The new head coach of the New Orleans Breakers was once a noted quarterback developer in the NFL. He has nearly 20 years overseeing the quarterback position. He was an NFL passing game coordinator as recently as 2021. It’s not all that long ago he was talked about as a potential NFL head coach. This is a huge win for the USFL.
The more important aspect here is the fact that DeFilippo was Kyle Sloter’s OC in Minnesota during the 2018 season. He later was signed by another team that DeFilippo coached quarterbacks at, the Chicago Bears in 2020. This connection is important for the Breakers and their QB1. Now the next big foot to drop here will be if he keeps the current staff in place.
An offense that was developed by DeFilippo and 2022 coordinator Noel Mazzone would be a very interesting mix. It would also be leaning on a lot of first hand experience with Kyle Sloter. This might be the first time ever in Sloter’s professional career he has an offense built around him. This also begs the question did Doug Pederson talk to DeFilippo about Sloter prior to signing him in Jacksonville?
Five seasons as an NCAA or NFL coordinator. He is most noted for his work with Carson Wentz in 2016-2017. During this stretch Wentz looked like the top quarterback in The League. He was garnering MVP consideration before he tore an ACL with just three games remaining in the regular season. After which back up Nick Foles took over, and ended up leading the Eagles to a Super Bowl victory.
After the season the Minnesota Vikings offered DeFilippo a role as their offensive coordinator under Mike Zimmer. Ironically this was the same team that Philly had defeated on their way to a Super Bowl Victory. The Vikings gave him just 14 weeks before they fired him following a Monday night loss.
He wasn’t out of a job long, as the Jacksonville jaguars lead by Doug Marone wanted him to run their offense. This was a play on his background with Nick Foles, the top free agent quarterback available at the time. Foles signed a 4 year $88 million deal. Foles was injured in week 1, but the job DeFilippo did with Rookie Gardner Minshew was unbelievable.
The rookie threw 470 passes but completed over 60% of them For 3270 yards, 21 touchdowns to just 6 interceptions. Adding 344 yards rushing. After the 2019 Season, DeFilippo was once again fired. However he landed on his feet with the Chicago Bears under Head Coach Matt Nagy. This time as the quarterbacks coach.
With coach John DeFilippo came Nick Foles once again. This time Chicago sign falls to compete for the starting job rather than handing him a big-time contract and anointing him the start it right away. Matt Nagy and Company were so happy with the way Coach DeFilippo performed in 2020 he was promoted to passing game coordinator in 2021.
Moving on From Foles
In 2021 he was again tasked with developing a rookie quarterback this time Justin fields. While the work the DeFilippo did at the time was not necessarily immediately evident When Fields got in the game, we are starting to see his influence now.
Having been let go after the 2021 season, many thought a return to Doug Pederson’s staff, this time in Jacksonville was in store. Only this never came to fruition instead DeFilippo was left sitting on the open market for the USFL to come calling. While he has never been a head coach at any level, he was once consider that highly throughout the NFL. Much like this league is a springboard for players, it is also viewed as a springboard for coaches.
Bringing in a man of his caliber with his résumé, is a win for the USFL, and spring football in general. Much like I said about Todd Haley just a season ago, It’s in the US FL’s best interest to get borderline NFL coaches. If they were to somehow watch one of their head coaches get hired by the NFL as a Head Coach, that would immediately make their head coaching positions highly desired buy some of the top names available. Which might already be the case given the hiring of DeFilippo.
Only time will tell if this is a successful move by the USFL. However, this diehard Eagles fan can tell you I am certainly highly encouraged by this move. I’m also excited to see what he does with his coaching staff, and ultimately how the office is affected by his presence.