<
>

Eagles make Musgrave hire official

1/27/2014

PHILADELPHIA – The Eagles officially announced the hiring of Bill Musgrave as their new quarterbacks coach Monday, a day after his primary pupil was named offensive MVP of the Pro Bowl.

Musgrave, 46, will be Nick Foles’ third position coach in less than two calendar years in the NFL. Doug Pederson, the longtime NFL backup quarterback who worked with Foles in his rookie season, went with Andy Reid to Kansas City. Pederson is Reid’s offensive coordinator.

Bill Lazor, who was hired from the University of Virginia last winter by Chip Kelly, moved on to become offensive coordinator of the Miami Dolphins. Lazor was the hands-on coach who worked directly with Foles through his breakout 2013 season.

Musgrave, who was offensive coordinator of the Minnesota Vikings for the past three years, takes on the task of keeping Foles’ progression on track. It’s a tricky assignment. Foles is unlikely to do much better than his 27-touchdown, two-interception season -- no one else ever has -- so Musgrave can’t earn credit for molding the 25-year-old quarterback. If Foles falls too far back to earth, though, Musgrave could get undue blame for it.

That said, the Eagles situation must be preferable to what Musgrave faced in Minnesota, where Christian Ponder, Matt Cassel and Josh Freeman all started games in 2013.

Musgrave worked for the Eagles once before. He was hired by Ray Rhodes as a consultant in 1998, then installed as unofficial offensive coordinator during a disastrous 3-13 season. Since then, Musgrave has earned his stripes by working for Carolina, Jacksonville, Washington and Atlanta, where he coached both Michael Vick and Matt Ryan.

Like Lazor and offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur, Musgrave’s roots are in the West Coast offense.

The Eagles also promoted Mike Dawson from defensive quality control coach to assistant defensive line coach. Dawson replaces Eric Chinander, who returned to Oregon after one season with the Eagles.

Michael Clay, a linebacker who played for Kelly at Oregon, joined the staff as a defensive quality control coach. Clay signed with the Dolphins last year as a rookie free agent but didn’t make the team.