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Nick Sirianni explains unexpected Eagles defensive coordinator change

The Eagles head coach spoke to reporters following their Week 15 loss to the Seahawks, and addressed how they move forward from their third straight loss.

The Eagles had another embarrassing loss on Monday night against the Seahawks and head coach Nick Sirianni spoke to reporters post-game and talked about making the change at defensive coordinator this week, admitted that their two-minute offense is a big problem, and addressed how they move forward from here.

He was asked about Darius Slay’s comments about the team not having fun and playing tense. Sirianni acknowledged that losing isn’t fun, but they can’t always let that affect their mood.

Here’s what the head coach had to say:

On giving the defense to Matt Patricia

“I made the decision. I did what I thought I needed to do with the best interest of the football team. I didn’t feel like — made some adjustments there, I didn’t feel like we were playing well enough and coaching well enough on defense, so I made an adjustment.”

Sirianni went on to explain that he made the decision to give Sean Desai’s responsibilities to Matt Patricia sometime in the middle of the week, right when they started game-planning.

“It was a tough decision to be able to do this, but, again, I did what I felt was best for our football team. We’re always making adjustments, and that’s what I did.”

The head coach also clarified that Patricia is getting the final say on the defense now.

He also noted that despite the game on Monday night, he doesn’t plan on making any other coaching changes.

When asked about Desai’s role with the team now that Patricia is in charge of the defense, Sirianni said that it is a collaborative effort.

“As disappointed as Sean [Desai] was, I think he handled himself like a true pro, and we know that Sean can still be helpful to this football team because he still has a bright mind.”

The head coach went on to say that when he listened in on the defense, Desai and Patricia were communicating back and forth, similar to how the pair communicated when the roles were reversed.

Sirianni admitted that he knows there’s going to be scrutiny around his decision, but in his role as head coach, he has to do anything he can to help the football team succeed. He knows it’s not typical to make that kind of adjustment as a 10-3 team, but he said it was similar to what he did in 2021 when he gave up the offensive play-calling to Shane Steichen.

When he made the decision to give the responsibilities to Patricia, he did speak to the player council to let them know, and one reason he didn’t talk to reporters about it, is because he wanted to make sure the players knew about the change first. Sirianni also noted that divulging that information would’ve been a competitive disadvantage.

On the offensive success from the first half vs. the second

Sirianni said that he thought they did a nice job running the football and keeping drives going early in the game, but weren’t able to finish in the red zone just before halftime.

“We weren’t great in two-minute offense today — we weren’t good at all in two-minute offense, I think we were 0 for 3 in two-minute, which accounted for a lot of those drives.”

The Seahawks tied it up 10-10 and Sirianni said that they responded, but they really wanted to be able to get up two scores on them, and weren’t able to. He gave credit to the defense for hanging in there, and doing some really nice things, but they just needed to pull away in that game and they didn’t.

“Some uncharacteristic things situationally, fundamentally. And anytime you have uncharacteristic things situationally and fundamentally, that’s gotta go to me first. So, we all gotta be critical on ourselves, starting with myself, and like I said, anytime it’s the fundamentals or the situations, you gotta look right at me for that.”

For the third straight week, the Eagles offense failed to score more than 20 points, and Sirianni admitted that isn’t to their standard, and it definitely plays into them being 0-3 in that time.

Other notables

  • The head coach said that Jalen Hurts fought really hard, especially because he didn’t feel good at all — Sirianni also pointed out that it was actually Hurts’ idea for him to fly separately as to not infect the team with whatever he was dealing with.

“Appreciate his efforts tonight to fight through in some tough times.”

  • Sirianni was asked what they do now, as they ride a three-game slide, and he explained that they just get back to work and it all starts with the coaches making the changes they need to make and then helping the players get ready to execute. He noted that whether that’s making a change to the scheme, or like he did making a change at coordinator, they’re going to do whatever they need to right the ship.

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