PHILADELPHIA – The Eagles officially have a CEO coach.
While the organization has a highly-collaborative play-calling approach in which Nick Sirianni puts his stamp on everything, offensive coordinator Shane Steichen will be the one doing the heavy-lifting on a down-to-down basis come September.
That’s not actually a change because Steichen had taken over those play-calling duties about midway through the 2021 season and Sirianni liked the way things went with more of an opportunity to oversee the entire team.
“I think last year we were a new staff, and we were evolving as an offense, so as the season got going on, I ended up taking over more of the play calling mid-season,” Steichen explained Friday at the NovaCare Complex before a “green” OTA practice.
Steichen quickly reminded reporters, though, that the head coach will continue to have a heavy input into what is being called.
“Nick has a stamp on every single thing we do,” Steichen said. “So, in the meeting rooms he has a stamp on everything we do, every play that’s on that call sheet, he makes sure it’s justified, boom, and we’re good to go.
“So going forward, I’ll be calling the plays next year, and we’ll go from there.”
The Eagles began the 2021 season with a bit of a convoluted approach in that Sirianni was relaying the play calls to Steichen who then made the communication with Jalen Hurts.
Sirianni wanted Steichen’s voice in Hurts’ ears at all times and realized the better way to do things was to make sure things were clearly defined in the game plan from a play-calling standpoint and then making pre-drive adjustments in-game while letting Steichen take the wheel.
That process is now the status quo.
“I’ll be calling the plays, but it is a complete group effort,” Steichen said. “It’s a complete group effort from the top down. It starts with Nick as the head coach. He does a hell of a job game planning. Then we go from there.
“On game day, he’s the head coach, and if he wants something called, he’ll tell me, and I’ll get it called.”
The Eagles had most of its offensive success after Steichen took over the play-calling duties last season and the team went from pass-heavy to run-heavy but that’s more reliant on personnel and what players were performing.
The actual mechanics of the system Sirianni and Steichen have built haven’t changed all that much.
“We have a system,” Steichen said. “We have an opener. We go through the third downs. We go through everything we do, week in and week out, so we’re prepared for the game, so once the game starts, we’re kind of on the same page.
“Then in between series just like every team probably does around the league, you talk through the next series of plays, ‘Hey, here’s what we’re going to go with, boom, boom, boom, be ready for this in this situation,’ just so all the coaches are on the same page.”
Hurts has become comfortable with the setup as well.
“I think [Steichen] just tries to put guys in positions to make plays,” the QB1 said. “I think there’s a lot of consulting going on throughout the week. You have Nick Sirianni, KP (passing game coordinator Kevin Patullo), [quarterbacks] Coach Brian Johnson and myself, we’re all getting together talking about, ‘Hey, what do we want to do? How do we want to attack this?
“Put guys in these situations.’ It’s a collaborative thing, but I think [Steichen] does a great job, and I’m excited to have him back again.”
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for JAKIB Sports.