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Eagles News: Key sign that Philadelphia got the Nick Sirianni hire right

Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 1/24/21.

NFL: JUL 30 Colts Training Camp Photo by Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Let’s get to the Philadelphia Eagles links ...

Mike Lombardi: Eagles made mistake hiring Nick Sirianni - Radio.com
In a somewhat surprising move, the Eagles hired Colts offensive coordinator Nick Sirianni to be their next head coach over Josh McDaniels, who also interviewed for the position. Appearing on WEEI’s Ordway, Merloni & Fauria on Friday, former Patriots executive Mike Lombardi believes it wasn’t a good move by Philadelphia. “I think it’s the Eagles’ mistake,” he said. “I mean, they hired a guy who has never called plays. The guy never called plays and they are making him — the Eagles are truly like a nostalgic tour band. They want to go and hire somebody who has reached that 17th season and they can’t get Frank Reich, so they will take a coach who has been with Frank Reich. I mean, I think this is going to be a hard event.” [BLG Note: You’ll recall that Lombardi also didn’t think Doug Pederson would have any success with the Eagles.]

NFL Mock Draft Roundup: DeVonta Smith, Ja’Marr Chase, or neither? - BGN
The Smith vs. Chase debate is moot in that only one of those wide receivers will likely make it to No. 6. And it’s not impossible that neither of them will be there. Hard not to be happy with getting either one. Chase is bigger (6’1”, 200 pounds) than Smith (6’1”, 175 pounds) and younger as well (turning 21 in March vs. turning 23 in November). Smith’s 2020 season gives him the higher peak but Chase’s 2019 season wasn’t that far off. I’d lean towards Chase if I had to pick, but, again ... pretty happy with either option.

Memories: Eagles vs. Cowboys NFC Championship 1980 - BGN Radio
On this episode of BGN Memories, host John Stolnis continues his look back at the 1980 Eagles season with an in-depth breakdown of the famed NFC Championship Game between the Birds and the Dallas Cowboys.

Eagles Reportedly Have Their New DC - Iggles Blitz
This move does show that the team is letting Sirianni choose his staff. Pederson needed help as he put his staff together. There is a huge difference in the situations. Pederson had coached in Philly and then went to KC with Reid. He wasn’t exposed to a lot of different people. Sirianni coached for the Chiefs, Chargers and Colts over the course of 12 seasons. He worked for four head coaches and was exposed to different systems and staffs. He’s got a much larger pool of candidates to draw from.

It’s time for Carson Wentz to buy in after new coach hire - NBCSP
Wentz will also need to admit he needs to improve. He’ll need to be accountable. He was far from the only problem with the Eagles last year; his OL struggled and his receivers didn’t help. But Wentz has to take ownership for his own shortcomings. He’s supposed to be a franchise quarterback and he didn’t play like it in 2020. The Eagles are doing all they can, including hiring Sirianni, to try to get him back to playing like that franchise quarterback in the future. I don’t know if the plan will work. But I do know that the only chance it has is for Wentz to buy in.

On Doug Pederson, Andy Reid, Nick Sirianni, and the cost of coaching the Eagles - Inquirer
Reid, who had once assembled a crack staff, no longer had a Rolodex full of budding coaches and came to rely on Howie Roseman for assistance. The neophyte general manager pushed for the hiring of defensive line coach Jim Washburn, who had been successful with an aggressive 4-3 front. But when Reid agreed and Roseman lured Washburn from the Titans before a coordinator was added, he limited his options because few candidates ran the wide-nine scheme, and of the many who didn’t, none would want it forced upon them. What followed was one of the more shocking moments in team annals: Reid tapping offensive line coach Juan Castillo as defensive coordinator even though he hadn’t coached on that side of the ball in 30 years. The rest, they say, is history, with Lurie nearly a decade later trying not to repeat it.

Senior Bowl Preview: 10 players to watch on offense - PE.com
WR DeVonta Smith, Alabama. The belle of the ball, DeVonta Smith is the reigning Heisman Trophy winner, one of a boatload of awards the senior took home this fall after one of the most prolific seasons in the history of the sport. Smith will not participate in practice due to a hand injury suffered in the National Championship Game against Ohio State, but he will be in attendance to meet with NFL teams and take part in meetings. While his production was through the roof this fall, the number that concerns people the most is the one that will show up when he steps on the scale. Smith was listed somewhere in the range of 175 pounds this year with Alabama, which is a bit worrisome. Still, Smith has outstanding hands and a toughness and competitiveness that you can’t coach. He is one of the top prospects in the country.

Report: Eagles to Hire Colts DBs Coach Jonathan Gannon as their New Defensive Coordinator - Stampede Blue
Gannon just finished his third season as Indianapolis’ defensive backs/cornerbacks coach (2018-2020). Prior to joining the Colts, Gannon was a member of the Minnesota Vikings (2014-17) and Tennessee Titans coaching staffs (2012-13). He also previously served as a scout with the St. Louis Rams (2009-11). He’s been instrumental in the development of some of the Colts young defensive backs such as Kenny Moore, Khari Willis, and Julian Blackmon. Colts general manager Chris Ballard already credited Gannon with his role in bringing lockdown cornerback Xavier Rhodes to Indianapolis on at least a one-year stint in 2020—while helping him to largely regain his prior All-Pro form with the Minnesota Vikings: “Xavier had a heck of a year,” said Ballard last week in his end-of-season press conference. “(He) really bought into what we are doing. I give Jonathan Gannon (Colts cornerbacks coach) a lot of credit for that. He had a relationship with Xavier from Minnesota. Xavier worked and bought into everything we’re doing.”

Falcons hire former player Justin Peelle as TEs coach, add three defensive coaches - The Falcoholic
Peelle had a 10 year career in the NFL as a reserve tight end, including a three year stint in Atlanta from 2008-2010. He did quite a lot of blocking and reeled in 37 catches for 370 yards and 5 touchdowns over that span, and after retiring he moved on to Philadelphia as an assistant tight ends coach from 2013-2014 and their tight ends coach from 2015-2020. That means his stint in Philadelphia coincided with the development of Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert, making him a fine coach to take over that role in Atlanta to work with Hayden Hurst and any additional tight ends the team adds this offseason.

What non-Cowboys move so far this offseason will impact the Cowboys the most in 2021? - Blogging The Boys
Who the head coaches in the division that the Cowboys play in are obviously of serious importance. Only one NFC East team changed coaches this offseason and it was the squad that has largely been Dallas’ primary competition for a home playoff game. Sirianni doesn’t have an incredibly long résumé to this point in his career, but he did grow under Frank Reich and it was Reich who was the offensive coordinator in Philadelphia during their Super Bowl season three years ago. More than anything, the Sirianni hire seems like an all-in move by the organization towards quarterback Carson Wentz (plus his hiring means that they did not hire Kellen Moore!) which is about the best possible news that we as Cowboys fans could hope to hear. Time will tell how great he ends up being, but initial reviews are not great.

Lions are looking to trade Matthew Stafford, Washington just hired the GM that drafted him - Hogs Haven
Mayhew has a pretty big connection with Matthew Stafford, and it’s one that was talked about a lot as Washington enters the offseason looking for a QB. He was the GM for the Detroit Lions from 2008-2015, and drafted Stafford with the #1 pick in 2009, his first full year in the position. Matthew Stafford has been a good QB on a bad team for a long, long time so it’s not surprising that he finally wants to hit the exit. The question is how much does Washington like him, and how much are they willing to spend to acquire the soon-to-be 33 year old QB? He has two years left on his contract, and the team that trades for him would owe him $43 million. Cheap for a franchise QB, unless he wants an extension as part of the deal.

‘Valentine’s Views’: Puzzling prospects, playoff lessons, more - Big Blue View
The lesson? They need to fix their offense. That is hardly a news flash, but it’s the absolute truth. Chris wrote about this in discussing Daniel Jeremiah’s selection of Alabama wide receiver Jaylen Waddle for the Giants at No. 11 in his first 2021 mock draft. I’m going to second the notion. The old saying is that defense wins championships. Maybe. But, these days you’ve got to have a terrific offense to earn that championship opportunity. The four teams still playing are all in the top five in 2020 points scored. Among top 10 scoring teams in 2020, the only one that did not make the playoffs in the Las Vegas Raiders, who were 10th in points. If you have watched the playoffs, in game after game the team with the noticeably weaker offense in each game always seemed to be playing uphill. You can win games that way sometimes, but you can’t be consistently good unless you can put pressure on opposing teams by scoring points.

Odds for every possible Super Bowl matchup, outcome heading into AFC, NFC Championships - DraftKings Nation
The NFL has reached its final four with the AFC and NFC Championship games scheduled for this Sunday. The Kansas City Chiefs host the Buffalo Bills and the Green Bay Packers host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The winners advance to Super Bowl 55 in Tampa. The Packers and Chiefs are co-favorites at DraftKings Sportsbook to bring home the Lombardi Trophy at +210. The Bills are listed at +325 and the Bucs are listed at +450.

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