Three years after the Eagles lost Super Bowl offensive coordinator Frank Reich to the Colts, they hired one of his top assistants to be their new head coach.
The Eagles are hiring 39-year-old Colts offensive coordinator Nick Sirianni to replace Doug Pederson, league sources confirmed to NBC Sports Philadelphia. ESPN first reported the news.
Sirianni has spent the last three years coaching with Reich, who was Pederson’s offensive coordinator in 2016 and 2017.
In 2017, the year before Reich and Sirianni arrived in Indianapolis, the Colts went 4-12 and ranked 30th in the NFL in points and 31st in yards under Chuck Pagano and offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski, the one-time Browns head coach.
The last three years, the Colts have ranked 5th, 16th and 9th in scoring and reached the playoffs twice. During that three-year period, the Colts rank 8th in the NFL in scoring.
At 39, Sirianni becomes the Eagles’ second-youngest head coach ever. Dick Vermeil was also 39 but four months younger than Sirianni when the Eagles hired him in 1976. Andy Reid was 40 when he was hired in 1999.
Sirianni is the fourth straight offensive head coach Jeff Lurie has hired, following Reid in 1999, Chip Kelly in 2013 and Pederson in 2016, and the seventh straight with no head coaching experience.
The Eagles fired Pederson on Jan. 11 just three years after the Eagles won the Super Bowl.
Sirianni’s biggest challenge will be trying to help Carson Wentz regain his form of 2017, when he was on track for NFL MVP honors working with Reich before his late-season knee injury suffered against the Rams in Los Angeles.
Although Wentz played well without Reich in 2018 and 2019, he’s 17-21-1 since Reich left for Indianapolis and this past season ranked worst or second-worst in the NFL in virtually every major passing category.
Sirianni, who interviewed with the Eagles on Tuesday (Jan. 19), began his coaching career working with defensive backs in 2004 at his alma mater, NCAA Division 3 powerhouse Mount Union of Alliance, Ohio, and then spent three years as wide receivers coach at Indiana (Pa.) University before jumping to the NFL in 2009 when Chiefs head coach Todd Haley hired him as an offensive quality control coach.
When Romeo Crennel replaced Haley in 2012, he promoted Sirianni to wide receivers coach and when Crennel was fired after the 2012 season, Sirianni spent five years in various roles with the Chargers under Mike McCoy and Anthony Lynn. From 2013 through 2015, Sirianni worked alongside Reich, who left to join Pederson’s staff in 2016.
Sirianni coached Chargers quarterbacks — notably Philip Rivers — in 2014 and 2015 before moving to wide receivers in 2016.
When Reich got the Colts’ head coaching job in 2018 after Josh McDaniels changed his mind, he hired Sirianni as his offensive coordinator.
Sirianni was among 10 candidates the Eagles interviewed, along with Panthers offensive coordinator Joe Brady, 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh, Titans offensive coordinator Arthur Smith, Patriots inside linebackers coach Jerod Mayo, Eagles running backs coach Duce Staley, Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, Buccaneers defensive coordinator Todd Bowles, Saints defensive coordinator Dennis Allen and Cowboys offensive coordinator Kellen Moore.
Of that group, Saleh was named head coach of the Jets and Smith head coach of the Falcons.
Subscribe to the Eagle Eye podcast: