February 09, 2018

Winners and losers from the John DeFilippo hiring in Minnesota

Eagles NFL
020918JohnDeFilippo Bill Streicher/USA TODAY Sports

John DeFilippo dances to 'Jump' by Kriss Kross while Carson Wentz runs through drills.

On Thursday night, it was reported that Philadelphia Eagles quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo was hired by the Minnesota Vikings to be their offensive coordinator.

As we noted back in December, DeFilippo was as good as gone, as his work with Carson Wentz and the Raiders' David Carr has been widely recognized around the league. DeFilippo might have gotten a head coaching job if not for the Eagles' Super Bowl run complicating teams' interest in him.

Instead, DeFilippo will join a team in the Vikings with a defensive-minded head coach, where he can run his own offense, and call the plays, something that was not going to be a possibility in Philly.

Let's take a look at the winners and losers from DeFilippo's hiring:

Winners

DeFilippo: Duh. He'll get to run his own offense and call the plays, as we just said. This is a significant career advancement for him, even if he did not get a head coaching job due in part to the Eagles' Super Bowl run.

The Vikings: DeFilippo may only be in Minnesota one year, as he will likely be a hot head coaching candidate next year, assuming his career doesn't take some kind of unexpected downward turn. Still, the Vikings are getting a very sharp, very detail-oriented coach who has proven that he can get the most out of his quarterbacks, from Carr, to Wentz, to now even Nick Foles. The Vikings have three quarterbacks in Case Keenum, Sam Bradford, and Teddy Bridgewater who are all headed to free agency. It will be interesting to see (a) who the Vikings' quarterback will be in 2018, and (B) what DeFilippo can do with them.

Eagles WR coach Mike Groh: One of the most improved areas of the Eagles' roster this season was at the wide receiver position, where guys started actually catching the football and making plays, unlike the previous two seasons. Part of that was better talent. Part of it, such as the progression of Nelson Agholor, can be attributed partly to Groh.

Groh has experience coaching quarterbacks (Louisville 2010), and he himself was a two-year starting quarterback at the University of Virginia before signing with the Baltimore Ravens in 1996 as an undrafted free agent. In a Q&A post, Chicago Tribune reporter Brad Biggs noted that when Groh left the Bears to join the Rams' staff a few years ago, he did so partly because he had hoped to become the Bears' quarterbacks coach, but was passed over for the job. It seems Groh would likely be interested in the quarterbacks job.

Eagles running back coach Duce Staley: With DeFilippo gone, and the possibility of offensive coordinator Frank Reich leaving for Indianapolis this offseason to be their new head coach, there could soon be an opportunity to fill Reich's job. Staley previously interviewed with the Eagles for their open head coaching job after Chip Kelly was fired, and has recently gotten sniffs as an offensive coordinator elsewhere. The Eagles could potentially promote from within.

Losers

The Eagles: It was inevitable that the Eagles were going to lose some pieces of their assistant coaching staff, and well, it has now happened, and more departures could still come. DeFilippo was clearly an excellent influence on the Eagles' quarterbacks, obviously with Wentz and Foles, and even third string quarterback Nate Sudfeld.

On the bright side, DeFilippo is leaving at a time when Wentz seems to have the mental side of the game down.

(On a side note, it's hard to call the Eagles "losers" about anything at the moment.)


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