Press Taylor

NFC East Notes: Eagles, Redskins, Cowboys

While the Eagles might not name an offensive coordinator, they have likely found their next quarterbacks coach. Assistant quarterbacks coach Press Taylor is expected to be promoted to the primary role, tweets Ian Rapoport of NFL.com. Taylor will replace John DeFilippo, who was hired as the Vikings’ new offensive coordinator over the weekend. The 30-year-old Taylor joined Philadelphia under former head coach Chip Kelly, but was kept on staff when Doug Pederson came aboard in 2016. Next season, he’ll work with a rehabbing Carson Wentz and — if he’s not traded — Super Bowl MVP/backup Nick Foles.

Here’s more from the NFC East:

  • Defensive back Su’a Cravens applied for reinstatement on Monday, and the Redskins are expected to meet with the former second-round pick at the combine, reports John Keim of ESPN.com. Cravens, of course, didn’t play in 2017 after “retiring” — and then reversing his decision — before the season began. One talent evaluator tells Keim Washington could likely recoup a third-round pick by trading Cravens — that is, if the versatile defender didn’t come with any off-field questions. Given his saga over the past six months or so, Cravens would likely garner far less than a Day 2 selection.
  • The Cowboys have yet to fill their vacant tight ends coach position, and the club has interviewed two other coaches about the role, according to Todd Archer of ESPN.com. Longtime collegiate offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier (who recently took a job with LSU), and Brian Pariani, who has served as a tight ends coach for multiple NFL teams, are both in consideration for the job, per Archer. Dallas also lost one assistant today, as defensive staffer Turner West left the club to join Austin Peay, tweets Archer.
  • Dane Brugler of the Dallas Morning News identified six prospects the Cowboys may want to look into either trading up or down for in the first round of the draft. Atop the list of players to trade up for was Virginia Tech linebacker Tremaine Edmunds, whom Brugler believes would require the Cowboys, who hold the 19th overall pick, to move into the top 12 selections. Brugler also pointed to Alabama wide receiver Calvin Ridley and Washington defensive tackle Vita Vea as trade-up candidates. As for players to trade down for, of note was South Dakota State tight end Dallas Goedert, who Brugler believes the team could groom as a replacement for Jason Witten.
  • The Giants have several ways to open cap space this offseason and SNY’s Ralph Vacchiano goes over players who could end up being salary-cap cuts. Veterans Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie ($8.5MM cap hit in 2018), Brandon Marshall ($6.1MM cap hit), and Janoris Jenkins ($13MM) were the most notable of the potential cuts. Vacchiano also listed Eli Apple, who the team took in the first round of the 2016 draft, as an option to clear cap space. Apple would have a $4.13MM cap hit next season.

Coaching Rumors: Judge, Lions, Fins, Eagles

Other teams besides the Colts were interested in adding Patriots special teams coach Joe Judge, Mike Reiss of ESPN.com reports, but Judge and the Pats are finalizing a deal that will keep him in New England. The 36-year-old assistant will be the team’s special teams coordinator for a fourth season. The sides are ironing out minor details, but Reiss reports the deal to retain Judge is imminent, as Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reported earlier this week. Judge was a possible defection candidate if McDaniels had followed through on taking the Colts’ HC job.

Here’s the latest from the coaching circuit as we head into the offseason’s first official weekend.

  • Staying with special teams, the Lions are not going to overhaul their ST staff as they did their defensive coaching contingent. ST coordinator Joe Marciano and assistant ST coach Devin Fitzimmons will return next season, Alex Marvez of the Sporting News reports. An NFL special teams coach since 1986, Marciano has been with the Lions since 2015.
  • Detroit continued to configure its defensive staff on Thursday, hiring Bo Davis to instruct its defensive linemen, the team announced. Davis will join the Lions after spending most of the past two decades on Nick Saban‘s staffs at LSU, the Dolphins and Alabama. However, Davis’ Crimson Tide tenure — one that included coaching current Lions lineman A’Shawn Robinson, ended in 2016 when he resigned from Alabama due to NCAA violations. Davis, however, resurfaced at Texas-San Antonio last season and coached first-round defensive end hopeful Marcus Davenport.
  • The Eagles have lost their quarterbacks coach, but they are prepared to fill the void internally. Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer expects the team to move receivers coach Mike Groh to quarterbacks coach and assistant quarterbacks coach Press Taylor to WRs coach (Twitter link).
  • Former Dolphins safety Renaldo Hill will now work with the team as a coach, being hired as Miami’s assistant defensive backs coach. The team notes this is the 10th former Dolphins player to serve as a Fins coach. Hill, who played 10 NFL seasons and spent three seasons (2006-08) in Miami, has coached at Wyoming and the University of Pittsburgh since 2012. This will be his first NFL coaching gig.
  • Prior to hiring Tom Bradley to be their new defensive backs coach, the Steelers interviewed South Florida DBs coach Blue Adams, Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette tweets. Mike Tomlin coached Adams while he was an assistant at the University of Cincinnati.
  • Despite the Texans blocking the Broncos from interviewing Wes Welker, the Broncos will see their six-year strength and conditioning coach depart for Houston. Luke Richesson will become the Texans’ strength coach, 9News’ Mike Klis reports, with the team set to give him a bigger role than he had in Denver.

Zach Links contributed to this report.

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.