Vikings Fire John DeFilippo
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) - The Minnesota Vikings have fired offensive coordinator John DeFilippo after another disappointing loss in Seattle on Monday night.
DeFilippo, of course, was the Eagles quarterbacks coach during the team's run toward a Super Bowl LII title last season and the organization had tremendous respect for the Radnor High School product.
Philadelphia blocked DeFilippo from becoming the offensive coordinator for the New York Jets before the 2017 season when he was still under contract and likely would have elevated him to OC this year after Frank Reich got the head-coaching job in Indianapolis. DeFilippo, however, has head-coaching aspirations himself and was intent on finding a job where he would call plays in order to speed up that process.
In Minnesota, however, his boss was Mike Zimmer, who still has a 1970s mentality in what is a different era of football and recently complained of DeFilippo not running the football enough despite the fact the Vikings possess perhaps the worst interior offensive line in the NFL -- center Pat Eleflein and guards Mike Remmers and Tom Compton.
"Flip was trying to win football games," an NFL source told 973espn.com. "Mike is trying to win them a certain way."
The source also claims that the buffer in the Zimmer-DeFilippo marriage was former offensive line coach Tony Sparano, who was close with both parties. Once Sparano passed away in July of this year the relationship started to deteriorate.
Ironically, the Vikings elevated Kevin Stefanski to be the interim offensive coordinator and play caller, the team's quarterbacks coach who was passed over the OC job for DeFilippo once Pat Shurmur got the big chair with the New York Giants.
Stefanski, the son of former Philadelphia 76ers general manager Ed Stefanski, got his start in pro football with the Eagles as an intern and his first real job in the league as assistant to the head coach when Brad Childress left Philadelphia to become the head coach in Minnesota back in 2006.
Stefanski has since worn many hats with the Vikings, including assistant QBs coach, tight ends coach and running backs coach before taking over as the QB coach in 2017.
Already many Eagles fans are clamoring for the return of DeFilippo to Philadelphia as many have scapegoated Mike Groh, the current OC, for the Birds' offensive problems.
A change at coordinator in the short term is doubtful with the likelihood of Doug Pederson making a drastic change at this point very small. However, a DeFilippo return to the organization as a special assistant and revisiting things in the offseason could be a path forward,
That has to be a two-way street, however, and an NFL source says that DeFlippo still has head-coaching aspirations and believes many in the league will understand the situation he was in with Minnesota.
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JFMcMullen