PHILADELPHIA — The Philadelphia Eagles went against the Tide on Thursday and selected Nick Sirianni, offensive coordinator for the Indianapolis Colts, as their next head coach, Adam Schefter of ESPN reported.
Sirianni’s name came up after an extensive search by coaches in Philadelphia that included ten formal interviews and numerous informal flirtations. They contacted coach Lincoln Riley of the Oklahoma Sooners. They have asked to speak with Brian Deball, Buffalo Bills offensive coordinator, although a possible conversation has been postponed until after Sunday’s AFC Championship Game. They considered hiring Josh McDaniels, offensive coordinator for the New England Patriots.
But in the end, the Eagles lost to 39-year-old Syrianna, who succeeded the only coach in team history, Super Bowl winner Doug Pederson. He arrives in Philadelphia with no playing experience and a pair of basic shoes to fill.
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According to the Eagles’ owner, Jeffrey Lurie Pederson was named to the 11th. During the January layoff, it became clear that the Eagles preferred the Wentz recruiting and fixing route to the exchange route, which focused on candidates on the same wavelength. Wentz was at his best when Colts coach Frank Reich was the offensive coordinator in Philadelphia. Sirianni was Reich’s right-hand man in Indianapolis and coached quarterbacks in San Diego when Reich was the Chargers’ coordinator in 2014 and 2015.
Sirianni takes the QB position and is aligned with the Reich, which Wentz knows very well. Wentz’s chances of staying in Philadelphia increased when Pederson was fired, and he probably learned a few more things about the coach with that decision.
What led the Eagles to Sirianni?
An interview with Siriani in Philadelphia was held Tuesday and would have ended the next day. Shortly thereafter, Buzz began to gather information indicating that he was McDaniels’ first priority. He has helped the Colts finish in the top 10 in offense two of the last three seasons despite the quarterback rotation. He also learned a lot from the Chargers’ receivers when he was their mail coach in 2016-2017.
The source said Sirianni has excellent interpersonal skills, is good at evaluating players and has a strong work ethic. It’s not the loudest personality, but it’s said that Sirianni has more assets than what we see.
Internal dynamics must also be taken into account. Lurie and General Manager Howie Roseman are heavily involved in the Eagles’ football activities. To keep this force structure intact, the coach must be driven by it. Sirianni, for example, does not have the influence of McDaniels and is likely to fit well into this construct at the outset, focusing on the training aspect.
Nick Sirianni, 39, has spent the last three seasons as offensive coordinator with the Colts and also has experience with the Chiefs and Chargers. Photo by Phelan M. Ebenhack.
Did the late departure affect who Philadelphia could hire as coach?
Yes. The Eagles were interested in Arthur Smith, Robert Saleh and Brandon Staley, but these candidates were too far apart to seriously consider a move after the Eagles waited a week to fire Pederson.
Since the most popular names sell quickly, the only way to get the right combination was to proceed with caution.
The Eagles were also coming off a 4-11-1 season and were not coming off a strong showing. Questions about how it ended with Pederson, a tricky quarterback situation with Wentz and the 2020 Jalen Hurts runner-up pick, and a poor salary projection for 2021 detracted from the attractiveness of the position.
What’s bothering Sirianni?
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Sirianni never called the rooms. Will he take on this responsibility as he adjusts to his first coaching job? He will make this big jump by working in one of the most intense media markets in the country. His previous NFL stops have been Indianapolis, Kansas City, San Diego and Los Angeles. A very different experience awaits him in Philadelphia.
Sirianni needs to gather the staff now. The reserve has already been reduced as the league’s assistants are poached by other new coaches. This process must begin in earnest.
Is this the right lease?
That was a strong argument for the Duce Staley. It is very rare that current and former players have fought for him, both publicly and behind the scenes. Staley has the respect of everyone in the Eagles organization, can command a room like few others and has earned this opportunity after 10 years as an assistant in Philadelphia, the last three as an assistant head coach.
One wonders if Staley’s silly style will match Wentz’s, but there is an argument for hiring the best coach and letting him lead the team and welcome the quarterback as he sees fit.