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  • Writer's pictureAl Thompson

EAGLES AND SIRIANNI START 2023 WITH NEW FACES, NEW CHALLENGES


Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni addresses the media after rookie mini-camp May 5, 2023. Photo by Andy Lewis.

A trip to the Super Bowl after a memorable regular season is a great experience with a sense of tremendous success for any team.


Problem is, everyone wants what you have. And in today's NFL, it is hard to hold on to what got you there.


The Eagles have been going thought that this season with mixed results.


Coordinators Shane Steichen and Jonathan Gannon are gone. Both were hired as head coaches in Indianapolis and Arizona respectively.


Other assistant coaches hired away include Nick Rallis (linebackers-now DC in Arizona), Dennard Wilson (defensive passing game coordinator/defensive backs - now DB coach in Baltimore) and Joe Kasper (defensive quality control coach-now safeties coach in Miami).


Sirianni was asked what the adjustment has been as he led his first coaching session of the 2023 season now that his staff is obviously different than it was when he came to the Eagles in 2021.


Sean Desai to be the team's new defensive coordinator, Brian Johnson is the new offensive coordinator.


"I've got to teach them the exact same thing that is required of every coach,” Sirianni said after rookie mini-camp. “It's just kind of starting again but that doesn't mean that I didn't do that the first two years, right. To say that Shane would have remembered exactly what we did in the rookie mini-camp and my requirements of Shane from one year to the next year, it's my job to remind him.


“So, it's the same thing here. While I'm reminding Brian Johnson of (Eagles promoted offensive Coordinator) what the rookie mini-camp things are and the different things that we do, I'm also teaching this to somebody new on staff like Sean Desai (new DC). It's again just being very clear, high detail in meetings.


“It's just completely setting the standard of every little detail of how you want it, right and that's just not in plays. But again, it's how we practice, it's how I want the coaches to run practice and different things like that, so it's every portion of the building.”


Eagles first round draft pick Jalen Carter during rookie mini-camp at NovaCare. Photo by Andy Lewis.

JALEN CARTER MAY END UP A BIGGER COACHING CHALLENGE THAN MANY THOUGHT

The Eagles do not try to sidestep the fact they were able to draft Georgia start defensive tackle Jalen Carter because of his role in a deadly incident in January 2023.


In March 2023, Carter was sentenced to probation on for his role in the January crash in that killed his teammate and a team staffer.


The crash occurred just hours after the Bulldogs celebrated their second consecutive national championship with a parade and ceremony in Athens. Killed that night were recruiting staffer Chandler LeCroy and offensive lineman Devin Willock.


Aside from the psychological toll the incident has played on Carter, the 22-year-old has not been able to train and his very limited participation at the NFL combine and a Georgia Pro Day performance he could not finish, reflected is state mentally and physically.


It would be hard to deny that the Eagles added two of Carter's teammates from this year's championship team - LB Nolan Smith and CB Kelee Ringo - because they weren't concerned about his mental health.


When asked about Carter’s status condition-wise, Sirianni talked about all the rookies he watched at NovaCare on Friday, May 5.


“What you'll see when we are going out there is that we are trying to get everybody back into shape, of football playing shape.


“These guys have been in hotels. They have been on 30 visits. They have been getting ready for pro days. They have been getting ready for the Combine. So, to say any of them are in really good football shape and they are ready to play a game tomorrow, I would say that's inaccurate. None of those guys are.



Eagles first round picks Nolan Smith (3) and Jalen Carter hit the sled during rookie mini-camp at NovaCare May 5, 2023. Photo by Andy Lewis

“So today was not about finding out what their conditioning level was. Today was about going out there and my coaching points to our coaches were, listen, their bodies are not ready to play yet. This is all about protecting the players while still getting ready to play.


“But I've been in camps before, rookie mini-camps where you try to go all out and guys get dinged. Guys get hurt. I've made that mistake before. This was more about I want the individual drills tempo'ed because I know they are not in good shape right now, so it would be foolish to push them to do something their body is not ready to do yet and to just, you know, to tempo those guys and do a little bit less reps.


“Nobody out there is in the shape that they need to be in,” Sirianni continued. “But we are working in that direction. He looks good. He looked good out there today, and so but like I said, today wasn't about finding out who was ready conditioning-wise because to be quite frank, none of them are.”


Zirianni was pressed on Carter specifically, that first round pick admitted he was not in the condition he wanted to be for his pro day.


“I sense that he wants to be the best pro he can be, and not every place -- again, I don't know exactly. I have no idea what each program says the person's supposed to weigh, right, or sometimes, programs, even within the NFL don't track that or they track it, but they don't say, you have to weigh this amount; we do.


“So that's just new to here. We will get him to what he's supposed to play at, and I have no doubt in my mind he'll do whatever he needs to do to be the player he needs to be.

Sirianni was pressed to give a response on what his level of concern with Carter’s level of conditioning at this point in time.


Sirianni gave a one-word answer.


“None.” *


Email Al Thompson at al.thompson@footballstories.com


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