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Coaching Staff Changes Small Price To Pay For Success

Posted Feb 28, 2018

INDIANAPOLIS - The 2018 Philadelphia Eagles will be different than the group that brought the Lombardi Trophy home to Philadelphia. Just look at the coaching staff.

The Eagles stayed in-house to fill the positions that became open when offensive coordinator Frank Reich left to become head coach of the Indianapolis Colts and quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo took the offensive coordinator job in Minnesota.

Wide receivers coach Mike Groh was promoted to offensive coordinator and Press Taylor made the jump from offensive quality control/assistant quarterbacks to quarterbacks coach. Duce Staley added the title of assistant head coach after interviewing for the offensive coordinator spot.

"I couldn't have gone wrong with either (Groh) or Duce," head coach Doug Pederson said at the NFL Scouting Combine. "I talked to both of those guys at length. I felt comfortable, obviously, with Mike being in the coordinator position. Sharp mind. He was involved in our passing game quite a bit. He's a former quarterback. It just made a nice fit for me.

"I respect the heck out of Duce and what he's done, what he's brought, how he's managed that running back room for the last two years of some of the dynamic personalities in that room. He does an outstanding job too with the run game with Coach (Jeff) Stoutland. The way it worked out I can keep Duce in that running back room and give him a little more game plan responsibilities on both the run and the pass and try to increase his role a bit. I feel very blessed to have them both."

Taylor was a quarterback in college at Marshall who started his coaching career at Tulsa before joining the Eagles as an offensive quality control coach in 2013. He's worked closely with the quarterbacks and wide receivers, adding the title assistant quarterbacks coach in 2016 before taking the reins of the position for the 2018 season.

"He's sharp, the way he details his work, the reports he puts together for me, for Frank (Reich). The way he studies, he prepares, he's sharp. He sees things, defensively, from a breakdown standpoint that are going to help the quarterbacks," Pederson said. "He's got a mind for the game, obviously. You talk about players being football junkies, he's one of those coaching junkies that just loves ball and loves to study the game."

Pederson and the Eagles still need to bring on a wide receivers coach. Pederson took his time last year before hiring Groh, who was instrumental in developing former first-round pick Nelson Agholor and incorporating rookie Mack Hollins into the offense. Pederson is looking at candidates from both the pro and college ranks.

"I want to make sure the guy is right. And now that the bar is high, Groh came in and did an outstanding job for us, I want to make sure whoever that person is, they're talking, speaking the same language that we are," Pederson said.

Pederson understands that success on the field will result in losing bright coaches to other jobs. It's a small price to pay but one that Pederson must mitigate by developing coaching prospects.

"It's part of the business, just like players. Teams are going to cherry-pick our roster. That's just the way it works. Teams are cherry-picking our coaches. That's just the way it works. I have to do my due diligence and have a pipeline of coaches that I'm comfortable with to make these decisions and to promote guys so you're not constantly bringing in one-year coaches, two-year coaches. You're bringing in guys who have been around your system," Pederson said.

"It's hard to replace good coaches, but I feel like I've got really good, young coaches that have bright futures and I know one day I'm going to lose those two at some point. I can't worry about that right now. We just have to keep building and keep working."

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