August 10, 2023   4 MIN READ

‘I Needed Reps’

Birds HC Altered Sked For Coaches' Development


A scheduling tweak moved the Eagles to the Linc on Wednesday for practice instead of their usual training camp session at the NovaCare Complex.

On Thursday, Eagles coach Nick Sirianni explained that he needed – and his coaches needed – more game-day preparation for the regular season, and with the preseason opener on deck Saturday in Baltimore against the Ravens.

“We have to get ready to play and coach in game-like scenarios,” he said. “There was some things I needed to work on as a head coach, some game-management things. I also wanted the coaches to practice some more of the communication of what’s going on before our first preseason game.”

“That was more about coaches getting over there and going through their reps so we’re operating at Game 10 when we’re on Game 1, right? That’s really important for us that we’re operating at a high level. That’s all that was about. I felt it for myself that I needed some reps there. I needed a little more work.”

Nick Sirianni, Brian Johnson

GETTY IMAGES: Eagles HC Nick Sirianni (left) wanted his coaches like OC Brian Johnson (right) to get more work in at the Linc on Wednesday.

Sirianni’s staff, especially on defense, was rebuilt this offseason. He lost both of his coordinators to head coaching jobs, prompting a chain reaction to the offensive and defensive staffs.

Shane Steichen’s departure to the Colts prompted the promotion of Brian Johnson to offensive coordinator and play caller, with Alex Tanney moving from quality control coach to fill Johnson’s void as quarterbacks coach.

Jonathan Gannon took the Cardinals head coaching job, leading to a search that led to the outside hire of Sean Desai as defensive coordinator, which resulted in defensive backs coach Dennard Wilson – a candidate for the job – to leave and sign with Baltimore.

Gannon took linebackers coach Nick Rallis to be his defensive coordinator, leaving Sirianni to fill another void on the defensive staff. In total on the defensive staff, the Eagles hired a new coordinator, a new linebackers coach and two new defensive backs coaching while promoting an assistant to a position coach job.

Also, last year’s senior defensive assistant Marcus Brady moved to the offensive staff and the team brought in former Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia, also former Lions head coach, as the defensive assistant.

As for his playing-time plan for Saturday’s preseason opener against the Ravens in Baltimore, Sirianni – as usual – didn’t provide insights.

“I still don’t have to make a decision yet,” he said, “so you guys know you’re not gonna get that out of me now.”

Injury Update

Wide receiver Deion Cain (ankle) and outside linebacker Patrick Johnson (ankle) were the only Eagles withheld from practice, per Eagles reporters.

#Eagles Practice Report — note: Nakobe Dean will be a full participant today, but Eagles not in pads.

Deon Cain – ankle
Patrick Johnson – ankle

Nobody else was even listed as limited, which means linebacker Nakobe Dean – who returned to practice Wednesday – was a full participant on Thursday. The Eagles weren’t in pads.

Wide receiver DeVonta Smith returned to practice after an excused absence to support his former Alabama teammate, Henry Ruggs, the former Raiders receiver who on Wednesday was sentenced to three to 10 years in prison for a drunk-driving accident that killed a woman and her dog.

Celebrity Sightings

Former Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins, a standout and leader on the team’s only Super Bowl team from 2017, was in attendance at the NovaCare.

<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>Malcolm Jenkins here at Eagles practice today. <a href=”″></a></p>&mdash; Brandon Lee Gowton (@BrandonGowton) <a href=””>August 10, 2023</a></blockquote> <script async src=”” charset=”utf-8″></script>

No truth to the rumor that the Eagles considered signing him right then and there.

Also, “the gov” watched on as he schmoozed with Eagles chairman Jeffrey Lurie. No, not Ed Rendell.

– Geoff Mosher (@geoffmoshernfl) is co-host of the “Inside the Birds” podcast and staff writer for

Listen to the latest “Inside The Birds” podcast featuring Adam Caplan and Geoff Mosher:

Or watch on YouTube:

About The Author

Comments are closed here.