John DeFilippo

Eagles Not Planning To Re-Hire DeFilippo

Former Eagles quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo is back on the market, but it doesn’t sound like a reunion is in the works. On Thursday, head coach Doug Pederson told reporters that there are no plans to bring the offensive guru back into the fold. 

[RELATED: Vikings Fire John DeFilippo]

What I’ll say is John did a great job for me,” Pederson said (via Zach Berman and Les Bowen of the Philadelphia Inquirer). “He helped us win a world championship and then he had an opportunity. I love my coaches. I’m confident in the guys we have. At this time, no.”

Last year, DeFilippo was a hot candidate for both head coaching jobs and offensive coordinator vacancies. HC interviews with the Bears and Cardinals did not vault him all the way up the ladder, but he landed a coveted OC job in Minnesota. Unfortunately, his offense did not perform up to snuff in 2018, despite a strong group of receivers and the arrival of high-priced quarterback Kirk Cousins.

DeFilippo still figures to draw interest as an assistant this offseason, but he’s unlikely to have the same kind of buzz this time around.

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Vikings Fire OC John DeFilippo

Vikings offensive coordinator John DeFilippo has been fired, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). DeFilippo was a hot name in coaching circles after helping to guide the Eagles to a Super Bowl victory last year, but things have not gone according to plan in Minnesota. 

[RELATED: Vikings’ George Paton Remains Top GM Candidate]

After the Vikings were blown out in the NFC Championship game by the Eagles, they hired Philly’s quarterbacks coach to oversee their offense. They also gave Kirk Cousins a historic three-year, fully guaranteed contract with the expectation that he would greatly outperform Case Keenum. Cousins, so far, has not lived up to the deal, and the Vikings seem to think that DeFilippo is partly to blame.

Vikings quarterbacks coach Kevin Stefanski will replace DeFilippo as OC, according to Albert Breer of The MMQB (on Twitter). Stefanski becomes the fourth offensive coordinator to serve under Mike Zimmer since 2014, following Norv Turner (quit), Pat Shurmur (hired away by the Giants), and DeFilippo (fired).

The midseason change is far from ideal, but Stefanski has been with the team since 2006 and was a candidate for the OC position before DeFilippo was hired, so he’s qualified for the role. Stefanski was also a top candidate for the Giants’ OC post in February before the Vikings denied their request for an interview.

DeFilippo’s dismissal comes hours after an embarrassing 21-7 loss to the Seahawks. The defeat dropped their playoff odds to just 57%, according to FiveThirtyEight, ramping up the pressure in advance of this week’s tilt against the Dolphins. The good news here is that the Vikings still control their own destiny – wins over the Dolphins, Lions, and Bears would clinch their spot in the postseason.

This wasn’t a banner year for DeFilippo, but he figures to be a popular target for teams yet again this offseason. The 40-year-old may or may not get head coaching interviews, but he’ll probably be in the mix for multiple OC vacancies.

DeFilippo has been criticized for relying on the pass too much and ignoring the run game, but it’s worth noting that he was without star rusher Dalvin Cook for much of the fall. The offensive line has also been shaky and it’s fair to wonder whether GM Rick Spielman did enough to bolster the unit in the offseason.

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North Notes: Bell, Browns, Green, Cook

The Le’Veon Bell saga is coming to a head, as the Steelers running back must sign his franchise tender by November 13 to be eligible to play for any team this season. But as Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports writes, the CBA does not dictate that Bell must report by that day, only that he sign the tender. That means that Bell could sign the tender and not report until next Saturday, which would make him eligible to be added to the roster for next Sunday’s game — not that he would be playing in that game regardless — or he could just not sign the tender at all and skip the entire season.

The latter option is not considered likely at this time, but La Canfora says that if Bell does skip the entire 2018 campaign, the Steelers would strongly consider slapping the franchise or transition tag on him next offseason, which would of course set up another drama-filled battle. La Canfora further reports that no rival clubs called Pittsburgh at last week’s trade deadline in an attempt to acquire Bell.

Now for more the league’s North divisions:

  • When the Browns have hired a new head coach in recent seasons, they have used a search firm, but Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network (video link) says he would be surprised if the team, with respected GM John Dorsey now in charge, goes that route when it looks for another HC this offseason. Rapoport’s sources expect Dorsey to conduct the search himself, and they expect that he will do so very “secretly.” Rapoport says one name under consideration would be Josh McDaniels, who is reportedly open to revisiting HC opportunities (should another one come his way), and RapSheet also lists John DeFilippo, Mike McCarthy, and Lincoln Riley as potential targets.
  • Bengals WR A.J. Green is battling a toe injury, per Rapoport (via Twitter), who says that Green either has visited or will visit foot specialist Dr. Robert Anderson. There will be more clarity on the injury soon, and Rapoport says surgery remains on the table. Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets that Green is expected to miss time regardless of whether he has surgery.
  • Vikings WR Stefon Diggs will miss today’s game with a rib injury, per Rapoport (video link), though it is uncertain whether Diggs will miss any additional time (given that he expected to play today and was listed as questionable on the final injury report, it seems that he’ll be ready to go after Minnesota’s bye next week. Meanwhile, RB Dalvin Cook is expected to hit the field today, which will mark his first appearance since Week 4. Cook will be on a pitch count and is only expected to see 20 snaps or so, but when the team returns from bye, it could have Cook and Diggs at full strength.
  • The Packers signed punter Drew Kaser yesterday, but the team is not moving on from incumbent J.K. Scott at this time, per ESPN.com. However, it is still an open question as to whether Scott will be punting against the Patriots tonight.
  • We learned earlier today that Ravens HC John Harbaugh is on the hot seat as the team faces a critical divisional matchup against Pittsburgh this afternoon.

Vikings Rumors: DeFilippo, O-Line, Barr

John DeFilippo played a big part in the Vikings‘ quarterback search. The new Minnesota offensive coordinator began studying film of the team’s three previous quarterbacks — Sam Bradford, Teddy Bridgewater and Case Keenum — on his first morning with the team in mid-February, Ben Goessling of the Minneapolis Star Tribune notes. This process of finding a potential long-term option in Kirk Cousins also included scouting of QBs that weren’t Cousins or the Vikings’ free agent trio, per Goessling, who adds QBs coach Kevin Stefanski was also involved in this process, along with Rick Spielman and Mike Zimmer. DeFilippo and Cousins met at dinner the night before the new Minnesota starter signed his three-year, $84MM contract, per Goessling. Minnesota has not had a quarterback make it through three straight seasons as the primary starter since Daunte Culpepper in the early 2000s, and DeFilippo called the franchise’s signal-caller search as thorough as anything he’s been involved with in the NFL.

Here’s the latest from the Twin Cities:

  • Previously stationed at right tackle at Vikings OTAs, Mike Remmers took reps exclusively at right guard during one of the OTA sessions this week, Andrew Krammer of the Star Tribune reports. Third-year UDFA Rashod Hill, in turn, lined up at right tackle. This was the Vikings’ arrangement at the end of last season. Remmers worked as the Panthers’ starting right tackle from 2014-16. Tom Compton, who worked as the primary right guard last week, alternated at left guard with Danny Isidora, per Krammer. Slotting Remmers at guard would give second-round pick Brian O’Neill an easier path to playing time, but it’s uncertain what Remmers’ primary position will be this season.
  • Anthony Barr reported to the Vikings this week and did so after taking out an insurance policy, Krammer notes. He missed the first week of Vikes OTAs while he ironed out this policy, which will cover him for injury while he’s still attached to his rookie deal. Barr remains hopeful he and the Vikings can come to terms before training camp. Minnesota agreed to extensions with Everson Griffen, Xavier Rhodes and Linval Joseph in a 10-day span just as camp began last year, and it would make sense Barr — one of the team’s big re-up candidates this year — would be the top priority for a pre-camp deal.
  • Despite being a first-round pick, Laquon Treadwell has 21 receptions (and no touchdowns) in two years. However, the Ole Miss product is not categorizing 2018 as a make-or-break year, Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press notes. The Vikings cut Jarius Wright and have not re-signed Michael Floyd, potentially giving Treadwell a chance to move into the No. 3 wideout role. However, Minnesota’s Kendall Wright deal could impede that. Neverthless, it could be a stretch the Vikings pick up Treadwell’s fifth-year option in May of 2019 at this rate.

North Notes: Vikings, Patricia, Humphrey

New Vikings OC John DeFilippo is viewed as a rising star in the coaching world, and Minnesota is obviously high on the former Eagles quarterbacks coach, as it targeted DeFilippo as soon as former OC Pat Shurmur left for the Giants’ head coaching job. The Vikings were also willing to wait for Philadelphia’s season to be over before naming Shurmur’s replacement, which shows just how much they liked DeFilippo. Despite the hire, though, the Vikings denied the Giants’ request to interview Minnesota quarterbacks coach Kevin Stefanski for the New York OC gig, and Alex Marvez of SiriusXM NFL Radio suggests that there are two reasons for that (Twitter link). Obviously, the Vikings value Stefanski and want him around in 2018, but the team also thinks there is a good chance DeFilippo could get his own head coaching opportunity in 2019, so Minnesota views Stefanski as a potential replacement (after all, the Vikes did interview Stefanski for the OC position this year before hiring DeFilippo). However, Marvez reports that Stefanski only has one year left on his current contract, so he could become a coaching free agent in 2019.

Now for more from the league’s North divisions:

  • The Bears‘ offensive line will be one of their biggest priorities this offseason, and Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune says the team could use one of its top two picks in this year’s draft on an O-lineman. Of course, Chicago will also have to decide what it wants to do with guard Josh Sitton, who has a club option worth $8MM for 2018 (the Bears have until March 9 to exercise that option, and if they do not, Sitton will become a UFA). It is a tough call; on the one hand, Sitton is an accomplished player whose departure will make the team’s O-line situation even more dire, but on the other hand, he is an aging veteran and, if the Bears decline the option, Sitton will count only $666K against the cap in 2018. Biggs does not give an indication as to which way Chicago is leaning at this point.
  • In a piece that is well worth a read, Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press chronicles Matt Patricia‘s rise from a low-level assistant in New England to Lions head coach, a rise that was accelerated in 2012 when Detroit GM Bob Quinn — then the director of pro scouting with the Patriots — heard Patricia deliver a poignant speech to New England coaches and players about the recently-deceased Junior Seau.
  • Ravens cornerback Marlon Humphrey, whom the team selected in the first round of last year’s draft, was recently arrested for stealing a $15 phone charger, as Jamison Hensley of ESPN.com writes. Humphrey has a preliminary hearing scheduled for March 1 in Tuscaloosa County District Court, at which time a judge will determine whether to dismiss the case or to proceed. Humphrey turned in a strong rookie campaign, and Baltimore will rely on him heavily in 2018.

John DeFilippo Sheds Light On Minnesota Plans

Friday morning, former Eagles quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo was hired as the offensive coordinator in Minnesota to replace Pat Shurmur, who took the head-coaching gig with the Giants. In the afternoon, he addressed his plans for the team’s offense and noted a few opportunities in the league that were presented to him. John DeFilippo (vertical)

The 39-year-old coach said he interviewed for head-coaching positions in Arizona and Chicago and was requested by a few teams for the offensive coordinator positions, Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports“When the Minnesota Vikings want to talk to you, that’s a whole different ball game,” DeFilippo said. “It was obviously a special opportunity to work for Coach Zimmer and learn from him and work for another great head coach and another opportunity for myself to call plays.”

DeFilippo hasn’t called plays since serving as the Browns’ offensive coordinator in 2015. There was an opportunity for him to become the offensive coordinator in Philadelphia if current offensive coordinator Frank Reich became head coach in Indianapolis. He, however, would not call plays due to head coach Doug Pederson fulfilling that role.

With Sam Bradford, Case Keenum and Teddy Bridgewater all preparing to enter free agency, DeFilippo said athleticism in the pocket is a must, Tomasson reports (Twitter link). None of those passers are really known for their athleticism, but Keenum did show an ability to sidestep the rush during his breakout 2017 campaign.

DeFilippo also said he will incorporate elements of the Eagles offense while keeping the aspects that Minnesota did well in 2017, the Star Tribune Ben Goessling tweets.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Vikings Hire John DeFilippo As OC

The Vikings have finally replaced Pat Shurmur as their offensive coordinator. The team announced on Friday morning that Eagles quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo will take over as their new OC. The news was first reported by Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (Twitter link) on Thursday night.

We are very excited to add John to our staff,” Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer said in a press release. “We took our time with the search and made sure we left no stone unturned to get the right fit. He has a track record of success and has proven to be a great teacher. We feel John will have good chemistry with our team and we are all eager to get to work.”

Vikings brass had to wait ten days until after the Super Bowl to interview DeFilippo, in accordance with NFL rules. But, once the two sides met on Thursday morning, it didn’t take long for a deal to come together.

DeFilippo served as the Eagles’ QBs coach over the past two seasons, and the tenure ended as one of the most notable in the history of this job. Both Carson Wentz and Nick Foles had banner years, the former being the MVP frontrunner before his knee injury and the latter orchestrating one of the finest playoff performances in NFL history. The Eagles now face the prospect of losing both their QBs coach and OC, with Frank Reich set to interview for the Colts’ HC job Friday.

The Vikings interviewed five OC candidates to replace Shurmur, including incumbent QBs coach Kevin Stefanski and ex-Seahawks OC Darrell Bevell, but waited through the Super Bowl to meet with DeFilippo.

This could clear the way for Stefanski to join Shurmur with the Giants. Big Blue will need the Vikings’ permission to speak with Stefanski, but now that DeFilippo is moving to the Twin Cities, it appears likely the Vikings would allow the move that would bring upward mobility to the 35-year-old assistant’s career. Shurmur is said to be looking to hire someone to become the Giants’ OC and QBs coach.

The Eagles denied the Jets permission to speak with DeFilippo last year but green-lit a Vikings powwow. And it will lead to the former Browns OC leaving Philadelphia. Foles finished 28-for-43 with 373 air yards and four touchdowns accounted for in a Super Bowl MVP showing. Wentz’s 33 touchdown passes still ranked second in the NFL despite the games his ligament tears cost him.

While the Eagles had Doug Pederson and Reich working above DeFilippo, it’s fair to say the QBs coach played a key role in the dominant quarterback play the Super Bowl champions received this season. The Eagles may have even preferred DeFilippo to Reich to be their future OC, but he’ll soon get to work on Minnesota’s offense.

With the next Vikings OC being the top offensive-based mind within the franchise, DeFilippo will have a big say in whom the team chooses to play quarterback for them in 2018.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Latest On Giants’ Offensive Coordinator Vacancy

Vikings quarterbacks coach Kevin Stefanski is the Giants’ top target for their offensive coordinator vacancy, a source tells Alex Marvez of The Sporting News. Trouble is, the Vikings will not allow him to walk unless they are able to lure quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo away from the Eagles. If the Vikings block the Giants from hiring Stefanski, they’ll likely turn to Eagles running backs coach Duce Staley, who Marvez characterizes as “the frontrunner” for New York’s OC vacancy. Kevin Stefanski (vertical)

DeFilippo could come off the table for the Vikings completely if he is promoted to the Eagles’ own OC job. The Eagles already have Frank Reich in that role, but Reich is up for the Colts’ head coaching position and could be moving on. Apparently, that’s the outcome the Eagles are rooting for – Philly would reportedly like to move DeFilippo into Reich’s position, but they’re not about to fire Reich days after the franchise’s first Super Bowl victory.

In an indirect way, Josh McDaniels flaking on the Colts could cost the Giants their top choice for OC.

Vikings To Interview John DeFilippo

The Vikings officially requested permission to interview Eagles’ quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo about their offensive coordinator job, a source tells ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter (on Twitter). Minnesota will meet with DeFilippo on Thursday, according to Adam Caplan of SiriusXM (Twitter link).John DeFilippo (vertical)

It has been reported that DeFilippo is likely to stay in Philadelphia for a third season, but the Vikings will find out soon enough. If he stays, DeFilippo will probably earn a raise and possibly an elevated title, but he’d be unlikely to make OC money as a QB coach. Meanwhile, he’s blocked from ascending the ranks in a meaningful way thanks to the presence of OC Frank Reich. However, Reich is in the mix for the Colts’ head coaching position, so that could be an opportunity for DeFilippo to take the next step.

To date, the Vikings have interviewed four candidates to fill the position Pat Shurmur vacated.

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Eagles Prefer John DeFilippo To Frank Reich As OC?

Eagles quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo has been a candidate for head coaching and offensive coordinator jobs this offseason, but Philadelphia does not want him to leave. In fact, the Eagles may prefer to keep DeFilippo as the club’s offensive coordinator instead of incumbent Frank Reich, according to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk.John DeFilippo (vertical)

DeFilippo’s contract with the Eagles doesn’t expire until February 14, and Philadelphia is not allowing him to speak with other clubs until that pact officially concludes. That’s not being done out of spite, per Florio, but instead because the Eagles hope they can retain DeFilippo going forward.

Of course, with Reich already in place as team’s OC, Philadelphia has no way to promote DeFilippo aside from firing Reich (something that seems totally unlikely coming off a Super Bowl title). However, Reich is now reportedly being considered for the newly-created vacancy in Indianapolis, meaning the Eagles could have an open spot for DeFilippo if Reich lands with the Colts.

The 39-year-old DeFilippo interviewed for head coaching positions in Arizona and Chicago this offseason, and is still being considered for open offensive coordinator positions. The Vikings are willing to wait until DeFilippo’s contract with the Eagles expires before hiring an OC of their own, while the Giants have also been mentioned as a possible suitor. Notably, neither New York nor Philadelphia would offer DeFilippo true play-calling ability, while Minnesota would.

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