And then there was one.
The Philadelphia Eagles became the penultimate NFL team to fill their head coaching vacancy when they hired Indianapolis Colts offensive coordinator Nick Sirianni for the top job, sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Thursday.
This will be the 39-year-old Sirianni’s first head coaching gig after spending the past three years running the Colts’ offense, which finished in the top 10 in yards per game in a pair of those three seasons. The Eagles surely appreciated that Sirianni’s unit in Indy was able to put out a well-balanced attack week in and week out, with his 2020 group finishing 11th in both passing and rushing offense. The one knock on him is that he did not call the offensive plays himself.
There may be an even larger reason for this hire than the performance of Sirianni’s units at Lucas Oil Stadium, one that can be found by looking through coaching trees.
When the Eagles shocked the sporting world by beating Tom Brady and the New England Patriots to take home their first Super Bowl in 2017, current Colts head coach and play-caller Frank Reich was their offensive coordinator. Reich left after the Super Bowl season, and with Philly’s struggles over the past three years, some in Philly have privately wondered whether Reich deserved more credit for the 2017 success.
While they couldn’t get Reich back to replace the dearly departed Doug Pederson, nabbing his protege in Sirianni would seem to be the next best thing for an Eagles team that is trying desperately to get back to the glory days of 2017, which seem like decades ago at this point.
Sirianni comes into a less-than-ideal job: he has to deal with a lack of talent on the roster at many spots, a quarterback controversy, and a general manager in Howie Roseman whose boneheaded moves over the past few years probably should have gotten him the boot before Pederson.
Before coaching under Reich in Indianapolis Sirianni held various assistant coaching positions with the San Diego/Los Angeles Chargers, and before that he spent four years in a range of roles for the Kansas City Chiefs.
The hire of Sirianni leaves the Houston Texans as the only remaining NFL team with a head coaching vacancy. Could they be biding their time until the Kansas City Chiefs finish their playoff run (they’re -167 odds favorites to win Sunday’s AFC Championship) so they can make an offer to Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy? Houston QB Deshaun Watson surely hopes so.