‘Hungrier To Get Back’
Birds Move On From Super Bowl Letdown, Focus On Eventful Offseason
While the Eagles are likely to promote from within to fill their vacant coordinator positions, head coach Nick Sirianni said Thursday that the team will also look at outside candidates.
The Eagles don’t have a choice, as the Rooney Rule requires that the team interviews outside minority candidates for the openings, but Sirianni emphasized his obsession with coaching development and had plenty of praise for in-house candidates.
In a year-end press conference featuring Sirianni and Eagles personnel chief Howie Roseman, Sirianni had praise for his current assistants, “which is where I will always start.”
As reported on Thursday’s Inside The Birds, teams that called the Eagles for permission to speak to quarterbacks coach Brian Johnson for their offensive coordinator vacancies were told by the Eagles not to bother, a clear indication Johnson will be promoted to replace Shane Steichen, who on Tuesday was named Indianapolis Colts head coach.
The Eagles are also fond of defensive backs coach and passing defense coordinator Dennard Wilson, a logical fill-in for Jonathan Gannon, who on Thursday was introduced as Arizona Cardinals head coach, but several former coordinators from the outside could become available, including former Cardinals defensive coordinator Vance Joseph – a former head coach – and Sean Desai, associate head coach for the Seahawks and former Bears defensive coordinator.
Sirianni said the plan is for the next offensive coordinator to call plays, like Steichen did. He said his ability to monitor the entire team as head coach is in the team’s best interest.
As for the defense, Sirianni said the next defensive coordinator will have the same core principles as Gannon did, because those principles fit Sirianni’s vision for the defense – limiting explosive plays and turnover emphasis, in particular.
However, Sirianni said Gannon’s replacement obviously won’t be a carbon copy of Gannon and that he’s “not opposed to changing” some things if the next defensive coordinator has some different ideas.
Despite some season-long struggles on special teams, including a bad punt in the Super Bowl that resulted in a long return and Kansas City’s possession starting inside the Eagles’ 5-yard-line, Sirianni said special teams coordinator Michael Clay will return in 2023.
Field Of Screams
Roseman was asked his opinion on the sloppy field conditions at State Farm Stadium, where the Eagles on Sunday lost Super Bowl LVII, 38-35, to the Kansas City Chiefs.
“Both teams played on the same field,” he said.
The reporter followed up, asking if the Eagles were more impacted by the slippery surface.
“Both teams played on the same field,” he repeated.
As for the game’s outcome, Sirianni said: “We were there. We were close. And that just makes me hungrier to get back.”
Roseman, the team’s executive vice president of football operations, enters a unique offseason in which the Eagles have several players whose contracts expire and some players who will be eligible for contract extensions.
Quarterback Jalen Hurts, who just finished his third season and was an MVP candidate, is one of those eligible for an extension. Among players who contracts expire include running back Miles Sanders, right guard Isaac Seumalo, safety Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, linebacker T.J. Edwards and cornerback James Bradberry.
Roseman said the team is ready to talk extension with Hurts.
“We want to keep our best players here for the long term, and he’s certainly one of our best players,” he said. “We want to keep Jalen Hurts here long term.”
Roseman also said the Eagles should get plenty of 2024 compensatory draft picks, which are awarded to teams who lose more players in free agency than they gain, so it’s obvious the Eagles are expecting to lose several of their impending free agents.
– Geoff Mosher (@geoffmoshernfl) is co-host of the “Inside the Birds” podcast and staff writer for InsideTheBirds.com.
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