When Nick Sirianni was hired as the Eagles’ head coach in January, he talked at length about wanting to play to his players’ strengths and build his offense around them.
That’s what he’s been doing.
It really starts with Jalen Hurts and his unique skills.
While Sirianni came to Philadelphia with his offensive scheme in mind, it’s a fluid process to not only figure out which plays work best with Hurts but to also figure out which plays Hurts likes the most. What is he comfortable with?
“Listen, if I like something and Shane (Steichen) likes something and Brian (Johnson) likes something and we love it and he hates it,” Sirianni said, “we ain't going to run it.
“So yes, we're to that point, but it's an ongoing thing, because sometimes you don't like something against a certain defense or whatever it is. That's an ongoing conversation, ongoing thing, but I think we're there. We're pretty close.”
Sirianni said he’s been working toward a common understanding with Hurts about which concepts he prefers but they’re not finished. That process will continue throughout their first season together.
It’s clear that Sirianni is listening to Hurts’ input on the offense, but this is a give and take. And Hurts is trying to change his outlook to fit into the way Sirianni sees this offensive scheme.
“I think the biggest thing is being on the same page, everybody being on the same page,” Hurts said.
When asked if he and Sirianni see plays similarly, Hurts said, “You could say that,” but then elaborated.
“I think moreso, it’s his system,” Hurts continued. “Obviously, it’s his offense and it’s another new offense for me that I’ve had to attack and learn. It’s moreso me seeing it the way he does, then we can communicate and talk things out and move forward from there. But it’s open dialogue.
“It’s kind of what I just said with the communication and all that. We definitely want to be on the same page in everything that we do. But we’ve had time here to throw it against the wall and see what sticks, see what’s good for us. It’s an ongoing process.”
During Sirianni’s three years in Indianapolis, the Colts had three different quarterbacks. Andrew Luck in 2018, Jacoby Brissett in 2019 and Philip Rivers in 2020. Sirianni was proud that the offense molded for each of those quarterbacks.
As he molds this offense to Hurts, it’s safe to assume the young quarterback’s legs will be an emphasis. The Eagles want Hurts to grow as a pocket passer but they can’t ignore what his legs (and just the threat of his legs) can do to an opposing defense.
One key area might be the RPO game. It’s something Sirianni didn’t have a ton of experience with before joining Reich in Indianapolis but he’s learned a lot since then. And Johnson, the quarterbacks coach in Philly, is helping blend those RPOs into Sirianni’s offense.
What will it all look like on Sunday?
Sirianni wasn’t ready to give it all away just yet.
“I think that’s a you'll see on Sunday the answer to that question,” he said. “For competitive reasons, I don't really want to answer that question right now, but you'll see a little bit more of that, and I can answer that more for you a little bit better this upcoming week.”
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