Eagles coach Doug Pederson said both Mike Groh and Carson Walch are expected to return to their respective roles next season.
During a news conference alongside Howie Roseman on Wednesday, Pederson credited Groh, the offensive coordinator, and Walch, the wide-receivers coach, for their efforts to get the offense on track late in the season.
“I think both of those guys did an outstanding job for me this year," Pederson said. “There was a lot of things we faced offensively, as you know, through adversity, through injuries. ... So, my hat goes off to both of those gentlemen, because of the game plans that Mike and I and the offensive staff put together, first of all, and then here toward the end of the season, Carson Walch having a big impact on getting these young players ready to go and to play and to play at a high level."
Pederson was less committal when discussing the future of defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz. Schwartz was interviewing Wednesday for the Cleveland Browns head-coaching job, and Pederson was vague on whether the coordinator would be back next season, even though he’s under contract through 2020.
“Jim’s done an outstanding job with our defense, obviously,” Pederson said. “The improvement that we saw throughout the course of this season. I’m excited for him and his opportunity, and I wish him the best.”
Is he coming back?
“He’ll be on a plane back here at some point after the interview,” Pederson said, joking. “He’ll be part of the evaluation process and all that. I would assume, yes [he’ll be back.] Jim is ... currently my DC."
Schwartz’s defense was the NFL’s fourth-best unit against the run and 10th in total yards allowed this season. Footballoutsiders.com ranked Schwartz’s group as the 12th-best defense in the league. But the secondary, at times devastated by injuries, struggled at times.
When asked to clarify whether Schwartz would retain his job if Cleveland were to pass on him, Pederson said: “With all my staff, ... I’m in that process right now of evaluating, I’d love to have them all back, obviously. But we know what this league is about. Any time an assistant coach can get a promotion, whether it’s here or somewhere else, I encourage that. As I evaluate — look, we’re only three days removed from the season, so everything’s still fresh in my mind, too. So we’re still evaluating, and all my coaches are in that evaluation process as well.
“I’m going to continue to evaluate and assemble the best staff moving forward. But, currently, yes, [Schwartz, Groh, and Walch are] still here.”
Groh is in his second year as offensive coordinator after Frank Reich, the team’s OC for the 2017 Super Bowl run, took the Indianapolis Colts head-coach job in 2018. In Reich’s final season running the offense with Pederson, the Eagles ranked eighth in offensive efficiency and fourth in points scored. Under Groh, they’ve been 16th and 14th in efficiency and 18th and 12th in scoring.
Walch came under scrutiny when the wide receivers underperformed across the board, with Alshon Jeffery and Nelson Agholor having career-low production before injuries ended their seasons. But, he drew praise from Pederson and Groh for getting practice-squad promotions such as Greg Ward and Rob Davis up to speed quickly as injuries thinned the wide-receiver corps late in the season.