WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – It’s not about style for head coach Nick Sirianni, it’s about results, and in the business of the NFL, results are measured in the win column. He showed his adaptability in his rookie season in Philadelphia by turning the tide of the offense midway through the campaign, resulting in a No. 1 running game that led a second-half surge to push the Eagles into the postseason. Style over substance? No, thanks. Just win, please.
With the 2022 offseason underway, Sirianni and his coaching staff are in the process of building: the scheme, the staff, the in-game decisions, the preparation. All. He is a coach with an open mind and an aggressive attitude and has certain benchmarks for his offense to reach that he believes will translate into desirable results.
“I think you see it a lot of different ways in the NFL about how teams do it,” Sirianni said Tuesday morning at the NFL Annual Meeting. “You can be a top-tier running team, you can be a top-tier passing team and do it. The main stats we always focus on are, did we win the explosive play battle? And did we win? Turnovers? Those are the stats I really always dive into, did we win those two? You saw that last year, even on a very running offense we were able to be an explosive passing offense with the number of explosive plays that we made … I don’t want to say you have to play this way or you have to play that way. We have to do whatever we can to win games.”
Sirianni said it’s important to “feed our guys that are making plays,” referring to wide receivers DeVonta Smith and Quez Watkins and tight end Dallas Goedert in the passing game. They are all explosive players. They’re all tough matchups for defenses and they’re all important for the Eagles to make sure they get touches.
But as the Eagles’ thought process and roster-building moves head into next season, the question is a good one: Where will the offense trend on their balance sheet?
For Sirianni, who along with Offensive Coordinator Shane Steichen and the rest of the offensive staff builds the playbook and then makes it happen on game days, it really isn’t a problem. With an offensive line that should once again be among the best in the NFL, the Eagles plan to be versatile, unpredictable and able to outplay defenses in multiple ways.
“I’ve been part of teams that have done it both ways,” said Sirianni. “We’ll do what we think we do best to win football games. I really believe there’s always a way to win football games in the NFL. You just have to find a way that week to do it.” Sometimes your team becomes a team with many runs. Sometimes your team becomes a high-passing team. We don’t have to make that decision of who we are until Game 1. And really, that always evolves. not pressured by it.
“We’re going to work like crazy to get our passing game to where we want to, to make it better, because at the end of the day, I don’t remember what we were in the passing game, I think it was 25 or 26, or whatever (the Eagles ranked 25th in the NFL in passing yards per game in 2021): You want it better You want to make sure you’re not lacking in any one area because obviously the teams that are planning the game against you are going to have a chance to take advantage it’s.
“We’re trying to do our weaknesses, and I’m not saying it’s a weakness, but we’re trying to do things that maybe aren’t what we want them to be or aren’t up to our standard and we’re always trying to get better at that.” .
Sirianni defines “explosive” plays as 16+ yards in the passing game and 10+ yards in the running game, and he’s right, the Eagles were fantastic in that category last season. They led the NFL with 163 “explosive” plays, with their 77 “explosive” runs ranking second in the NFL and their 11.7 receiving yards ranking sixth. Plus, the Eagles gave the ball away just 16 times in the regular season, the fifth fewest in the league and their lowest total since the 1990 season. Want more impressive stats? The Eagles were one of only five NFL teams to rank in the top 8 in third-down offense (45.7 percent conversion rate, fourth-best in the league) and red zone offense (45.7 percent conversion rate). 62.3 percent touchdown rate, eighth-best in the NFL).
Here’s what the Eagles believe, and the numbers bear it out: There’s a lot to build on here. Tons of work to do, yes. But a great point guard, starting with that big, strong, deep, talented offensive line and continuing with quarterback Jalen Hurts. Sirianni knows that Hurts, who is in Southern California working on his game and pushing himself to the limit because, as we all know, Hurts is as motivated and consumed with being the best he can be as anyone in the league, is coming back. to the NovaCare Complex for the off-season program, ready to attack Year 3.
Look, we know the Eagles will add to the mix, honestly, every part of the roster. They’re keeping an eye on free agency and that’s not going to stop all season, whether it’s now or in a trade later on or sometime when games start. What Sirianni and the Eagles were able to do in 2021 was build a foundation and renew a winning culture after a letdown in the 2020 season and develop connection and chemistry. The next step awaits.
It will not be easy. Nothing in this league is easy. But the Eagles have something really promising here and they know they have opportunities to climb back to the top of the NFC East, the top of the NFC and, yes, the NFL.
“We’re going to need everyone to get better. I’m going to need to get better, right? Kevin Patullo (passing game coordinator) will need to get better. Brian Johnson (quarterbacks coach) will need to get better.” to improve. Jonathan Gannon (defensive coordinator) will need to improve. We all fight every day to make it,” said Sirianni. “It’s great to come to something like this and we were in a meeting the other day and it was showing all the highlights of the NFL from the whole year and it excites you, like it doesn’t Can you wait to get back to work and continue to build this team and develop our players so we can be the last ones standing.”