January 22, 2021   7 MIN READ

Inside The Birds: Sirianni Knows Challenges With Wentz


After a search that elapsed 10 days, the Eagles found their new head coach.

On Thursday, the team agreed to hire Indianapolis Colts offensive coordinator Nick Sirianni, sources have told Inside The Birds co-hosts Adam Caplan and Geoff Mosher.

Sirianni beat out Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels and several others who interviewed for the job.

The Colts employed a lot of 12 personnel with Frank Reich as head coach and Nick Sirianni as offensive coordinator.

On the latest Inside The Birds, Caplan and Mosher share what they’ve learned from their sources about the new Eagles head coach, including Sirianni’s scheme preferences, background, potential coaching staff and more.

Background on Sirianni

Adam Caplan: “Here it’s gonna multi-formational. A lot of two-tight end sets, a lot of 12 [personnel], with the ability to go 11, ability to do 12 depending on if they keep [Zach] Ertz. I still think Ertz is going to be traded, but I can’t say for sure.”

Geoff Mosher: “Outside of the Xs and Os, you and I have heard similar things about his coaching style – he’s energetic, he’s a leader. One source described SIranni to me as kind of like Doug in his ability to relate to a locker room and get his players on board, but he will coach his coaches. He said [Sirianni] is not afraid to get into it and coach his players hard and his coaches hard.”

Interview process

Caplan: “Certainly surprised he got this job, he only had the one interview. This is certainly rare and it’s not like there was any competition for him. Doug Pederson, no other team interviewed him. Nick Sirianni, no other team interviewed him. Andy Reid in 1999, correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think anybody interviewed him.

“We know they talked to other coaches last week. I know they liked Arthur Smith a lot and some other coaches. Smith I heard did very well in his interview, but the Falcons made sure just like the Chargers did, Geoff … the Chargers did not give the Eagles a chance to get Brandon Staley. Smith had his interview and after his interview the Falcons hired him. That’s just the way it goes.”

Mosher: “The first phone call, as we know, went to Lincoln Riley. It had to be within two hours, maybe three hours, of Doug Pederson’s firing that they contacted Lincoln Riley. There was a relationship there. That has led many fans to think, you started off with one guy, and then you got your process started so late that you missed out on certain guys, so then you had to go back to your formula of finding the diamond-in-the-rough guy. And that has worked for Jeffrey [Lurie]. But I think it’s also fair to say, ‘How many times do you really think that is going to work?'”

Caplan: “There’s a personnel director I know pretty well…this personnel guy said to me, ‘Are they serious. there’s no way Howie [Roseman] would get along with Josh McDaniel.’ I said, ‘Listen, you’re not the only person to say that to me.’ Apparently, I heard that not only did they get along well [in the interview], it went real well. I don’t know why he didn’t get the job. Were they not comfortable overall with some of the information? But I also know Sirianni blew them away.”

Carson Wentz’s future

Caplan: “We first reported lat week on one our shows was what we’re getting last week was the coaching candidates were told – were asked, I’m sorry – were asked in the interviews, ‘Hey, listen, if you get to coach Carson Wentz, if you get our job here … how will you coach Carson Wentz? What’s your plan for him?

“I was told Sirianni knew this coming in and at least he prepared for it and i was told his presentation coming in was very good, in terms of how he plans to coach the quarterbacks, his plans for Wentz and so forth. My Colts source told me Nick has a certain way of reaching players. That’s a good thing because the former head coach could not reach Carson Wentz this past season. That’s a fact. And neither could the quarterbacks coach. He definitely knows the challenges here with Carson Wentz. The person I spoke to said he’s definitely aware of it.”

Coaching Staff

Caplan: “According to coaching sources here’s what i got … we’re going to call these coaching targets because these guys are under contract and the new head coach will have to work it out. Shane Steichen, the offensive coordinator of the Chargers. Did a phenomenal job under really trying circumstances. No offseason, two and a half weeks of training camp, no preseason. Just doesn’t get any better than that. Steichen coached with Sirianni at the Chargers. Right now he’s still on their staff, but will he remain with the new head coach Brandon Staley of the Chargers? That’s one potential coaching target. I don’t know why the hell they would let him walk, but if he does, a source I spoke with thinks that will be [Sirianni’s] target as his OC.

“I’ll give you another one, this one is really interesting: Tom Manning, the offensive coordinator for Iowa State. He was with the Colts for one season. He can coach tight ends, running backs, really good coach. One source thinks he’ll be a target because he’s a really good coach and he understands what Siranni will want in terms of concepts and coaching style.

“I’ll give you another one, as far as current Colts coaches: Kevin Patullo is the pass-game specialist with the Colts. He has also coached receivers. He’s a guy that I’m told that Sirianni really leaned on, according to a Colts source, this season. He’s also under contract. So we’ll see what Frank Reich does or if he lets him go or if Sirianni targets him.”

Mosher: “I know [Eagles offensive line coach] Jeff Stoutland is someone that ownership and management value greatly. Howie and Jeff are big fans of Stoutland. Jeff especially is a big fan. I do agree I think it looks more promising that he will be back, and [special teams coordinator] Dave Fipp also. They blocked an interview [with the Lions].”

Caplan: “They may get Stoutland back. We’ll see. Nothing is official yet. I didn’t think there was prayer in hell that he was coming back, but things have a very weird way of changing in the National Football League.”

Duce Staley’s future

Mosher: “I don’t know what the fate now of Duce Staley is going to be, but he’s not ever going to be the Eagles head coach. If you have him in your building and you promoted to this point of assistant head coach and you’ve had two openings and the opportunity to at least interview him and consider him and you don’t give him the job, you’re not gonna hire Duce Staley.

“I wish somebody would give him an interview. I wish somebody would give him an opportunity. I hope he gets it. A lot of fans wanted to see it. I totally get it. Part of us wanted to see it as well. But I think we move onto the reality that he’s never going to be head coach of the Eagles.”

Caplan: “I’m hoping the teams around the National Football League get all those tweets and use it next year for their coaching search. Look at all players – Malcolm Jenkins doesn’t even play for the Eagles anymore – all these veteran players, younger players, older players showed their love for Duce on Twitter. They wanted it out there. ‘Listen, we want this guy to be our head coach.’ I have not seen that before with any other head coaching candidate.”

Mosher: “I don’t want to say it creates an obstacle or challenge for Nick Sirianni, but clearly there was a pull for Duce in that locker room. He will have to walk in as the new guy from the outside and convince everybody that you are the guy. You had to do that anyway, but it’s a little more difficult, I would say.”

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