By: Jared Miller (Reporter ‘22)
Over the last two weeks, the Eagles have hired many new coaches. These decisions are in response to the firing of Doug Pederson and the resignation of Jim Schwartz, along with the lack of an offensive coordinator during the past season. Atop the headlines is the Eagles’ new head coach, Nick Sirianni. Nick Sirianni came to the NFL as an assistant coach for the Kansas City Chiefs in 2009 after a few years as a college coach. He climbed the ranks in Kansas City before he was hired as the San Diego/Los Angeles Chargers’ quarterback coach for two years, and subsequently hired as the Charger’s wide receiver coach for another two. In 2018, Sirianni joined the staff of the former Eagles’ offensive coordinator Frank Reich’s Indianapolis Colts as their offensive coordinator, where he remained until he was hired by the Eagles.
When asked about his thoughts on the Eagle’s hiring decision, Daniel Saligman (‘22) said, “Sirianni is a good, young offensive mind with heavy question marks—but look back at the last few [Eagle’s head coaches] and it’s been the same.” Daniel is referring to the Eagle’s last three head coaches, the recently-fired Doug Pederson, the infamous Chip Kelly, and Andy Reid, who led the Chiefs to their second consecutive Super Bowl appearance. There are strong cases to be made that Pederson and Reid were successful. Daniel went on to say, “I think he’s a young guy who is assembling a strong young staff with which to start what is hopefully a solid team for the next few years… I think he will be a great coach for the Philadelphia Eagles moving forward.” While there is some skepticism about Sirianni’s age and experience, he fits the stereotype of Eagles’ coaches: young, offensive minds who are hungry to win.
Another one of the Eagle’s major hires was their offensive coordinator, a spot that has been vacant since Mike Groh, who was universally hated among Eagles fans, was fired in 2019. Jeffrey Lurie and Howie Roseman, the Eagles’ owner and general manager respectively, decided to hire former San Diego/Los Angeles Chargers’ offensive coordinator Shane Steichen. Steichen had been a coach with the Chargers since 2014, where he ascended the ranks until he became interim offensive coordinator in 2019 and was then named full-time offensive coordinator at the end of that season. I am in love with this decision. The Eagles QB crisis is a very big issue, and Steichen helped Justin Herbert have one of the best rookie QB seasons of all time this year in which he broke the rookie records for most passing yards, most passing touchdowns, and most completions. Yianni Krontiris (‘22) agrees with this sentiment. He said, “I think hiring someone who is familiar with Sirianni and someone outside of the organization brings a lot of new ideas that will compliment Sirianni’s play-calling and offensive game plan.” Yianni is referring to Steichen’s role as the offensive quality control coach from 2014-2016, during which he was on the same coaching staff as Sirianni. Yianni went on to say, “Although Steichen was criticized for running on early downs, I think that won’t be a problem, considering we have a star back in Miles Sanders.” Overall, Shane Steichen is a fitting improvement over the vacancy of last season’s offensive coordinator position and the previous idiocy of Mike Groh.
The last of the team’s big hires was to replace Jim Schwartz, who resigned because he has “too much respect for the game and for everybody involved to compromise the level of commitment that [he believes] is necessary to do the job.” The Eagles decided to hire Jonathan Gannon, who had previously served as the Indianapolis Colts’ defensive backs coach and the Minnesota Vikings’ assistant defensive backs and defensive quality control coach. As a team that has struggled with their secondary ever since the Eagles’ Super Bowl-winning season, Gannon is a good fit. Jonathan Gannon will elevate the secondary and hopefully help the team’s defense surpass how good it was during the Eagle’s Super Bowl-winning season. While guys like Michael Jacquet and Cre’Von Leblanc have shown flashes of greatness playing under Jim Schwartz, hopefully Gannon can elevate them and make the secondary both reliable and deep.
Other Eagles’ coaching hires that were not talked about include:
Quarterbacks coach: Brian Johnson (the QB coach for Dak Prescott at Mississippi State University)
Tight ends coach: Jason Michael (had the same job on the Colts for the last two years)
Pass game coordinator: Kevin Patullo (another coach from the Colts that Sirianni brought over)
Defensive line coach: Tracy Rocker (a former player who has jumped from job to job since 2012)
Linebackers coach: Nick Rallis (the assistant linebacker coach on the Minnesota Vikings this season)
Defensive backs coach: Dennard Wilson (the New York Jets’ defensive backs coach for the last two seasons)
Special teams coordinator: Michael Clay (now the youngest coordinator in the NFL; was the assistant special teams coordinator on the San Francisco 49ers since 2018; former member of Chip Kelly’s Eagles coaching staff)