PHILADELPHIA – Less than an hour after his season finished disastrously, Nick Sirianni stood in the bowels of Raymond James Stadium and acted the part he was hired to play.
An almost inconceivable 32-9 beatdown at the hands of the middling Tampa Bay Buccaneers had many questioning Sirianni’s job status when the most pointed question came: “What gives you the confidence that you can fix some of the problems?”
Sirianni spoke with the kind of conviction only belonging to one of the world’s most exclusive clubs can generate.
“We believe in ourselves,” Sirianni said. “I’m not sitting in this room for any reason, and it’s the same thing with these guys. I’m really not built that way, what gives me the confidence to think that we can fix it is because we believe in ourselves and we’re in these seats at the top of our profession because we worked our ass off to get here.
“I can promise you that nobody in that locker room thinks that way even a little bit. I don’t know in what profession anyone does think that way and doubts themselves, but sure as hell ain’t us.”
Nine days later, Sirianni finally took to the NovaCare Complex Auditorium next to a sullen Howie Roseman for the annual end-of-season press conference.
Roseman came bearing 1,001 excuses for the delay from snowstorms to exit meetings and even “a kind of sadness about the way the season ended.”
The real reason of course is that owner Jeffrey Lurie was contemplating what to do with the head coach that has accumulated a franchise-best .667 winning percentage with three postseason berths and a Super Bowl appearance for him.
Lurie was fuming after the game in Tampa and took a few days to go yacht shopping in Sint Maarten before returning to South Philadelphia and dealing with Sirianni.
A fancy new vessel and the $5 billion or so to his name didn’t soften Lurie to the point he looked at Sirianni’s words after the Bucs game as anything other than lip service.
After meeting with his boss the confident coach insisting he could turn everything around a rough patch magically turned into a shrinking violet, admitting his top-10 offense was “stale” and needed “fresh ideas,” his quarterback needs help to get back on track, his in-season defensive coordinator change worked out poorly (an understatement by the way), and willfully allowing Brian Johnson to be scapegoated.
By the end of the meeting perhaps Sirianni was even blamed for the geopolitical problems in the Middle East and North Africa.
And if he wanted to keep his $7 million job, Sirianni would have to prove he was built to go along to get along.
Vic Fangio will be the new defensive head coach moving forward for the Eagles and (insert name) will run the offense while Sirianni takes on a new supporting role in this tortured remake of “Office Space.”
What do you actually do here? the Bobs in the form of ESPN’s Tim McManus (paraphrased) asked
“The head coach of the football team,” was Sirianni’s answer.
To be fair, the title does remain the same but the substance of it was gutted in favor of ceremony.