No one is quite sure what the Philadelphia Eagles’ offense will look like in 2021. Looking at Nick Sirianni’s old teams in Indianapolis, it will probably feature constant movement and short screen passes mixed with a punishing ground game.
They will take full advantage of Jalen Hurts’ athleticism to fool defenses, too, especially when the pocket breaks down. Philly’s new dual-threat quarterback is a blur in the open field, a matchup nightmare every time he hikes the football. Defenses are going to be on Defcon 1 high alert, says new Eagles pass game coordinator Kevin Patullo.
“I think that anytime you have a quarterback that’s got legs and he’s a threat in that direction, the defense has to honor it in some capacity,” Patullo told reporters. “So they [defenses] are going to be limited in some areas, and things that they may have done against a different quarterback, and they’re probably not going to do that to you.
“So there are certain things you can do going into a game knowing okay, we’re going to get this, probably not this, or this is something that they’ve done in the past to a running quarterback or a guy that can make plays if the pocket breaks down. So you can use that to gameplan and kind of help the player.”
But Patullo wouldn’t divulge too many details on what the offense would look like other than to say “it’s a good mixture.” It will borrow concepts from rival teams and former coaches he has worked under in the NFL.
“It’s a good mixture,” Patullo said. “Look around the league, the offenses are kind of evolving every year. As a coach, that’s your job, you have to evolve, you have to study other people and take what you like and past experiences and go from there. It’s going to be our offense, the Philadelphia Eagles offense.”
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Sirianni Crazy About Competition, Never Stops
The crazed call for competition at every position underscores a broader obsession for the head coach. Sirianni tracked it back to challenging his brothers to different things as a youngster. Earlier this week, Patullo went into greater depth on how he puts that manic mantra into practice every single day.
“The one thing that he does is, he believes in competition at its finest,” Patullo said. “He will challenge everybody obviously to get better, just to be competitive within themselves — with the team, with the room, with whatever it may be. If you’re a guy that needs to be loved up a little more on certain things, you need more explanations, more visual cues, you need more talking through, more walking through … he’s going to find a way to appeal to everybody and get to that personal side and get to know them and then challenge them to be more competitive.”
Quarterback Experience Serving Patullo Well
Patullo knows quarterbacks so well because he played the position. He was a starter in high school, then split time at quarterback and wide receiver in college. All those past experiences informed his meteoric rise up the coaching ranks. Patullo can explain coverages better because he thinks like a quarterback, something that gives his wide receivers a huge leg up.
“If you have that quarterback background, you know what the quarterback is thinking and what they have to do from play to play and the details of what they’re asked to get things done,” Patullo said. “And that knowledge can be conveyed to the receivers and then they start to understand more of ‘Oh, this is why you need me there’ and it’s not I’m just running a route to run a route.”
Patullo has been heavily involved in putting together the Eagles’ offensive identity during spring OTAs. He’s sat in on quarterback meetings, wide receivers meetings, and running back meetings. The 39-year-old coach has popped in every room and given input. His fingerprints, along with Sirianni and offensive coordinator Shane Steichen, will be all over the game plan.
“I’ve kind of been a bit of everywhere, having my hands on everything and making sure we’re getting done what we want to do,” Patullo said. “And the good thing is, all three of us, Shane, myself and Nick, we’ve all worked together in some capacity. We know what Nick wants and the vision he has so we can go work our angles and get those things done.”