DeFilippo's next goal to bring Vikings to Super Bowl
MINNEAPOL;9S—John DeFilippo just won a Super Bowl with Philadelphia. Now, he's talking about getting one for Minnesota.
The Vikings named DeFilippo offensive coordinator Friday, five days after he served as the Eagles' quarterbacks coach during their 41-33 victory over New England in Super Bowl LII at U.S. Bank Stadium. General manager Rick Spielman and head coach Mike Zimmer interviewed DeFilippo on Thursday in Philadelphia after the Eagles' victory parade, and they reached an agreement on a two-year contract.
"We couldn't be more thrilled to be part of what we know we want to experience, what we just experienced in Philadelphia, which is bringing a world championship home to the state of Minnesota," DeFilippo said Friday, including his wife Kari.
DeFilippo, whose contract expired after two seasons with the Eagles, interviewed last month for head coaching positions with Arizona and Chicago, and he said several teams he wouldn't name wanted him as a coordinator.
"When the Minnesota Vikings want to talk to you, that's a whole different ball game," DeFilippo said. "It was obviously a special opportunity to work for Coach Zimmer and learn from him and work for another great head coach and another opportunity for myself to call plays."
DeFilippo, 39, last called plays as Cleveland's offensive coordinator in 2015. With the Eagles, he played a key role in developing quarterback Carson Wentz, taken with the No. 2 pick in the 2016 draft out of North Dakota State. Wentz was having what many considered an MVP season when he tore his ACL in a Dec. 10 game.
He was replaced by Nick Foles, the Super Bowl MVP who led their Eagles to their first championship since 1960.
An estimated 700,000 fans attended Thursday's parade.
"It was an unbelievable day," DeFilippo said. "I mean, how many guys can say they participated in a Super Bowl parade in the morning and became one of the 32 play-callers in the National Football League that night?"
DeFilippo called his father Thursday night to tell him about his new job.
"I don't know when I've seen him any more excited than he was," said Gene DeFilippo, a longtime college football coach and administrator who has been athletic director at Villanova and Boston College.
DeFilippo replaces Pat Shurmur, who last month became head coach of the New York Giants. Spielman and Zimmer also interviewed Vikings quarterbacks coach Kevin Stefanski, former Minnesota offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell, Houston quarterbacks coach Sean Ryan and New Orleans assistant head coach/tight ends coach Dan Campbell for the coordinator's job.
DeFilippo, 39, was clearly the Vikings' top choice, but they had to wait until Philadelphia's season ended before they could talk with him. Multiple reports say Stefanski will become the Giants' offensive coordinator under Shurmur.
"We are very excited to add John to our staff," Zimmer said in a statement. "We took our time with the search and made sure we left no stone unturned to get the right fit. He has a track record of success and has proven to be a great teacher."
Spielman has said the new coordinator will play a major role in choosing the team's quarterback of the future. Minnesota's top three quarterbacks — Case Keenum, Sam Bradford and Teddy Bridgewater — are all headed for free agency.
"Whatever they ask me to do in terms of researching the players that we're going to research, I'm going to leave no stone unturned," said DeFilippo, who helped in the draft process with Wentz and with Derek Carr, a Raiders rookie in 2014 when DeFilippo was their quarterbacks coach.
DeFilippo is close to Vikings offensive line coach Tony Sparano and knows running back Latavius Murray, both of whom were with Oakland for the final two seasons of his 2012-14 stint as Raiders quarterbacks coach. After being an Oakland assistant, Sparano was the Raiders' interim head coach for the final 12 games of 2014.
DeFilippo also was Oakland's quarterbacks coach from 2007-08. During his two stints there, he earned the respect of Raiders radio analyst Tom Flores, a two-time Super Bowl-winning coach.
"I liked everything about him," Flores said. "I liked his personality, his approach. He was a very positive guy with a lot of energy. He's going with a good team in Minnesota, and he's got a pretty good situation."