It took over a week from the end of the Eagles’ 2023 season to hear from general manager Howie Roseman and head coach Nick Sirianni, but the pair finally held their postmortem press conference on Wednesday. They had a lot to discuss, including Sirianni’s reduced influence on the offense, coordinator changes and roles on both side of the ball, and some about what went wrong at the end of the 2023 season.
Roseman acknowledged the delay in speaking to reporters, citing sadness and a shell-shocked feeling at how the season ended, as well as the snow storms and making their plan for moving forward.
Here’s what they had to say:
On the new Offensive Coordinator
Sirianni admitted that the Eagles offense was stale at the end of the season, and while he couldn’t say enough good things about Brian Johnson, they needed to make a change. He noted that Johnson was a big reason for a lot of the success they had the past three years, but now it’s about bringing in fresh ideas.
They’re looking to bring someone in with different ideas and a new scheme, with Sirianni acknowledging that it won’t be his scheme, but rather “our” scheme, this time around. The new OC will also merge some of the concepts they’ve had success with the past couple years.
“Whoever the new coordinator is, there’s going to be things that they bring [that are] fresh ideas for us to help our players grow, and help our players play at a top level. And, there’s been some things we’ve done really well on offense, too, in the past that you’ll mesh in some of that in, as well.”
He doesn’t know how things will look yet, and how much will be influenced by the new coordinator, saying they’ll have to figure that out following their extensive search to find the right fit. They want to bring in someone to run the offense, coach the quarterback, and everything that entails.
“I’m hiring him to do a job, and to be in charge of the offense.”
Sirianni also said that he’ll keep Jalen Hurts in the loop with things as needed, because the QB and new OC will need to work closely together to get back to where the offense needs to be. The head coach did consult with Hurts about their decision to part ways with Brian Johnson, and noted how hard this part of the business is on everyone.
On Sirianni’s revised role
While Sirianni will remain the head coach, he acknowledged that he’s ultimately ceding control of the offense to whomever they end up hiring as the offensive coordinator. When pressed about what his role would be in 2024, he said as the head coach, he’ll oversee all three phases of the game and make sure the culture is right and that everyone is living up to their core values.
Later on, Roseman talked a little bit about how the 1-6 ending of the season was bad, but also noted that before that, they were 26-5 before that, which is really hard to do in the NFL.
“That is hard to find a head coach in this league who has that record of success. I think we are 33-11 up until that point with Nick [Sirianni], we made the playoffs three straight years. Again, not okay finishing 1-6. I’m not sitting up here saying that, but it is hard to find somebody who can do those sort of things.”
So, their goal and the point of all the conversations they’re having right now, is about how they move forward together and with the staff they are retaining.
Sirianni admitted, however, that there is still uncertainty with some position coaches as they work to figure out the new coordinators, and said he hates that for the guys waiting around to see what will happen.
On hiring a new Defensive Coordinator
Sirianni talked about what he was looking for in a DC and said that they’re just looking for the best fit to utilize the skills and talent they have on the roster, and that could be someone from various systems.
Roseman was later asked about the process for demoting Sean Desai/promoting Matt Patricia, and he claimed that Sirianni went to him — like Sirianni did in 2021 when he gave up play-calling to Shane Steichen — and the GM supported his decision. He noted that he was around to help talk things through, but ultimately Sirianni had made up his mind and Roseman trusts him to make those calls with his coaching staff.
On roster building and current personnel
Roseman was asked how far away they are from fielding the kind of defensive roster they want, and the GM acknowledged that when he has his best offseason, it gives the team a chance to have their best season. He holds himself to a high standard when it comes to building the roster.
“I think we have a lot of good, young players on this team. I think we have the ability to go out and continue to add to that. Very excited about the core that we have on offense going forward, obviously. And so, in terms of that, our goal every year is to field the best possible team.
The GM went on to explain that following the Super Bowl loss last year, Roseman said the thing he was most upset about was knowing all the great players they were going to lose in the offseason.
“I knew what was coming. I knew the schedule was going to be harder. I knew that it was probably easier to get the offense to a place quicker than it was the defense. And, we never want to be in the middle of packing both, and so, I feel like a lot of the things we tried to do last offseason was try to kind of keep our priorities in tact about how we like to build the team.”
Roseman also said there were some preconceived notions out there about their apathy toward the linebacker position, but he doesn’t feel like that’s the case — citing the two Super Bowl teams they’ve had the past few years having good linebackers. The GM said that it comes down to his belief in young players, including Nakobe Dean, someone he and Sirianni both have a lot of belief in and someone they drafted to take over that role.
In addition to Dean, they felt like they could go out and get an off-ball/WILL linebacker, and Roseman said the tape shows that Zach Cunningham had a good year, and he had a mentality that they like from that position. Still, he admitted that there were some guys they lost in free agency at the position that they missed on and off the field.
“The most important thing we’ve got to do is have a vision for how we want it to look. We’ve got to have a process that we want to have. Sometimes you can have a vision, have a process, and the result is not what you want. So you’ve got to make sure that you’re not overreacting to a result that maybe just kind of was an aberration in the moment, and then you’ve got to look at maybe is the process right.”
On Jalen Hurts’ development
Sirianni admitted that they all have things to work on following the 2023 season, and Hurts is no different, but the head coach has all the confidence that the QB will work this offseason to improve.
“The one thing I do know about Jalen is when there are things of his game that he needs to improve, he goes to work and he busts his ass to do that.
I think there was a lot of questions after that first year about some things about could he be the passer or whatever the questions were, and he came out and put together an MVP type season the following year. Just the way he threw the ball, the way he delivered the ball, accuracy, all those different things, he just continues to grow.
I said it last year a bunch. I don’t know if we know what this guy’s ceiling is because he’s going to work and do everything that he needs to do to get better.”
He didn’t want to get into specifics about what Hurts might work on, but said that for 11 weeks, the QB was at the top of MVP talks before things fell apart — and even during the final stretch, Hurts still had some good moments.