Eagles Officially Add Groh to Coaching Staff
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) - The Eagles made it official on Monday, bringing in Mike Groh as the team’s wide receivers coach.
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.
“We are excited to add Mike Groh to our coaching staff,” Eagles coach Doug Pederson said. “Mike brings with him a vast array of experience coaching wide receivers in the NFL and college. Over his career, he has demonstrated a great ability as a teacher and as a motivator and we look forward to him getting started in Philadelphia.”
He replaces the jettisoned Greg Lewis as the next step in a coaching career that began 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.
EAGLES SIGN HAMILTON
The Eagles also signed defensive tackle Justin Hamilton to a futures/reserve contract on Monday, a 6-foot-2, 315-pound Louisiana-Lafayette product who has had cups of coffee with Buffalo, Seattle, and Green Bay after entering the league as an undrafted free agent.
Hamilton joins the depth chart at a position that needs bodies with free agent to be Bennie Logan potentially moving on and veteran Taylor Hart making the conversion to offensive tackle.
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JFMcMullen