More on the Coaches

Posted: February 2nd, 2021 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 3 Comments »

Nick Sirianni’s staff is getting closer to being complete. If you were choosing a theme song for this group, it would be Mott the Hoople’s classic “All The Young Dudes”. There is nothing AARP about this bunch.

Nick Rallis is 27.

Aaron Morehead is 40.

Jay Valai is in his mid-30’s.

Jason Michael is 42.

Sirianni is focused on hiring young coaches that he thinks can be good teachers and develop into a strong coaching staff. You might wonder about young guys being good teachers, but then think about all the high quality young coaches in the league. Brian Flores, Sean McVay, Kyle Shanahan, Kevin Stefanski and Matt LaFleur are all terrific head coaches.

The Rams let go of Wade Phillips, one of the great defensive coaches in NFL history, and replaced him with unproven Brandon Staley. The Rams then had the #1 defense in the league. The Dallas offense got better when they moved on from veteran Scott Linehan and replaced him with young coach Kellen Moore a couple of years back.

Not all  young coaches pan out obviously, but it feels like the league is embracing young coaches more than ever. Organizations seem more open to new schemes and ideas.

As to the moves, keeping Morehead feels like a smart move. The Eagles have had a different receivers coach for five straight years. One of the ways you can help young players develop is with continuity. The young receivers showed some promise in 2020. Build on that rather than starting from scratch. Morehead will also have a lot of support since Sirianni’s background is playing wide receiver and coaching the position. Kevin Patullo, the passing game coordinator, is also a former receivers coach.

Rallis worked with the Vikings LBs in 2020 and they had some guys who played really well. He was the assistant LBs coach so it wasn’t all his doing, but he was part of a good unit. LB play has been an issue for the Eagles for a while.

Valai will help coach the secondary. He has one year of NFL experience, but has spent most of his time in college. The Eagles could have a really young group of DBs this year so hopefully Valai can connect with them and help them develop.

Michael might have the easiest job. He’ll be coaching Dallas Goedert and possibly Richard Rodgers. We’ll have to see who else the Eagles have in their group of TEs. Michael is another coach with ties to Sirianni so he should be familiar with the scheme and offensive ideas.

Let’s take a look at the overall staff.

HC – Nick Sirianni

OC – Shane Steichen
DC – Jonathan Gannon
ST – Michael Clay

PC – Kevin Patullo
QB – Brian Johnson
OL – Jeff Stoutland
TE – Jason Michael
WR – Aaron Morehead

DL – Tracy Rocker
LB – Nick Rallis
DB – Dennard Wilson
DB – Jay Valai

It really is interesting to look at the defensive coaches. Rocker and Valai worked in college football last year. Rallis will be new running a position in the NFL. Wilson is the veteran NFL coach. He’s been working in the NFL for almost a decade.

The defensive coaches do not have ties to Sirianni. This is Gannon’s group.

Gannon and Rocker were together with the Titans.

Gannon and Rallis both worked for Mike Zimmer in Minnesota. They weren’t there at the same time, though. Gannon left after 2017 and Rallis got there in 2018.

Gannon and Wilson both worked for Jeff Fisher with the Rams, but also weren’t there at the same time. They missed each other by a year.

Valai seems to be the one guy who is the outsider.

The Eagles are gambling that familiarity will give the young coaches a boost. It will be interesting to see if that is true.


Sirianni did a 15 minute interview with Angelo Cataldi on WIP on Monday morning. You can listen here.

This was a much better showing for the new coach. He was more at ease and the conversation allowed him to talk more naturally. Don’t expect any groundbreaking news, but it was good to hear him more relaxed and sounding more normal.

One of the things Sirianni mentioned is that you can be tough with some players, but need to take a different approach with others. I remember reading a book by former baseball player and manager Graig Nettles. He said there were two types of players…those you kick in the ass and those you pat on the ass. Figure out who is who and treat them accordingly. Sounds like Sirianni is of the same mindset.

He did mention that while the style of treatment is different, the standard must be the same. This is critical. You can be demanding of a person without screaming at them. Great point for Sirianni to make and one that should resonate with his players.


3 Comments on “More on the Coaches”

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