Time

Posted: September 30th, 2021 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | Comments Off on Time

My grandmother used to have a magnet on her refrigerator that read “Lord give me patience. And I want it right now!” I thought about that on the drive home from work recently. Eagles fans want answers. Is Nick Sirianni the right guy? Is Jalen Hurts the right guy? What should we make of this team?

I don’t have any answers. No one does. It is way too soon to truly know anything.

You might think you know Sirianni will succeed or fail. You might think you know Hurts isn’t the guy. NFL history says that we need to let things play out.

Bill Walsh looked like a disaster for a couple of years. Jimmy Johnson started 0-11 and was 1-15 in his first year. That was a different era to be sure, but you still get the point. They looked way in over their heads in the beginning.

Do you remember Brian Flores start? He took over the Dolphins in 2019 and it was ugly.

L 59-10
L 43-0
L 31-6
L 30-10

Yikes.

Miami had a bye week. They lost the next three games, but were actually competitive. After the 0-7 start, they went 5-4 down the stretch. Last year they went 10-6. Brian Flores has shown that he’s a really talented coach. But that is one of the ugliest first months on the job that I can remember.

Sirianni has never been a head coach before. He is learning on the job. There are going to be some mistakes. There are going to be times when he looks like a terrible hire. Over time, we’ll see if those go away and there is more good than bad.

I’m not arguing that Sirianni is definitely The Guy. We just don’t know. Instead of obsessing on every game and every call as if this is Andy Reid in the fourth quarter of the Super Bowl in 2004, embrace the unknown. Let’s find out if this is the guy.

This is a year of learning.

The Eagles schedule is tough. There is a possibility this team could be looking at 1-6, especially if injuries keep coming. In a way, 1-6 might be a good thing. That would really test Sirianni. Does he have the ability to keep his players focused? Does he truly believe in his assistants? Does he truly believe in his schemes?

Some people panic when things go wrong. Those guys aren’t going to succeed in the NFL. This is a brutally hard business. You must have thick skin and you must be able to stick with the people and ideas you believe in, even if the scoreboard or standings tell you otherwise.

Back in 2003 the Eagles started 0-2 and looked bad. They put up 10 points combined in those games. Andy Reid started getting a lot of heat and tough questions. I remember someone on the EMB begging for the Eagles to trade for a big RB and to commit to the run. Enough of Reid’s passing game. Thankfully, Reid didn’t read the EMB and stuck with his ideas. The Eagles were in the NFC title game that year and the Super Bowl the next year.

One of the hot questions now is what is the Eagles offensive identity. I don’t know. We’re only three games in so it would be hard to say anything no matter what. Sirianni is learning about his players. He will have to take his basic ideas and mold them to his players.

I do get frustrated with a lot of coaches these days because they all want to be multiple. That can be smart, but I believe you do need core concepts to build off.

Sirianni’s ideas might look better if Hurts executed them better. Jalen has been very up and down to start this season. Still, he has shown that he has a pretty good floor. As flawed as he was on Monday night, he still threw for 326 yards and a pair of TDs. We have seen some bad performances from young QBs over the years.

In Week 3 of his second season, Donovan McNabb was 15-31-118 with no TDs and 1 INT. The Eagles lost 6-3.

In Week 7 of his second season, Nick Foles went 11-29-80 with no TDs or INTs before getting knocked out of the game. The Eagles lost 17-3 and the points came very late.

We might see a game like that from Hurts, but as inconsistent as he’s been, Hurts has shown the ability to make plays and get the offense to do something.

The problem with Hurts is that we don’t know what his ceiling is. While he played well in the opener, that was a bunch of short, quick throws. You can’t count on those working, as we’ve seen the past two weeks. Hurts has to show that he can function from the pocket and play well on a consistent basis. He might not be able to do that. Again, we need to see how things play out.

McNabb wasn’t a gifted passer in 2000, but he carried the Eagles offense on his back and was impressive enough to finish 2nd in MVP voting that year.

Foles got back on the field in 2013 and lit it up, finishing with one of the highest QB ratings in history. His 7-TD game came that year.

Those young players got better as the year went along and both led the Eagles to the playoffs.

Sirianni and Hurts need time to figure each other out and to show us what they can do. There are going to be some tough moments as we watch them learn on the fly. Hopefully there will be some good ones as well.

Being patient isn’t any fun. We all want answers now. My advice is to lower your expectations and to try to embrace the year of learning.

Or buy a lot of alcohol.

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