Eagles Lose Long-Time Assistant to Lions, Players Mourn Kobe Bryant

Kobe Bryant

Getty Former Lakers legend Kobe Bryant was a huge fan of the Philadelphia Eagles.

The Philadelphia Eagles are officially looking for a new special-teams coordinator. Dave Fipp was granted permission to interview with the Detroit Lions last week and now he’s joining their coaching staff.

Fipp was originally hired by Chip Kelly in 2013 and spent eight seasons in Philly as special-teams coordinator. His move to Detroit reunites him with Dan Campbell who overlapped Fipp for two seasons (2011-12) when the two were a part of the Miami Dolphins organization. The Lions named Campbell their new head coach on Jan. 20.

The Eagles’ special-teams units had been regressing at a rapid pace since 2017, according to DVOA (Defense-adjusted Value Over Average). Philly ranked 22nd in 2020, 19th in 2019, and 15th in 2018 — a significant drop-off from second in 2016 and first in 2014. Fipp has coached special teams for 14 years in the NFL.

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Duce Staley Turned Down Coordinator Job

Fipp follows another long-time Eagles assistant to Detroit after Duce Staley took a job in Detroit. The 45-year-old coach will hold the same title he did in Philadelphia as assistant head coach and running backs coach.

There was a common belief that the Eagles wouldn’t promote Staley, but a new report throws a few ounces of water on that theory. According to The Inquirer‘s Paul Domowitch, Staley was offered the offensive coordinator job in 2018 but turned it down because the Eagles wouldn’t allow him to call the offensive plays. Philly hired Mike Groh instead once he turned it down.

The franchise added “assistant head coach” to his job title to appease him. Now he’s moving on with the hope of calling plays and moving up the NFL coaching ranks. Staley was asked how involved he was in helping Jalen Hurts grow as a quarterback on Oct. 2 and he provided the following answer:

We’re all involved. We all have our hand on the game plan. Any time you have a dynamic player like him and we can squeeze him in for a couple plays, we all get creative and we all try to go cook up something nice. Of course, you have to go back to his film and try to see what he did well and try to incorporate it with your team.

Eagles, Players Remember ‘Mamba Forever’

The one-year mournful anniversary of Kobe Bryant’s untimely death happened on Tuesday (Jan. 26) and the sports world posted touching tributes nationwide. Bryant, who grew up in Ardmore, was a diehard Philadelphia Eagles fan and even gave the team a pep talk en route to their 2017 Super Bowl title.

Many of the players from that team talked lovingly of what Bryant meant to them, including newcomer Darius Slay who chose a No. 24 midnight green jersey to honor him. Team captain Rodney McLeod. shared a beautiful picture of Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, who also died. The Eagles’ organization honored him on Twitter,  too.

“As an athlete, I’ve never been impacted more even though we played different sports,” tight end Zach Ertz last year, via CBS Philly. “Then I sat back and reflected on the impact that someone that I really never met had on me. To me, he was immortal.”


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