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Vikings hire John DeFilippo as offensive coordinator

Ben Goessling, Star Tribune (Minneapolis) on

Published in Football

The Vikings' new offensive coordinator is coming to Minnesota fresh off a Super Bowl parade.

According to an NFL source, the team is hiring Eagles quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo, who interviewed with Vikings general manager Rick Spielman and coach Mike Zimmer in Philadelphia after the Eagles' Super Bowl parade on Thursday.

DeFilippo, who was the Browns' offensive coordinator under Mike Pettine in 2015, was the Eagles' QB coach the last two seasons, where he worked with Carson Wentz during his first two years in the league and helped the North Dakota State product become a MVP candidate in 2017.

The 39-year-old DeFilippo beat out Vikings quarterbacks coach Kevin Stefanski, who was thought to be the team's other leading candidate to replace Pat Shurmur. Stefanski, who has been with the Vikings since 2006, could now follow Shurmur to New York to become the Giants' next offensive coordinator. If the Vikings allow Stefanski to leave, it would mean DeFilippo would likely need to find a quarterbacks coach -- the first of several significant decisions he'd need to make at the position.

Case Keenum and Sam Bradford are set to become free agents next month, and Teddy Bridgewater could also hit the open market, if his time on the physically-unable-to-perform list does not prevent his 2017 contract from tolling. Spielman said last week the Vikings' new offensive coordinator would play a major role in the team's upcoming decision at the quarterback position.

"He'll be heavily involved in that," Spielman said. "But the way that we structure everything is that everyone has a part of that process in the decision, and myself, coach Zimmer, our scouting department and all of our coaches. Anytime we're making major decisions, we have a systematic approach that I feel is very thorough to get through so that you can make the best decisions possible and this will be no different, whoever comes in."

Like Zimmer and Spielman, the 39-year-old DeFilippo grew up as the son of a coach, born in Youngstown, Ohio, while his father Gene was the offensive coordinator at Youngstown State University. Gene DeFilippo later worked at Vanderbilt and Kentucky before becoming the athletic director at Villanova in 1993. DeFilippo, like Stefanski, went to high school in the Philadelphia area, before playing quarterback at James Madison.

 

His first NFL job came in 2005 as an offensive quality control assistant for the Giants. DeFilippo's first quarterbacks coach job came in 2007, when he started two years with the Oakland Raiders during Jamarcus Russell's tumultuous time with the team.

Mark Sanchez became the next high draft pick DeFilippo coached as a rookie, with a 2009 Jets team that went to the AFC Championship Game, and he returned to the Raiders for three seasons from 2012-14, spending a year with Derek Carr before going to Cleveland with Johnny Manziel. His work with Wentz in Philadelphia, as part of an Eagles offense that finished third in the NFL in points in 2017, likely raised his stock enough for him to land another coordinator job with the Vikings.

DeFilippo had interviewed with the Bears for their head coaching job last month, and was thought to be a candidate for the Colts' job (along with Eagles offensive coordinator Frank Reich) after Josh McDaniels decided to stay in New England. His contract wasn't set to expire with the Eagles until Feb. 14, but the team decided to grant the Vikings permission to interview DeFilippo on Thursday, and the Vikings made a decision to hire him the same day.

(c)2018 Star Tribune (Minneapolis)

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