PHILADELPHIA – Nick Sirianni has spent his coaching career directing other people’s offenses. For the past three seasons he has been Frank Reich’s offensive coordinator with the Colts. Prior to that, he worked under Anthony Lynn, Ken Whisenhunt, Mike McCoy and Reich, among others, with the Chargers.
And during his introductory press conference last week, Sirianni pointed out the flexibility of his system, which was something that was essential during his time with the Colts.
“The offensive philosophy, again, we’re going to be multiple,” Sirianni told Zoom. “We can attack in a number of ways. I’ll just use the example here from Indianapolis. We had Andrew Luck as a quarterback. That followed with Jacoby Brissett as a quarterback and then Philip Rivers as a quarterback. These three teams looked different. They were all different in the way they attacked defenses and played the game. ”
Sirianni brought in two assistants with similar backgrounds to offensive coordinator Shane Steichen, who was with the Chargers for the past seven seasons, and passing play coordinator Kevin Patullo, who was with the Colts for the past three seasons.
But Sirianni will also have outside voices. He retained the offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland, who was also the running game coordinator under former coach Doug Pederson, and reportedly coached wide receivers Aaron Moorehead, which could ensure a certain continuity on this side of the ball. He praised Stoutland.
Sirianni, however, wouldn’t put himself in a box as to how he would define his offense. He had to adapt on the fly with quarterback changes at Indianapolis, and he inherited a pair of quarterbacks with differing skills from Carson Wentz and Jalen Hurts in Philadelphia.
Wentz is a few years away from his prime, while Hurts made some impressive plays in the last season. But the two have different strengths for an attacking staff to work with. Sirianni wouldn’t want to put his quarterback in a situation that doesn’t exploit his strengths.
“I think that’s a sign of a good coach, that you’re going to change depending on your staff, right?” said Sirianni. “We have some staff in place. We’re going to figure out what they can do well and what their strengths are, and we’re going to play on their strengths and we’re going to try to keep them out of situations where they don’t excel well.
“It can change. We can look at the tape and think, “Hey, that would look really good. This is how it adapts to a few things that we have done in the past. But that can change depending on the practice. In practice, say, “We’re going to have to see it in practice. Then that might change depending on a game.
In Sirianni’s three seasons at Indianapolis, the Colts were seventh, 25th and 10th in yards and fifth, 16th and ninth in points. According to Football Outsiders’ DVOA metric, the Colts offense ranked 10th, 19th and 12th.
Sirianni doesn’t necessarily seem to bring an unstoppable Indianapolis plan with him, and there are serious personnel issues – starting with the quarterback with Wentz and Hurts – for the Eagles to respond this offseason before the system of Sirianni could not take shape. In addition, he could attempt to institute his plan during another virtual offseason due to the coronavirus pandemic.
But while Sirianni’s offense doesn’t seem to have a calling card just yet, he hopes his adaptability serves him well as the games begin.
“It’s an ever-evolving offensive philosophy,” Sirianni said. “Of course we have our core games in place that we want to do, that we want to be good at, because that’s what we do. But a lot of it will depend on our staff and how our staff are used for their strengths and weaknesses. “
Daniel Gallen covers the Philadelphia Eagles for PennLive. He can be contacted at [email protected]. You can follow it on Twitter and Facebook. Follow PennLive’s Philadelphia Eagles coverage on Twitter, Facebook and Youtube.