One of the secret weapons behind the Eagles’ recent Super Bowl title is looking for a new job. No doubt that Philadelphia has already placed a phone call.
The Jacksonville Jaguars and offensive coordinator John DeFilippo agreed to “mutually part ways” after just one season. The former Eagles quarterbacks coach — the guy most credited with helping develop both Carson Wentz and Nick Foles in 2017 — didn’t see his Philly success migrate down south to Florida where his Jaguars offense ranked near the bottom of the league.
Jacksonville finished 26th in three important statistical categories: points per game (18.7), total QBR (41.7), offensive efficiency (37.7). They were 20th in total offense, at 341.8 yards per game.
The failed experiment marks the second offense DeFilippo has failed to ignite after the Minnesota Vikings fired him last December for a lack of explosiveness. His Vikings’ team hadn’t scored more than 24 points in six straight games at the time of his departure. He was replaced by Kevin Stefanski, the Philly native who recently accepted a head-coaching gig with the Cleveland Browns.
DeFilippo’s hiring in Jacksonville was supposed to rekindle the magic between him and Foles. It never materialized as Foles shattered his collarbone 11 snaps into his Jaguars debut and then got benched in favor of Gardner Minshew. Remember, the 41-year-old was one of the hottest names in coaching following the Eagles’ win in Super Bowl LII.
Why DeFilippo Makes Sense to Return to Philadelphia
Within minutes of news breaking that John DeFilippo had gotten the ax in Jacksonville, the rumors of a potential Philadelphia reunion flooded Twitter.
Why not? He had guided the Eagles to the league’s seventh-best offense in 2017, one that averaged 28.6 points and 365.8 yards per game.
DeFilippo’s phone was surely ringing, too. There is absolutely no reason for the Eagles not to check in on their former offensive coordinator to see where his head is at. The common assumption is that Doug Pederson wants to retain his duties as the lead play-caller in Philadelphia. However, that doesn’t mean whoever the team hires as their new offensive coordinator won’t have heavy input.
Pederson has long been known to run a collaborative ship where all voices get heard. In fact, the process for how the famed “Philly Special” play came to fruition was the result of all the offensive coaches submitting their favorite plays and advising on the final gameplan together.
DeFilippo, for example, was one of the loudest voices in the room since he was in charge of the team’s red-zone concepts. Philadelphia converted on 64-percent of their chances inside the red zone in 2017, with Carson Wentz throwing 23 touchdowns against zero interceptions inside the 20-yard line.
This is how DeFilippo described his offensive philosophy and mindset in the red zone during a 2018 interview with the Vikings’ official website:
“We’re going to have a touchdown-check down mentality in the red zone,” said DeFilippo. “We’re going to throw the ball in the end zone if it’s there and it’s not there we’re going to check the ball down. The two best traits of red zone teams in the National Football League is number one, your ability to run the football in the red zone, because there’s safeties are going to be on you. There’s 22 guys in a tight space. Our backs are going to have to do a great a job of running through the unblocked players and then that’s the nature of NFL red zone football.”
It’ll be interesting to see what happens with DeFilippo moving forward. The Eagles might be his last shot at building his reputation back up.
Jim Caldwell, Kevin O’Connell in Mix for Eagles OC Vacancy
It’s been a pretty quiet search for the Eagles’ new offensive coordinator. Less than a week after Mike Groh was fired, only three names have emerged as serious candidates.
The consensus seems to be the franchise might promote from within the organization and name Duce Staley to the role. He was previously passed over in 2018 despite being named associate head coach. While it’s true Staley coaches the running backs, no one is sure how much say the 44-year-old has in the play-calling. It doesn’t seem to be a huge part of his workload.
Meanwhile, the only other candidates — aside from the recent rumors about John DeFilippo — to be mentioned were former Redskins offensive coordinator Kevin O’Connell and former Indianapolis Colts head coach Jim Caldwell.
On Monday, a report surfaced that the Los Angeles Rams were set to name O’Connell as their new offensive coordinator. Caldwell is technically still quarterbacks coach for the Miami Dolphins but he’s been on a leave of absence for health issues since July 13, 2019.
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