Eagles Make Coaching Staff Changes

The Eagles announced three coaching staff moves today, the most significant of which is Bill Musgrave officially being named the new quarterbacks coach.

Michael Clay has been named defensive quality control coach, and Mike Dawson has been promoted from defensive quality control coach to assistant defensive line coach where he’ll work with Jerry Azzinaro.

We provided some background on Musgrave last week. The 46-year-old replaces Bill Lazor, who left to become the Dolphins’ offensive coordinator. Musgrave spent the past three seasons as the Minnesota Vikings’ offensive coordinator. This will be his second go-around with the Eagles. In 1998, Musgrave started out as an offensive assistant, but served as offensive coordinator for the final 10 games and called plays. The following year, he coached the Panthers’ QBs, and he was also Carolina’s offensive coordinator in 2000.

The next two years, he worked as offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach/tight ends coach at Virginia. In 2003 and 2004, he was the Jaguars’ offensive coordinator. And in 2005, Musgrave coached the Redskins’ quarterbacks.

He was the Falcons’ quarterbacks coach from 2006 to 2010 and also held the title of assistant head coach by the end of his tenure there. Musgrave coached Michael Vick for one season (2006) in Atlanta and then worked with Matt Ryan.

He has West Coast offense roots as a player, but also believes in simplifying things.

“One thing I believe in is minimal verbiage, and we’ll make it very streamlined, we’ll make the formations easy to learn for the guys, because I believe in players playing fast,” he said, per the Minneapolis Star-Tribune back in 2011. “We don’t want them out there thinking what word was used for this or that. I know with the group of coaches that Les has put together we’ll put together a system that is easy for those guys to digest, and they’ll go out and cut it loose.”

Chip Kelly of course shares a similar philosophy, always looking for ways to simplify play-calls and push tempo on offense. Musgrave will obviously work closely with Nick Foles.

Musgrave played his college ball at Oregon and was drafted by the Cowboys in the fourth round of the 1991 draft. The former QB was a backup with the 49ers from 1991 to 1994, before playing out his final two seasons with the Denver Broncos.

Clay, meanwhile, played for Kelly at Oregon. The 22-year-old earned second-team All-Pac 12 honors as a senior. He signed with the Dolphins as an undrafted free agent last year, but did not make the team.

Dawson enters his second season on Kelly’s staff.

Follow Sheil Kapadia on Twitter and e-mail him at skapadia@phillymag.com.
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