Six games into the Nick Sirianni era in Philadelphia and here we are already speculating whether the head coach should remain in his position past this season.
Is that fair? In normal circumstances, no.
But considering just how abysmal his offense has looked during the course of the season, in particularly his lack of understanding when it comes to developing his quarterback, Sirianni’s long-term future with the franchise is certainly in question.
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We can talk about the penalties or his absurd explanation of his offense at nearly every press conference, but the real concern about Sirianni lies in what we’ve seen out of Jalen Hurts through the first six weeks of the season.
Hurts has not been great by any stretch of the imagination. I’d argue he’s been downright bad at times. But there’s something there, something to build off of even despite his clear limitations as a passer. And Sirianni, week in and week out, refuses to put Hurts in favorable situations.
It starts with the lack of a running game. Putting together all of the passes and runs from Hurts, he’s accounting for a little over 77% of the Eagles offensive plays. Miles Sanders, a player many expected to breakout into a Pro Bowl player this year, has seen an alarmingly low percentage of touches this year.
In the first half of games, Sanders has only toted the rock 24 times. 34 running backs have more first half touches, and Sanders has one extra game played thanks to the Thursday night contest.
If the weight of the entire offense wasn’t placed on Hurts’ shoulders, there’s no doubt he’d be a more efficient quarterback. But when you ask a second-year signal caller with just 10 starts under his belt to carry an offense with no legitimate weapons at wide receiver, you’re asking for trouble.
If you’re surprised by how bad Hurts has looked at times, you shouldn’t be. He’s not an elite talent, and we all knew that coming into the year. Except for one guy apparently.
With Sirianni’s clear lack of understanding in developing Hurts, why should we trust him to do any better when he may have a new rookie quarterback next year?
Drafting a quarterback in next year’s draft is a possibility, and no fan should feel comfortable letting Sirianni be the groomer of said quarterback.
The true mark of a quarterback guru in the NFL is found when a head coach manages to take an average to below average talent and create a productive offense around him.
Andy Reid has done this numerous times throughout his career. He molded Donovan McNabb into the Eagles franchise passing leader, Kevin Kolb looked like an NFL quarterback playing in Reid’s offense, A.J. Feeley looked so good under Reid that the Eagles were able to trade him for a second round pick. Michael Vick became one of the best quarterbacks in the league in Philly, Alex Smith was one of the most efficient passers in the NFL during his time with Reid. You get my point.
In an alternate reality, Jalen Hurts would probably look pretty damn good playing in an Andy Reid offense. Would any of those quarterbacks mentioned above have the same success playing under Sirianni? You already know the answer to that question.
I don’t know what the future holds for Hurts or the rest of the young players on this team. But what I do know, is that Sirianni cannot be afforded another chance after this year if he continues to coach the way he’s coaching. That may not be fair to some, but what’s far less fair, is allowing Sirianni to waste another year of these players’ careers.