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Is Nick Sirianni the Problem?

Nick Sirianni: With the Eagles struggling more than any preseason Super Bowl contender in recent memory, how much of it is on Nick Sirianni?
Nick Sirianni

Going into Week 18 there was a decent amount of positive sentiment from sects of fans and the media about the Philadelphia Eagles. After the A.J. Brown interview, many people bought into the hope that the Eagles could recapture some good form going into the playoffs. Well…. that hope became way too like the feeling of getting socks as a Christmas gift. A disappointment would be an understatement to describe the Eagles performance against the New York Giants, a game the Eagles were trying to win going in. The Eagles were thoroughly outplayed and dominated by a terrible Giants team. It not only managed to reverse the sentiment going into the game but added five battleship fuel tanks already to a raging forest fire in the Eagles organization. Fans and the media alike have been pointing towards Nick Sirianni as the main individual to blame.

There are little to no aspirations among fans right now about the Eagles playoff chances and Sirianni has been taking the brunt of the fury. Many want him to be fired in the offseason barring a miraculous run. The topic has the fanbase divided as some believe it’s way too early to let go of Sirianni and others think he should be fired the day after the Eagles season ends. However, does Sirianni deserve to be the scapegoat?

How Much Blame Does Nick Sirianni Deserve?

The Coaching Staff Decisions Lie on Sirianni

Even though the Eagles lost both coordinators during the last offseason, there didn’t seem like there was a lot of angst around the team and its expectations. Many believed that the Eagles would be able to take these losses in stride. But I don’t think anyone could have seen this coming, where the Eagles are going into the playoffs looking like one of the worst teams in the NFL. A lot of that undoubtedly falls on the offensive and defensive coaching staff. To be fair, the Eagles were put in a rough spot by losing Jonathan Gannon, as he said he would stay this year. When he left, the Eagles lost the opportunity to hire Vic Fangio who was likely to be Gannon’s replacement.

However, offensive coordinator Brian Johnson was someone who had been with Sirianni for a long time and had a great relationship with Jalen Hurts, which was the main reason behind his promotion. It seemed as if Sirianni believed in what every fan believed in as well, that it didn’t matter who was coaching the team due to the plethora of talent. Bad coordinators aren’t unusual in the NFL, but it’s vastly disappointing for a team that had champion expectations. Ultimately, the blame needs to be placed on him for this fiasco, at least in the case of the offensive coordinator.  Moreover, it’s also been an issue where he has shown great loyalty to his guys, but at some point, he must gauge the merit and the results of his guys which he has not done.

Nick Sirianni’s Full Resume and Skills Weighed

Sirianni rose to prominence in his coaching career serving as the offensive coordinator for the Indianapolis Colts from 2018-2020. The Colts were a solid offensive unit, but it must be noted that Sirianni served under offensive Head Coach Frank Reich, who is known for having the biggest hand in his team’s offensive schemes, game planning, and play calling. However, Sirianni still had major success when he took over the Philadelphia Eagles, originally a 4-11-1 team the year before.  Sirianni has led the Eagles to a winning record every season, including a Super Bowl appearance, with a total record of 36-19 including playoff games.

Much of the problem stems from the fact that Sirianni was sold (mostly by the media) as an offensive genius, which he is not. We know now how much former offensive coordinator Shane Steichen meant to the Eagles offense last year. Without him, Philadelphia’s offense has fallen off and the Colts offense has been awesome even with significant injuries. However, the success Sirianni has had speaks for itself, and the players have spoken many times about the respect they have for Sirianni as a coach. Though, with the performance last week against the Giants there has been some doubt over Sirianni’s control over the locker room and motivational skills.

Nick Sirianni: The Final Verdict

Barring an unbelievable run for the Eagles to get back to the Super Bowl, you can only categorize this Eagles season as a failure under Nick Sirianni. It has been bad, and his decisions have been a big part of it. However, Sirianni still has the potential to be a special coach in the NFL. Many fans and pundits feel like teams need specialists as head coaches yet look at teams like the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Baltimore Ravens who don’t have specialists as head coaches but have had continued success under many different circumstances.

Sirianni could very well be one of those guys, the way all the Eagles players have tons of respect and admiration for him. While play calling hasn’t been his thing, he rarely makes late-game mistakes and is an aggressive coach who his players often took after during his tenure.

No matter how the rest of this season goes, the solution should be to find a new offensive and defensive coordinator with Sirianni as opposed to without him. He and Howie Roseman should work together in the offseason to find coordinators they can both agree on who would fit the team well and bring real experience as well as inventive ideas to the positions.

If Sirianni doesn’t want to go that because of his loyalties, then there’s no choice other than to move on. However, letting go of a coach who has only had success in his tenure could be a big mistake. Even though this season’s collapse has been monumental the Eagles are still 11-6 with one of the hardest schedules in the league. There could be good options outside of Sirianni if they chose to move on, but the grass isn’t always greener, especially with NFL coaches.

Main Photo: Bill Streicher – USA Today Sports


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