“The Lions reportedly are hiring Duce Staley as running backs coach, and are expected to add Dave Fipp as special teams coordinator and Mike Clark as strength and conditioning coach.”
If true, that will end Dave Fipp’s eight-year run in Philadelphia. He joined the franchise in 2013 with Chip Kelly, taking over for Bobby April, who was Andy Reid’s special teams coordinator from 2010 to 2012.
Fipp’s unit did not have a good 2020 season. The punt return game was a year-long disaster, with DeSean Jackson getting injured and Jalen Reagor relegated to the sidelines while Greg Ward watched a few kicks go over his head. The punt team gave up a brutal block in the Arizona loss, Jake Elliott missed a couple of gimmies, and Rick Lovato had the first bad snap of his Eagles career, with Zach Ertz doing spot holder duty in place of the injured Cam Johnston.
Throughout, none of his explanations in the media were reassuring. Fipp said he didn’t have his unit prepared for the Arizona game. He didn’t give a great reason for preferring Ward to Reagor on returns. There was also the funky post-safety punt in the Dallas game and the special teams unit just didn’t do anything to help offensive and defensive units that were similarly underperforming.
Probably a move that’s good for both sides. Fipp gets a fresh start in Detroit, and the Birds go in another direction with special teams.