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DeFilippo Describes 'Whirlwind' of Becoming Vikings Offensive Coordinator

Posted Feb 9, 2018

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — It’s likely that few days in John DeFilippo’s life will ever be as wild as Thursday was.

When the 39-year-old woke up, he was the Eagles quarterbacks coach headed to celebrate Philadelphia’s Super Bowl LII win with a championship parade.

And by the time he went to sleep, DeFilippo was the new Vikings Offensive Coordinator.

“It was an unbelievable day,” said DeFilippo, who was announced as Minnesota’s offensive coordinator on Friday morning. “How many guys can say they participated in a Super Bowl parade in the morning, and then became one of 32 play-callers in the National Football League that night? 

“That’s a pretty good deal,” DeFilippo added with a laugh. “It was a whirlwind, yes. But it was a whirlwind that was 100 percent worth it. Professionally and personally for my wife and I, I would say besides the day we got married, that was probably one of our better days as a married couple.”

DeFilippo, who is entering his 12th total season in the NFL, spent the past two seasons in Philadelphia as the Eagles quarterbacks coach. He also made stops in Cleveland, Oakland (twice) and with the New York Giants and Jets.

The Ohio native, who grew up as the son of a coach, said he was on his 18th or 19th move, something that he has embraced as part of the job.

But the opportunity to call plays for the Vikings was something DeFilippo noted was “very, very appealing.”

“It was obviously a special opportunity to work for [Vikings Head] Coach [Mike] Zimmer and learn from him and work for another great head coach in another opportunity for myself to call plays,” DeFilippo said.

Zimmer, who is 39-25 in four seasons with the Vikings, welcome DeFilippo on board to Minnesota.

"We are very excited to add John to our staff,” Zimmer said in a statement. “We took our time with the search and made sure we left no stone unturned to get the right fit.

“He has a track record of success and has proven to be a great teacher,” Zimmer added. “We feel John will have good chemistry with our team, and we are all eager to get to work."

DeFilippo will inherit an offense that ranked 10th in points per game (23.9) and 11th in yards per game (356.9) in 2017 as the Vikings went 13-3 and won the NFC North.

Latavius Murray was with DeFilippo for the first two seasons of the Vikings running back’s career in Oakland, and spoke with Vikings.com on Friday morning about the coach’s upbeat personality. 

“Obviously he was the quarterbacks coach, but I remember his energy was great,” Murray said. “Positive, very positive, liked to have fun. He was passionate.

“I knew [Raiders quarterback] Derek [Carr] liked him, that’s for sure,” Murray added. “I know everybody liked Flip. I’ve never heard anything bad about him or anybody who felt different, to be honest with you.”

Murray recalled practice sessions in which DeFilippo’s energy would be palpable as the Raiders would go through various scenarios for an upcoming game.

“I wouldn’t say it was a specific example, but say during the week we go through situations,” Murray said. “I believe Flip’s situation was that he handled red zone … so when different coaches give their presentations, you remember his being a little more energetic.

“You remember his being a little more upbeat and getting guys going and excited about the game plan we had going in that week,” Murray added.

DeFilippo said he had multiple options on where to coach in 2018, whether it was a potential head coaching job or the chance to call plays as an offensive coordinator.

But when the Vikings showed interest in bringing him to Minnesota, DeFilippo was all ears.

“I had an opportunity this offseason to go to a bunch of different places,” DeFilippo said. “Obviously I interviewed for two head coaching jobs that went in another direction, and there were a few other opportunities to be an offensive coordinator in the league … but when the Minnesota Vikings want to talk to you, that’s a whole different ball game.”