Yeah, he was nervous, and no, I don’t care.
Press conferences don’t win football games. And whether or not Nick Sirianni yelled and screamed about biting kneecaps or spoke haltingly and awkwardly and avoided most of the questions, the Eagles are still 0-0.
Buddy Ryan stood there at his introductory presser smirking and proclaiming, “You’ve got a winner in town,” and proceeded to go 0-3 in the playoffs.
Andy Reid as you might imagine didn’t blow anybody away when he was introduced at the downtown Marriott 22 years ago. But it would have been a pretty big mistake to judge him by his bland monotone 238 wins ago.
Chip Kelly was smooth and slick and confident when he became head coach. He had all the answers. Never won a playoff game either.
Nobody came across worse at an introductory presser than Doug Pederson five years ago. But 25 months later he led the Eagles to a Super Bowl.
You never know.
Sirianni has worked his whole life to become a head coach, not to stare at a Zoom screen in an empty auditorium and answer questions that he can’t answer from 50 people he’s never met.
And it was interesting how as Sirianni’s introductory presser went along, you could just see how comfortable he was when there was a football question. Something about calling plays or one of his assistant coaches or what kind of scheme he’s going to run. He was back in his comfort zone, and you could see him relax a little bit and answer the question.
I don’t know if Sirianni will be a successful coach, but I know that what happened on Friday afternoon isn’t going to win or lose this team football games.
All that matters is that he can stand up in front of 53 football players and command the room. Motivate. Guide. Lead.
I remember the first time I saw one of those videos of Pederson post-game inside the locker room. I couldn’t believe it.
This guy who fumbled and stumbled through his pressers came across like Vince Freaking Lombardi in those videos. That was his comfort zone, not some podium in an auditorium.
The reality is you never know.
So much goes into whether any head coach is successful.
You need players. You need to hire the right staff of teachers who trust each other. You need patience and support from the owner if you go 5-11 like Reid’s first year or lose 9 of 11 at one point like Pederson’s first year.
You need to be a motivator to everybody in the building. You need to be unflinchingly positive when things are going bad. You need to be genuine. You need to be honest. You need to be innovative.
Everything we’ve heard from Sirianni’s former colleagues is that he checks all the boxes.
Sirianni’s ability to juggle all those responsibilities and then go out and manage the whole thing on 16 Sunday afternoons in the fall is what’s ultimately going to determine whether or not he’s a good coach.
All we have so far is Sirianni calling team president Don Smolenski “Don Slowinski,” fumbling over a couple answers and dodging a bunch of questions about Carson Wentz that he just wasn't ready to answer yet.
If the Eagles win, nobody will remember Sirianni’s press conference. And if they lose, it’ll be the least of his worries.
Whether or not the guy can coach won’t be determined by a Zoom call.
It’ll be determined in the meeting rooms and film rooms at the NovaCare Complex, on the grass practice fields alongside South Broad Street and on game days at the Linc and in stadiums across the NFL.
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