Will the Eagles and Nick Sirianni rise above the pressure to succeed in 2024?

Eagles
Philadelphia Eagles’ Nick Sirianni shouts during the first half of an NFL football game against the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday, Oct. 16, 2022, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

It wasn’t too long ago when the Eagles were the toast of the town. A second-year head coach was being praised for his impressive work on a team that was considered to be in their rebuilding years. From 2-5 to the playoffs in his first season as the Eagles head coach to a trip to the Super Bowl in just his second season. Impressive to say the least but now, what’s even more impressive is just how hot his seat has gotten.

Maybe it’s due to the lack of adjustments he made on offense last season. Or the overadjustment he made when he demoted Sean Desai in favor of Matt Patricia after the team’s 10-1 start. A lot went wrong last season and Nick Sirianni ran out of explanations during the Eagles’ historical collapse. A collapse that led to the team being bounced out of the playoffs by the Buccaneers for the second time in Sirianni’s tenure as the Eagles head coach.

Eagles
Philadelphia Eagles general manager Howie Roseman, center, stands with defensive end Brandon Graham (55) offensive tackle Lane Johnson (65), defensive tackle Fletcher Cox, and center Jason Kelce (62) after the NFC Championship NFL football game between the Philadelphia Eagles and the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday, Jan. 29, 2023, in Philadelphia. The Eagles won 31-7. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

If history can tell us anything then it would say that the Eagles have bounced back before after being eliminated by the Buccaneers. The last time they were eliminated by Tampa, the Eagles ended up in the Super Bowl. Could that mean that this season will end with Sirianni and company hoisting the Lombardi? Possibly but let’s slow down a bit.

A lot has to go in the Eagles’ favor for that to happen. The first action item on the list was free agency, which went very well. Next was the NFL Draft in which Howie Roseman may have had his best draft to date. The next step was the revealing of the NFL Schedule which granted the Eagles a very favorable slate. The last task is the ultimate one and the only one that Nick Sirianni has full control over and that is to put the team in the best position to win in 2024.

He’s been given every needed tool for his garden this season. Now we will learn just how good of a gardener Nick Sirianni truly is. The weeds are gone and now it’s time to add the right amount of fertilizer and water in hopes of having a season full of blooming plants. Ok, enough with the gardening, I’m terrible at landscaping myself but the fact of the matter is that this will be Sirianni’s most important season of his head coaching career.

Eagles
Philadelphia Eagle’s Saquon Barkley talks to the media during a press conference after signing with the NFL football team, Thursday, March 14, 2024, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Chris Szagola)

He’s made it to the playoffs in each of his three years with the Eagles but has bounced out of it twice. The Super Bowl loss was more on Jonathan Gannon than it was on Sirianni. But the inability to rebound next season was completely on the 42-year-old head coach and he botched that completely. 

Then came out the rumors of his inability to stay composed on the sidelines without Big Dom in his corner. The frustration that built up on the faces of A.J. Brown, DeVonta Smith, Dallas Goedert, and Jalen Hurts could not be hidden from the media. It was a train wreck of a year and everything that could go wrong did go wrong. Let’s not forget how Kenny Gainwell recently mentioned the disconnect between the coaching staff, players, and the front office during his recent podcast appearance.

A lot is riding against the Eagles head coach and how he responds to it will tell us where the Eagles are going. With a legendary coach like Billy Belichick expressing his interest in coaching the Eagles, Nick has to be able to rise above it and do what his predecessors couldn’t. Doug Pederson faced similar turmoil and was fired after his worst season as the Eagles head coach. He won the lone Super Bowl in franchise history so I wouldn’t expect a ton of grace for Nick, especially after taking this roster to the Super Bowl in 2022.

Eagles nick sirianni
Philadelphia Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni reacts to a fourth quarter touchdown pass from quarterback Jalen Hurts to tight end Dallas Goedert during the second half of an NFL football game against the Arizona Cardinals, Sunday, Dec. 31, 2023, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

I can’t emphasize just how much pressure Nick Sirianni is under but I’m half optimistic that he will rise above it. Sirianni has more than just the buy-in of Howie Roseman and Jeffery Lurie. He has what other coaches lacked during their time here except for Andy Reid. He’s emotionally intelligent and has a way of motivating his team when other coaches would lose their team after his kind of sideline antics.

He’s more than just one of the guys but a leader that was heavily respected by the veterans in the locker room. Both Jason Kelce and Fletcher Cox voiced their recommendations for Nick Sirianni to stay with the team. When asked about the head coaches future with the team, Cox fired back and stated, “What is there to talk about, man? He’s a winner. He’s a winning head coach,” Cox said. “Did we have some bumps this year? Yeah. But every team, every organization, everybody goes through it. But we don’t look at firing a man who obviously has won 10-plus games two years in a row, who’s taken this organization to three playoff appearances three years in a row…”

A statement that spoke volumes about the team’s perception of the Eagles’ head coach. And while the rumors and speculation will continue to haunt Sirianni this season. The Eagles head coach has to find a way of not letting the microscope get the best of him. Even if it means toning it down on the sidelines and entering a phase of handling business first and celebrating their achievements later.

AP Photo/Matt Slocum