Eagles fire OC Mike Groh, WR coach Carson Walch

Getty Images

During a Wednesday press conference, Eagles head coach Doug Pederson gave a couple of different answers regarding the status of offensive coordinator Mike Groh and wide receivers coach Carson Walch.

Pederson said both coaches would be back next season, but gave a different answer when asked to confirm that. Pederson said both coaches “are still currently here and I’m going to continue to evaluate and assemble the best staff moving forward.”

That evaluation went poorly for Groh and Walch. Shortly after ESPN reported that both coaches were expected to be fired on Thursday, the Eagles announced that they had been let go.

In a statement, Pederson apologized “for any confusion” his answers created about Groh and Walch’s status as well as the status of defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz. Schwartz interviewed for the Browns head coaching job Wednesday, but otherwise appears set to return to Philly.

“It was not an easy decision for me to make and I appreciate everything that Mike Groh and Carson Walch contributed to the organization and to my staff,” Pederson said. “As I said yesterday, they were a big part of our success down the stretch this past season. This is one of the most difficult parts of the job and something that weighs on me, but ultimately I have to make decisions that I believe are in the best interest of the football team moving forward.”

Groh took over as offensive coordinator in 2018 after Frank Reich became the head coach in Indianapolis. He had been the wide receivers coach in 2017 and Walch took over that job this year. He was dealt a tough hand due to injuries to the team’s top three wideouts, but it doesn’t appear that swayed the opinion of the job he or Groh did this season.

34 responses to “Eagles fire OC Mike Groh, WR coach Carson Walch

  1. I was surprised Groh made it to year 2 and disappointed when it sounded like he was going to make it to year 3 earlier this week.

    The offense needs to get more creative again, they lost that when Reich left. I also can’t think of a single drafted WR who has improved on this team in the last 2 years.

    Plenty of reason to let them go.

  2. I’m just an outsider but it seems the WR coach did a hell of a job with to bottom half of the receiving core. That was impressive to me. Maybe his failure to develop Nelson and Jj I am assuming.

  3. This may be enough to buy jim Schwartz a lame duck season but in my opinion he should have been sent packing as well!!

  4. I don’t see how injuries at the wide receiver position excuse the WR coach.

    It’s his job to grow what players he has into something better. How much growth did you see from the Eagles wide receivers?

    Ward was probably the only one, and he only played a handful of games.

    I’d make the argument that even Ward wasn’t developed. He was probably performing at that level the entire time and the coach never noticed.

  5. The Eagles had no actual wide receivers for most of the season. Firing the coaches simply insulates the personnel staff and head coach.

    This is bogus.

  6. These two changes were needed but why are we holding onto the secondary coach? Not one single DB progressed under this defense. Jenkins and McCleod so you can’t really take credit for them. But Mills, Maddox, Douglas, Jones… not one player improved.

  7. Also…

    Pederson could have avoided all of this ‘confusion’ by firing them first THEN holding the press conference. If you listened to his press conference yesterday, it is odd how unprepared he was to answer the question regarding them when they have been the focus of discussion/criticism all year. Even if Pederson somehow avoids twitter, the internet, news, and talk radio, the PR folks should have prepared him.

  8. I can understand Groh getting the axe, but Walch was given crap to work with, but did a fairly decent job of making the receivers appear competent. I guess Howie doesn’t want anyone in the building who might have the facts about the crappy job he does of assembling a team.

  9. Duce Staley should have been named offensive coordinator two years ago. I am not sure if the Eagles are going to promote him into the role, he has done an outstanding job with the RBs . . . but if they don’t I would like to see them take a run at the chiefs offensive coordinator – Eric Bieniemy and give him the title of assistant HC. They clearly needed better offensive game planning and play calling, and their WR development was horrible. To anyone who says that the injuries are an excuse for not firing the WR coach, just look at the lack of development of JJ Whiteside . . . he was picked 7 slots before DK Metcalf . . . but in Seattle all you heard about was the grooming of Metcalf even when he battled preseason injuries. Meanwhile Whiteside was apparently only groomed as a back up for one WR position, as Alshon’s backup. When Alshon went down to injury Whiteside still didn’t step up, he only had 10 catches all season. Finally Ward was cut in order to keep Mack Hollins – the WR coach needs to fight for a player like Ward, he was the best slot received on the Eagles roster bar none. Instead they paid Agholor almost $10 MM. The WR coach needs to be involved in those decisions and needs to give the team clear indication that a player of Agholor’s status should not be paid $10 MM, and that money could then be used to sign a better receiver. Hell they would have been better off giving that money to Golden Tate and developing him . . . but again the WR coach couldn’t properly use him the prior year. Ummm seems like a lot of reasons to fire these two.

    The Giants signed Tate to a 4 year contract for $37 million (with $23 million guaranteed), the Eagles optioned Agholor for one year at a price tag of $9.4 million.

    Tate: 11 games – 49 receptions – 676 yards – 6 TDs
    Agholor: 11 games – 39 reception – 363 yards – 3 TDs

  10. There were injuries at both the WR and OL positions. It appears both coaches are being fired because didn’t the Eagles didn’t have the talent necessary and ready to step into those positions and make a difference. It happens in coaching all the time. Somebody has to take the blame and be shown the door. It doesn’t matter if they are the ones most responsible or not. It’s just the way it is in sports.

  11. The real problems with our receivers were –
    1) Poor drafting by Howie/Joe Douglas et al. for several years now
    2) Signing older guys who got hurt with non-contact injuries
    3) Extending Alshon for next year when we did NOT need to do so.
    Howie thinks he’s smarter than everyone else. That gets us into trouble.
    Howie, when everyone says this is an exceptional year for DT/DE, PICK ONE.
    When everyone says this year is great for receivers, PICK ONE.
    Otherwise, stick to managing the cap, and find someone who knows what they are doing!

  12. Remember when Groh said he was having problems integrating Golden Tate into the offense last year? Yeah, that was enough for me to have him gone. You don’t bring in somebody with that caliber without have plans beforehand.

  13. Thank You!

    Now fire all the medical and trainers

    let Nelson Agholor, Jason Peters, Tim Jernigan, Ronald Darby, Bradham walk

    I’d try and keep Howard, Kamu, Mills, Ridgeway, maybe Curry

    Sign a good WR and CB plus a backup QB

    draft 2 WR, T, LB, S, 2 CB

  14. @tvguy22 says:
    January 9, 2020 at 12:54 pm
    The offense was boring and predictable. Great news.
    ===============================
    I’m all for the change however, who was calling plays?

  15. Doug is a pretty good CEO coach but his staff got bad when Reich and Flip left.
    I am looking forward to the new hires and a change at DC and secondary coach would be welcome as well.

  16. @kennylc2015 says:
    January 9, 2020 at 1:03 pm
    These two changes were needed but why are we holding onto the secondary coach? Not one single DB progressed under this defense. Jenkins and McCleod so you can’t really take credit for them. But Mills, Maddox, Douglas, Jones… not one player improved.
    ===============================
    Starts with the DC

  17. I don’t understand the venom for this guy.
    I know he hasn’t done anything to boost his reputation, but Doug Pederson calls the plays. Doug Pederson masterminds the offense.

    SO, when Doug fails, as he did for most of 2019, why are we targeting Groh as the fall guy?

  18. I would really like to see Schwartz gone, too.

    The numbers wind up looking good at the end of each season, but I’ve never seen a defense fail more consistently on 3rd and long, start slow at the beginnings of games, or give up more big plays in key moments. He and Corey Undlin (who also should be gone) have taken a stable full of CBs with good to great pedigrees and has them playing like slop.

  19. therealtrenches says:
    January 9, 2020 at 4:19 pm
    I would really like to see Schwartz gone, too.

    The numbers wind up looking good at the end of each season, but I’ve never seen a defense fail more consistently on 3rd and long, start slow at the beginnings of games, or give up more big plays in key moments. He and Corey Undlin (who also should be gone) have taken a stable full of CBs with good to great pedigrees and has them playing like slop.
    ———————————————–

    Yeah, any time it was > 3rd or 4th and 8, I KNEW it was going to be converted. Every single time.

    As far as not blaming Walch for the WR injuries, no one’s blaming him for injuries. They’re blaming him for Nelson Agholor becoming worthless even when he was healthy, and JJ Arcega-Whiteside not even being able to get on the field when they had a fat 3rd string tight end playing WR (Josh Perkins) and out performing him. Couple that with Jeffrey dropping so many balls and he’s gone. Between Agholor and Jeffrey, they, and they alone, lost the Eagles 2-3 games this year. Jeffrey dropped the ball to win the game against the Falcons, Agholor dropped the ball to win the game against the Lions, and Agholor took a bad route, bad angle and then STILL had the ball in his hands to win the game against the Pats and dropped it.

  20. Agree with the folks who say the bigger problem is roster construction. THAT’S the big problem.

    The two biggest things for a GM are: talent evaluation and roster construction.

    Howie’s biggest skill however is, for lack of better phrasing, crafty dealmaking.

    Crafty dealmaking is where his skill-set tops out. That means he is best suited for, per the height of his skill-set, Assistant GM.

    When you get to the 2 most important levels of being a GM, talent evaluation and roster construction, he fails. Making crafty deals to maneuver around the draft, developing working business relationships with the other personnel crews around, maneuvering around the cap and money and contracts etc is where he tops out.

    This is how for example, you end up with Whiteside over Metcalf. He was quite the crafty deal maker in getting up the draft to get Wentz. And he’s been really bad at talent evaluation however. So his highest level should be Assistant GM. This is our real problem.

  21. First of all, if any of you think Pederson made this move alone, you’re mistaken. Lurie forced him to make this move. All you had to do was listen to his PC after they beat the Giants in week 17. He went out of his way to praise both Groh and Walch for getting the PS players ready to make vital contributions. But there’s a report that says Lurie decided in December he didn’t want them back; probably after they lost to Miami—which should have fallen on the defense. I’m wondering if Pederson will now consider his own future.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!