Mike Vrabel Fired: Should Reeling Eagles Make the Call?

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Eagles steelers vs titans mike Vrabel
Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry is congratulated by head coach Mike Vrabel, left, after scoring during the first half of an NFL football game against the Kansas City Chiefs Sunday, Nov. 6, 2022, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

It’s beginning to look like 2020 all over again in Philadelphia as whispers down the lane curiously put the head coach on the hot seat. Despite three straight playoff appearances, including a near-miss in the Super Bowl, Nick Sirianni could be looking for a new job if the Eagles get embarrassed in the wild-card round.

If the thought of Sirianni hitting the unemployment line in a few weeks seems absurd, look closer. You don’t need a magnifying glass to see what could happen because it happened in Doug Pederson — and Pederson actually delivered the title-starved franchise its only Lombardi Trophy. The Eagles’ front office is never satisfied. They aren’t content to take backward steps and the 2023 campaign is shaping up to be a full-fledged moonwalk in mediocrity.

That 10-1 start was smoke and mirrors, blurrier than Wan’Dale Robinson in Reed Blankenship’s memory bank. The Eagles look lost and lifeless as they fly down to Tampa Bay for a must-win game. Unless they walk out of there with a double-digit win, Jeffrey Lurie might be forced to make a drastic move for the second time in three seasons. Would the “slightly less involved” owner fire his hand-picked successor to Pederson?

“Mr. Lurie has been nothing but completely supportive and willing to do anything in his power to help us win football games,” Sirianni said when asked about Lurie’s messaging to him. “And that’s what I respect so much about him. And so, man, I couldn’t thank him enough and be more grateful to have him as our owner and the leader of our organization.”

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Philadelphia Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni reacts to a play during the second half of an NFL football game against the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday, Nov. 5, 2023, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Mike Vrabel Makes Interesting Case Study

The rumors started flying prior to the Tennessee Titans deactivating Mike Vrabel’s key card. That franchise, arguably the most mismanaged in sports, fired one of the most respected leaders of men in football on Tuesday. Vrabel — two years removed from NFL Coach of the Year honors, by the way — might need to upgrade his cell phone plan in the coming days to accommodate the number of texts and calls he’s going to get.

Meanwhile, Vrabel has all the codes from his time in New England. The 48-year-old former linebacker was the “Patriot Way” before there was a “Patriot Way,” a three-time Super Bowl champion who embodied that ethos during his eight seasons playing for Bill Belichick. Vrabel soaked everything up like a sponge but made sure to rinse, leaving room to listen and learn. He’s old school but not outdated.

“I don’t want to be a coach that relies on talent,” Vrabel said in 2022, via AZ Sports. “I want to coach fundamentals and technique. I want to teach and I want to make sure that (the players) play with great effort and I know that we’re talented. So, my job is to not try to rely on talent.”

Should the Eagles be interested in Mike Vrabel?

Vrabel got the most out of minimal talent in Tennessee, relying on Derrick Henry and a bruising ground game as the Titans’ front office refused to sign free agents or keep the stars they had happy (see: A.J. Brown). He still won a lot of games. His players loved him. He overachieved at every level there. Now imagine him with a talented roster, one that features the best offensive line in football plus a 1,000-yard rusher and two 1,000-yard receivers.

Sure, the Eagles would have to shore up the coordinator spots but putting a CEO like Vrabel in charge, instead of a clownish cheerleader, might be the sticky Super Glue that fixes a suddenly broken Philly franchise. 

AP Photo/Charlie Riedel