Following Sirianni to Philadelphia will be Jonathan Gannon as the Eagles’ new defensive coordinator, sources tell Rapoport and NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero. Gannon worked with Sirianni in Indianapolis as the Colts’ defensive backs coach.
Pelissero adds that the Eagles have also agreed to terms with Colts assistant Kevin Patullo as their offensive pass game coordinator, per a source. As for the Eagles offensive coordinator position, Rapoport reports that the team is interviewing Broncos running backs coach Curtis Modkins and Chargers offensive coordinator Shane Steichen on Sunday, per a source.
As the new Eagles coaching staff materializes, coaches still on contract are weighing their options. Longtime Eagles assistant Duce Staley has asked to be released from his contract, NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo reports. Staley has a few teams interested in his coaching services, according to Garafolo. Staley will meet with owner Jeffrey Lurie and go on from there.
Sirianni returns to Philadelphia after spending the last three seasons in Indianapolis under Frank Reich, whom Sirianni followed to the Colts from the Eagles when Reich was hired away from Philadelphia in 2018. The 39-year-old brings a dozen years of NFL offensive coaching experience to the Eagles, most recently directing the Colts’ offense to a top-10 finish in yards per game (ninth in points per game, 11th in passing yards per game) in 2020 as part of a team that reached the postseason with a wild-card berth.
Sirianni coordinated an offense fortunate to operate with a stellar offensive line, tying for the second-fewest sacks allowed at 21, which is part of a larger trend in which the Colts have allowed the second-fewest sacks since 2018, Sirianni’s first year in Indianapolis. Prior to his arrival — which coincided with Indianapolis’ selection of guard Quenton Nelson — the Colts had allowed the most sacks in the league, giving up 56 in 2017.
Sirianni’s offense also provided an ideal situation for veteran quarterback Philip Rivers to improve in his final season in Indianapolis. Rivers threw nine fewer interceptions under Sirianni than he had in his previous season, enjoying a passer rating boost of 8.5 points from 2019 to 2020. He was sacked 15 less times in his long campaign with the Colts than he’d been taken down in his final season with the Chargers, and accounted for 11 fewer giveaways.
Such an improvement from Carson Wentz would do the Eagles wonders and soothe the concerns of their passionate fanbase, which was subjected to a horrid offensive performance for much of the season, with Wentz struggling behind a patchwork offensive line. Their issues led to Wentz’s benching, and eventually the termination of Doug Pederson.
Sirianni returns to Philadelphia to replace the man under whom he once worked, assisting the Eagles in a run to a Super Bowl LII triumph in the 2017 season. Should his production in Indianapolis carry over to Philadelphia, one could expect a breakout season from running back Miles Sanders, who will be the lead back in Sirianni’s offense. In 2020, Sirianni’s offense saw rookie Jonathan Taylor explode in the second half of the season, finishing with 1,468 scrimmage yards in 15 games, the third-most by a Colts rookie in franchise history.
The hire might also bode well for Philadelphia’s receiving corps, which was again hindered by injury but features a promising youngster in Jalen Reagor. The Colts had six players with 30-plus receptions, and nine players with 200-plus receiving yards in 2020. Both marks tied for the most of any team in the NFL, per NFL Research.
Sirianni began his career at Division III powerhouse Mount Union as a defensive backs coach before climbing the coaching ladder to his new peak. Should his Eagles embody the winning ways of the Purple Raiders, Philadelphia will be happy with the franchise’s decision to select him as its new head coach for years to come.