Vikings hire Eagles QB coach John DeFilippo to run offense
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Minnesota Vikings have hired Philadelphia Eagles quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo as their offensive coordinator.
DeFilippo replaces Pat Shurmur, who became head coach of the New York Giants. The 39-year-old DeFilippo spent two seasons with the Eagles after one year as offensive coordinator in Cleveland.
DeFilippo becomes the third offensive coordinator Vikings coach Mike Zimmer has had in five seasons on the job.
“We took our time with the search and made sure we left no stone unturned to get the right fit,” Zimmer said in a statement distributed by the team. “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.”
The deal was done on Friday, five days after the Eagles beat New England in the Super Bowl in Minnesota behind an MVP performance by Nick Foles. DeFilippo first met with the Vikings on Thursday, the day the Eagles rode in their raucous victory parade through Philadelphia.
Now he’ll work with Zimmer and general manager Rick Spielman to sort out the quarterback situation in Minnesota, with contracts for Case Keenum, Sam Bradford and Teddy Bridgewater all currently scheduled to expire next month.
With guidance from DeFilippo, offensive coordinator Frank Reich and head coach Doug Pederson, Foles found a rhythm in the playoffs after an initially rocky takeover for the injured Carson Wentz and led the Eagles to their first NFL title since 1960.
Wentz was an NFL MVP award contender with 33 touchdown passes in 13 games in his second season in the league, until tearing the ACL in his left knee. In three postseason starts, including a 38-7 victory over the Vikings in the NFC championship game, Foles passed for 971 yards, six touchdowns and threw only one interception for a 115.7 passer rating. In the Super Bowl against the Patriots, Foles threw for 373 yards and three touchdowns and even caught a pass for a score on a trick play.
Vikings quarterbacks coach Kevin Stefanski, who interviewed with Zimmer for the promotion, becomes a strong candidate to join Shurmur with the Giants as the offensive coordinator there. Former Seattle Seahawks and Vikings offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell was also considered along with Houston Texans quarterbacks coach Sean Ryan and New Orleans Saints tight ends coach Dan Campbell, according to various reports.
Under DeFilippo in 2015, the Browns gained more than 4,000 passing yards and 1,500 rushing yards in the same season for the first time since 1986. He also has five years as quarterbacks coach for Oakland on his resume over two different stints, including in 2014 when Raiders quarterback Derek Carr led all rookies in completions, yards and touchdowns and threw only 12 interceptions, the fewest by a first-year player in NFL history with at least 450 passing attempts.
DeFilippo is a native of Youngstown, Ohio, who was a four-year letter-winner as a quarterback at James Madison, where he led the team to a conference championship as a senior in 1999.