John DeFilippo

Eagles reach decision at offensive coordinator

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Eagles reach decision at offensive coordinator

Doug Pederson has made his decision. 

The Eagles are promoting wide receivers coach Mike Groh to offensive coordinator, a league source confirmed to NBC Sports Philadelphia on Tuesday. ESPN's Tim McManus first reported the move.  

On Monday, Pederson interviewed Groh and running backs coach Duce Staley for the vacant offensive coordinator job after Frank Reich became the Colts' head coach earlier this month. 

Groh, 46, just joined the Eagles last offseason, taking over for Greg Lewis. In his first year in Philly, he did a masterful job with the Eagles' receivers and had a bigger role in the offense and game-planning than a typical receivers coach. 

There had been a report that Pederson was thinking about not having an official offensive coordinator for the 2018 season. He already calls the plays. But it looks like he saw the value in filling Reich's old spot. 

Staley did get a consolation prize though. According to league sources, the longtime Eagle will get a new title of assistant head coach/running backs. Staley has been with the Eagles as a coach since 2011 and has been in his current role as running backs coach since 2013. He has previously expressed interest in moving up the ladder. ESPN's Josina Anderson first reported the new title for Staley. 

When Pederson hired Reich to be his offensive coordinator, he said he was interested in what Reich could bring to the downfield passing game. If that's still important, it would make sense for him to hire a receivers coach with a background as a quarterback over a former running back and running backs coach. 

The 2018 staff is starting to come together. Press Taylor is expected to be named the team's quarterbacks coach (filling in for John DeFilippo), Groh is OC and Staley will stay with the running backs. The last shoe to drop appears to be filling Groh's old post of receivers coach. 

Eagles set to promote rising star to QBs coach

Philadelphia Eagles

Eagles set to promote rising star to QBs coach

It looks like the Eagles are ready to promote one of the rising stars in their coaching department. 

After John DeFilippo's departure for the Vikings' offensive coordinator job, the Eagles are expected to promote Press Taylor to fill his old position as quarterbacks coach, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport on Monday.

Taylor, who just turned 30 last month, has been with the Eagles since the 2013 season when Chip Kelly hired him as an offensive quality control coach. Not only did Doug Pederson keep Taylor on his first coaching staff, he promoted him in 2016 to the team's assistant quarterbacks coach. 

It was actually Taylor who now-famously mined the "Philly Special" play from watching film of the Bears-Vikings game from the 2016 regular-season finale. 

Not all that far removed from his playing days at Marshall, Taylor became an offensive graduate assistant at Tulsa in 2011 and stayed there for just two seasons before Kelly hired him, starting Taylor's quick ascent to now being one of the most important position coaches on the staff. 

Taylor is obviously one of the youngest coaches on the staff, but he now has the job to help Carson Wentz continue to grow in Year 3 as he comes off an ACL and LCL tear. It'll also be Taylor's job to keep Nick Foles ready and to continue Nate Sudfeld's development. 

With Taylor's taking the quarterbacks coach job, that obviously rules out receivers coach Mike Groh, who would have also seemingly been a good fit. Groh has a background with the quarterback position and seemed open to the idea of one day coaching them again. 

After Taylor fills the quarterbacks coach opening, the Eagles still need to figure out how to replace Frank Reich at offensive coordinator. Groh could be a possibility there, but so could running backs coach Duce Staley

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.