He is not here to grab the headlines or gobble up the credit. Mike Groh, the Eagles' offensive coordinator after a season coaching the wide receivers, has collaboration and teamwork on his mind.
And winning, of course.
"The thing about Coach Groh is that he is all about doing what's best for the team," said wide receiver Nelson Agholor, who thrived under Groh in the 2017 season. "He's a great communicator and he just has a way with people. He's a big part of what we do and I think he makes everyone around him better."
Groh met the media on Tuesday at the NovaCare Complex for the first time since his promotion to offensive coordinator after Frank Reich accepted the job as the head coach in Indianapolis. Groh brings with him a vast amount of coaching experience, a strong relationship with the coaching staff, and, perhaps most important, trust built with the locker room after an extremely successful season working with the wide receivers and integrating, for example, newcomers Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith into the passing game, revitalizing Agholor's career, and teaching young receivers Mack Hollins and Shelton Gibson the ways of the NFL.
All of those players benefited from working with Groh, who was often seen in the NovaCare Complex cafeteria early in the morning sharing breakfast with his players and going through the game plan for that week.
"He was able to create a great relationship with all of us and it made us a very close group," Hollins said. "He's a very patient guy, a teacher, and he made it simple for us. I see him the same way overseeing the offense. He will relate to all of us and he will do it in a way that we can all understand."
Groh isn't here to change the offense. Some tweaks here and there, yes. Having his voice heard? Absolutely. Working arm in arm with head coach Doug Pederson and the offensive coaching staff? A must.
The goal is for the Eagles to move seamlessly to this iteration of coaching staff, which features Groh in a new position, Press Taylor bumped up from quality control coach to quarterbacks coach, and new faces coaching the wide receivers – Gunter Brewer (Hollins' former position coach at the University of North Carolina) and Carson Walch. To do that, the Eagles are going to keep doing what they did last year when they led the NFL in scoring until quarterback Caron Wentz went down with a knee injury in December. The Eagles want to keep defenses guessing and they think they can do that with a variety of personnel packages employed to take advantage of matchups on the field.
"It's our philosophy and it all starts with Coach (Pederson)," Groh said. "We want to be multiple in what we do and utilize our personnel and create matchups that we feel are advantageous and continue to build on what we did last year."
Groh described his relationship with Pederson as "excellent," one that is evolving. "The transition has been smooth. I'm very fortunate to be here working for Coach. He's super sharp, so he's been really helpful.
"It's not my offense. This is our offense. It all starts with Coach. We've got a tremendous coaching staff here. I'm really fortunate to be able to work with some of the best coaches in the league."
The goal is to "stay ahead of the defenses" in the NFL, something the Eagles obviously did last year. They raised the stakes with the run-pass option calls last season, something that aided both Wentz and Nick Foles through the Super Bowl run. Groh, a quarterback at the University of Virginia and a former offensive coordinator there, says he sees the game "through the eyes of the quarterback." That's helpful. The Eagles are going to throw the ball more than they run it this season in the pass-first NFL. And Groh, a fast-rising coach in this league, is going to offer his opinions and Pederson is going to value that input and the Eagles, with so many pieces in place, should have success from the get-go on offense, whether it's Wentz – who upped his activity in practice to throwing in two-on-two situations on Tuesday -- under center on September 6 against Atlanta or whether it's Foles, the Super Bowl Most Valuable Player.
In his first press conference as offensive coordinator, Groh was calm and informative as he answered questions for about 13 minutes. Nobody is here to reinvent the offense for the Eagles. It's a matter of being better across the board, of understanding that defenses are going to counter the RPO-style attack that dominated in two of the three postseason games. How do the Eagles stay a length ahead of the competition and take advantage of a plethora of options in the playmaking department working behind a deep and talented offensive line?
That's where Groh comes in.
"He's going to have us prepared for everything," Hollins said. "There's going to be a lot of trust on both sides. And when we're called on to make plays, we have to do our jobs. If we do our jobs, we're going to be just fine. We're going to play hard and we're going to have fun doing it. We're just going to go out there and do our thing, play ball."