We're nine games into this 2021 regular season that is whizzing by and the conversation very much revolves around players and their progress. This Eagles team has youth all over the roster and most of the players are seeing significant time, so it's more obvious how they are progressing.
What about the head coach? He's nine games in as well. Nick Sirianni had a lot on his Eagles plate from Day 1, so the juggling act has been a handful to manage. And while the results aren't where the Eagles want with a 3-6 record, Sirianni's progress is significant as well. He practices what he preaches. His interest is in making improvements on a daily basis and on learning from every experience and on deepening the connection with his team.
What we've seen from the Eagles has been encouraging – the offense is having success with a balanced approach, quarterback Jalen Hurts is productive with his multiple skills and playing intelligent football with good decisions and ball security, the defense is keeping the team in games and is integrating young players into the mix along the way, and the special teams have been solid from the start, and the penalties and the mental mistakes have been substantially reduced.
"I don't think it's a secret. People know what our message is in this building about getting better every single day," Sirianni said on Monday in our weekly one-on-one interview, presented by Wawa. "If I want guys to get better every single day, I have to get better every single day. I'm constantly thinking about that. I believe I'm getting better every single day. That's what I have control of. How do I leave this building as a better head coach than when I came in this building? I believe that we've grown. I have a lot of good coaches on this staff that help me grow and help that process, too, whether it's bouncing off an idea for a team meeting or while we're calling a game or it's our offensive philosophy or anything.
"I feel like there's growth there. I feel like there's growth with our team and we just need to continue that as our season progresses."
Sirianni has adjusted the gears with his offensive approach in the last few weeks and the results have been a running game that has worked – physically so, no gimmicks – and has opened up the rest of the attack. The offense is building. The production is growing. The scoring is expanding.
And while the Eagles are where they are with the record, they are all on the same page. They are in lockstep with the head coach, who wants to have a team that is resilient through every kind of time. A loss like the one on Sunday, when the Eagles went toe to toe with a team that leads the AFC West, is going to pay itself forward.
Sirianni wholeheartedly believes that.
"You've gotta go through some tough times to get where you want to and so that was a tough one. That hurt all of us," Sirianni said. "You do some good things offensively, defensively, special teams-wise and you come in and you've lost the game and that's tough. You learn every time you step out on that field, you learn every time you step into the meeting rooms, you learn every time you step out on the walkthrough field, the practice field.
"That's the objective every Monday: How can we get better from this tape? Let's fix the mistakes of what we did, let's praise what we saw with the good things, and let's duplicate those good things again. That's the objective … that's what Mondays are for."
Progress. It's the defining word for this 2021 Eagles season. The players, yes we see it. We see it loud and clear. And because we're seeing it from them, naturally, we know it's coming from Sirianni and his coaching staff. They are putting in the long hours and the hard work and that effort are being rewarded, even if the results in the standings aren't yet where the Eagles want them to be.