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Old 06-18-2017, 05:16 PM   #1
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Default Coach Groh

KRACZ: Mike Groh orchestrating a rebirth in Eagles WR room

By Ed Kracz, staff writer




PHILADELPHIA — This is about Eagles receivers coach Mike Groh, the man behind the scenes, the one who didn’t catch the ball in his college career, but the one who always threw it.

He is the one with the foamy pool noodle who whaps his players across the arms after they catch a ball in one of his drills. The one who you can actually hear coaching his players: “Keep your eyes up,” he reminded Dorial Green-Beckham at one practice. “Everybody Bueno?” he tells the group on another day after explaining how he wants to run a particular drill.

On the very first day that the media was allowed to watch practice, back on May 23, he yelled to his players, “You have an audience today. They want to see what you got. So do I.”




Then his unit went out and showed us, and showed him, too. If first impressions truly do count, the receivers should be vastly improved over last year.

Groh, 45, is the new guy on Doug Pederson’s staff. You thought maybe there would be a new defensive line coach given the somewhat underachieving manner in which the D line performed last season. Maybe a new defensive backs coach, too. But it was only in the receiver room where Pederson chose to make a change. So out went Greg Lewis and in came Groh.

Talk to the Birds’ receivers, and it isn’t long before they are talking about Groh’s attention to detail.

“He’s pushed the guys to another level,” said Jordan Matthews. “I’m in the film room, so I see the way he coaches on the different details of the game, guys cutting a yard off at four yards (and) he says you have to get to five. Those little things are helping everybody get better.”

Perhaps the biggest beneficiary of having Groh in the room now has been Nelson Agholor, who was far and away the biggest standout of spring. Groh got to know Agholor a bit when Agholor was at Berkeley Prep in Tampa, Fla., and Groh was an assistant on Nick Saban’s staff at the University of Alabama. They recruited him, only to lose out to the University of Southern California.

“We thought he was pretty good, and I still think that,” said Groh.

He said it so matter-of-factly during a Friday morning meeting with reporters, that he sounded believable.

Groh has worked miracles in the past. As the Rams’ receivers coach last year, with Case Keenum, then later Jared Goff, playing quarterback, Kenny Britt had his first 1,000-yard season and Tavon Austin set career highs in both catches (5 and yards (509).

When Groh was in Chicago, Alshon Jeffery had two of his most productive seasons with Groh as his receivers coach. Jeffery and his another Bears receiver at the time, Brandon Marshall, thought so highly of their position coach that after both were voted into the Pro Bowl following the 2013 season, they expensed a trip for Groh and his family to Hawaii.

On Jeffery’s spring, Groh said: “The spring that he’s had is as good since maybe 2013, so I’m pleased with where he is physically. Mentally, I think he’s in a good place.”

So what’s his secret to coaching?

First, he is the son of a coach, Al Groh, a longtime college head coach and former head coach of the New York Jets in 2000.

“That’s where I got my start,” he said. “I’m lucky that my dad figured out a way to get me on the staff early. That’s when I really started to learn how to be a coach. He’s as detailed a coach as I’ve ever been around.”


Second, he played quarterback at the University of Virginia, where he started his final two years and remains the lone signal-caller in Cavaliers history to win nine games and a bowl game in back-to-back seasons.

“I played quarterback, I didn’t play receiver, so I coach the receivers through the eyes of a quarterback, then really focus on the technique,” he said.

That is the third thing — technique.

The one thing Groh noticed right away about the Eagles’ returning wide outs was their stance.

“It was a common problem, in my opinion, that a lot of guys had to get fixed,” he said. “That was the starting point, and you build off of that.”

A good stance allows a receiver to get better explosion off the line, according to Groh, and everybody’s is different. What works for someone the 6-foot-5, 220-pound size of Dorial Green-Beckham doesn’t work for someone like Bryce Treggs, who is 6-0, 185.

“We want to create power off the line of scrimmage and we want to be efficient with our movement, eliminate false steps and obviously play with our eyes up, things like that,” he said. “Things that seem really simple, you can fall into bad habits pretty quickly … A little thing in your foot placement or your knee bend can change your explosion off the ball. That’s where it starts.

“We work on stance, a lot on releases and trying to be efficient with our movement, coordinating hands and feet, then stuff at the top of the route. In this league, you either win at the line of scrimmage or you’re going to win at the top of the route, so that’s where we spend a lot of our time.”

If Groh is able to orchestrate a rebirth in the receiving room, Carson Wentz will be a most happy quarterback this fall. So will Eagles fans.
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Old 06-18-2017, 11:56 PM   #2
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I've always put more stock in coaches than a lot of fans do. Sounds like his attention to detail will pay off.
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Old 06-19-2017, 09:47 AM   #3
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I read in another article about him how he really gets on guys asses for screwing up a second time. He's a real stickler on fundamentals really emphasizing stance to start with. It all begins there in any position is his mantra. That's a 180 from Lewis and I think that it's going to show this season.
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Old 06-19-2017, 02:57 PM   #4
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Don't know much about him, but I always thought Greg Lewis was a dud as a coach. There is talent on this team, IMM.... so now it is up to Wentz, Groh and Pederson to make sure we either see the talent or see that the talent really isn't there.
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Old 06-19-2017, 03:08 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MDFAN View Post
Don't know much about him, but I always thought Greg Lewis was a dud as a coach. There is talent on this team, IMM.... so now it is up to Wentz, Groh and Pederson to make sure we either see the talent or see that the talent really isn't there.
You've always said our wrs coaches suck and I'm pretty sure that you are right although I've always been a you can't make chicken salad out of chicken shit guy. Let's face it, you need both. Although I like what I've heard about Groh I realize that everything that comes out of camp at this time of year is positive and we're going to win the SB so who really knows? This I do know though--ANYBODY would be an improvement over that immature kid Lewis.
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Old 06-19-2017, 03:15 PM   #6
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Well I think you can judge a coach a bit more then other positions cause you can see the impact. The way routes are run, the innovation in routes and using personnel differently--- but you are right you really can't teach how not to drop passes (at least very effectively, IMM)
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