Nick Sirianni was in the middle of delivering a postgame speech to his team on Sunday night in Indianapolis when he was interrupted by Jalen Hurts.
Hurts asked him where Sirianni used to coach. When Sirianni said “here,” Hurts tossed him a game ball and his teammates cheered.
“It’s always cool, something like that,” Sirianni said on Wednesday. “That meant a lot, that Jalen flipped me that ball. And probably just the same way it meant a lot to Mr. Lurie when I flipped him the ball after the Houston game. That’s always good.”
Hurts knew how much that game meant to Sirianni.
And it’s clear how much Sirianni means to his team, especially the starting quarterback.
The Eagles are 9-1 right now. They have the best record in the NFL and are well on their way to exceeding all expectations. A big reason for that level of success is the play of Hurts this season. And it’s hard to find a more important relationship in the NFL than the one between the head coach and quarterback.
The bond between Sirianni and Hurts just keeps getting stronger.
“The relationship with Jalen, I just really appreciate the head coach-quarterback relationship we have and how it’s grown over the last year and a half,” Sirianni said. “We’ve know more and more about each other, not only in football, but our personal lives too.”
In some ways, Sirianni and Hurts are very similar. Both the sons of coaches, intensely competitive, great leaders.
But they’re different too. While Sirianni often wears his emotion on his sleeve, Hurts is always steady. A lot of times, it’s the job of the head coach to help the quarterback control his emotions. In this case, it’s Hurts who sometimes serves as a calming presence for Sirianni.
Whatever. It works.
“I think throughout this whole entire process of everyone working together and everyone being together, I think we’ve learned a lot about one another,” Hurts said. “Being able to spend a lot of time with one another, put the work in together and I think he’s grown in a number of different areas, like his overall grasp of what he’s doing like us all. I think we all kind of have the same objective and why we do what we do every day, take steps in that. We just all want to single-handedly do our jobs so we can get the results we want.”
The relationship between quarterback and head coach has been likened to a marriage. That’s how important it is for any organization, but especially one with an offensive head coach.
Sirianni truly believes in the power of connection. And in this case, the more he gets to know Hurts on and off the field, the better they’re able to work together.
Earlier this season, when the Eagles played in Hurts’ hometown of Houston, Sirianni got a chance to meet a lot of his family. You could tell that meant something to the head coach.
Because over the last year and a half, he and Hurts have become family too.
“That’s what’s so important to me in coaching and in playing is the relationships you have and the connecting that you have,” Sirianni said.
“Because, one, I think that’s important to team chemistry and what you’re becoming as a team. And two, that’s why we get into this. So we can continue to be on a team and we can continue to have those relationships that come from the ups and downs of a season.”
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