Aaron Moorehead

Coaching Notes: Eagles, STC, Bears, Seahawks, Colts

Nick Sirianni continues to flesh out his inaugural Eagles staff, and it’s a young one. The team has hired Michael Clay to be their special teams coordinator, they announced over the weekend. Clay, still only 29, has been the assistant special teams coordinator with the 49ers since 2016. Philly’s new offensive coordinator Shan Steichen is only 35, new defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon is only 37, and Sirianni himself is 39. As such, it may be the youngest staff in the league. Clay got his coaching start with the Eagles as an assistant under Chip Kelly. When Kelly was fired by the Eagles Clay went with him to San Francisco and was then retained by Kyle Shanahan after Kelly was fired there.

Here are more coaching notes from around the league:

  • The Bears recently promoted Sean Desai to defensive coordinator to replace the retiring Chuck Pagano, and now they’re adding to his staff. The team has hired Bill McGovern to be inside linebackers coach, a source told Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune (Twitter link). McGovern coached in the college ranks for a couple decades, spending some time as Boston College’s defensive coordinator, before becoming a linebackers coach with the Eagles in 2013. He then was as a linebackers coach with the Giants from 2016-19.
  • The Seahawks hired Rams quarterbacks coach and passing game coordinator Shane Waldron to be their new OC after firing Brian Schottenheimer, and Waldron wasn’t the only one they poached from Sean McVay. Waldron is taking Andy Dickerson with him to be the run game coordinator in Seattle, the team announced. Dickerson had spent the past nine seasons as an assistant offensive line coach with the Rams.
  • Another addition to the Eagles’ staff, as they’ve hired Dennard Wilson to be their secondary coach, Rich Cimini of ESPN.com tweets. Wilson held the same position with the Jets most recently, and was also New York’s passing game coordinator. Philly will also be keeping wide receivers coach Aaron Moorehead as a holdover from Doug Pederson’s staff, Geoff Mosher tweets, so there will at least be a little bit of continuity on offense.
  • To replace Gannon, who had been the Colts’ cornerbacks coach, Indy has hired James Rowe to fill the same role, according to Joel Erickson of the Indianapolis Star. Rowe was most recently the cornerbacks coach at Appalachian State, and had previously been an assistant with Washington.

Eagles Hire Darren Sproles, Brent Celek For Personnel Roles

The Eagles added former pass-rusher Connor Barwin to their front office last month, and now they’re adding two other high profile former players. Philadelphia is hiring former running back Darren Sproles and former tight end Brent Celek, according to Les Bowen of the Philadelphia Inquirer

Bowen adds that they both got the title of personnel consultant. Sproles announced back in December that he’d be retiring after the year. The legendary pass-catching back spent the last six seasons of his career with the Eagles, and finished his career fifth all-time in all-purpose yards. Celek was an Eagle all the way through, spending all 11 seasons of his pro career in Philly from 2007-17. He retired after winning Super Bowl LII with the team.

The Eagles also made some other staffing moves, hiring strength and conditioning coach Ted Rath away from the Rams to be their new director of sports performance. Rath gained some fame as Sean McVay’s ‘get-back’ coach, and was later charged with sexual battery before being acquitted. A source told Bowen that the team did their due diligence, and felt comfortable with Rath’s explanation and acquittal.

Philly also promoted exec Jeremiah Washburn to the role of player personnel director. Interestingly, he’ll also serve in a coaching role as a “senior defensive assistant.” As Bowen points out, it’s a bit of an unusual arrangement for someone to have a scouting and coaching role at the same time. They also rounded out their offensive coaching staff, hiring Aaron Moorehead as receivers coach. He previously had been the receivers coach at Vanderbilt. The Eagles announced yesterday they wouldn’t hire an offensive coordinator.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFC East Notes: Quinn, Eagles, Giants

The Cowboys have a few significant contract issues on tap. Dak Prescott, Amari Cooper and Byron Jones are free agents, leaving the rest of the team’s crop as clear back-burner mainstays. Perhaps as a result of the high-profile glut atop Dallas’ early-offseason priority list, the team is unlikely to bring back Robert Quinn, Todd Archer of ESPN.com writes. The Cowboys traded for Quinn last year, allowing him to play out the contract he signed as a St. Louis Ram. Quinn, however, enjoyed a bounce-back season in Dallas, recording a team-high 11.5 sacks. That marked the second-most sacks the former All-Pro has recorded in a season. With Quinn only going into his age-30 season, despite being set for his 10th year, he will likely be in line for a nice third contract this offseason.

On the 2020 offseason’s first official day, let’s look at the latest coming out of the NFC East.

  • Joe Judge made another key hire to his staff, filling his defensive line coach role. The Giants HC is bringing Penn State defensive line coach Sean Spencer to the NFL, according to Paul Schwartz of the New York Post. Although Spencer has coached at the college level since 1995, this will be his first NFL gig. Prior to spending the previous six seasons with the Nittany Lions, Spencer coached Vanderbilt’s D-line from 2011-13.
  • Staying on the subject of NFC East D-line coaches, former Dolphins defensive coordinator Matt Burke is expected to move from a special defensive assistant role to the Eagles‘ defensive line coach, Tim McManus of ESPN.com notes. Burke, who served as Miami’s DC from 2017-18, joined Doug Pederson‘s staff last year. The Eagles fired previous D-line coach Phillip Daniels in mid-January.
  • Philadelphia’s staff may include a college-to-pro promotion. Buzz has formed around the prospect of Vanderbilt wide receivers coach Aaron Moorehead making the move to Philly and becoming the Eagles’ receivers coach, McManus adds. A former Colts wideout in the 2000s, Moorehead has spent the past 11 seasons making moves up the coaching ladder at the college level. He’s coached wideouts at Virginia Tech, Texas A&M and Vanderbilt over the past seven seasons.
  • The Eagles, however, recently lost one of their coaches to a college role. Offensive assistant G.J. Kinne accepted Tulsa’s offer to become its offensive coordinator, the program announced. A 31-year-old Tulsa product, Kinne spent one season with the Eagles.