On Jan. 21, ESPN announced that the Philadelphia Eagles’ long search for Doug Pederson’s replacement was over, as they were hiring former Colts offensive coordinator Nick Sirianni. The final two head coaching candidates for the Eagles were reportedly Nick Sirianni and Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels. The choice of Sirianni over Mcdaniels delighted Eagles fans, who certainly didn’t want a Patriot to become head coach — especially one who was unsuccessful in his previous head coaching stint. Instead, the Eagles went with 39-year-old Sirianni.
There are two elements that come with the hiring of Sirianni:
- Coaching staff changes
- The quarterback situation
The hiring of Sirianni all but assures that Carson Wentz will still be on the roster at the start of the 2021 season. Throughout the quarterbacking process, it was rumored that Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie was looking for an offensive coach in hopes of restoring Wentz to days of old. It should be noted that the Eagles still have Jalen Hurts as their quarterback as he enters his sophomore campaign. Hurts started the final four regular-season games for the Eagles and finished with six touchdown passes and four interceptions on the season.
When asked about Wentz, Lurie talked about how he hopes the new coaching hire will put Wentz back on track.
“It behooves us as a team with a new coach and a new coaching staff to be able to really get him back to that elite progression,” said Lurie.
- Coaching Staff Changes
With the hiring of Sirianni comes a brand new coaching staff for the Eagles. There a number of coaches that have been brought in that previously worked with Sirianni during his tenure with the Colts.
The most notable coach to come from the Colts is now Eagles defensive coordinator Johnathan Gannon, who previously served as the Colts secondary coach from 2018 to 2020. It should be noted that Gannon does not have any experience calling defensive plays, which is what he will be tasked to do in Philadelphia. However, Colts cornerback Xavier Rhodes had a career resurgence this past year under Gannon’s coaching.
One of the most interesting additions to the Eagles coaching staff this year is quarterback coach Brian Johson. Johnson was previously the offensive coordinator at the University of Florida, where he helped develop Kyle Trask. Florida averaged 33.2 PPG last season, with better than 500 YPG. Johnson also worked with Dak Prescott at Mississippi State, where he helped Prescott develop into the quarterback that he is today. What’s really interesting about Johnson is that he has known Jalen Hurts since he was four years old and has spoken extremely high of him.
“You never see [Hurts] sweat,” said Johnson to the Philadelphia Inquirer in May“I do think he and Dak have similarities in their games – not only in their games, but in their approach and their mindset. Both of those kids are two of the mentally toughest people I’ve ever seen or been around – how they handle themselves, the competitive nature they have. They have an enormous amount of self-discipline, and they’re just true warriors, ready for whatever at any time. More importantly, they’re really, really good people. They’re great teammates. I don’t think you can have enough great teammates in your locker room.”
The relationship between Johnson and Hurts will certainly add to the Wentz situation, and it appears to give Hurts an advantage because of the familiarity he already has with Johnson.