It took some time before we heard from new Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni but he was finally introduced to the media on Friday afternoon by team owner Jeffery Lurie.
Lurie opened the press conference by thanking all the candidates that they interviewed for the team’s head coach position.
“This process has been a terrific process. I want to first thank all the candidates that we had the opportunity to interview with, and there were so many quality candidates.”
He went on to say that he was blown away by the candidates they met with and went into detail about the 7- to 10-hour long interview process, and how they whittled a list down from 25 to 10 candidates. Lurie also wanted to thank all the assistant coaches who will no longer be on the staff next season, but singled out Duce Staley and wanted to emphasize how much love he has for the former player and coach. But, ultimately, they agreed that Staley working with another organization will help him on his path to be a head coach.
Lurie eventually circled back to the Sirianni hire and said that the young coach shined throughout the entire process and is somebody that knows the game as well as anybody, and his football IQ, is off the charts. The owner went on to emphasize that Sirianni is an excellent communicator and will contribute and elevate the team’s culture, and the head coach prioritizes maximizing player potential over sticking to a particular scheme. He’s a teacher who wants other teachers around him, and he’s a guy that genuinely cares.
Sirianni was then introduced and had a chance to give an opening statement and thanked the front office for giving him this opportunity, and talked about how he’s excited to be on the same team as the Philly fans — he’s been on the opposing side, and knows their passion for the team and city. The new head coach also thanked his family, former coaches and mentors, and even players who have had a big impact on his career.
He then went through and laid out his core values for the team:
- Connect with each other
- Compete constantly
- Be accountable
- Build a smart football team
Here’s what else the head coach had to say:
On the QB situation
Sirianni said that he took the job because of the organization and its reputation, but they still have a lot to do in terms of getting the staff in place and then evaluating the entire roster, including the quarterback position. He emphasized that they have two top-notch quarterbacks in Carson Wentz and Jalen Hurts, and he’s excited to work with both of them.
The new head coach also confirmed that he’s spoken with both QBs, but he’s making an effort to communicate with all the players. Sirianni didn’t want to go into detail about his conversations with either QB, electing to keep those private, but did say that he’s trying to get to know all the guys outside of football at the moment — they’ll have plenty of time for the football stuff once he and the staff start diving into film. He did note that Wentz has also been in touch with the new offensive coordinator Shane Steichen, as well.
Sirianni was asked directly if there is an open quarterback competition for the Eagles this offseason, but the new head coach wasn’t very definitive.
“That’s something we have to look at and evaluate, and I’m not ready to say that either way yet.”
He was also asked about his former college coach saying that Sirianni has a lot of compassion for players who have gone through adversity, like a major injury. The head coach explained that suffered a major injury his sophomore year in college, and his coach came to the hospital before the game to let him know he’d be missed. That simple gesture taught him the importance of leaning into his experience and being there for his players who may have gone through similar setbacks.
Sirianni was asked if he can say Carson Wentz will definitely be back with the Eagles in 2021.— Brandon Lee Gowton (@BrandonGowton) January 29, 2021
He said he can’t answer that. Still evaluating everything.
On his staff
Defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon
Sirianni explained that Gannon has been with him for the last three years, and the DC’s football IQ is off the charts. If he ever wanted to know something about a defense, Gannon was the first guy he went to, players love him, and his energy is contagious. Sirianni also pointed out that Gannon is a tireless worker and someone he believes in.
Offensive coordinator Shane Steichen
Sirianni calls Steichen “a phenomenal offensive mind,” and noted that they think about the game the same way.
Nick Sirianni says new Eagles OC Shane Steichen is a “phenomenal offensive mind.” Sirianni says they think about the game very similarly.— Brandon Lee Gowton (@BrandonGowton) January 29, 2021
Sirianni was asked about keeping the OL coach on staff, and he simply said that the tape speaks for itself, “It was a no-brainer”. When Sirianni got to the Colts in 2018, they watched a lot of Chargers and Eagles tape, and you could see Philly’s offensive line play well over-and-over again. You could see the fundamentals and technique, and you could see how hard they played, plus Frank Reich talked so highly of Stoutland that Sirianni felt like he already knew the coach before ever speaking to him.
- When asked about personnel decision, the head coach confirmed that Howie Roseman will retain final say over the 53-man roster, and Sirianni “believes” he has final say over the 47-man game-day roster.
- He admitted that he hasn’t watched a lot of film on WR Jalen Reagor — noting that there wasn’t a lot of cross-over film with the Colts last season — but from scouting him out of college, Sirianni called Reagor explosive and someone he’s excited to work with.
- When asked why he thinks the Eagles can be a playoff team, he said that they “still have to go through the process” of bringing in their staff and evaluating the roster before he could answer that.
- On his offensive philosophy, Sirianni explained that he wants to attack multiple ways. He used his time in Indianapolis as an example of this — he worked with three different QBs who were all different, but they had success with each because they played to their strengths and tried to keep them out of situations that were weaknesses.
- Sirianni also confirmed that he will be calling plays for the Eagles, and while he wasn’t the play-caller with the Colts, it was a collaborative effort and he feels ready to lead that effort in Philly, with the help of his support staff.