I’ll write about the Senior Bowl later. For now, the big news is that the Eagles hired a new QB coach, Bill Musgrave.
Musgrave was the OC for the Vikings for the previous 3 seasons. He’s been in college and pro football since 1997. Musgrave is a graduate of Oregon and played for the Niners in the early 90′s. He knows the WCO inside-out. Interestingly, Musgrave and Bill Lazor had coaching jobs with the University of Virginia, the Skins and the Falcons before coming to the Eagles.
Musgrave coached QBs for the Eagles in 1998. About midseason, with the offense struggling at a historically bad pace, Ray Rhodes let Musgrave start calling the plays. The offense immediately picked up. Musgrave wasn’t retained when Andy Reid took over in 1999.
Let’s look at some of Musgrave’s best work.
1999 – QB Coach of the Panthers – Steve Beuerlein threw for 4,436 yards and 36 TDs
2001-02 – QB Coach/OC for Virginia – developed Matt Schaub into a top college player and good pro prospect
2003-04 – OC/QB Coach of the Jaguars – helped develop rookie QB Byron Leftwich
2008-09 – QB Coach of the Falcons – helped develop rookie QB Matt Ryan
The Eagles needed to hire a QB coach who had experience. They couldn’t afford to go with a young player since Nick Foles is in such a critical stage in his career. He’s an ascending player, but still needs work. He needs a coach who has successfully developed QBs already. Musgrave fits this description. He’s also worked well with bigger QBs that are mostly pocket passers. Kinda sounds like Nick Foles.
The Eagles passing game is a mixture of the spread and the WCO. Musgrave knows how to teach QBs the footwork needed to run the WCO. That is a timing based offense and it is critical for the QB to be precise with his steps so that he can get the ball out on time. Receivers will be at specific landmarks and need the ball at the right time.
I like the fact that Musgrave has worked with so many young QBs. That tells you he knows how to teach and that’s important since Foles still has a lot of learning left to do.
I think Chip Kelly has done a good job with replacing his first departed coach.