PHILADELPHIA – The Eagles have made plenty of changes on the offensive coaching staff since Doug Pederson arrived in 2016, some out of necessity when Frank Reich and John DeFilippo left for career advancements after Super Bowl LII, and others due to perceived performance issues like Mike Groh and the revolving door at receivers coach.
This week it was revealed that senior offensive assistant Rich Scangarello and senior consultant Marty Mornhinweg would be one-and-doners after a disappointing 2020 campaign.
Because the 4-11-1 finish was by far Pederson's worst and the coaching changes in the wake of Groh didn't work out many have pointed to a title as some kind of revelation.
Moving forward it's 'Pederson must have an offensive coordinator.'
Instead of just replacing Groh, something that likely would have happened if the Eagles could have convinced a James Urban to leave Baltimore, perhaps Graham Harrell to depart the college ranks, or gotten permission to interview Mike Kafka, Pederson made the mistake of using a more modern description for his coaching staff, one more representative of the true hierarchy and the fact that, as the play-caller, Pederson himself has always been the real OC.
From a bookkeeping standpoint, Press Taylor was promoted to passing game coordinator along with his duties as the quarterbacks' coach while Scangarello, the former Denver OC, was brought in as the senior offensive assistant.
The passing game part of things was also buttressed by Mornhinweg's return and Andrew Breiner as a pass game analyst, which was more of a research position.
As for the offense as a whole, Duce Staley remained the assistant head coach/running backs coach, who was also in charge of the team's developmental program for younger players and took over the interim head coach role when Pederson was quarantined with COVID-19. Jeff Stoutland also remained the run game coordinator as well as the offensive line coach.
Quarterback Nate Sudfeld gave us a bit of an inside look into the passing game part of things when talking last summer.
"I really don’t feel like it’s changed," he said. "Doug obviously still has the strongest voice and has a lot of great insight and is really involved."
Taylor ran the meetings, according to Sudfeld.
"Press really kind of runs the meetings and does an amazing job as he’s done the last couple of years," the veteran backup said. "But more so than having orders from a bunch of different coaches, it’s a lot of good dialogue and discussion, and then we’ll bring it all together and decide, ‘Hey, should we stamp this change. Should we change this? Should we do this, this way?’
"We talk about it, we kind of all are able to see how it would work and then decide together."
If you rewind to the 2018-2019 Eagles coaching staff the real definition was Groh serving as passing game coordinator and Stoutland being the run game coordinator. Where Groh garnered more power was as the filter between Pederson and all of his offensive assistants in what remained a collaborative approach that Pederson likes when it comes to game-planning.
The day-to-day teaching responsibilities of the position coaches are clear and obvious. The impacts on game days not as much but SI.com's EagleMaven confirmed the game-planning pie through multiple sources.
Using the 2018-19 staff as an example, Taylor was in charge of the red-zone package, now-deposed WR coaches Gunter Brewer and Carson Walch put their stamps on third-down plays, tight ends coach Justin Peelle was responsible for drawing up short-yardage and goal-line ideas, and Staley was given domain over Carson Wentz's designed movement plays and the screen game.
Groh, like Reich before him, was a heavy part of the two-minute and hurry-up offenses and cobbled all the ideas together before submitting them to Pederson for approval, and voila, a game plan was created.
In 2020, Groh's duties as passing game coordinator and the filter for all the offensive coaches were split between Taylor and Scangarello, with the former handling those filter duties.
When it comes to game-planning this season, Pederson talked about subtle tweaks that would have drawn on Scangarello's perceived expertise with the play-action game and Mornhinweg's recent experience in Baltimore with the running game and Lamar Jackson, what was supposed to be the clear path toward dual-threat rookie Jalen Hurts when you talk about the read-option game and some red-zone packages were installed.
In a last-ditch effort to get Wentz out of his funk, Pederson allowed both Taylor and Scangarello to call plays for a short period, the latter in a more consistent fashion with two-minute and hurry-up situations.
So here's what was going on from 2018 through 2020 from a job description standpoint when it came to game-planning:
Filter (between Pederson and rest of the offensive coaches): Groh > Groh > Taylor
Passing Game Coordinaor: Groh > Groh > Taylor
Running Game Coordinator: Stoutland > Stoutland > Stoutland
Hurry-Up/Two-Minute Offense: Groh > Groh > Scangarello
Red-Zone Package: Taylor > Taylor > Taylor
Third-Down Plays: Brewer > Walch > Aaron Moorehead
Short-yardage/Goal line: Peelle > Peelle > Peelle
Designed Movement/Screen Plays: Staley > Staley > Staley
Developmental Program: Staley > Staley > Staley
For those who want real change moving forward, forget about the titles and focus on those responsibilities
John McMullen contributes Eagles coverage for SI.com's EagleMaven and is the NFL Insider for JAKIB Media. You can listen to John every Tuesday and Thursday on "The Middle" with Eytan Shander, Harry Mayes, and Barrett Brooks on SportsMap Radio and PhillyVoice.com. He’s also the host of Extending the Play on AM1490 in South Jersey. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JFMcMullen
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