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Published: Friday, February 09, 2018 @ 10:14 AM
Updated: Friday, February 09, 2018 @ 10:13 AM
MINNEAPOLIS — John DeFilippo stood on top of a double-decker bus with the rest of the Eagles, as they cruised through raucous downtown Philadelphia on Thursday to celebrate the franchise's first championship in 57 years.
Hours later, the Minnesota Vikings handed him the keys to their offense.
DeFilippo has had quite the ride in two seasons as quarterbacks coach for the Eagles.
"How many guys can say they participated in a Super Bowl parade in the morning and became one of 32 play-callers in the National Football League that night? That's a pretty good deal," DeFilippo said. "It was a whirlwind, but it was a whirlwind that was 100 percent worth it, professionally and personally."
The Vikings finalized their hire of DeFilippo as offensive coordinator on Friday, following Pat Shurmur's departure to become head coach of the New York Giants. The 39-year-old DeFilippo is the third offensive coordinator Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer has had in five seasons on the job.
"He has a track record of success and has proven to be a great teacher. We feel John will have good chemistry with our team, and we are all eager to get to work," Zimmer said in a statement.
Just five days earlier, the Eagles beat New England 41-33 in the Super Bowl in Minnesota behind an MVP performance by Nick Foles . With guidance from DeFilippo, offensive coordinator Frank Reich and head coach Doug Pederson, Foles found a rhythm in the playoffs after an initially rocky takeover for the injured Carson Wentz. In those three games, including a 38-7 victory over the Vikings in the NFC championship game, Foles threw for 971 yards, six touchdowns and only one interception for a 115.7 passer rating. Against the Patriots, Foles threw for 373 yards and three touchdowns and even caught a pass for a score on a trick play.
"We really sat down and spent some time with Nick and what he felt comfortable doing, and to me, that's coaching," DeFilippo said. "Why would you ask a player to do something that he's not comfortable with?"
He'll apply that same approach to the Vikings.
"If they did something really, really well and their players are good at it, there's no reason to change it," DeFilippo said. "So we're going to take pieces from other places I've been, take pieces from Philadelphia and at the same time, obviously there are a lot of good things that the Minnesota Vikings did last year that we're going to continue to do."
Now he'll work with Zimmer and general manager Rick Spielman to sort out the quarterback situation, with contracts for Case Keenum, Sam Bradford and Teddy Bridgewater all currently scheduled to expire next month.
"I'm going to have as much say as they want me to. I'm a team player," DeFilippo said on a conference call with reporters. "We talked about it last night: It has to be a collaborative effort, something that we all agree on."
Character, decision-making, timing, accuracy and leadership were the attributes DeFilippo emphasized, in that order, when describing his priorities for the sport's most critical position. When asked about the importance of athleticism, DeFilippo tacked that trait on to the list, too.
"I'm not a big believer in quarterbacks that are a stick in the mud back there, they're in cement back there, at 7½ yards deep," he said.
Wentz was an NFL MVP award contender with 33 touchdown passes in 13 games in his second season in the league in 2017, until tearing the ACL in his left knee. With DeFilippo as the offensive coordinator for Cleveland in 2015, the Browns gained more than 4,000 passing yards and 1,500 rushing yards in the same season for the first time since 1986.
DeFilippo also has five years as quarterbacks coach for Oakland on his resume over two different stints, including in 2014 when Raiders quarterback Derek Carr threw only 12 interceptions, the fewest by a first-year player in NFL history with at least 450 passing attempts.
DeFilippo, who was a four-year letter-winner as a quarterback for James Madison, has taken his 11th job in what will be a 19th season of coaching.
"He's a grinder," Foles said the day after the Super Bowl. "Barely sleeps. Just fundamentals, giving us the game plan, giving us all our checks, extremely detailed."
Vikings quarterbacks coach Kevin Stefanski, who interviewed with Zimmer for the promotion, becomes a strong candidate to join Shurmur with the Giants as the offensive coordinator there. Former Seattle Seahawks and Vikings offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell was also considered along with Houston Texans quarterbacks coach Sean Ryan and New Orleans Saints tight ends coach Dan Campbell, according to various reports.
DeFilippo rose to the top of the list, though, having also been considered by the Chicago Bears and Indianapolis Colts for their head coach vacancies.
"His energy was great," said Vikings running back Latavius Murray, who was with the Raiders in 2013-14 with DeFilippo. "Positive, very positive, liked to have fun. He was passionate."
Published: Saturday, February 17, 2018 @ 8:46 PM
— As of Friday, 84 children in the U.S. have died from in the flu since October, according to the CDC.
In a news conference Thursday, the CDC said that of those who died, three-fourths of them did not receive the flu vaccine.
"We continue to recommend parents get their children vaccinated even though it's late in the season," Dr. Anne Schuchat told CNN.
Health officials on Friday said about one in every 13 visits to the doctor last week was for fever, cough and other symptoms of the flu.
The flu is currently widespread across 47 states except for Oregon, which is reporting local flu activity.
Published: Saturday, February 17, 2018 @ 8:23 PM
— Jennifer Lawrence plans to take the next year off from acting in order to devote time working with a group trying to limit the influence of money in politics.
Lawrence, 27, is a member of the board of Represent.Us, a group working to pass anti-corruption laws which limit the amount of money that can be used to influence politicians.
"I'm going to take the next year off. I'm going to be working with this organization as a part of Represent.Us ... Trying to get young people engaged politically on a local level,” Lawrence told Entertainment Tonight while promoting the release of her latest movie Red Sparrow. “It doesn't have anything to do with partisan (politics). It's just anti-corruption and stuff trying to pass state by state laws that can help prevent corruption, fix our democracy."
Lawrence, one of the highest-paid actress in the world, has used her position to help causes in the past.
She participated in the Women’s March in January, posting a photo holding protest signs with Cameron Diaz and Adele.
"I stand in solidarity for Women's rights, Equal pay, DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals), CHIP (Children's Health Insurance Program)," she wrote.
Lawrence was also honored with the Sherry Lansing Leadership Award at The Hollywood Reporter’s 2017 Women in Entertainment Power 100 breakfast in December.
Published: Saturday, February 17, 2018 @ 3:23 AM
FAYETTEVILLE, N.Y. — The last thing Robert Crain remembered was visiting the emergency room to have his nagging cough checked out.
That was on Oct. 3, 2017. Sixty-one days later, the 47-year-old woke from a medically induced coma. And on Feb. 14, 2018, he was discharged from Upstate University Hospital in Syracuse, New York.
"For me, it just seemed like I woke up from a nap,'' Crain told Syracuse.com. "Then I realized I missed Thanksgiving and Christmas and all that time with my family."
Crain’s lungs and kidneys had shut down in October. He lost 50 pounds during his time in the hospital and now must use a cane to walk, Syracuse.com reported.
“It was awful,” said Crain’s wife of 10 years, Marcela Crain. “My brain heard them say he wasn't doing well and wasn't improving, but my heart wouldn't accept it. I went to the chapel every day at the hospital and prayed, and my daughter and I prayed every night.”
Robert Crain was kept alive by a heart/lung bypass machine, spending more time on it than any other patient in the hospital’s history, Syracuse.com reported.
Crain said he remembered nothing from Oct. 3 until Jan. 8. His doctors pulled him out of his coma gradually. When he came to, Crain said he was “stunned” when a nurse told him what day it was, Syracuse.com reported.
Robert Crain’s recovery and discharge from the hospital was a banner day for his wife and their 8-year-old daughter, Isabella.
"This is the most amazing, special day,'' Marcela Crain said. “Never give up hope. I always believed he would come back to me."
Marcela Crain said the family put Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas on hold, refusing to celebrate it without Robert. She told Syracuse.com the family would celebrate all three holidays into a single day when he is stronger.
Published: Saturday, February 17, 2018 @ 8:14 AM
PARSONS, Tenn. — Authorities said they have caught the “King Pin Granny” in Tennessee.
A 75-year-old woman was arrested Feb. 9 in a large drug bust in Decatur County, police said. Police raided the home of Betty Jean Jordan in Parsons and allegedly confiscated more than 1,000 prescription pills, including morphine, Xanex and Oxycodone, WZTV reported.
Law enforcement officials nicknamed Jordan the “King Pin Granny.” She was charged with three counts of drug manufacturing, delivery, sale and possessoin of schedule II, two counts of possession of a legend drug with intent, possession of a legend drug and evading arrest, WZTV reported.
Jordan was booked in the Decatur County Jail and is free after a $50,000 bond was posted, WZTV reported.