Fairly or unfairly, Nick Sirianni’s introductory press conference was widely ridiculed around the country. The Philadelphia Eagles new head coach appeared nervous, sometimes tongue-tied, and a little uneasy over the fanfare. It’s all good, according to one of his former Indianapolis Colts players.
Pro Bowl linebacker Darius Leonard jumped to Sirianni’s defense back on Jan. 29 when he commented it was “funny” that people were “trying to clown him.” On Tuesday, Leonard explained that the coach was never a gifted speaker in team meetings and used the word “alright” as a crutch.
That wasn’t a knock on Sirianni, though. He just doesn’t like to talk in front of a lot of people. The 25-year-old went on to call Sirianni a “great coach” and “great leader” during an appearance on the Pat McAfee Show. The two were together for three years in Indianapolis.
Look, I’m going to be real with you. Each Saturday night, all the coordinators, defensive coordinator, special teams coordinator, they all get up there to talk in front of the team — and you can tell people who love to talk in front of people and you can tell people who don’t like to talk in front of people.
You know all three years, Nick came up there and his crutch was, every time he said something, he said alright so each night I counted how many times he said alright and, you know, I said something to him — and then it just kept getting shorter and shorter, until he stopped using the alright … but I know he’s a great coach and I know he’s a great leader so I had to step up and say something for him.
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Eagles Putting Out ‘Fake News’ on Colts Offer?
Former NFL GM Michael Lombardi (yes, that guy) made an appearance on the Pat McAfee Show on Tuesday to give his thoughts on the rumors surrounding Carson Wentz and his possible trade to the Colts. The latest buzz has been that the Chicago Bears have the highest bid, but the Eagles quarterback doesn’t want to go there. He would prefer to play in Indianapolis under old friend Frank Reich.
But Lombardi’s opinion threw water on all of the rumored trade offers. He believes the Eagles are falsely leaking stuff to get both organizations — and maybe a surprise third team — to up the ante. He called it an “illusionary market” that rival general managers can see right through.
“They’ve tried to create this illusionary market out there,” Lombardi said. “They’ve taken billboards out with the Worldwide Leader [ESPN], and they’ve done everything they possibly can to create this market that has become flat. Two weeks ago, he was supposed to get traded for a blockbuster, and that has not happened. Most teams are looking around, saying, ‘We’re not in it.’”
Remember, the Eagles owe Wentz a roster bonus of $10 million on March 19 and that’s transferrable to whichever team trades for him. Let’s be real: Philly isn’t going to pay that unless he’s part of their long-term plans.
Happy Birthday, Alshon Jeffery
The Eagles have stopped promoting their long-running #WentzDay campaign which featured wallpaper photos of the quarterback every Wednesday on their social media channels. Don’t read too much into it as they really couldn’t justifiably post highlights of a benched quarterback.
There has been much speculation that Jeffery would either be cut or traded this offseason despite a $15.5 million dead cap hit over the next two seasons. He was injured for the majority of the 2020 season and finished with just six catches for 115 yards and a touchdown. If Wentz leaves town — Jeffery was accused of not liking the quarterback — then maybe the Eagles keep him. The guy drafted to replace him (J.J. Arcega-Whiteside) hasn’t exactly worked out.
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