Eagles Coach Nick Sirianni Reveals Hard Truth: ‘This is Philly, Right?’

Nick Sirianni

Getty Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni knows the expectations are always extremely high in Philadelphia.

Nick Sirianni is a big believer in connecting with his players. It’s one of his five core principles and Sirianni manifests it in everything he does, including his Philly chic sense of fashion.

The Philadelphia Eagles head coach showed up to the first day of training camp wearing a Jalen Hurts’ shirt. It was a fit he flashed last season but this time it carried even more weight. Those two men are forever linked as they look to build something from scratch. Hurts, for better or worse, has to show he can run Sirianni’s offense in Year 2. If not, the Eagles may be shopping for a new quarterback in 2023.

According to Sirianni, Hurts has aced every test so far this offseason while showing “great progress” during OTAs in June. He was sharp to start camp, too.

“You can just see he’s a year further into it, that the decisions are being made quicker and faster each time he gets a rep at it,” Sirianni told reporters on July 27. “Just like a lot of quarterbacks in this league, right? They get better with their decision-making over time. And so you’re definitely going to see that.

“You’re still going to see his play-making ability with his feet. I saw a more accurate passer in OTAs. Now he has to continue to improve every single day. I thought he had great progress in OTAs. He’s got to continue to ride the momentum of that through training camp each and every day.”

Back to the shirt. Sirianni stole the idea of supporting his players (via streetwear) from his brother, Mike. The elder Sirianni is the head football coach at Washington & Jefferson College, a Division III school outside of Pittsburgh. Mike uses his wardrobe to honor the high schools of his student-athletes.

“He always had this wide variety of shirts. He told me why he had it. Just an easy way to connect with the player,” Sirianni said. “So what better way to connect with them than wear a shirt with his face in the middle of it. That is the why. There is always a conversation off of that.”

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Don’t Look at the Top of the Mountain

Expectations are always high in Philly, especially as the national media jumps on the hype train. Sirianni knows what’s at stake. Ditto for Eagles general manager Howie Roseman. The outside perception last year was that the Eagles were playing with house money. That they got lucky and made an unexpected playoff run. Whatever the case, the standard hasn’t changed despite a more “stacked” roster in 2022.

“Again, like Howie said, this is Philly, right? I didn’t feel like expectations weren’t high last year,” Sirianni said. “Whether somebody said they weren’t, or somebody said they were, our standard was high. I know the city’s standard was high. And so that’s not new.”

Sirianni’s message to the team plays on that theme. He cautioned players about looking too far ahead. He wants them to climb the mountain without looking at the top of the mountain.

Said Sirianni: “When you are trying to climb a mountain, you don’t look at the top of the mountain and say — you might initially, but you don’t look at the top of the mountain every single day and say, ‘I have to climb that.’ You look to the part of the mountain you have to climb that day and you focus on that. That’s what training camp is about, you focus on the daily deposits.”

When one funny reporter asked Sirianni if he had ever scaled a mountain, the coach laughed and replied: “No, never.”

Eagles Injury Report on Day 1

The Eagles started camp with a pretty full roster, minus three guys placed on the PUP list. Jason Kelce was missing in action at the beginning of practice which forced the team to deliver an updated injury report.

The All-Pro center was recovering from COVID but he’s fine and jogged out onto the field later in the day. Kelce was one of four players getting over COVID while new receiver Zach Pascal battles a non-COVID illness.

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