Eagles’ Nick Sirianni has come long way since disastrous intro
PHILADELPHIA — First impressions sometimes can be wildly misleading.
Take Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni and his introductory press conference, for example. Sirianni, upon being hired before the 2021 season, looked and sounded nervous, insecure and overmatched that day.
By comparison, Sirianni made the infamous introductory press conference of former Jets head coach Adam Gase, whose eyes were darting all over the place and became an Internet meme, look like Vince Lombardi being introduced.
And the Eagles players whom Sirianni would soon be coaching watched with interest.
“Oh, yeah, he couldn’t breathe and all that,” defensive end Brandon Graham told The Post on Wednesday.
“It was his first one,” veteran center Jason Kelce told The Post. “Certainly, a rough start in the Philadelphia media for him.”
Sirianni, though, quickly endeared himself to his players in his first full team meeting, acknowledging his poor performance in front of the notebooks and cameras.
“He was mad about the press conference and he said that to us in our first team meeting,” Graham said. “He mentioned it. I remember him saying, ‘I messed it up.’ ”
Kelce was blown away with how Sirianni responded to his first press conference and the mocking that came with it.
“I thought the way he handled it was great, because he owned it,” Kelce said, “He owned it to us. He admitted that he went out there and had a terrible press conference and everyone was ripping him and the next time he was better. That’s the message. The message has been to improve and be honest with yourself in assessing yourself.
“The worst thing a guy can do is act like he didn’t have a bad game. That’s when you know you have a bad player — when they do something bad and act like they didn’t do anything bad. That’s the same thing with a coach.That’s when you have a bad culture, when you don’t have accountability or an honest level of self-assessment.”
“It takes a secure individual, a secure leader to do what [Sirianni] did.’’
Sirianni’s stay has been like one of those internet “how it started, how it’s going” memes. He’s now an NFL Coach of the Year candidate. He led the Eagles to the No. 1 seed in the NFC and is about to face the Giants on Saturday in the divisional round.
“How Nick conducts himself with the team and on the field and how he communicates with his players and respects his players … all of those things are going to matter much more than what he says at a press conference. And he’s certainly gotten better at those. The moment you come in here and talk to the guy you can’t help but be excited yourself because of how excited he is.’’
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