Meet the Coaches- Eagles Hire Two New Coordinators
The Eagles’ post-Super Bowl life started quickly as they lost both their Offensive and Defensive Coordinators to Head Coaching positions shortly after their loss. Offensive Coordinator Shane Steichen was hired away by the Indianapolis Colts, and Defensive Coordinator Johnathan Gannon was hired by the Arizona Cardinals.
Shane Steichen had a highly successful tenure as the Eagles’ OC. Last year he saved the season when he took over play-calling from Nick Sirinanni, eventually leading the team to the playoffs. He built off last year’s success by turning in an exceptional season this past year. Jalen Hurts was able to take a huge leap under his offense and he helped lead them to a Super Bowl. Many people around Philadelphia view this as a big loss for the Eagles.
Someone that Eagles fans do not view as a big loss is Jonathan Gannon. Gannon’s defense frustrated fans with his “soft” approach. He was able to beat all the bad Quarterbacks but struggled with the good ones. The Eagles’ defense this past season ended the year with the number one-rated pass defense while also leading the league in sacks. Gannon has caught a lot of blame for the Super Bowl loss, but the offense and special teams essentially handed the Chiefs 14 free points. Nonetheless, he is in Arizona now and finding a Defensive Coordinator that can shut down all the great Qb’s will be extremely tough to find.
Brian Johnson Promoted To OC
The Eagles decided to stay in house with their Offensive Coordinator hire, promoting Quarterback coach Brian Johnson to the position. Johnson was a hot name this offseason as he was a candidate for the Jets OC job.
Johnson has a great relationship with Eagles QB Jalen Hurts as he played under Hurts’ dad in high school. One of the big talking points when the Eagles originally hired Johnson was his prior relationship with Jalen, and how he can hopefully get the most out of him. Johnson did just that as Hurts lead the Eagles to the Super Bowl and made his first All-Pro team. If there is one person, besides Jalen, who should get the most credit for his jump it’s Johnson.
Nick Sirianni told reporters that Johnson will call the Eagles’ plays next season. Johnson does have some experience with this as he was the play caller for the Florida Gators in 2020. While it is different to call plays in the NFL compared to college, it is good that he has some experience with it.
It will be interesting what kind of offense Johnson wants to run. Since he was promoted from within he will most likely run a lot of the same concepts, but it will be interesting to see what new wrinkles he brings.
For all of those people who loved playing the old NCAA Football video games, Brian Johnson was the cover athlete of “NCAA Football 10”. Johnson played Quarterback at Utah winning the 2009 Sugar Bowl MVP.
New DC Sean Desai
The Eagles decided to go with an outside hire for their Defensive Coordinator position by hiring Assistant Head Coach and Defensive Assistant Sean Desai from the Seahawks.
Desai has experience as a coordinator as he was the Bears’ Coordinator in 2021. After being promoted to DC he became the first Indian American Coordinator in NFL history. In that 2021 season, the Bears’ defense was riddled with injuries but some in Chicago praised Desai for still doing a good job despite the injuries.
Even if some in Chicago thought he did a good job with little talent, the numbers say otherwise. According to covers.com, the 2021 Bears’ defense allowed 125.1 rushing yards a game, 103.3 opponents QBR, and 23.9 points per game. One area they did well in was they only allowed 191.6 passing yards a game, but that could be because teams were so successful running the ball.
Desai started his coaching career at Temple University as a Defensive and Special Teams Coach. He then bounced around a few colleges but he has made his career so far in the NFL with the Bears. He started there in 2013 eventually working his way up to DC.
Nick Sirianni said in a press conference to reporters that he has an idea of his defensive principles, and he wants whoever they hired to share those same principles. So for all of those Eagles fans that want an aggressive blitz heavy defense, do not get your hopes up.