• Alec Liebsch

Eagles hire Nick Sirianni: What he brings and what it means

The Philadelphia Eagles' coaching search has ended. In a surprising move, the Eagles have hired Indianapolis Colts' offensive coordinator Nick Sirianni to be their next head coach. Sirianni was a fast riser in the franchise's coaching search, gaining steam as a candidate late this week unlike most of the favored candidates.

This comes as a surprise given where the franchise was a few days ago. New England Patriots OC Josh McDaniels had a long interview with the team early in the week, and Duce Staley had the odds on his side as a longtime member of the coaching staff. But in the end, the Eagles went with a young, fresh face.

Sirianni is just 39 years old, making him the third-youngest head coach in the NFL, but he has experience beyond his years. He started as an assistant to Todd Haley for the Kansas City Chiefs all the way back in 2009, bounced around that coaching staff through 2012, then became the quarterbacks coach for the San Diego Chargers from 2013 to 2015. For those last two seasons in San Diego, his superior and OC was none other than Frank Reich.

The Reich connection served him well, as it helped him thrive in the Colts' OC gig. He was directly credited for Philip Rivers' renaissance in 2020, a year in which the 39 year-old completed 369 passes (68.0% completion percentage) for 4,169 yards and 24 touchdowns, helping the Colts to an 11-5 record and a playoff berth in a loaded AFC bracket. He also minimized mistakes in Indy, reducing his interceptions from 20 in 2019 to 11 in 2020, and cutting fumbles from eight to two.

With that body of work, it makes sense that the Eagles hired him. Carson Wentz had similar problems in 2020, throwing 15 picks and committing four fumbles in just 12 games. He's had these propensities his entire career, and they reached their boiling point this past season. If Sirianni can revive Rivers, he may be the best candidate available to invigorate Wentz.

Coming from the Reich tree helps his case, as Reich and Wentz have been tied together ever since the 2017 Super Bowl season. That was the best year of Wentz's career, and Reich has been credited for maximizing him in ways that no one else has.

This all but eliminates the proposition of trading Wentz. It was likely that he would stay put after the firing of Doug Pederson, but hiring a guy like Sirianni basically puts pen to paper on that perception. Sirianni has been hired to try and fix Wentz, whether Eagles fans like it or not.