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5 Things to Know About New Vikings OC John DeFilippo

Posted Feb 9, 2018

The Vikings on Friday announced the hire of John DeFilippo as their new offensive coordinator.

DeFilippo will be returning to Minnesota, where he and the Eagles just claimed Super Bowl LII. He participated in the Eagles championship parade in Philadelphia on Thursday.

Here are five things to know about DeFilippo, who will turn 40 on April 12.

1. A dozen and a half-dozen

The 2018 season will be DeFilippo’s 12th in the NFL, and the Vikings will be the sixth different professional franchise that he’s worked for in a full-time capacity.

That calculation doesn’t include coaching internships that DeFilippo held with the Carolina Panthers in 1997 and the Indianapolis Colts in 1998 while he was an undergrad student at James Madison University.

DeFilippo’s first opportunity as a full-time staffer in the NFL came with the New York Giants as offensive quality control coach from 2005-06.

DeFilippo also worked for the Raiders (quarterbacks coach from 2007-08), New York Jets (assistant quarterbacks coach in 2009), Raiders again (QBs from 2012-14), Cleveland Browns (offensive coordinator in 2015) and Eagles (QBs from 2016-17).

2. Overlap with Sparano and Murray

DeFilippo’s second stint in Oakland overlapped with Vikings offensive line coach Tony Sparano and running back Latavius Murray from 2013-14.

Sparano was assistant head coach and offensive line coach from 2013-14 and became interim head coach on Sept. 30, 2014.

Murray was drafted in the sixth round of the 2013 NFL Draft but spent all of that season on injured reserve. He returned to action in 2014 and rushed 82 times for 424 yards (5.2 yards per carry) and two touchdowns.

3. Track record with QBs

DeFilippo has spent most of his career working directly with quarterbacks and has done so recently with high draft picks.

DeFilippo coached 2014 second-rounder Derek Carr in Oakland, and he coached 2016 second-overall pick Carson Wentz the past two seasons in Philadelphia.

Vikings quarterback Sam Bradford, the No. 1 overall pick in 2010, was with the Eagles during the 2016 preseason before Minnesota acquired Bradford in a trade.

DeFilippo was credited with helping Wentz go from a 16-touchdown, 14-interception and 7-9 record during his rookie campaign to a 33-touchdown, seven-interception and 11-2 mark as a starter in 2017.

He also received credit for helping Nick Foles adjust after the injury to Wentz. Foles went 2-1 in the final three weeks of the regular season and hit another gear in the playoffs en route to claiming Super Bowl MVP honors.

4. As a coordinator

DeFilippo’s first opportunity as an offensive coordinator in the NFL occurred in 2015 with a Cleveland team about 75 miles from his birth city of Youngstown, Ohio.

Under his direction, the Browns recorded their first season with at least 4,000 passing yards and 1,500 rushing yards since 1986.

Cleveland ranked fourth in the NFL with 27 offensive possessions that lasted at least five minutes and ninth in third-down conversions (41.9 percent).

Josh McCown’s passer rating of 93.3 was the fifth-highest mark in Browns franchise history, and TE Gary Barnidge caught 79 of his 178 career passes and nine of his 14 career touchdowns (eight seasons) en route to the Pro Bowl.

5. Raised lots of places

DeFilippo is no stranger to the traveling lifestyle. His father, Gene, was offensive coordinator at Youngstown State in Ohio from 1975-79 and coached the offensive backfield at Vanderbilt from 1980-82.

Gene then transitioned to a career as an athletics administrator at University of South Carolina-Spartanburg (now USC-Upstate) from 1984-87, at Kentucky from 1987-93, at Villanova from 1993-97 and at Boston College from 1997-2012.

John played quarterback for Radnor High School and helped the team score two late touchdowns in a 16-14 win to snap the school’s 34-game losing streak. He followed by playing for the Dukes and was part of James Madison’s Atlantic 10 regular-season title in 1999.

Gene, who played quarterback for three seasons at Springfield College in Massachusetts, now works for Turnkey Sports and Entertainment’s Executive Search division.