May 26, 2024

Is Eagles Coach Nick Sirianni Really in Danger of Being Fired?

The whispers are growing around Nick Sirianni and his future as the Philadelphia Eagles head coach.

The city of cLike “you know what,” everyone has an opinion.

When it comes to the future of head coach Nick Sirianni and the free-falling Philadelphia Eagles heading into the playoffs, conjecture from a few big-name insiders has fueled the national conversation even more.

The idea that Jeffrey Lurie would decide Sirianni’s fate based on a single game in Tampa without A.J. Brown and a banged-up Jalen Hurts contradicts how the Eagles’ owner wants to be seen.

The counterargument to that by those who have already done the 180 on Sirianni is that any failure in the Sunshine State on Monday is just the final step of a historic collapse that would have turned 10-1 into 11-7 at warp speed with the head coach coming off as having no answers.
The unprecedented move of shifting defensive play-calling from Sean Desai to Matt Patricia at 10-3 is an even worse look when you consider Sirianni began fermenting the idea during the Eagles’ bye week at 8-1 and first took away third-down autonomy from Desai before the Dec. 10 game at Dallas when the Eagles defense allowed the powerful Cowboys to convert 9-of-16 opportunities (56.3 percent) in a 33-13 loss.
The third-down defense as a whole over four full games with Patricia and one extra contest with him ramping up involvement has gotten nominally better but that was baked in with lesser competition over the final month and you can make a strong argument that the defense as a whole got even worse especially when grading on the scale of the competition.

Sirianni insists it was his idea to make the move but the history of Lurie and GM Howie Roseman getting involved with coaching decisions was well-documented in the Doug Pederson era, sparking many to question where the decision came from.

In the case of Sirianni, everything we’ve obtained in the wake of the move from Desai to Patricia says it did originate with the coach but that’s also not the kind of thing you can do in Philadelphia without the approval of Lurie and Roseman, something Sirianni essentially confirmed.

“I talk to those guys about everything,” Sirianni said. “But Mr. Lurie from day one, Howie from day one, have always said to me, ‘you’re tied into this, do what you think is best to do to help us win football games. We’ve got your back and your support. We’re always going to back you for everything, whether that’s — anything that you do, we’re going to always back you.”

The nature of the NFL and Lurie’s recent history makes the latter part of Sirianni’s answer look naive, though.

Everyone has a shelf life in the NFL even if it’s a quarter-century like Bill Belichick in New England. Eagles defensive end Brandon Graham is still cognizant that he’s always been renting space in the Philadelphia locker room in Year 14 of his stellar career.

Lurie isn’t an overbearing owner but he’s an involved one. He likes to describe his style as someone who asks a lot of questions in the hope of making his key employees think about all the possible angles.

Team sources have confirmed to SI.com’s Eagles Today over the years that the frequency of those questions tends to increase when things are not going in the direction that Lurie likes or expects and that’s been the case in the team’s 1-5 rough landing to the regular season.

Lurie’s history with the only Super Bowl-winning coach in franchise history — Doug Pederson — also reveals that there will be scapegoats when internal expectations are not met.

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