EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. –The Vikings have checked one box on their offseason to-do list: hire an offensive coordinator.
The team announced Friday the hiring of Eagles quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo as its newest play-caller to replace Pat Shurmur, who accepted the position of Giants head coach last month.
DeFelippo expressed excitement for working with the Vikings offense, although Minnesota's starting quarterback for 2018 has yet to be determined. Three of the quarterbacks currently on the roster – Case Keenum, Sam Bradford and Teddy Bridgewater – have contracts that are set to expire next month. DeFilippo weighed in on the topic with Twin Cities media members via conference call Friday afternoon.
When asked about the traits he looks for in a quarterback, DeFilippo didn't skip a beat.
"I'll tell you what, I said this in my interview and I say this all the time. I said this in my media sessions in Minneapolis at the Super Bowl – character is number one for me," DeFelippo said. "If you have character at that position, you have a chance to succeed. If you don't have it, you have zero chance to succeed. So number one, we are going to look for a person that is going to represent our football team and conduct himself the way we want him on and off the football field. That is very, very important.
"Number two, the three most important attributes of playing the quarterback position are decision making, timing and accuracy," DeFilippo continued. "We are going to heavily research into those three factors with whoever is the quarterback next year in Minnesota and really dig into those three areas. Finally, it's a guy that shows some form of leadership. You don't need to be a rah-rah guy all the time, but you need to show some form of leadership so other guys will follow you, look up to you and when times get tough, will play for you. All of those things I just mentioned are very important components for the quarterback position."
DeFilippo has worked with a number of talented quarterbacks during his career, including in his most recent role. In Philadelphia, DeFilippo coached Carson Wentz, the 2016 second-overall pick, as well as Nick Foles, who took over in Week 14 of this season when Wentz suffered a torn ACL. Foles stepped in admirably, leading the Eagles through the playoffs and to a Super Bowl LII victory. He became the third quarterback in NFL history to win Super Bowl MVP honors after not starting for the team in Week 1.
DeFelippo also coached 2014 second-rounder Derek Carr in Oakland.
When asked by a media member if athleticism is an important quality for a quarterback to have, DeFilippo said that it's "part of it."
"Athleticism is a unique trait for a quarterback; there are different types of athleticism for a quarterback," DeFilippo explained. "There are guys like the Michael Vick types and those things. Then there are guys that have great athleticism moving their feet in the pocket that extend plays.
"I am not a big believer in quarterbacks that are sticks in the mud back there. They're in cement back there at seven-and-a-half yards deep," DeFilippo added. "Our quarterbacks are going to need to show some form of athleticism, yes."
View images of Vikings new offensive coordinator John DeFilippo from his days with the Eagles, Browns, Raiders and Jets.
Whether or not the Vikings re-sign a quarterback currently on the roster or bring in someone new to the club, DeFilippo said he will "have some say" in the decision.
He self-identified as a team player and said he plans to do whatever he's asked as far as researching and evaluating players.
"I am going to leave no stone unturned. Like I said, we talked about it last night, it is going to be a collaborative effort," DeFilippo said. "I've been through this situation before searching for Derek Carr and Carson Wentz. I've had some experience in this situation in trying to find your quarterback to lead your football team.
"As much or as little of my input that they want I will give them," he added. "But I know whatever information I give them will be very educated and very researched."