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.