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Eagles hire the youngest coordinator in the NFL

Dave Fipp’s replacement is here.

NFL: Los Angeles Chargers at San Francisco 49ers Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The Philadelphia Eagles are hiring San Francisco 49ers assistant special teams coach Michael Clay as their new special teams coordinator, according to an article from the team’s official website.

News of the Eagles interviewing Clay emerged earlier this week. He was also said to be drawing interest from the New York Jets.

Here’s what we previously wrote about Clay:

Clay played linebacker at Oregon under Chip Kelly from 2009 through 2012. After spending the 2013 offseason as an undrafted rookie free agent with the Miami Dolphins, Clay reunited with Kelly on the Eagles’ coaching staff in 2014. Here’s an overview of his coaching experience thus far:

2014 — Philadelphia Eagles defensive quality control coach

2015 — Philadelphia Eagles assistant special teams coach

2016 — San Francisco 49ers assistant special teams coach

2017 — San Francisco 49ers assistant special teams coach/assistant strength and conditioning coach

2018-2020 — San Francisco 49ers assistant special teams coach

As you can see, Clay followed Kelly to San Fran and was able to stick around on Kyle Shanahan’s staff.

Here’s how the special teams units that Clay has been on have ranked in terms of Football Outsiders’ DVOA:

2014 — 1st

2015 — 10th

2016 — 17th

2017 — 11th

2018 — 14th

2019 — 12th

2020 — 23rd

It’s been some time since the Eagles’ special teams unit was a legitimate strength so it’d be nice to see Clay come in and fix that.

The 29-year-old Clay is now the youngest coordinator in the NFL. That distinction previously belonged to Carolina Panthers offensive coordinator Joe Brady, who is 31. Clay is the only coordinator in their 20s and he’s about four years younger than the next youngest special teams coordinator.

In case you were wondering, Clay isn’t the youngest coordinator in NFL history. Sean McVay became the Washington Football Team’s offensive coordinator before he turned 28 back in 2014.

Clay is just the latest addition to a relatively youthful coaching staff that the Eagles have assembled this offseason. Looking at their ages across the board:

  • Nick Sirianni (39) is the 7th youngest head coach.
  • Shane Steichen (35) is the 6th youngest offensive coordinator.
  • Jonathan Gannon (37) is the 4th youngest defensive coordinator.
  • Michael Clay (29) is the youngest special teams coordinator.

With the Eagles going through a “retooling” period, as Jeffrey Lurie described it, they seem to be hoping this young staff can grow together.