After a dismal end to the 2023-24 season, the Philadelphia Eagles were at a crossroads when it came to the future of Nick Sirianni. Going 10-1 before ultimately ending 11-6 and crashing out of the playoffs against the Bucs demanded action, but just how vicious would the decisions be from Jeffrey Lurie and Howie Roseman?
We now have our answer. Nick Sirianni appears to have saved his skin for another year, while both of his coordinators have now been fired. Sean Desai and Brian Johnson were relieved of their duties over the past few days, giving the Eagles a fresh slate. However, things have to be different this time around.
Eagles cannot afford to let history repeat itself
The Brian Johnson firing is a perfect example. He joined the Eagles largely because of his familiarity with Jalen Hurts. Johnson had known Hurts since a young age and tried to recruit him twice during his college career. That chemistry clearly played a role in Jalen’s rapid ascension in 2022, and earned him a promotion to offensive coordinator…where the wheels quickly ground to a halt.
When discussing the state of the Eagles, fans are in one of two camps. They either state that this is Nick Sirianni’s offense and he should be accountable for its shortcomings, or they’re livid with Brian Johnson’s vanilla playcalling that haunted the team all year. Both are valid opinions…until we retrace our steps.
Shane Steichen is held on a pedestal in Philadelphia now because of how good his offense was in comparison to the disaster that we saw week after week in 2024. That’s great, but if it is Nick Sirianni’s offense now, then it was then too, and it will be next year. If his entire success as a Head Coach is fully dependent on the men calling the shots from his playbooks, that’s something that will need to be examined.
Nick Sirianni fell short of the mark this season
No matter how you slice it, Nick Sirianni stood and watched silently as his offense scraped by in the opening weeks of the season. When the league caught up, he didn’t make a change, didn’t alter play-calling responsibilities, and instead just doubled down on what he and his team were doing. That’s on him, not Brian Johnson, and he’s lucky to even have a job as a result.
The expectation for this Eagles team is greatness. You have a $255M quarterback, a dominant offensive front and two of the best receivers in the NFL to complement an All-Pro season from D’Andre Swift. There is no way that it should be stalling out against the Giants, the Cardinals, the Seahawks, and the Bucs without a single sign of hope.
Nick Sirianni has kept his job on merit. He’s pushed the Eagles to three consecutive playoff appearances as well as an NFC Championship. But past performance is not indicative of future results, and there was nothing exhibited in 2023 that warranted keeping him around, when the very qualities a head coach should exhibit were all invisible.
The Eagles have afforded Nick Sirianni one more chance. Make no mistake about it, if things do not change, he’ll be out the door promptly. I don’t know how long that leash is going to be, but the pressure will be enormous. If things do not look markedly different in the opening games of 2024, expect a cut-throat move to stop the bleeding – something Sirianni himself failed to do last year.
AP Photo/Chris O’Meara