The motivation of not letting your teammate down, coach to player, player to coach, player to player, coach to coach, like that’s love right? That’s just the love you have for your teammates. There is no greater motivation, there is no greater motivation than that. This is a close team and we are going to keep working on getting closer and we are going to keep working on getting better.
That quote is from Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni right after the win over the Dallas Cowboys in October.
Nick Sirianni: big culture guy
So then why is there a report going around that the Eagles are looking at former failed Patriots assistant turned head coach Matt Patricia is being considered for a role on the new look defensive staff?
Sure, Patricia had some success as a linebackers coach and defensive coordinator for the Patriots before he was the “hot name” for the Detroit Lions head coaching job. But was it really Patricia that made that defense tick? Or was it Bill Belichick, the defensive guru? Whomever it was, they gave up 41 points to the Eagles and Nick Foles in the Super Bowl.
What message are they sending?
How many times this season did the Eagles social media account post highlights from “Big Play Slay”? Many, many times. Their 1st team Pro Football Writers All Pro from the 2022 season was very vocal about how he was disrespected by his former head coach when Patricia called Slay “not elite” to his face, among other actions:
You just don’t disrespect somebody like that, definitely not a grown man. Where I’m from, man, it don’t really go like that. I kept it professional and chill, kept it quiet. Just did my job.
But I already knew that if I was ever to leave here, that’s a story I need to tell, because they going to understand why Slay had a big attitude.
During Super Bowl Week, Eagles CB Darius Slay opened up a little more on Patricia:
He basically just said, You are not in that category yet. At that time, I only had one Pro Bowl, but now I’m at five, so I wanna know how he feels about that now. I don’t wish bad on him, but as a man, me and him just don’t get along. He’s a smart coach, he knows his X’s and O’s, but the disrespect is not what I’m with.
So are the “X’s and O’s” why Sirianni wants to bring Patricia in despite having many other options for coaches who have the same, if not much better, “X’s and O’s” than Patricia?
Is this a contract leverage thing? Are they trying to shop Slay?
Slay, 32, has a dead cap of $22 million if traded before June 1st. If after that date, then it’s a $8 million dead cap with a $17 million cap savings. Howie is no stranger to dead caps, but this isn’t Carson Wentz.
Some former Detroit Lions players chimed in on the rumor, including Slay:
Despite the high likelihood that Patricia and Slay wouldn’t be working directly with each other, why risk “more than just chaos” coming into your locker room?
Where’s the connection?
When a new coordinator comes to a team, he’ll obviously want to bring in some of “his guys” to help install the scheme. With Desai being the choice, the scheme is staying relatively the same since it’s Fangio-esque as Gannon pretended to run but will be more eloquent. Where’s the connection to Patricia.?
I posed this question on Twitter and @Igglesnut posted:
While the connection from Rallis to Gannon was relatively the same: Rallis worked under Fangio after Gannon left Minnesota, who also worked under Fangio, it just feels way too separated to matter in 2023.
Al Golden was the Temple HC from 2006-2010, the same tenure Desai had in Temple as defense/special teams coach. Desai then followed Golden to Miami for one year before heading to Boston College.
Golden made his way to the NFL in 2016 to be a part of Patricia’s staff in Detroit. He started off as tight ends coach from 2016-2017 before moving to linebackers coach from 2018-2019.
Are we really going to be fed a connection here?
There are other names are intriguing that have direct connections to Desai, such as Mike Pettine (apparently staying in Minnesota), Bill Shuey, Ed Donatell, Mike Adams, or even names directly tied to Siranni such as John Pagano.
If Sirianni and Howie do choose to hire Patricia, we will be forced to trust the move. They haven’t let us down, yet. But we should hope they pay mind to players’ reactions when he was fired:
For the sake of the culture, that was planted and bloomed over the course of the past two seasons, please stay away.
Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire