The Jacksonville Jaguars are hiring former Minnesota Vikings offensive coordinator and Philadelphia Eagles quarterback coach John DeFilippo to fill their void at offensive coordinator. The team is scheduled to hold a press conference on Wednesday afternoon to introduce him, but what can fans expect from him as a play caller and designer?
I’ve reached out to a few people who have covered teams where DeFilippo was employed to get an idea of what to expect. Arif Hasan from The Athletic offered me this perspective on DeFilippo:
He’s a talented play designer who’s been pretty open about his philosophies and approach, but has had issue with balance and roster utilization. I think his offensive design didn’t always look at the particulars of the roster and maximize what the roster did well. He might have a tendency to pigeonhole players (ie Diggs as a screen/after-catch only guy) but otherwise does find a way to introduce variety into the schemes. He’s aggressive about passing the ball instead of running, which can run some people the wrong way. The offense should have been more productive than it was, and I think the issue was in part related to stalling in the red zone, something he was excellent at in Philadelphia as their red zone coordinator. Cousins had a great passer rating in the red zone but the Vikings ranked 23rd in TD% there. Not sure why but I think OC was an issue there. He regrettably avoided play action and seemed overreliant on shotgun sets.
There is some good and some bad mixed in there. It is worth noting that outside of his stint with the Vikings, and one season with the Cleveland Browns, the only other time DeFilippo has actually been a play caller was one season at the NCAA level with San Jose State, though their record did improve by four games with him as the offensive coordinator from the previous season.
Arif did a lot of work on DeFilippo prior to his first and only season with the Vikings, writing about his philosphy as an offensive mind and noting things like the fact that DeFilippo designed the Eagles redzone offense while he was their quarterback coach, ranking second overall in touchdown percentage in redzone situations.
He also noted the breakdowns he used to do for the Eagles official website. Check this one out below:
One of the big plusses of DeFilippo is he’s known as a teacher, which could be very important if the Jaguars do decide to draft a quarterback with their first round pick even though the hire will likely ramp up Nick Foles speculation.
Arif also coincidentally defended the heat DeFilippo was getting as offensive coordinator right before his ultimate firing, which you can read about here.