John DeFilippo

His job finished, John DeFilippo's departure won't hurt Eagles

His job finished, John DeFilippo's departure won't hurt Eagles

It wasn’t until after the Super Bowl that the Eagles were dealt their first loss of 2018, though not long after. Less than six hours after the victory parade ended, in fact, when quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo bolted for an offensive coordinator job with the Vikings, as expected.

Up to the moment it became official, there was still hope the Eagles might convince DeFilippo to stay on as offensive coordinator if the organization could somehow pawn Frank Reich off as a head coach elsewhere. But that was a fantasy, and, at best, would’ve only delayed the inevitable.

DeFilippo was always a goner.

His job here was finished.

This is not intended to come off as smug and suggest the Eagles won’t need tremendous assistant coaches in their bid to repeat as world champions. DeFilippo’s shoes will be hard to fill and the organization knows it. That’s partially the reason why the club prevented him from interviewing for coordinator positions last offseason.

The other part of the equation was Carson Wentz. It wasn’t difficult to understand the Eagles’ rationale for holding on to DeFilippo despite a looming promotion with another team. Wentz was entering his second NFL season — a critical juncture for any pro athlete but especially a franchise quarterback.

Holding on to DeFilippo paid off. Wentz became a legitimate MVP candidate before a season-ending injury, averaging 7.5 yards per pass attempt with 33 touchdowns and seven interceptions.

Is there still room for improvement with Wentz? Yes. Is DeFilippo the best person to get that out of him? Quite possibly.

Can somebody else take over from here and help Wentz continue ascending and eventually reach his full potential? Definitely.

Of the coaches the Eagles could most afford to lose, DeFilippo arguably was at the top of the list. Wentz clearly has the tools to succeed, and the training wheels came off this season. He’s an established talent now. Surely, there is a competent quarterbacks coach out there who can help mold Wentz. (It may even be current Eagles wide receivers coach Mike Groh.)

DeFilippo’s return would have been ideal. At the very least, the continuity would be nice, and whether it was Wentz or Nick Foles under center, Eagles quarterbacks experienced success. The club also needs to continue developing young alternatives, be that Nate Sudfeld or somebody else.

But there was no blocking DeFilippo this time. His contract was up. And even if Reich winds up leaving too — he is set to interview with the Colts — it made sense to take on a new project.

DeFilippo is on a trajectory to becoming a head coach as early as next year. What’s better for his momentum: Staying in a safe job tutoring Wentz from offensive guru Doug Pederson’s shadow, or facing a new challenge head-on and running the entire offense in Minnesota?

Even if DeFilippo had remained with the Eagles, he would’ve been a hot commodity again next offseason and likely departed anyway.

This is the other side of winning. Nobody wants the Eagles to lose bright, young coaches, but it’s a fact of life for a great team.

At least in DeFilippo’s case, the Eagles’ quarterback situation is stable. Wentz and Foles are smart, driven men who will flourish no matter who is overseeing the room. They will be fine.

So will the Eagles. If DeFilippo winds up being the only assistant they lose the offseason, it could also wind up being their first win since the Super Bowl.

Eagles lose key member of coaching staff

USA Today Images

Eagles lose key member of coaching staff

Winning a Super Bowl doesn't come without a cost. 

With confetti still being cleaned off Broad Street from Thursday's parade, the Vikings are hiring away a key member of the Eagles' coaching staff.

Eagles quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo is going to be Minnesota's new offensive coordinator, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. DeFilippo will take over for Pat Shurmur, who left the position to become the Giants' head coach. 

While preparing to face the Patriots, DeFilippo already knew the Super Bowl could be his last game with the Eagles. 

"You know what, my focus right now is I'm just concerned about this game on Sunday," DeFilippo said last week. "That's my 100 percent focus."

Losing the 39-year-old DeFilippo is going to be tough for the Eagles. Not only did he help Carson Wentz become a possible league MVP in Year 2, but then also helped prepare Nick Foles to take over and become Super Bowl MVP. 

"He grinds," Foles said about DeFilippo toward the end of the season. "He puts us through some stuff, which is awesome.

"He's a great coach. I know he's focused on us right now, but I also know he's going to be a great head coach someday, and I'm excited for his opportunity."

The Eagles thought enough of DeFilippo last offseason that they blocked him from interviewing for the Jets' offensive coordinator position. But this offseason, his contract was up, so the Eagles couldn't stop him from leaving. 

For a while, it actually seemed like DeFilippo might have a chance to become a head coach. The Cardinals and Bears both interviewed him for their head coach vacancies. Really, it seems like just a matter of time before a team hires him to take over. 

The Colts still seem interested in Frank Reich as a possible head coach, so this could  all work out terribly for the Eagles, timing-wise. Had Reich been hired earlier, the Eagles could have promoted DeFilippo to keep him. But now, they've already lost DeFilippo and still appear in danger of losing Reich. 

The top in-house assistant candidates to replace DeFilippo are Press Taylor and Mike Groh. Taylor has been the team's assistant quarterbacks coach since 2016. This past season was Taylor's fifth overall season in Philly. He began as an offensive quality control coach in 2013 under Chip Kelly. Groh is the team's wide receivers coach but has a quarterback background and is the more experienced of the two. 

Josh McDaniels' 180 impacts Frank Reich, Jim Schwartz, John DeFilippo

USA Today Images

Josh McDaniels' 180 impacts Frank Reich, Jim Schwartz, John DeFilippo

There's been nonstop euphoria around these parts for three days now and nobody is really thinking about the future yet. 

Most of us are still processing this.

On Tuesday, Roob laid out how the Eagles are going to be really good for a really long time because of how many key players they have locked up the next three seasons.

Another benefit of the Eagles' winning it all was that all the head coaching vacancies were filled during their playoff run. Great news for the Eagles in terms of keeping defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz, offensive coordinator Frank Reich and potentially QBs coach John DeFilippo.

... Not so fast.

Patriots OC Josh McDaniels shockingly spurned the Colts, reneging on his verbal agreement to become their head coach mere hours before his scheduled press conference in Indianapolis. Thus, a job is back open.

Indy's interest in an offensive-minded head coach probably means they won't be hiring Schwartz, though they may be back at Square 1 right now and looking for the best possible candidate.

Reich becomes an appealing option, and according to two NFL Network reporters, he is on the Colts' short list. Adam Schefter is reporting Reich will interview with the Colts on Friday, the day after the Eagles' parade.

Reich and DeFilippo couldn't possibly have had stronger seasons, helping Carson Wentz to near-MVP honors and then Nick Foles to a dynamic playoff run. Even if DeFilippo doesn't get the Colts gig, he's a good bet to be hired somewhere as an offensive coordinator.

The Vikings still want to talk with DeFilippo about their OC opening. (Pat Shurmur left to become the Giants' head coach.) However, Minnesota is not permitted to speak with DeFilippo until 10 days after the Eagles' season ended. They have already formally requested an interview with DeFilippo, according to Schefter.