Jay Valai was introduced as assistant defensive backs coach on Thursday. One day later, ESPN’s Adam Rittenberg is reporting that Valai is on his way to the University of Alabama to serve in a similar role.
What went wrong? Did he see a dysfunctional organization in Philly and decide to bail? No one knows but the move marks three jobs for Valai in the span of a month after he left the University of Texas for a job at the University of Houston in late January. Strange times.
Here is the official bio on Valai from the Eagles’ website:
• Valai served as the cornerbacks coach at the University of Texas in 2020. In 2018, Valai earned his first year of NFL experience as the defensive quality control/defensive backs coach with the Kansas City Chiefs.
• A safety at the University of Wisconsin, Valai had 153 career tackles, four forced fumbles, two interceptions, and a sack. A two-time All-Big Ten selection, Valai was part of the 2010 Big Ten Championship Team.
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Nick Sirianni Announces Coaching Staff
The names of Nick Sirianni’s staff have been leaked out piecemeal over the past few weeks. On Thursday, the team announced the full roster of coaches (now minus Jay Valai) and provided background notes on all 23 assistants.
Michael Clay, Special Teams Coordinator: Clay becomes the youngest coordinator in the NFL at age 29 following an impressive five-year run in San Francisco as an assistant special-teams coach. Prior to that, Clay served as the Eagles’ assistant special teams coach in 2015 and defensive quality control coach in 2014.
Jonathan Gannon, Defensive Coordinator: Gannon is another steal from the Indianapolis Colts staff where he served as defensive backs coach for the past three years on Frank Reich’s staff. The Colts ranked fifth in the NFL in takeaways (25) and tied for third-best in interceptions (15).
Shane Steichen, Offensive Coordinator: Another Sirianni friend who spent the last seven years on the Chargers’ staff, first as a quarterbacks coach and then as offensive coordinator. Steichen’s unit ranked ninth in total offense in 2020 while working with quarterback Justin Herbert, the NFL’s Offensive Rookie of the Year.
Jemal Singleton, Running Backs/Assistant Head Coach: Meet the new Duce Staley. Singleton brings 20 years of college and professional coaching experience to Philly, most recently as the running backs coach for the Cincinnati Bengals. He’s credited for helping turn Joe Mixon into a 1,000-yard rusher there.
Kevin Patullo, Passing Game Coordinator: Sirianni’s passing-game analyst from Indianapolis has done it all on the offensive side of the ball, from wide receivers coach to quarterbacks coach. He also has experience at the college level at Texas A&M where he worked on game-planning and offensive strategy.
Jeff Stoutland, Run Game Coordinator/Offensive Line: The man known simply as “Stout” needs no introduction. He is widely regarded as the best offensive line coach in football and nearly left town to take a job with Nick Saban at Alabama. This marks his ninth season coaching the guys up front in Philly.
Brian Johnson, Quarterbacks: One of the most sought-after offensive minds in college football makes the jump to the pros. At Florida, Johnson turned Kyle Trask into a Heisman Trophy finalist in 2020 and worked wonders with Dak Prescott at Mississippi State from 2014-16.
Jason Michael, Tight Ends: Michael brings 16 years of coaching experience to Philly, including stints in Indianapolis (tight ends coach) and Tennessee (offensive coordinator).
Aaron Moorehead, Wide Receivers: This marks the first time since 2015 the Eagles will have the same wide receivers coach for two years in a row. Progress.
Nick Rallis, Linebackers: A former linebacker at the University of Minnesota, Rallis comes highly regarded having worked as defensive quality control/assistant linebackers coach for the Minnesota Vikings under Mike Zimmer.
Tracy Rocker, Defensive Line: Rocker is a member of the College Football Hall of Fame and won a national championship at Auburn as a coach in 2010. He was also a defensive line coach for the Tennessee Titans in 2012.
Dennard Wilson, Defensive Backs: He spent the past four seasons coaching up the defensive backs for the New York Jets while taking on passing game coordinator duties in 2019. He’s a rising star in the coaching ranks.
The Best of the Rest
Here is the rest of Sirianni’s coaching staff for the 2021 campaign:
Jeremiah Washburn, Director of Player Personnel/Senior Defensive Assistant
Roy Istvan, Assistant Offensive Line
Joe Pannunzio, Assistant Special Teams Coordinator
Tyler Brown, Special Teams Quality Control
Joe Kasper, Defensive Quality Control
T.J. Paganetti, Offensive Quality Control
Alex Tanney, Offensive Quality Control
Tyler Scudder, Coaches Assistant
Ted Rath, Vice President of Player Performance
Fernando Noriega, Head Strength & Conditioning