Let’s go back in time to around 350 days ago. January 29, 2021. That day, brand new Philadelphia Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni gave his first media conference.
It did not go well.
He stumbled. He stuttered. He looked and sounded nervous. He repeated himself a lot while managing to say very little. Very few people felt confident in Sirianni or the Eagles once it was over.
Now, almost a full year later, Sirianni is the only rookie head coach to make the playoffs. He’s managed to clean up the mess created by former head coach Doug Pederson, former starting quarterback Carson Wentz, general manager Howie Roseman, and owner Jeff Lurie. He took a 4-11-1 team and turned them into a 9-8 team with a legit run game and a young quarterback who has done nothing but grow. He became the second NFL coach in history to lead a team to the playoffs after a 2-5 start.
And yet, as the Eagles gear up to face Tom Brady and the reigning Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers in a playoff game that no one expected even two months ago, Sirianni has barely been mentioned in the Coach of the Year conversation. It’s a huge oversight, because Sirianni’s turnaround of an unimpressive Eagles team has been one of the best stories in the NFL this year.
Nick Sirianni’s Eagles struggle in beginning
That first presser was not the best way for Sirianni to start in Philly. Things got even worse in April when he revealed he played rock, paper, scissors with potential draft prospects during their Zoom interviews. He was a laughingstock before the first game was played. Thankfully, that first game was a blowout win over the Falcons.
Philadelphia needed that blowout first win, because the next two months were not great. With holes and questions all over the field, the Eagles lost five of their next six games and felt mired in sludge. The low point, at least from a fan perspective, was on Oct. 27, days after falling to 2-5 thanks to a loss to the Las Vegas Raiders. During a press conference,…