Although the Eagles’ offense was among the best in the league this past season, the NFL is a cutthroat business, where everyone from management down is looking for a way to get ahead. This is why, after a year of success where the Eagles finished the season 7-1 to be crowned the NFC East champs, crucial members of the Eagles coaching staff have fled Philadelphia to pursue higher salaries, and changes have been forced to be made.
The Eagles have hired Bill Musgrave to replace Bill Lazor as the quarterbacks’ coach. Lazor will become the new offensive coordinator for the Miami Dolphins.
Musgrave is replacing a coach to whom many attribute Pro Bowl quarterback Nick Foles’ massive amount of success had last season. Foles led the Eagles to a playoff berth, had the best touchdown-to-interception ratio in football, and was named the 2014 Pro Bowl’s offensive MVP. Lazor had plenty to do with Foles’ rapid development.
However, Musgrave has an impressive resume of his own. Musgrave was the Atlanta Falcons’ quarterbacks coach from 2006-2010. He was there when Matt Ryan was a rookie and served as Ryan’s mentor for those five years. The Falcons were consistently a top NFL offense when Musgrave was a part of the coaching staff.
Musgrave’s past three seasons, which were spent in Minnesota as the offensive quarterback, may have put a slight damper on his resume. Although the Vikings made the playoffs in 2012, due in large part to Adrian Peterson’s 2,097 yard season, Christian Ponder, who was the 12th overall pick in the 2011 draft and was expected to be the Vikings’ quarterback of the future, has yet to improve enough in his development to persuade the Vikings’ coaching staff to remain with him. Even with Adrian Peterson, the Viking’s offense was never anything more than middle-of-the-road with Musgrave as the offensive coordinator.
Musgrave has some big shoes to fill, but his familiarity with the West Coast offense should work in his favor. The Eagles also hired Michael Clay, a former Oregon Duck who played linebacker under Chip Kelly, as the defensive quality control coach and promoted Mike Dawson to assistant defensive line coach.