Nick Sirianni has been shaking things up all summer in South Philadelphia. Everything he does has been deliberate, from the colorful t-shirts he wears to the friendly one-on-one competitions he conducts. Most of his unorthodox methods are in the name of fun.
On Monday, September 20, the Philadelphia Eagles head coach had a more somber tone following the team’s 17-11 loss to the San Francisco 49ers. Sirianni closed the doors and had some “tough conversations” with his assistants, he told reporters. Just as players are held accountable for their actions, the coaching staff is, too. Sunday’s effort was lackluster. It was marred by questionable play-calling and bad decisions, so they talked it out.
“Today it’s a little different schedule today than it is a normal Monday after a game,” Sirianni told reporters the day after the game. “Today has been more about the coaches holding the coaches accountable, myself holding the coaches accountable, the coordinators holding their coaches accountable. That’s what today has been about.
“It’s just one of our core values is we hold each other accountable. These are not fun days. You come in after a loss and it’s not a fun day. You’ve got to have tough conversations; you’ve got to hold each other accountable and get better from it.”
The latest Eagles news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Eagles newsletter here!
Revisiting the ‘Philly Un-Special’ Play
Sirianni was quick to take the blame for the botched “Philly Special” down near the goal line. The Eagles came away with zero points following a 91-yard completion from Jalen Hurts to Quez Watkins, low-lighted by a gadget play that had Greg Ward play the role of quarterback and Hurts split out as a wide receiver.
Hurts was the only read on the play. And San Francisco snuffed it out immediately.
“As far as the receiver pass again, I don’t feel great about that call,” Sirianni said. “That’s a gadget-y call right there. Again, don’t feel great about that call. But, with my experience with wide receiver passes, it’s one and done. We don’t like to give them too many options.”
Filling Void Left by Brandon Graham
Brandon Graham’s leadership will be missed far more than his play on the field. And that’s saying something considering the 33-year-old ranks fourth all-time in franchise history for sacks. Graham is the pulse of the defense, the turbocharged engine in the engine room.
Graham said he intends to remain an active part of the club, whether it’s as a cheerleader on the sideline or an encouraging voice in the locker room. He’s not leaving the team just because he can’t suit up after he ruptured his Achilles during Sunday’s game. Still, the loss stings and guys are going to have to step up into that leadership role.
Sirianni talked about trying to fill that void during his media availability on Monday.
“When you lose a good player like Brandon Graham, there’s many different roles that – and many different hats that Brandon wears that a lot of us have to be ready to step in and fill the void,” Sirianni said. “That goes from Ryan Kerrigan as far as playing the edge, setting the edge like BG does, rushing the passer like he does.
“Then that’s also like I said with Fletch [Fletcher Cox] taking even a bigger leadership role with the absence of Brandon. It’s not just a one-man show, it’s going to take all of us to replace a good player like him and a good leader.”