By Connor Thomas
We’ve all been there before – a middle school book report, an important interview, a conversation on a first date – sometimes nerves can get the better of someone. Clearly, they got the better of new Eagles Head Coach Nick Sirianni during his introductory press conference back on January 29th. It isn’t the first time a first impression has led to stuttering and rambling on, and it certainly won’t be the last, but hey, it’s the guy’s first head coaching gig in the NFL. There were plenty of people saying that Sirianni deserved a break, and that first time nerves were not the best initial impression, but they were a normal reaction to a big moment. And then, we got the opportunity to hear Sirianni speak a second time. Yesterday, the Eagles’ new leader had an impromptu meeting with the Philadelphia media, alongside General Manager Howie Roseman, to discuss the team’s latest moves and plans for the offseason now that the new league year has begun. I think most people expected the same shtick from Roseman that we have grown accustomed to over the years of his time in the front office, but everyone waited anxiously to hear if there would be any improvements from Sirianni.
If there were any, they were minor. The nervous energy was still there, with a new crutch of the word “like” becoming painfully obvious with each answer the coach gave. Now, I’m no English teacher. I’m not here to critique the speech patterns for the sake of sounding proper. But how in the world was this the guy, that walked into Jeffrey Lurie’s Florida residence and shined above the seemingly million other candidates that the Eagles interviewed for their vacant head coaching position? He has been in the NFL for a bit now, but his resume does not begin to rival those of some of his peers who were up for coaching jobs and fell short. There must have been some sort of intangible, special quality about Sirianni that prompted the organization to bring him in. Well, after yesterday’s press conference, I have a hunch as to what it is – and it isn’t his public speaking ability. The answer has everything to do with the man who virtually stood next to Sirianni at both of his press conferences so far, and what Nick Sirianni had to say about him yesterday.
When answering a question about the young talent on the Eagles, Sirianni responded by saying:
“I think Howie and his staff have done such a good job of getting young talent in here… the guys that are currently on these rosters, these are the guys that I fell in love with a couple years ago in the draft or last year in the draft. You don’t get to recruit the guys it’s like ‘oh shoot the Eagles took them’.”
Yes, multiple likes and you knows were redacted from that quote.
From this one answer, we get a glimpse into why the young, shorts and sandals wearing, stuttering, resume lacking Sirianni ultimately became the 24th head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles. His blind love for the “good job” that Howie and the Eagles organization has done getting young talent means one of two things – either the Eagles’ new coach really thinks his previous franchises missed out on the likes of Jalen Reagor, Davion Taylor, JJ Arcega-Whiteside, Clayton Thorson, Nate Gerry, and Mack Hollins – or he is already in the business of kissing up to his new boss. The first option would mean that he does not understand how to evaluate talent, which would be the bigger issue, but is less likely considering that he has been around football his whole life. The second option is the one that I believe to be the case, and is the main reason he was hired by Roseman and Lurie. Some have refuted the idea that the former Colts Offensive Coordinator was brought in to be a puppet that would do the bidding of the team’s top two, but the outburst of excitement when given the opportunity to talk about the great work of his new GM seems to lean towards the contrary.
It appears, unfortunately for Eagles fans, that the most troubling attribute of their new signal caller is not the stutter, the age, the resume, or the wardrobe; it’s the blind faith that he’s already showing in the organizations ability to find young talent. The Eagles have notably not had a Pro Bowl draft pick since 2016, and that player is now the new QB of the Indianapolis Colts. If you were expecting Sirianni to come in and fight the Roseman-Lurie status quo, it seems you’ll be sadly mistaken. And that looks to be the main reason why Nick Sirianni is the new coach of the Philadelphia Eagles.