Greg Lewis

Coaching Notes: Raiders, Eagles, Kelly, Shanahan

The Raiders announced that they have hired former Chargers defensive coordinator John Pagano as their assistant head coach-defense. Pagano will be reuniting with head coach Jack Del Rio, as the duo worked together in New Orleans.

The 49-year-old had been coaching in San Diego since the early 2000s. After serving as the Chargers linebackers coach, Pagano was promoted to defensive coordinator in 2012, and he ultimately held that position for five seasons. However, following the hiring of head coach Anthony Lynn, it looked like Pagano’s tenure with the organization was coming to an end. That was made abundantly clear last week after the Chargers hired Gus Bradley as their new defensive coordinator.

Ken Norton Jr. will remain the Raiders’ defensive coordinator, but Pagano will certainly help a unit that struggled at times during the 2016 season. The Raiders ranked 26th in yards allowed, and they finished with the fewest sacks in the NFL.

Lets take a look at some more coaching notes from around the league…

  • Eagles wide receivers coach Greg Lewis is expected to take the same position with the Chiefs, reports Alex Marvez of Sporting News (via Twitter). The former NFL wideout joined the Eagles coaching staff last offseason after serving as a Saints’ offensive assistant during the 2015 season.
  • CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora would be “very, very surprised” if Chip Kelly ultimately replaces Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan (Twitter link). This move would have been a bit ironic, as Shanahan is set to replace Kelly as the head coach of the 49ers. Instead of moving to Atlanta, La Canfora suggest Kelly could catch on with the Patriots as a consultant/assistant.
  • Speaking of Shanahan, Falcons coach Dan Quinn says the coordinator is set to meet with the 49ers on Saturday. “I’m really proud of him because it’s not easy to do when there is a lot of speculation and things going outside of your world to stay dialed in,” Quinn said (via Michael Cunningham of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution). “It’s one that should be commended. Being on point and going for it, he totally nailed that.”
  • The Redskins have promoted Chad Englehart to head strength and conditioning coach, reports Jake Kring-Schreifels of Redskins.com. Englehart has served as the team’s assistant strength and conditioning coach over the past seven seasons. The organization hired Kavan Latham to fill Englehart’s previous role.

Coaching Rumors: Bills, Jags, Raiders, Ravens

Although Anthony Lynn has long been viewed as the favorite to take over as the Bills‘ head coach, team ownership has been extremely impressed by Panthers defensive coordinator Sean McDermott, according to Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com (Twitter link). Indeed, Buffalo is now in something of a “holding pattern” as Lynn and McDermott interview elsewhere, tweets Vic Carrucci of the Buffalo News. Lynn has been linked to every head coaching job that remains open, while McDermott has drawn interest from the Chargers and 49ers in addition to the Bills, as PFR’s 2017 Head Coaching Search Tracker shows.

Here’s more on the 2017 hiring cycle:

  • The Jaguars will retain defensive coordinator Todd Wash under new head coach Doug Marrone, but nearly every other member of the defensive staff is being let go, reports Michael DiRocco of ESPN.com. Defensive assistant Mike Rutenberg is the only other defensive coach who will remain on board. Jacksonville had 24 coaches on staff at the end of the regular season, and that number figures to be reduced, tweets Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Times-Union.
  • Ken Norton Jr. will remain the Raiders‘ defensive coordinator, per Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link). Head coach Jack Del Rio assumed play-calling duties midway through the 2016 season, and Oakland ultimately finished 23rd in defensive DVOA. While Norton Jr. will stick around, defensive backs coach Marcus Robertson has been fired, according to Alex Marvez of the Sporting News (Twitter link).
  • Former Buffalo offensive coordinator Greg Roman could potentially join the Ravens staff in some undefined role, per La Canfora (all Twitter links). Baltimore recently announced that offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg will return for the 2017 campaign, so Roman — who has remained in contact with head coach John Harbaugh — could join the Ravens in a run-game director capacity.
  • The Eagles have fired wide receivers coach Greg Lewis, tweets Charles Robinson of Yahoo! Sports. Lewis spent just one season as a coach with Philadelphia (after having spent the 2003-08 seasons with the club as a player). Current Bills WRs coach Sanjay Lal is of “strong interest” to the Eagles, reports Adam Caplan of ESPN.com (Twitter link).
  • The Browns announced that they’ve begun to restructure their defensive staff under new coordinator Gregg Williams, parting ways with defensive backs coach Louie Cioffi, inside linebackers coach Johnny Holland, assistant defensive backs coach Cannon Matthews, and outside linebackers coach Ryan Slowik. Cleveland also fired offensive line coach Hal Hunter.

Eagles Hire John DeFilippo As QBs Coach

THURSDAY, 10:24am: The Eagles have officially confirmed the hiring of DeFilippo as their quarterbacks coach. The announcement comes on the heels of the club naming 15 assistants, including new offensive coordinator Frank Reich, to Pederson’s staff on Wednesday.

WEDNESDAY, 9:05am: The Eagles don’t have an offensive coordinator in place yet, but they’re planning to bring the Browns’ former offensive coordinator to their staff in another role, per Mike Garafolo and Peter Schrager of FOX Sports (Twitter link). The FOX duo reports that Philadelphia is hiring John DeFilippo as its new quarterbacks coach.John DeFilippo (vertical)

[RELATED: Browns part ways with OC John DeFilippo]

It has been a busy few weeks for DeFilippo since the 2015 regular season ended. After serving as the Browns’ offensive coordinator in 2015, his hold on his job became tenuous when the club fired head coach Mike Pettine. As the Browns went through the head coaching search process and ultimately hired Hue Jackson, DeFilippo spoke to the 49ers about their head coach or offensive coordinator position, and also interviewed with the Rams for a spot on their staff.

While DeFilippo didn’t land in San Francisco or Los Angeles, and was let go by the Browns, he’ll end up in an interesting role in Philadelphia. The Eagles’ hiring of Doug Pederson as their new head coach received mixed reviews, but Pederson is putting together an impressive staff, with Jim Schwartz set to run the defense, and DeFilippo potentially paired with Frank Reich on the offensive side of the ball.

A Monday report indicated that Reich, the Chargers’ former offensive coordinator, was expected to secure the same position in Philadelphia, and he still appears to be on track for that job. He’ll have a formal interview within the next 24 hours, and it “would be an upset” if he’s not hired by the Eagles, tweets Adam Caplan of ESPN.com.

DeFilippo, who previously served as a quarterbacks coach for the Raiders and Jets, coaxed a respectable 236.4 passing yards per game out of the Browns this year, despite having to work with three different – and hardly elite – starting quarterbacks, in Josh McCown, Johnny Manziel, and Austin Davis. Reich, meanwhile, was let go by the Chargers due to the team’s ineffective running game, but he did just fine with the team’s aerial attack — Philip Rivers led the NFL in completions, racking up nearly 4,800 yards passing to go along with 29 touchdowns.

Of course, it remains to be seen who DeFilippo, and potentially Reich, will be working with at the quarterback position in Philadelphia in 2016. Sam Bradford is the incumbent starter, but he’ll be eligible for free agency this winter, and it’s not clear if the club intends to franchise him or extend him before he hits the open market.

Former Eagles wide receiver Greg Lewis is also under consideration for a role on Pederson’s coaching staff, though nothing is finalized yet, a source tells Caplan (Twitter link).

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Eagles Hire 15 Assistants

5:46pm: The Eagles have made Reich’s hiring official. They’ve also named 14 other assistants to posts. Seven of those coaches are holdovers from Chip Kelly‘s staff. Here’s the list (unless otherwise specified, the names come courtesy of the Eagles’ website):

  • Eugene Chung, offensive line/tight ends/running game
  • Phillip Daniels, defensive quality control/assistant defensive line
  • Dave Fipp, special teams
  • Ken Flajole, linebackers
  • Matthew Harper, assistant special teams
  • Tim Hauck, defensive backs/safeties
  • Greg Lewis, wide receivers (Twitter link via ESPN’s Adam Caplan)
  • Justin Peelle, tight ends
  • Jim Schwartz, defensive coordinator
  • Duce Staley, running backs
  • Jeff Stoutland, offensive line
  • Press Taylor, offensive quality control/assistant quarterbacks
  • Cory Undlin, defensive backs/cornerbacks
  • Dino Vasso, defensive quality control/assistant secondary

On the heels of these moves, the Eagles released offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur and linebackers coaches Rick Minter and Bill McGovern from their contracts, according to Caplan (on Twitter). They let go of previous D-coordinator Billy Davis on Monday, per Caplan (Twitter link).

1:40pm: The Eagles have reached an agreement with Frank Reich to make him their new offensive coordinator, according to Jason La Canfora of CBSports.com, who reports (via Twitter) that it’s a “done deal.” Reich had been scheduled to have a formal interview with the team today, and Adam Caplan of ESPN.com had suggested “it would be an upset” if he wasn’t hired (Twitter link).Frank Reich

[RELATED: Eagles hire Jim Schwartz as defensive coordinator]

Reich, recently fired as the Chargers’ offensive coordinator after two seasons leading San Diego’s offense, interviewed for the same position on Adam Gase‘s Dolphins staff, but Miami ultimately chose Clyde Christensen as their new OC.

Had he become the Dolphins’ offensive coordinator, Reich wouldn’t have called the team’s plays (Gase will do that), and it looks as if he won’t handle that responsibility in Philadelphia either. New head coach Doug Pederson indicated during his introductory press conference on Tuesday that he expects to call offensive plays in 2016.

In San Diego, Reich was let go in large part due to the Chargers’ ineffective running game, but he did just fine with the team’s aerial attack — Philip Rivers led the NFL in completed passes in 2015, racking up nearly 4,800 yards passing to go along with 29 touchdowns.

Injuries have plagued the Chargers over the last couple years, and health problems on the offensive line likely contributed to the struggles of first-round running back Melvin Gordon, but Reich took the fall for the offense’s regression. In 2014, Reich’s first year as offensive coordinator, San Diego went from second in offensive DVOA to 11th. The team slipped to 15th this season, and the Chargers also went from scoring nearly 25 points per game in 2013 to just 20 by 2015.

In addition to reaching a deal with Reich, the Eagles have also reportedly agreed to hire former Browns offensive coordinator John DeFilippo as the club’s quarterbacks coach. The new additions to Pederson’s offensive coaching staff likely spell the end of Pat Shurmur‘s time in Philadelphia, despite the fact that the new head coach said on Tuesday that Shurmur would receive consideration for the OC role.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.