The common assumption was that Mike Groh would be fired at the end of the season. Three straight wins later and Groh has entered head-coaching conversations.
The Eagles offensive coordinator seemed to be the fall guy for the team’s woes less than a month ago. Philadelphia’s anemic offense had mustered just 19 total points in back-to-back losses to New England and Seattle.
Worse yet, the Eagles were mired near the bottom of the league in total offense. All of a sudden, they rank 12th overall in the NFL.
Carson Wentz’s resurgence — done mostly with a group of vagabond players — has the team ranked 12th in passing and 12th in rushing right now. The Eagles are averaging 358.1 yards and 23.4 points per game.
While Doug Pederson normally does the play-calling, it’s normal for him to get input from his entire coaching staff and the head coach relies heavily on Groh when it comes to the passing game. In fact, Groh is the team’s passing-game coordinator. Apparently, people are starting to notice the 48-year-old football lifer.
NFL.com reporters Tom Pelissero and Ian Rapoport included Groh in their recent list of “NFL head coach candidates to know” and put him under the heading of “other guys on the radar.”
Yes, Groh’s name comes all the way at the bottom of a deep list that includes more well-known commodities like Mike McCarthy, Ron Rivera and Josh McDaniels. Still, it’s worth noting that he’s emerging as a viable candidate.
Mike Groh Explains Carson Wentz’s Recent Success
What has sparked the recent run of success for both Carson Wentz and the offense?
Some are quick to point out an easier schedule — they have played underwhelming NFC East opponents like New York, Washington and Dallas — during their current three-game winning streak.
But there’s no denying the fact that the offense is clicking. The switch to a more up-tempo style of offense has been one reason for the change.
Another big one has been increased confidence in Wentz and his ability to lead the troops. Making it even more impressive is that the quarterback has done it with a bunch of practice-squad players.
“I think Carson has really just been consistent in his leadership, and certainly his performance has been terrific the last six weeks or four weeks or whatever it’s been,” offensive coordinator Mike Groh said. “He’s played at an extremely high level and guys are feeding off had it.”
The Eagles went so far as to highlight Wentz’s command of the huddle in a recent video posted to their official Twitter account. Groh, in typical coach fashion, was quick to credit the entire team for rallying around him. Especially the offensive line.
“But he’s not the only one. Offensive line is doing a great job; they’re taking care of him,” Groh said. “There are a bunch of guys that are making plays, giving opportunities to get the ball in their hand. They’re making plays and making guys miss out in space and creating on their own, which has made a big difference, too.”
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