The Philadelphia Eagles have fired offensive coordinator Mike Groh and wide receivers coach Carson Walch, according to a report from Jonathan Jones of CBS Sports. (Looks like Greg McElroy was right!)
This report comes one day after Doug Pederson definitively said Groh and Walch would return in their current roles for the 2020 NFL season. Then again, Pederson did create more ambiguity later on in his press conference by saying he was still evaluating his staff. Also, there’s this:
As I noted yesterday, Doug Pederson had yet to meet with owner Jeffery Lurie when he gave Groh and Walch a vote of confidence. He did today. Lurie had pretty much decided by December that he didn’t want either back, an NFL source said. https://t.co/yldY0riZwW— Jeff McLane (@Jeff_McLane) January 9, 2020
The Groh dismissal is one year overdue. It’s hard to parse exactly how much blame he deserves for the Eagles’ offensive struggles since Pederson calls the plays ... but Groh’s track record isn’t good and he failed to prove he was part of the solution. It was odd how the Eagles put so much emphasis on hiring top notch assistants — like Frank Reich and John DeFilippo — at the start of Pederson’s tenure only to replace them with automatic internal promotions.
It remains to be seen who’ll replace Groh. It’s possible the Eagles promote assistant head coach/running backs coach Duce Staley but that doesn’t help when it comes to bringing in some much-needed outside perspective.
Walch’s dismissal comes one year after he was promoted from his previous position of assistant wide receivers coach. Walch was originally hired to Pederson’s staff during the 2018 offseason.
The Eagles arguably had the worst group of wide receivers in the NFL in 2019; not a single player went over 500 receiving yards. Pederson and offensive coordinator Mike Groh were seen taking a more hands-on approach with the receivers around midseason so it’s hardly surprising to see Walch gone.
2020 will mark the fifth season in a row where the Eagles do not return their receivers coach from the previous season. A look back:
2020 - ?
2019 - Carson Walch - fired
2018 - Gunter Brewer - fired
2017 - Mike Groh - promoted to offensive coordinator
2016 - Greg Lewis - fired
2015 - Bob Bicknell - fired
One name to keep an eye on at wide receivers coach is Sanjay Lal, who was not retained by the Dallas Cowboys:
Sanjay Lal, who was not retained by the Cowboys, makes sense as a potential Carson Walch replacement. Eagles interviewed him in 2017. He’s also a Bob LaMonte client (same agent as Howie and Doug). https://t.co/TxssNm2fg0— Brandon Lee Gowton (@BrandonGowton) January 9, 2020
Moving on from Groh and Walch is the right move. Now the Eagles need to hire good candidates to replace them instead of just lazily promoting from within ... which is how they ended up in this situation in the first place.
UPDATE: Statement from Doug Pederson, via the team:
January 9, 2020
This situation wasn’t handled so smoothly, huh.