Eastman: It’s time to part ways with Nick Sirianni

Nick Sirianni graphic. - Multimedia Editor / Drew Peltzman

Two months ago, the Eagles sat at 10-1 and in a position to be the No. 1 seed in the NFC. Now, they are relegated to watching the rest of the playoffs at home after an epic collapse down the stretch. Many can be blamed for the end-of-season result. Some already have been, as the Eagles fired coordinators Sean Desai and Brian Johnson. However, the blame should not stop with just those two. Ultimately, the disaster that became the 2023 Philadelphia Eagles should result in the firing of head coach Nick Sirianni.

On the surface, his resume so far in Philly looks pretty good. Since taking over as the head coach in 2021, Sirianni has compiled a 36-20 record, with all three seasons resulting in a trip to the playoffs. In addition, just one year ago he led the Eagles to only their fourth Super Bowl appearance in franchise history. It is amazing to think that Sirianni and the Eagles could fall from such heights, but after looking a little closer, the current state of the Eagles may not be so surprising. 

For starters, it is clear that the loss of previous offensive coordinator Shane Steichen really hurt the Eagles’ offense. Steichen had a successful run as the playcaller for the Eagles before being hired as the head coach for the Indianapolis Colts.

In his first season with the Colts, Steichen orchestrated a top-ten offense in the league while working with inferior talent compared to what he had in Philly. It became obvious this season that Steichen was an asset the Eagles were not able to replace. 

Under Sirianni’s watch, the offense was widely criticized for poor play calling, bad play design, and a lack of mid-game adjustments. Sirianni’s background as a coach is on the offensive side of the ball and while other coaches have a hand in putting together a game plan, Sirianni is ultimately the one in charge. When things go wrong, Sirianni should be the one blamed.

While Brian Johnson has earned a lot of ire from Philly fans this season, he is not the only one to be blamed for the shortcomings of this offense. If you are going to fire Johnson, why not fire the guy who promoted him and thought him best suitable for the job? 

Shifting away from the nitty-gritty of the offense, Sirianni can also be blamed for the way the team played uninspired the final two months. Too many times, players showed bad body language and poor effort.

The team is too talented to be losing to the Drew Lock-led Seahawks, four-win Cardinals, and six-win Giants. Especially after earning impressive wins against quality opponents earlier in the season, those kinds of performances should not happen. When teams underperform, the head coach is the one that should be blamed. It is his job to get the most out of the team, something Sirianni absolutely failed at doing. 

Another thing to consider when weighing the idea of firing your head coach is the possible candidates to replace him. This offseason happens to have many great options, from proven head coaches like Bill Belichick and Mike Vrabel to young offensive minds like Ben Johnson and Bobby Slowik, the Eagles would have no shortage of replacements. 

Given Sirianni’s previous success, it may seem unlikely that the Eagles are ready to move on so quickly. However, owner Jeffery Lurie has shown in the past that he is quick to pull the plug on successful coaches, firing the likes of Doug Pederson and Andy Reid after just one losing season. It is not out of the realm of possibility that Lurie sees the end of the season as inexcusable and does the same to Sirianni.

The Eagles have the talent to contend for a Super Bowl. They cannot go into 2024 being held back by coaching. Nick Sirianni has done a lot of great things during his run in Philly. However, it’s time to wipe the slate clean and bring in a fresh face to lead the Eagles.

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