quarterback Carson Wentz's growth. DeFilippo, on a daily basis, spends more time with Wentz than any other coach on the staff. 

Before joining the Eagles, DeFilippo spent one season as the Browns' offensive coordinator before another head coaching change happened in Cleveland. DeFilippo was with the Jets in 2009 as their assistant quarterbacks coach. It looks like he won't be going back there this offseason. 

Carson Wentz participates in Eagles practice during OTAs

Carson Wentz participates in Eagles practice during OTAs

Just 5½ months after he tore up his knee in Los Angeles, Carson Wentz participated in Eagles practice Tuesday morning, firing passes to ballboys and assistant coaches in the first set of drills at the start of spring OTAs.

It looked like he hadn’t missed a day.

Wentz, wearing a brace on his injured left knee, participated only in individual drills and sat out the rest of practice.

But he looked comfortable and confident taking his drops, he delivered the football with his familiar zip and if it weren't for the brace you wouldn't have known he was coming back from a devastating injury.

It was a huge step for the 25-year-old quarterback, who was having an All-Pro 2017 season before he got hurt.

Does this mean he’ll be ready for opening day in 3½ months?

Still too early to tell. But just seeing him out on the practice field wearing a red No. 11 jersey and throwing the football around sure was encouraging.

“Mental aspect is probably just as important as the physical, I think, when you’re coming back from these injuries,” Wentz said before practice.

“I’m just learning how to trust it. Trust your knee, trust your movement, all of those things. And that comes over time, and every day it just gets a little better. A little more trust, a little more faith in it.

“At the same time, you’ve got to be smart. You’ve got to be smart with what the doctors are saying. But I feel like I’ve made really good strides mentally and physcally and I like where I’m at.”

The Eagles will open training camp in late July, so that’s about two months away. The first preseason game is Aug. 9, which is about 2½ months away. The regular-season opener is Sept. 6 against the Falcons at the Linc.

Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles will take all the first-team reps this summer and then step aside whenever Wentz is ready.

Wentz said he’s tempted to play the calendar game — will he be ready in time for the Falcons? But he said for the most part he resists.

“You do sometimes, but at the end of the day you can’t get caught up in that,” he said.

“Even when you’re healthy — ‘OK, Week 1, you’ve got that circled,’ or whatever. It’s always just a one-day-at-a-time mentality and approach and especially now I’ve got to avoid getting ahead of myself.”

Wentz threw 33 touchdowns and just seven interceptions in 13 games last year, going 11-2 before giving way to Foles, who led the Eagles to the Super Bowl title.

Wentz admits he’s antsy to get back to football but said he has to avoid the temptation to do too much too soon. 

“Any time you’re rehabbing from any sort of injury, you’ve got to be careful,” he said.

“There’s days you feel great and want to push it more and there’s days it’s a little sore, it’s a little tired, whatever, but it’s just part of the process of coming back from an injury. 

“You’ve just gotta trust what the trainers are saying, what the doctors are saying, and keep being smart with it.” 

Wentz is the leader of a large group of Eagles that finished last year on injured reserve and were forced to watch Super Bowl LII in Minneapolis from the sidelines. 

Jason Peters. Darren Sproles. Jordan Hicks. Chris Maragos. 

Wentz said that group’s hunger is going to help drive the entire team in 2018. 

“With injured guys, guys that didn’t get a chance to play in that game, there’s an extra sense of motivation, an extra sense of not letting everybody be complacent,” Wentz said. 

“On the flip side of that, I know the leaders that we have. I know the guys in that locker room, the character of that locker room, and I don’t expect it to be an issue regardless. I think any time we have the veteran leadership that we have, that’s not really a concern of mine or really the rest of the guys because nobody’s going to ever settle for anything around here.

“But I don’t think it hurts that we have the other guys like myself with a little chip on their shoulder, a little extra motivation to get back out there.”

Carson Wentz looks great at practice despite still rehabbing knee injury

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JClarkNBCS/Twitter

Carson Wentz looks great at practice despite still rehabbing knee injury

Worried about how Carson Wentz’s injury has been progressing? Don’t.

The Eagles began their title defense today with the start of Organized Team Activities (OTAs) and Wentz was on full display during practice. He looks good.

Throughout the offseason, there has been a lot of positive news surrounding his return to the huddle. On March 27, head coach Doug Pederson provided this update:

"I don't need him in preseason," Pederson said at the NFL meetings. "I need him in Week 1. I'm very encouraged with where he's at. I'm not rushing him. He's working extremely hard. No timetable, make sure he's 100 percent. But knowing Carson, he's going to try to get out there sooner than later. Be smart with it, make good decisions."

Looks like a good start to having Wentz back for Week 1 if it’s May 22 and he’s moving like that.