Five years ago when the Eagles hired Doug Pederson, it was widely considered the worst hire (or one of the worst) in the group of seven.
You remember how that ended. Pederson outlasted all of them and won a Super Bowl. So keep that in mind as you read the reviews of the Eagles’ latest hire.
This year, the Eagles hired Nick Sirianni, who wasn’t a very popular name. Like Pederson five years ago, he didn’t interview anywhere else and was an offensive coordinator under an offensive head coach.
As a reminder, here are the NFL’s newest crop of coaches:
Eagles: Nick Sirianni
Falcons: Arthur Smith
Lions: Dan Campbell
Jets: Robert Saleh
Chargers: Brandon Staley
Jaguars: Urban Meyer
Texans: David Culley
And here’s a look at how some folks have graded and ranked the Eagles’ hire:
Sports Illustrated: B- (5 out of 7)
SI’s Conor Orr had two coaches with worse grades than the Sirianni hire. He gave the Lions (Dan Campbell) a C+ and the Texans (David Culley) a D+.
Orr correctly points out that the Eagles seem to have a type for their head coaches. They want young offensive minds. He also points out that Sirianni is putting together a solid coaching staff, but also adds this:
“My lingering question here is whether Sirianni can adequately navigate what could become a messy roster deconstruction. The Eagles are going to fundamentally change and, in the process, lose a lot of the locker room’s soul. Can he grab hold of the young core and galvanize them moving forward?”
Sporting News: 2 out of 7
While many outlets seem to be down on the Eagles’ decision to hire Sirianni, Sporting News is the clear outlier. Sporting News’s Vinnie Iyer ranks the Eagles’ hire of Sirianni behind just the Jets’ hire of Saleh.
Iyer mentions the possibility that Sirianni is able to fix Carson Wentz and seems to like both coordinators that Sirianni has hired so far.
“Fans in New York and Philly are hard to please with the right coaches. Both Saleh and Sirianni are capable of big success in big markets with strong backgrounds and recent winning experience.”
ESPN+: C, C-
In this piece, ESPN reporters Dan Graziano and Jeremy Fowler go back and forth on each hire. Graziano says he thinks Sirianni did the best job of all the candidates selling the Eagles on being the guy to fix Wentz. They also bring up the fact that this Eagles job didn’t appear to be the most appealing of the bunch, which might have prevented them from landing one of the top candidates. The Eagles also interviewed Saleh and Smith.
Fowler gave them a C: “Just seems like the Eagles telegraphed this one, firing Pederson for a coach who’s an extension of the Pederson tree, trying to fix Wentz without doing it with Pederson. Sirianni is an ascending coach with good demeanor for the job, so maybe that will translate in Year 1. My guess is some other candidates weren’t thrilled about this job.”
Graziano gave them a C-: “I don’t know. If he can get Wentz fixed, the hire is going to look really good. But if that’s his primary responsibility, then how’s he going to do with the gazillion other things a head coach has to handle. I’ve heard good things about Sirianni as a coach, but it feels a bit early for him to have a job like this.”
These grades were put out before the Texans hired Culley, but on Jan. 22, USA Today’s Charles McDonald had Sirianni as the worst of the first six hires made. Saleh was ranked the best.
McDonald thinks the Eagles simply hired Sirianni to fix Wentz and calls that decision “uninspiring.” He also points out that Sirianni didn’t call plays for the Colts and even when admitting that Sirianni gets credit for his work with quarterbacks, he says the resume isn’t as impressive as others, like Eric Bieniemy.
“The man Sirianni is replacing, Doug Pederson, wasn’t exactly the most popular choice when he was hired — and all he did was win a Super Bowl. But this hire feels like a feeble attempt to fix the Carson Wentz issue by hiring Reich-lite while ensuring that Roseman doesn’t have to listen to anyone else’s opinion. That’s a disaster.”
CBS Sports: B+
This is another one that was done before all the hires were complete. But CBS’s Cody Benjamin ranked just Saleh (A) above Sirianni. The Falcons also got a B+ for Smith.
Benjamin points out that the Eagles didn’t go for a big name again and that likely means Howie Roseman will retain most of his power in the organization. But he also seems to like the move.
“And yet there’s too much promise in Sirianni’s background to overlook. He’s young and ascending. He was the hand-picked OC of Frank Reich, a respected leader with obvious Eagles ties (and, thus, a likely bridge to Carson Wentz for a QB restoration project). He oversaw career years from Chargers starters as a wide receivers coach. He’s survived two different teams’ head-coaching changes. And he hails from a strong football family. You could do a whole lot worse entering a period of major transition.”
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