Eagles lose valuable asset with John DeFilippo's move to Vikings

PHILADELPHIA -- The parade celebrating the Philadelphia Eagles' first Super Bowl championship had been over for just a few hours when ESPN's Adam Schefter broke the news that the Minnesota Vikings were hiring John DeFilippo, Philly's quarterbacks coach, to be their offensive coordinator.

It comes with the territory: Other teams are going to pull from a championship composition in an attempt to create one of their own. Nothing new there. And it's even less surprising considering the high level of success multiple quarterbacks on the Eagles had this season under DeFilippo's tutelage.

Carson Wentz made the leap in his second season and was a favorite for MVP before tearing his ACL and LCL in Week 14 against the Los Angeles Rams. DeFilippo and Wentz worked hard to make mechanical adjustments heading into Year 2, which helped Wentz take flight.

When Wentz was injured, DeFilippo, head coach Doug Pederson and offensive coordinator Frank Reich were charged with getting Nick Foles, who hadn't played meaningful snaps in more than a year, to a level that would allow the Eagles to continue to chase their championship goal. After some ups and downs over the first handful of weeks, Foles flourished, completing 73 percent of his passes with six touchdowns to one interception in the playoffs. Only two quarterbacks with at least 75 attempts had a higher completion percentage in a single postseason: Joe Montana (1989) and Troy Aikman (1993).

"Coach Flip, he's a grinder," Foles said of DeFilippo the day after winning Super Bowl MVP. "Barely sleeps. Fundamentals, giving us the game plan, giving us all our checks, extremely detailed. I'm grateful for him. He's done an amazing job this year. It's not easy when your franchise quarterback goes down, but the great thing about our team and our coaching staff is they work so well together and they do it all together. ... We're very fortunate as players to have such a great coaching staff."

During the lead-up to Super Bowl LII, DeFilippo was asked what his greatest point of personal pride was this season. His answer was surprising.

"[Third-stringer] Nate Sudfeld, in his first game action ever, setting an NFL record for completion percentage for a guy who threw 20-plus attempts in a game," he responded. Sudfeld went 19-of-23 in his pro debut against the Cowboys in Week 17. "We take pride in our room, and I take pride as a position coach to have all three guys ready to go."

DeFilippo was reminded that Wentz was nearly MVP and Foles was about to play in the Super Bowl.

"That goes back to the teacher part of it. We take pride in our organization of developing quarterbacks, and that's what we want to be known as," he said.

It's hard to argue with the work the Eagles' coaching staff did to that end this year. Now the Vikings get a piece of that. Their quarterback group -- whatever it looks like next season -- will be better off for it. And you can believe that DeFilippo will take some of Pederson's creative, aggressive playcalling along with him as well. Same could be said for Reich if he lands the Colts' head-coaching job. The Eagles' QB-centric offensive staff suddenly could have some holes to fill.

There are worthy candidates on staff -- Mike Groh as QB coach makes some sense -- and the Eagles still have two of the biggest keys when it comes to continued success at the position: Wentz and Pederson.

But the quality of the coaching staff was a big reason why the Eagles achieved what they did this season, and DeFilippo was among the best of the bunch. The next man in has some pretty big shoes to fill.