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Eagles announce front office changes, including the additions of Brent Celek and Darren Sproles

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Hey, those names sound familiar

Pittsburgh Steelers v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images

The Philadelphia Eagles officially announced changes to the 2020 coaching staff on Thursday and now they’re announcing some changes to the front office. Here’s an overview.

EAGLES FRONT OFFICE

TIM HUNKELE

Previously: Minnesota Vikings coordinator of rehabilitation/assistant athletic trainer

Currently: Eagles director of sports medicine

Tom Hunkele joins the Eagles as the team’s director of sports medicine after spending the last 14 seasons with the Minnesota Vikings, where he served as the coordinator of rehabilitation/assistant athletic trainer. In his role with the Vikings, Hunkele assisted in the evaluation and care of all injuries sustained and helped to implement proactive treatment and rehabilitation programs. This will mark Hunkele’s second stint in Philadelphia, as he worked with the NovaCare Rehabilition staff from 2000-05. During that stretch, Hunkele served as a physical therapist in the offseason and as an assistant to the trainers from the preseason through the end of the season. In 2019, Hunkele was recognized as the Tim Davey Assistant Athletic Trainer of the Year for the NFC. He was also part of a Vikings staff that was honored by their NFL peers as the 2017 Athletic Training Staff of the Year. A native of Reading, PA, Hunkele graduated from Duquesne University in 1998 with a bachelor’s degree in athletic training and remained at the school to earn his master’s in physical therapy while serving as a graduate assistant to the head athletic trainer.

TED RATH

Previously: Los Angeles Rams director of strength training and performance

Currently: Eagles director of sports performance

Ted Rath has been hired by the Eagles as the team’s director of sports performance and brings 11 years of NFL experience to Philadelphia. Most recently, Rath spent the last three seasons with the Los Angeles Rams, beginning his stint with the Rams in 2017 as the team’s head strength and conditioning coach before being promoted to director of strength training and performance in 2018. In 2017, Rath was named the Strength Coach of the Year by the Professional Football Strength and Conditioning Coaches Association, an award voted on by strength and conditioning coaches around the NFL. That season, according to Football Outsiders, the Rams finished as the healthiest team in the NFL based on adjusted games lost due to injury. Prior to his time in Los Angeles, Rath spent one season as the assistant strength and conditioning coach for the Miami Dolphins (2016) and seven seasons in the same role with the Detroit Lions (2009-15). Rath played linebacker at the University of Toledo from 2003-06 and went on to serve as the assistant director of strength and conditioning at his alma mater in 2008 before entering the NFL.

JEREMIAH WASHBURN

Previously: Eagles advanced projects coordinator

Currently: Eagles director of player personnel/senior defensive assistant

Jeremiah Washburn, who has 18 years of NFL experience in both coaching and scouting roles, first joined the Eagles front office during the 2019 offseason as an advanced projects coordinator. He will now serve as the director of player personnel/senior defensive assistant. Prior to coming to Philadelphia, Washburn served as an offensive line coach for the Miami Dolphins (2016, 2018), Chicago Bears (2017) and Detroit Lions (2009-15). Before his transition to coaching in the NFL, Washburn spent six seasons with the Baltimore Ravens as a personnel assistant (2003-04) and area scout (2005-08) after originally entering the league as a football operations assistant with the Carolina Panthers (2002). Washburn played guard at the University of Arkansas and began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at his alma mater (2000-01), where he also earned an MBA in 2002.

CONNOR BARWIN

Previously: Retired NFL player

Currently: Special assistant to the general manager

BRENT CELEK

Previously: Retired NFL player

Currently: Eagles personnel consultant

DARREN SPROLES

Previously: Eagles running back

Currently: Eagles personnel consultant


THOUGHTS

  • The Eagles reportedly shook up their medical staff for the third year in a row by not retaining director of high performance Shaun Huls and director of rehabilitation Shireen Mansoori. Now the Eagles are also adding some new faces to the staff in Hunkele and Rath.
  • Here’s how the Vikings ranked in Football Outsiders’ adjusted games lost from 2013 through 2018 (2019 data not posted yet): 11th healthiest, 8th, 12th, 30th, 11th, and 12th. So, only one real bad year in there. Also, notable players like Adrian Peterson, Teddy Bridgewater, and Dalvin Cook bounced back from significant injuries while Hunkele served as a coordinator of rehabilitation in Minny. Encouraging track record.
  • Here’s how the Rams ranked in Football Outsiders’ adjusted games lost during Rath’s first two seasons in LA (2019 data not posted yet): 1st healthiest and 4th. Good to see the Eagles, who’ve had way too many injury issues, plucking medical staff people from teams that have been able to stay healthy (relatively speaking). As for some Rath background not mentioned in his bio, this should be noted:

A Ventura County Superior Court jury found Los Angeles Rams strength and conditioning coach Ted Rath not guilty on three counts of misdemeanor sexual battery Friday. According to reporting by the Ventura County Star, Rath had been accused of touching a neighbor on her genitals while she slept. He was facing a year in prison for each count, along with lifetime registration as a sex offender. Rath, who is better known as the “get-back coach” for Sean McVay, has been on a leave of absence since his arrest on Jan. 15, just five days before the NFC Championship game against the New Orleans Saints. The arrest stemmed from an incident on June 15, 2018.

  • The Eagles added Jeremiah Washburn — yes, Jim Washburn’s son — to their front office last year. He’s previously worked under Jim Schwartz. With Matt Burke getting promoted, Marquand Manuel getting hired, and now Washburn getting promoted, it’s clear that Schwartz does indeed have some influence within the organization. And not just when it comes to coaching but player personnel as well. All three of those guys have Schwartz ties ... and so does Rath.
  • When Joe Douglas was the Eagles’ vice president of player personnel, Andy Weidl was his No. 2 with the “director of player personnel” title. Now Washburn is the No. 2 scouting guy behind Weidl at No. 1. Washburn will also assist in coaching the defense in some capacity. Versatile role.
  • Barwin’s hire was previously announced by the team. It’s cool to see he’s back at the NovaCare Complex. He’s already been seen scouting draft prospects at the Shrine Bowl and the Senior Bowl.
  • Like Barwin, Celek was also seen at the college all-star games. Now we officially know he’ll be joining the team, as will Sproles. Will Doug Pederson be tempted to sign Sproles out of the front office during training camp? Hopefully not! Seriously, though, it’s cool to see guys with a lot of clout like Celek and Sproles being in the building. I wonder if they’ll be quasi-coaches/personnel guys kind of like how Brian Dawkins was when he was working in Philly’s front office a couple years ago.