Daily Dawg Tags: John DeFilippo the one who truly got away

CLEVELAND, OH - DECEMBER 10: Head coach Hue Jackson of the Cleveland Browns is seen in the second quarter against the Green Bay Packers at FirstEnergy Stadium on December 10, 2017 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - DECEMBER 10: Head coach Hue Jackson of the Cleveland Browns is seen in the second quarter against the Green Bay Packers at FirstEnergy Stadium on December 10, 2017 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /

The Cleveland Browns could use a strong dose of what John DeFilippo brings to the table. Sadly, the team let DeFilippo get away when they had him.

The Cleveland Browns have followed a familiar script in recent seasons.

The club finishes off a disappointing season and then sees — or if you prefer “allows” — a small handful of players to leave in free agency.

The new season begins and the cries start to resonate across Browns Town about all the players that “got away” from the team. Of course, that conveniently ignores that in almost every case those players contributed to the losing atmosphere, but such is the joy of Cleveland talk radio and Browns Twitter.

There is one person who truly got away, however, and that is John DeFilippo, who recently joined the Minnesota Vikings as offensive coordinator after spending the past two seasons as quarterback coach of the Philadelphia Eagles.

DeFilippo spent the 2015 season as the Browns offensive coordinator but was pushed aside when owner Jimmy Haslam brought in Hue Jackson as head coach. Jackson, of course, not just let anyone be in charge of his precious offense — the one that has been at the bottom of the NFL in scoring the past two seasons — do DeFilippo was out the door to Philadelphia.

With the Eagles DeFilippo helped develop quarterback Carson Wentz. Once Wentz went down with an ACL injury in December, DeFilippo worked quickly with quarterback Nick Foles to get the veteran up to speed and the pair were last seen lifting the Lombardi Trophy after winning Super Bowl 52.

DeFilippo revealed the secret to quickly switching the offense from Wentz to Foles during a recent interview with radio station 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.

It is what most people refer to as coaching:

"“I sat him down and made him list me with our coaching staff, ‘What are your best concepts? What do you see yourself do well? Because … myself, Frank Reich, Doug Pederson, we’re not the ones out there throwing it. He is. So we sat down and spent time with Nick formulating game plans on what he felt comfortable doing. For me, that’s coaching. Why would you ask a player to do something that he’s not comfortable with? That’s good coaching to me. Nick was open and honest about things he was comfortable with.”"

Imagine that! A coach actually working with his quarterback to figure out what he is comfortable doing and then actually building an offense around it!

Now contrast that with the way that Jackson worked with rookie quarterback DeShone Kizer this past season and it becomes easier to understand why the Browns finished the season at 0-16 and are sitting at 1-31 with Jackson as head coach.

While there is hope that offensive coordinator Todd Haley can help right the ship this fall, the idea of turning Jackson loose on another rookie quarterback should be enough to give general manager John Dorsey pause.

It also leaves Browns fans to wonder if DeFilippo – the one who truly got away — would be interested in returning to Cleveland in 2019 in a much bigger role than offensive coordinator.

Cleveland Browns news:

Browns should look to sign Jeremy Hill

The Cleveland Browns could benefit from reaching out to Jeremy Hill, a former player for head coach Hue Jackson, when free agency opens in March.

Being a Browns fan requires resilience

Being a fan of the Cleveland Browns is not an easy thing, it requires resiliency through the bad times and also through more bad times.

Predicting the Browns first chance at a win in 2018 (ESPN)

"The last thing the Cleveland Browns need in 2018 is a bad start. Following an 0-16 season with an 0-2 or 0-3 beginning would be calamitous for a team trying to rebuild its image. The Browns’ ideal situation would be to win their opener, but that’s not something that’s happened over the years."

NFL news:

5 moves every NFC North team should make (ESPN)

"Time to look at the NFC North (in alphabetical order), where we have two new head coaches, a new general manager, and a division champ with its entire quarterback depth chart about to hit free agency. The Vikings will likely bring back at least one of their free agents to come, unless they win the offseason’s biggest lottery."

Tyrod Taylor, DeMarco Murray among AFC cut candidates (NFL.com)

"Kirk Cousins is the belle of the free agency ball. Alex Smith already found his new team. And the trio of Vikings quarterbacks set to hit free agency are being discussed to death — all of which leaves Tyrod Taylor as the forgotten man in this offseason’s quarterback puzzle."

Sammy Watkins’ unsustainable touchdown luck of 2017 (PFF)

"Are you a tight end? Are you a 2011 Packers wide receiver? If you answered “yes” to either of those questions, then congratulations! There’s a chance you can maintain ridiculous touchdown luck multiple seasons in a row. If you answered “no” — and I’m sorry, Sammy Watkins, but we’ll get to that — you likely cannot."