He’s back: Jaguars reportedly set to hire John DeFilippo

When Mike Zimmer fired John DeFilippo as his offensive coordinator with three games left in the Vikings’ season, there were questions about whether DeFilippo would be able to immediately get another job as a coordinator.

We got the answer on Wednesday.

DeFilippo, 40, is stepping into a less-than-desirable spot considering Blake Bortles is still atop the Jaguars’ depth chart at quarterback and is signed to a three-year, $54 million contract that will run through the 2020 season. The Jaguars, one year removed from making it to the AFC title game, were a mess this season, finishing with a 5-11 record and at the bottom of the AFC South.

The Jaguars were 31st in scoring offense (15.3 points per game), 27th in total offense, 26th in passing and 19th in rushing. Jacksonville coach Doug Marrone fired offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett in November. Hackett, who received plenty of credit for the Jaguars’ offensive success in 2017, was named the Packers’ offensive coordinator by new coach Matt LaFleur this week.

Now, Marrone has turned to DeFilippo.

DeFilippo also reportedly had interviewed for the coordinator’s job in Arizona.

DeFilippo, who had been the Cleveland Browns’ offensive coordinator in 2015, was the Eagles’ quarterbacks coach in 2016 and ’17. He got the Vikings job after the Eagles routed Minnesota in the NFC title game and then beat New England in the Super Bowl.

It became clear that DeFilippo was a poor choice as the Vikings’ season progressed and coach Mike Zimmer became more outspoken about the fact DeFilippo did not run the ball more frequently. It didn’t help that the Vikings lost three of four from Weeks 11 through 14 and quarterback Kirk Cousins and the offense did not perform up to expectations. DeFilippo was fired after the Vikings’ 21-7 Monday night loss in Seattle in Week 14.

Kevin Stefanski, who was hired as the Vikings’ offensive coordinator last week, took over on an interim basis for the final three weeks of the season. Minnesota went 2-1 but missed the playoffs.

Unlike with Zimmer, a defensive-minded coach, DeFilippo will be working for an offensive-minded guy in Marrone. Judging from Jacksonville’s struggles in 2018, DeFilippo and Marrone will have plenty of work to do to get the Jaguars’ offense turned around. Especially, if Bortles remains the quarterback.