This is his third season as the head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles and with that comes some institutional knowledge. Nick Sirianni has been here for two seasons with lofty accomplishments: 23 regular-season victories, two postseason trips, one Super Bowl appearance. Using "connection" as the lead of his five-pronged core values program, Sirianni understands what works. He has the mindset that to achieve success, everyone must take the same arduous steps forward, little by little, every day and keep that daily focus.
Even after a Super Bowl appearance last season, Sirianni opens this 2023 Training Camp with the same approach he's always had, and that's never going to change: The Eagles have to prove themselves. Just show up and think you can win games? Not gonna happen. The Eagles reached Super Bowl LVII by taking the day-by-day approach, and as they start at the first rung of the ladder in what is a grind of a season, they're going to keep a similar timeline.
Sirianni met with his team in the spring for the first time and looked back at that Super Bowl loss to Kansas City, just as a reminder, and since then, it's been full focus on what's ahead.
"I thought it was important that I brought it up when we first started our offseason program and I'm showing a video with a picture of our guys walking out and the yellow and red confetti falling just to kind of set the stage of like, 'Hey, we're not going to talk about this a lot because this is not who we are.' It's not our end goal, maybe yes, win the division and all those different things, but our goal every day isn't to come in here to chase the Super Bowl. You hope it gets to that, but it's to look at the daily increments right and how we get better, how we get better, how to get better because there's a lot of luck that goes into it," he said in an interview session with reporters as the team broke after the June Organized Team Activities.
"First of all, you've got to be really good, right? You've got to be really good to get there. You've got to be really good to win. You've got to be really good to get to the playoffs, and even right then, you're going to have some luck involved in it, so are we doing the things that we can control every single day to put ourselves in position to go 1-0?
"This is my time to come up with team meetings (themes for Training Camp). ... I got some ideas in my head of what I want to talk about, but will one of them be the sting and the pain? Yeah, they probably will be. I don't know when the time is right to tell that story. I get a feel for that throughout the week. But, of course, you can use it."
There are some significant changes for the Eagles from the 2022 team, the one that roared to 14 wins in the regular season and then blitzed the Giants and 49ers in the NFC postseason. Sirianni has two new coordinators in Brian Johnson on offense and Sean Desai on defense and the staff knows there is work to do in this Training Camp period before the Eagles travel to New England to open the regular season at the Patriots. The teaching points are the same and the fundamentals transition from year to year, as Sirianni is a copious notes-taker – has been for years – and he expects the offense to transition to Johnson very smoothly with so many starters returning (nine in all, minus running back Miles Sanders and right guard Isaac Seumalo). The defense has more new faces and a coordinator, Desai, who was in Seattle last season, and Sirianni acknowledges that there are "differences," and that doesn't mean it's a bad thing. Just, differences.
The Eagles immediately went from the Super Bowl to free agency and the 2023 NFL offseason and they put their foot on the gas pedal to reload the roster, bulking up at running back with Rashaad Penny in free agency and trading for D'Andre Swift. They have a deep and talented defensive line group. Retaining starting cornerbacks Darius Slay and James Bradberry, and adding a handful of young players including former Browns second-round draft pick Greedy Williams has piqued Sirianni's interests as far as key battles in Training Camp.
Then again, every position is going to be competitive. Every position is going to be watched extremely closely. The Eagles are back at it, at square one. They are 0-0, just like the rest of the NFL, and there is nowhere else Sirianni would rather be.
"One thing I think is that after you go to a Super Bowl, you think (a team) is overconfident, or not as hungry or whatever. I know how hungry our guys are," Sirianni said. "Our mindset, which never changes, is that we're here. The only time you're going to hear me say 'Super Bowl' is when you all bring it up. I'm not focused on that.
"I'm focused on the same thing I was focused on last year at this time – it's just getting a little bit better each day."