Two days prior to the Philadelphia Eagles’ Wild Card loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio wrote about how “there’s smoke” to Nick Sirianni being replaced by Bill Belichick.
Obviously, that did not happen. The Eagles are moving forward with Sirianni ... and a significantly revamped coaching staff around him. Belichick appears to be shut out of this year’s coaching cycle.
But just because Sirianni did not get replaced by Belichick doesn’t mean the Eagles were not interested in going that route.
Or that it won’t happen next year.
BEDARD: Other scuttlebutt, as far as Bill Belichick — and I had heard this before — that Bill, I think he was … at some point in time, things went poorly with the Falcons or he thought it was going to go poorly and his eyes were more on next year. And his eyes are more on the jobs that could be opened up next year. Including Dallas, possibly Buffalo.
Probably the most interesting thing that I’ve heard — and this is just Senior Bowl rumor mill — is that the Eagles were very interested in Belichick if things didn’t work out with Nick Sirianni and they could be at the front of the line if things again go poorly for [Sirianni] next year.
FELGER: Didn’t things not work out with Nick Sirianni? Like, what does that mean? They got blown out in the first round.
BEDARD: Well, yes, but similar to Doug Pederson [after the 2020 season], Doug Pederson was coming back until he had that postseason meeting with Howie [Roseman] and Jeffrey Lurie. And they wanted Doug Pederson to do certain things, fire certain people, and he wouldn’t do it, so he got fired. Apparently, Nick Sirianni was amenable to all that stuff so they decided for one more year to keep him.
But I do think— remember, I told you guys that, before the end of the season, teams had already reached out to Bill, back-channeled on Bill. I thought the Falcons were definitely one of them. I’m now pretty convinced that the Eagles were the other one. When things were going south, they thought this might end poorly with Sirianni, and I wouldn’t be surprised given the relationship that Howie and Bill have that the Eagles were one of those teams to back channel through Bill.
If Sirianni — in his seemingly diminished role — can help the Eagles get back on track to their winning ways, talk about his potential replacement options will go away. That was once the case for Mike McCarthy when it looked like Sean Payton could be primed to replace him in Dallas. Didn’t end up happening.
But now Sirianni and McCarthy alike are set to enter the 2024 season with a lot of pressure on them. Their seats are hot. And they’re only going to get warmer if they don’t win.
In the event that things do not get better for the Birds, Belichick as the Eagles’ head coach in 2025 (or sooner?!) might not be so far-fetched.