John DeFilippo

Does this move make Nick Foles to Jacksonville more likely?

Does this move make Nick Foles to Jacksonville more likely?

The Jaguars were already one of the favorite teams to land Nick Foles this offseason. And that was before they brought in his former QBs coach. 

Now, John DeFilippo is heading to Jacksonville and it’s fair to wonder if Foles won’t be too far behind. 

Foles and DeFilippo weren’t together long in Philadelphia. Foles came back in 2017 so the two worked together for just one season, but that season ended with Foles holding the Super Bowl MVP trophy. DeFilippo was highly regarded by the Eagles and by the quarterbacks in his meeting room. 

This is what Foles said about DeFilippo late last season, when it became likely Flip would find a job elsewhere. 

He grinds. 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.

DeFilippo, 40, might still be a head coach someday soon, but he’s going back to an OC position for now. He was the OC and play caller in Minnesota but was fired by head coach Mike Zimmer before the conclusion of the 2018 season. 

Even before the arrival of DeFilippo, the Jaguars were clearly in the mix to get Foles. 

The real question would be whether or not they’d be willing to part with draft picks to get Foles or if he’d simply be a guy they might want to sign if he becomes a free agent. 

The Eagles were able to get to an incredibly high level of play while DeFilippo was working with Foles, so it would make some sense for there to be a reunion in Jacksonville. It doesn’t mean this is where Foles will definitely end up, but there seems to be at least a little better chance after this move.

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Doug Pederson says no to bringing back John DeFilippo ... 'at this time'

Doug Pederson says no to bringing back John DeFilippo ... 'at this time'

In the wake of John DeFilippo’s getting fired by the Vikings on Tuesday, the natural reaction was to think about a possible reunion in Philly. 

Even though Minnesota’s offense hadn't been good under DeFilippo, he was a part of the Super Bowl staff that led the Eagles to great offensive success not that long ago. So, naturally, there was a clamor from the fan base to bring him back. 

So Pederson knew the question was coming. Here was his response Wednesday morning: 

I was anticipating this question, but listen, what I’ll say is John did a great job for me. He helped us win a world championship and then he had an opportunity. I love my coaches. I’m confident in the guys we have. So at this time, no.

If you really want the Eagles to bring back Flip, the part to cling to there is “at this time,” because Pederson didn’t rule out an eventual return. But this probably shuts down the idea that Flip would be brought in for some Hue Jackson-type role in Cincinnati. 

While Pederson didn’t rule out an eventual reunion, as I wrote yesterday (see story), it could be tricky because both sides would need to want it. It was important to DeFilippo to get an opportunity to call plays. If the offensive coordinator job in Philadelphia became available, it still wouldn’t give him the ability to do that. He’d be stuck behind Pederson in that regard. 

DeFilippo is still just 40 years old and was thought to be an up-and-coming offensive mind who was going to be a head coach. It’s unclear how his incomplete season in Minnesota will change the perception of him throughout the league. 

But we do know the Eagles thought a lot of him as a coach and for good reason. As QB coach, he helped Carson Wentz become an MVP candidate and helped Nick Foles lead the team to a championship. The Eagles blocked him from leaving before last season and it helped them win a Super Bowl. It wouldn’t be crazy for them to want to bring him back.

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Out in Minnesota, should Eagles bring back John DeFilippo?

Out in Minnesota, should Eagles bring back John DeFilippo?

The Vikings fired offensive coordinator John DeFilippo Tuesday afternoon and we’re all thinking the same thing. 

Come on back, Flip. 

And it would obviously make some sense. The Eagles’ offense has struggled this year and we’ve sort of reasoned for weeks now that the Eagles have missed former OC Frank Reich and former QB coach DeFilippo. Now one of those guys is available. And the Eagles have always had a very high opinion of DeFilippo. 

So should the Eagles bring him back?

That seems like a totally reasonable course of action, but first, we have to figure out if he’ll be available to bring back. 

It isn’t exactly a surprise that Flip was fired in Minnesota; it didn’t seem like he and head coach Mike Zimmer had a great working relationship. I wonder how much damage Flip’s relatively short stay in Minnesota has done to the perception about him around the rest of the league. 

Because DeFilippo is still just 40 years old and had been seen as an up-and-coming offensive mind in the NFL. But his offense in Minnesota has floundered, especially recently, putting up just 17 points in the last two games after bringing in Kirk Cousins on a mega contract this offseason. 

The real question then circles around whether or not other teams are going to be calling for DeFilippo. As an offensive coach, it’s likely his desire is to continue to be a play caller. If he gets that opportunity elsewhere, he probably wouldn’t be too keen on returning to Philly to take a backseat to Doug Pederson. 

But if that opportunity to become an OC and play-caller doesn’t present itself, it would make sense for the Radnor High School product to be open to a return to Philadelphia in some capacity. Hey, maybe the Eagles could even bring him back this season in a Hue Jackson sort of role in Cincinnati. Although, that might not sit well with the guy currently in the OC chair. 

It is pretty telling that Eagles fans are calling for DeFilippo, a guy who has been running a meager offense that’s scored 21.7 points per game. That sort of shows how bad things have been in Philly this year with Groh as offensive coordinator.

While Doug Pederson deserves the brunt of criticism for the problems on offense this season, Groh is the OC and deserves his share too. Over these last three games, barring a huge offensive turnaround, there are going to be calls for Groh’s job. 

“I just come to work,” Groh said Tuesday afternoon. “I don’t really get involved with any of that stuff. Just trying to put a great plan together and try to win one game this week.”

Groh heard the news about DeFilippo’s getting fired shortly before his weekly press conference. Groh classified his former coworker as a good friend and said he feels for him, calling this an unfortunate part of the business. 

It might end up being unfortunate for Groh too. Because you have to think the Eagles would have at least some level of interest in bringing Flip back as a replacement.

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