Eagles Tab Groh as WR Coach
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) - Mike Groh evidently isn't afraid of a challenge and the veteran wide receivers coach will be taking over the same job for the Philadelphia Eagles, according to ESPN’s Adam Caplan.
The lack of production from the receivers was a major problem for Philadelphia last season and Greg Lewis paid for that with his job. Groh beat out former Bills receivers coach Sanjay Lal, who was also interviewed for the position.
Groh, 45, is the son of former New York Jets and long-time Virginia coach Al Groh and had a short stint in the NFL as a member of the Baltimore Ravens in 1996.
He started his coaching career in 2000 as an assistant for his father with the Jets. Groh followed his dad to Virginia in 2001 and spent time as the quarterbacks and receivers coach before taking over as the offensive coordinator in 2003.
The younger Groh went out on his own for the first time in 2009 when he took a graduate-assistant job under Nick Saban, one that would pay off after a year in Louisville as quarterbacks coach.
Saban then brought Groh back to coach receivers with the Crimson Tide for two seasons before Groh returned to the NFL as the WR coach of the Chicago Bears where he was credited with the development of Alshon Jeffery, a free agent who could be the WR1 the Eagles so desperately need if the club shows interest.
Groh spent last season as the receivers coach and passing-game coordinator with the Los Angeles Rams and has mentored receivers for nine of the 16 years he's been a coach, including four of his five NFL seasons.
A former Eagles player, Lewis shouldered the blame for the ineffectiveness of perhaps the worst receiving group in the NFL with the outside receivers, Nelson Agholor and Dorial Green-Beckham, particularly struggling.
Combined the duo of Agholor and DGB was hardly dynamic, amassing just 72 passes for 757 yards and four touchdowns, bad numbers for one typical top-tier outside WR in this league.
Even slot receiver Jordan Matthews, who finished with 73 receptions for 804 yards and three touchdowns, saw his play drop off this season, although much of that could be traced to a nagging late-season ankle injury.
From the outside, looking in, the 36-year-old Lewis seemed to straddle the fence between player and coach and may not have been advanced enough in his second career to help the young receivers who really needed to be drilled in technique work.
Groh will bring significantly more experience to the job which was the Eagles goal.
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at email@example.com or on Twitter @JFMcMullen