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Eagles News: Jalen Hurts declines to defend Nick Sirianni

Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 1/16/24.

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Jalen Hurts’ lukewarm endorsement of Nick Sirianni may be the final nail in the Eagles coach’s coffin - Inquirer
Jalen Hurts is often a tough read, but he revealed plenty by what he didn’t say when given the opportunity to endorse Nick Sirianni. Asked if he wanted the Eagles coach back, Hurts said, “I didn’t know he was going anywhere.” Told that there has been rampant speculation that Sirianni’s job was in jeopardy, Hurts said, “I didn’t know that.” And then when asked whether he had confidence in him to fix the Eagles’ late season free fall — that landed with a thud at Raymond James Stadium — the quarterback said, “I have a ton of confidence in everyone in this building.” All that was missing from Hurts’ three dodges was a rooster’s crow. Owner Jeffrey Lurie will have the final decision on Sirianni’s future after the Eagles lost six of their final seven games, lastly a 32-9 embarrassment to the Buccaneers in the first round of the postseason. But when your $255 million franchise quarterback can’t summon the words to defend his coach, it seems a foregone conclusion that Sirianni won’t be back for a fourth season — just one year after he nearly guided the Eagles to a second Super Bowl title. [BLG Note: Hurts could’ve been much more effusive about Sirianni if he really wanted to be.]

This Nick Sirianni quote from early September looks awfully damning now - BGN
Listening to Jeff McLane’s “unCovering the Birds” podcast about Nick Sirianni and his role in the Eagles’ collapse this past Friday, I was struck by a quote that was shared. Sirianni said the following during a recorded phone call with McLane back on September 5, five days before the Eagles’ 2023 season opener.

BGN Instant Reaction Show - Wild Card Round: Eagles fall to Bucs, 32-9 - BGN Radio
The Eagles were eliminated from the playoffs by losing to the Bucs, 32-9 in the Wild Card Round. Jess Taylor and Shane Haff share their thoughts on the Eagles’ embarrassing loss.

Handing out 10 awards from the Eagles-Buccaneers playoff game - PhillyVoice
Eagles fans have searched for where the blame should fall on the Eagles’ offensive woes to close the season. Is it Nick Sirianni? It’s his offense that the team is running. Is it Brian Johnson? He’s the one calling the plays. Is it Jalen Hurts? He’s the one running the offense on the field. The answer to all three questions is “Yes.”

Glad It’s Over - Iggles Blitz
My biggest takeaway from this weekend of football…hungry teams had success. Think about young teams like Houston and Green Bay. Think about the Lions. Think about the Bills. These teams had an edge to them. Teams that were soft got sent packing. Dallas, Miami…Philly. I’m talking about mentally, physically and emotionally soft. The Eagles didn’t face adversity in 2022. When it hit them this season, they melted like butter. James Bradberry tackled like he was in a preseason game tonight. Only it was the postseason. Jalen Hurts took a safety on a play where he’s got to throw the ball away. He’s too smart to do that, but he did it. Soft. The Eagles kept thinking they could flip the switch at the end of the season. Uh, they couldn’t even find the switch. They had no answers. None. This is a talented roster. They have talent in a lot of key spots. It is crazy to think about them going 1-5 to close the regular season and then losing 32-9 to the Bucs in the playoffs. Disappointing doesn’t begin to describe that.

Roob’s Observations: Eagles finish epic collapse with loss to Buccaneers - NBCSP
2. The performance we’ve seen by this defense lately has been just horrifying. This is a Buccaneers team that struggled to score nine points last weekend in a must-win game against a 2-15 Panthers team. The Eagles held them to 174 yards and 11 points in September. They had surpassed those numbers by the middle of the second quarter Monday night. Obviously, the coordinator change has been a catastrophe. At least the Eagles had some impressive wins when Sean Desai was their defensive coordinator. And when they got embarrassed, it was the 49ers and Cowboys. Under Patricia, it’s everybody. Guys running around with no idea where they’re supposed to go, what their assignment is, what their teammates are about to do. The missed tackles became an epidemic late in the season. The coverage breakdowns. The blown assignments. And it wasn’t Mike Evans or Chris Godwin on Monday. It was Cade Otton. It was David Moore. It was Trey Palmer. The Eagl’s’ couldn’t stop any of them. Howie Roseman has a heck of a lot of work to do this offseason because the Eagles need speed, physicality and playmaking at every level on defense. James Bradberry has to go. Nick Morrow has to go. Kevin Byard, Shaq Leonard, Bradley Roby, Zach Cunningham – they all have to go. This was just unconscionable stuff we saw Monday night from a bottom-10 offense and a journeyman quarterback. The Bucs finished with 426 yards, 23 first downs, 46 percent on third down, and Baker Mayfield threw for 337 yards and three TDs. Of course the Eagles didn’t force any turnovers. The worst defensive stretch in Eagles history? That’s saying a lot. There were stretches in 1967, 2012 and 2015 that were truly wretched. And that 1937 defense, yikes. But this was worse than all of them. There’s never been a defense in Eagles history that’s fallen to pieces week after week like this group has the last two months.

What’s next for the Eagles? - PFT
It all comes down to what owner Jeffrey Lurie wants. He’ll be making his decision with full knowledge that the greatest coach in NFL history is available to anyone who wants him. Already, Bill Belichick has interviewed with the Falcons. All eyes have been trained on Dallas since the Cowboys were embarrassed by the Packers, for the possible firing of coach Mike McCarthy — possibly followed by the hiring of Belichick. If Lurie thinks his one chance at Belichick could quickly come and go, will Lurie make the move? It could be that he’d only fire Sirianni if he believes Belichick would take the job. Formal searches notwithstanding, plenty of these arrangements are made behind the scenes. If Lurie knows he wants Belichick and if Lurie knows Belichick wants the job, it’s just a matter of activating the process by creating a vacancy.

The Eagles lost more than just a playoff game against the Buccaneers - SB Nation
Kelce leaving the game will not stop him from making a positive impact. The Eagles, meanwhile, are now tasked with replacing a franchise legend — one of several questions they will be facing heading into the 2024 offseason. Their loss to the Buccaneers was therefore more than just a playoff exit too early for the team’s liking. It also marked the end of an era.

The First Read, Divisional Round: Biggest immediate question for advancing/eliminated NFL playoff teams -
Philadelphia’s collapse was epic in too many ways to summarize here. The first question to ask is apparent: How did a team that once sat at 10-1, only one season removed from a Super Bowl appearance, drop six of its last seven games, including Monday night’s 32-9 loss to Tampa Bay? The next question after that is even more critical: Is there a simple way to fix all that was broken? It doesn’t feel that way today. The Eagles have defensive problems that require serious personnel changes, especially in the secondary and at linebacker. They might have to say farewell to some veteran leaders, including center Jason Kelce, defensive end Brandon Graham and defensive tackle Fletcher Cox. The coaching situation needs to be addressed on both sides of the football as well, as the departures of former coordinators Shane Steichen and Jonathan Gannon eventually caught up with the team. This is no longer a situation where executive vice president/general manager Howie Roseman can simply pull off some impressive personnel moves and wait for this team to start dominating. There’s still plenty of talent on the roster, but a team once known for clutch play and strong leadership lost its identity in a hurry. It’s up to Roseman and head coach Nick Sirianni to redefine what the team will be about when next season begins.

NFL Super Wild Card Weekend Recap: Tampa Bay Buccaneers 32, Philadelphia Eagles 9 - PFF
Defensive spotlight: Mayfield rocked the Eagles’ cornerback unit, which was responsible for allowing 263 yards and three touchdowns in coverage. James Bradberry and Darius Slay accounted for 161 of that total, pending reviews. Philadelphia’s Brandon Graham recorded a game-high 33.3% pass-rush win rate despite recording only one quarterback pressure — a sack — on the first review of the contest.

Spadaro: 10 takeaways from a season-ending loss in Tampa Bay -
10. DeVonta Smith was a stud, as usual, catching 8 passes for 148 yards on 12 targets. But teams need multiple weapons offensively, and Goedert caught just 4 passes and there just wasn’t enough firepower on a night when the Eagles were behind from the very start of the game.

Buccaneers Wild Card Top Performers vs. Philadelphia Eagles - Bucs Nation
The Buccaneers, largely considered a strong No. 1 overall pick contender back in August, bared their underdog teeth on Monday by dominating the Philadelphia Eagles and winning a riveting Wild Card matchup, 32-9. The Eagles, who bullied the Buccaneers back in Week 3 and started 10-1, utterly collapsed down the stretch on both sides of the ball but saw a faint glimmer of hope entering the playoffs. The Bucs clinched their third consecutive division title but got clocked by the Saints and barely got by the Panthers in doing so to close out the year. However, any doubt on Tampa’s side — as well as any hope for Philly — was quickly dashed as the Bucs scored on their first 4 possessions. The Philly offense found no answers for Todd Bowles’s relentless blitzing strategy, and the offense closed it out with four full quarters of balanced ball.

Cowboys were only home team to lose in Wild Card Round, second time in three years - Blogging The Boys
It is unlikely that the passage of 24 hours made you any less angry about the Dallas Cowboys collapsing against the Green Bay Packers, ending their season on about the worst possible note imaginable. They say that time heals all wounds and maybe a little bit more will help, but right now things look rather bleak for Cowboys faithful. Such is the case because the way that Dallas lost was so embarrassing. The Cowboys were never in their game against the Packers for starters, but the details of the loss are astounding. Consider that they became the first team to ever lose to a #7 seed (this has only been possible for three seasons now but still) and that they are now the first team to win at least 12 games in three consecutive seasons without appearing in a single conference championship game. The jokes write themselves and now they are even repeating themselves.

Giants’ OC Mike Kafka will interview for Seattle Seahawks’ HC job - Big Blue View
For a second consecutive offseason, New York Giants offensive coordinator Mike Kafka appears to be popular on the head-coaching interview circuit. Kafka interviewed for four head-coaching job s last offseason, but did not get one and returned to the Giants. Kafka has now received a second request to interview a head-coaching opening this offseason. The Seattle Seahawks have requested permission to interview Kafka, per Adam Schefter. The Seahawks moved on from Pete Carroll at the end of the regular season. Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn is also considered a leading candidate for the Seattle job.

Washington Commanders Coaching/Front Office Tracker: New GM Adam Peters has officially arrived in Washington - Hogs Haven
Josh Harris interviewed five candidates for the new head of football operations position over two days earlier this week at his house in Miami. It came down to San Francisco 49ers AGM Adam Peters and Chicago Bears AGM Ian Cunningham. They both got second interviews that included three limited partners. Adam Peters was hired as the Washington Commanders new GM, and now he must focus on building his front office, and also searching for the team’s new head coach.


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