Jul 29, 2013; Napa, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders quarterback Matt Flynn (15) throws a pass under the supervision of quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo at training camp at the Napa Valley Marriott. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
The Cleveland Browns announced today that they have hired John DeFilippo as their offensive coordinator. DeFelippo replaces Kyle Shanahan in Cleveland, and his hiring leaves the Quarterbacks Coach position in Oakland vacant. DeFilippo, an Ohio native, has served two tours of duty as Raiders’ QB’s coach: the past three years under Dennis Allen (and Tony Sparano) and OC Greg Olson, and back in 2007 and 2008 under Lane Kiffin (and Tom Cable) and OC Greg Knapp.
DeFilippo’s first Raiders tour of duty was an abysmal failure, as his primary charge was the greatest draft bust in NFL history, Jamarcus Russell. His most recent tour of duty was somewhat successful despite the Raiders’ poor showing: he helped Terrelle Pryor and Matt McGloin play significant time and look like viable NFL quarterbacks, and was widely praised around the league for his work with rookie QB Derek Carr this past season. Carr is one of only seven rookie QB’s in NFL history to throw for over 3,000 yards and 20 TD’s.
With DeFilippo gone, new Raiders Head Coach Jack Del Rio and the Raiders front office must decide how best to fill the void created at the QB Coach position, a crucial role on a team seeking to groom and develop a potential franchise passer entering his second season. One option would be to simply add the “Quarterback Coach” title to Offensive Coordinator Bill Musgrave’s title, and let him do double duty, something he has done throughout his career.
Musgrave started his NFL coaching career as the Raiders QB’s coach in 1997, and was an OC/QB’s coach in Carolina, as well as in Jacksonville under Del Rio, as well as at the University of Virginia. He also was a quarterbacks coach last year in Philadelphia and has had the role in Atlanta – working with young Matt Ryan – as well as in Washington. This may be a viable option, especially if veteran QB Matt Schaub remains on the roster, as Schaub already acts as a de facto QB’s assistant, mentoring the young Carr. Schaub and Musgrave have history, as Musgrave was Schaub’s QB’s coach and Offensive Coordinator when he was an underclassman at the University of Virginia.
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But Del Rio may, and probably more likely will, choose to hire a professional QB’s coach. While he has numerous candidates to choose from among the ranks of retired NFL quarterbacks, college assistants, unemployed NFL coaches, and so on, his hires up to this point suggest he is interested in building a veteran coaching staff of coaches who have long NFL experience, especially ones who were former head coaches.
Between Bill Musgrave, Brad Seely and Mike Tice – his three confirmed assistant hires so far – there are 57 combined years of NFL coaching experience already on his staff not counting his own. So with that in mind, it’s likely he chooses from the ranks of current or former NFL coaches in choosing his quarterbacks coach. Here are a few possible options.
Next: Candidate #1: Craig Johnson