Inside The Birds: Sirianni Left On Island At Presser
As Nick Sirianni puts the finishing touches on his coaching staff, the buzz has centered around the head coach’s highly anticipated introductory press conference, which took place on Friday.
In the latest Inside the Birds podcast, Geoff Mosher and Adam Caplan address Sirianni’s opening presser and provide coaching nuggets on some of the new hires.
Press conference takeaways
Mosher: “The first stone I’m throwing, is at Jeffrey Lurie … so Jeff takes up like 16 minutes with this sermon on the head coaching search, and in that, he addresses things that had nothing to do with the head coach search, and that’s fine. He wanted to talk about how much he loved Duce and the Duce situation, OK. He thanked everybody under the sun and not just the people he interviewed and how great they are, but also the people who helped him interview candidates and how great they are.
But then you disappear and you don’t answer any questions? You just went on a major head coaching search, you interviewed all of these candidates. You had some really interesting names on that list. People want to know, ‘Well, why this guy or over that guy? What about this? What about that?’ Tell us more about what really moved you other than some cliches about how he’s a great communicator and has a great presence.”
Caplan: “I was surprised that Roseman did not speak, that he wasn’t up there. I understand that it’s the head coach’s moment, I get all that. This is what I would have done – just like [Texans owner] Cal McNair did – Cal spoke about a minute and a half and got out of the way. He turned it over to Nick Caserio; Caserio lead the press conference and [David] Culley spoke, then the media was able to ask both Culley and Caserio questions.”
Mosher: “We know that Carson Wentz’s name came up in the interviews with head coaches. They wanted to hear what the plan was. We also know, it didn’t mean that Carson Wentz was definitely going to be on the team. So how is Nick Sirianni supposed to answer a question on who is going to be his opening day starter, when he doesn’t know if Carson is going to be on the team and that’s not even something he can control?
“They left him out to dry; I hope that Howie and Jeffrey looked at that press conference, heard the reaction, and realized, ‘We screwed up, we left this man out on an island and did not do him any favors.’”
Mosher: “I do not blame the fans one bit for their reaction to the Sirianni press conference. And I say that, Adam, because you have to put yourself in their shoes; the owner of the team just told you that this guy has great communication skills and has a presence and that you met with him for nine hours and that you were blown away. So imagine being the fan, and what kind of expectations were set by what the owner said, and then seeing that. Of course something is not going to add up there.”
Caplan: “The negative was, to me, was that I find it really hard to believe he’s not watching any tape and neither have his coaches.
If you separate he nervousness and the stumbling and get to the stuff that really matters, I liked the stuff about accountability. Because I’m told, by multiple Eagles sources, that accountability was a major problem under Pederson. The players were not consistently held accountable. This was a problem throughout Pederson’s career; I know they loved him, but they never feared Pederson. They never feared getting benched. Doug rarely benched players, as you know.”
Mosher: “On Friday, I had reported that the Eagles were gonna part ways with Tim Hauck, the safeties coach. So that started to show there might be some movement in the defensive backfield and we hadn’t heard exactly what was going on. And then, of course, the hiring of Dennard Wilson from the New York Jets [where he coached DBs]”
Caplan: “[The Jets] are a little surprised that he left. They headed into Senior Bowl week thinking he was staying. To say that he was one of the best coaches on their defense would be an understatement. He, apparently, is really good and an excellent teacher, and he’s been a good story of development as a [defensive backs] coach. Former player, didn’t play in the league for very long, but he actually started his career in scouting. They really like him; I know that they think this is a loss.
Mosher: “There’s been a lot made about [new Eagles defensive coodinator Jonathan] Gannon really having that potential of being a defensive coordinator in the next two or three years. As you’ve said a couple of times, he’s the hot name to now become a defensive coordinator. So hopefully, you bring in a guy like Dennard – and if you like him so much, hopefully you think that he can be a successor if you lose Gannon in a year or two.”
Caplan: “A Colts source said to me – I was just trying to get a little bit of information on scheme and aggressiveness and all that – he goes, ‘Maybe one of the most impressive assistants they’ve had since [general manager] Chris Ballard got there.’ High-riser, this guy said if he does as well as they think he’s gonna do, he’ll probably be a head coach by Year 3.”
Caplan: “I didn’t know that Patullo played receiver in his career, in addition to being a quarterback. So you’ve got the head coach who was a former college receiver, Patullo who also has coached receivers two years for the Colts before Groh got there and also played receiver and quarterback in college. The way it was explained to me, is that these guys will oversee the receiver position in addition to whoever is gonna be the receivers coach, whether it’s [Aaron] Moorehead or somebody else. If this position is not coached well, then there is a major problem.”
Aaron Moorehead update
Mosher: “As of Sunday night, I had heard that Aaron Moorehead was still not aware of what his ultimate fate will be on the Eagles coaching staff.”
Caplan: “I did hear that Sirianni was going to interview somebody else, I guess late in the week. Moorehead is under contract; like you said, this should be – I mean, within a day – he should know whether he’s gonna be the receivers coach. I’m a little surprised that it’s gone this long, but I don’t have an answer of why.”
WR coach carousel
Caplan: “In ’16, Greg Lewis had an issue getting the guys to pay attention – it was a step for him, the way it was explained to me at the time. I just remember hearing that it was not going well for Greg Lewis during the season.”
Mosher: “I’ll be the first to admit [Greg Lewis] was young when he took it, he didn’t have that much experience. However, I’m not gonna side with the organization that is about to have maybe its sixth wide receivers coach [in six years] over the one who has been very successful since he’s got there, or before he got there, and is still successful.”
Caplan: “Here’s where [the Eagles] screwed up – Mike Groh should not have been promoted. That was a mistake. They were so hellbent on not offering anyone – Frank Reich was gonna be a head coach, obviously; DeFilippo was not offered, as I understand it, a chance to come back as the [offensive coordinator] to replace Frank, so he took the Vikings OC job. They were hellbent on promoting Mike Groh, for whatever reason. Mike’s a nice guy, he’s an outstanding receivers coach. I’m sure if they could go back, they would have kept Mike as the receivers coach and either talked to DeFilippo to keep him or talk to somebody else to keep continuity at the receivers coach because Mike is one of the best receiver coaches in the league.”
– Andrew DiCecco (@ADiCeccoNFL) is a Staff Reporter/Content Producer for InsideTheBirds.com.
Listen to the latest “Inside The Birds” podcast from Geoff Mosher and Adam Caplan here: