People weren’t exactly blown away when the Philadelphia Eagles hired Nick Sirianni to replace Doug Pederson last offseason.
It’s not like fans outright hated the hiring. In fact, many seemed to think it was a solid, if unspectacular move:
Still, there were serious questions about the first-time play-caller and head coach. Some were especially not feeling so great after his nervous introductory press conference.
Those reservations eventually waned with Sirianni looking more comfortable through the offseason. A blowout Week 1 win over the Atlanta Falcons made a great first impression.
But then the Eagles started to struggle, falling to a 2-5 record. The offense lacked an identity. Sirianni’s speech comparing the Eagles to a flower didn’t exactly endear him to those who thought he was in over his head. There was thought that Sirianni could be one-and-done.
With the benefit of hindsight, it’s easy to say those thoughts were totally misguided. As head coaches around the league are being fired on the NFL’s Black Monday, Sirianni is firmly entrenched in his position. Once left for dead, the Eagles are set to face the reigning Super Bowl champions in a playoff game this weekend.
And Sirianni is the only rookie head coach that will be appearing in the 2022 NFL postseason. Here’s an overview of the guys from last year’s hiring cycle:
- Brandon Staley (Los Angeles Chargers): 9-8
- Arthur Smith (Atlanta Falcons): 7-10
- David Culley (Houston Texans): 4-13
- Roblert Saleh (New York Jets): 4-13
- Dan Campbell (Detroit Lions): 3-13-1
- Urban Meyer (Jacksonville Jaguars): Fired after going 2-11
Staley came very close to joining Sirianni in the playoffs but not close enough. Perhaps it was a blessing in disguise that Howie Roseman’s presence dissuaded Staley from coming to Philly.
One of the biggest reasons for optimism about Sirianni, a relative unknown at this time last year, was the Eagles’ track record. BGN’s own John Stolnis literally wrote an article titled: “Jeffrey Lurie has an excellent track record hiring ‘unknown’ head coaches.”
Indeed, he does.