One week ago, the Eagles officially named Nick Sirianni as the 21st full-time head coach in franchise history. It took 13 days to decide that Sirianni was the best person to usher in the next chapter of Eagles football.
The decision ultimately resided with Chairman & CEO Jeffrey Lurie. This was Lurie's fifth search for a head coach in his tenure with the Eagles. All four of the previous hires were first-time head coaches in the NFL. And each of the previous selections either won a division title or earned a playoff appearance, if not more.
Lurie provided on Friday a peek behind the curtain into the process and detailed how the 39-year-old former Colts offensive coordinator shined above the rest of the candidates.
• The original pool of candidates was 25 – individuals from both the pro and college ranks, coaches with both offensive and defensive backgrounds, and a range of experience from first-timers like Sirianni to former head coaches.
• From that pool of 25, the Eagles interviewed 10 prospects.
"We don't make it easy. Our interviews are long. They're anywhere from usually seven to 10 hours, non-stop. We delve into every aspect of the sport, leadership, football, in many, many ways. Our fan base, what we want to accomplish in the near future and going forward," Lurie said.
"We go into the details of their background, not just their résumés, but every aspect of leadership potential, X's and O's, of course, but far more than you would expect in terms of just what's on a football résumé."
• Lurie made the final decision, but there was a wealth of resources that informed the choice.
"We involved quite a few people in our process because that was the very best way to get as much information as we could about who the potential candidates would be, then do as much background information as we could and really delve into details in so many ways about each candidate," Lurie said.
"I want to thank everybody who both was either involved in the interview process or, just as importantly, involved in all the background work because we depend on all the departments and coaches and players and people involved to communicate with their counterparts and people they've worked with around the league to really give us an ability to hone in on what the strengths and weaknesses might be for any candidate."
• What was Lurie looking for in a head coach?
"The first step I think in being a great coach in modern football today, modern sports today, is to care very much about the players and coaches you work with, and everybody," Lurie said. "But a player who is 22, 30 years old, in this world, if you care, you can earn trust. If the caring is not real, if you're not being genuine, players are too smart and they see right through that, as they should.
"One of the prerequisites for this job was to be able to have a head coach who literally cares every single day. That continues the culture that we've been building over the last five years, and potentially accentuates it even further.
"I think for the Eagles, what we've harped on very, very much is we're looking for the best football leader going forward. It's not about who is the hot coordinator, who is the best X's and O's, who is the best résumé. Everything is important. Everything is important.
"It's much more about the people and how they conduct themselves, how they surround themselves, do they reach for greatness, are they risk-averse, do they manage well, do they have a great attention to detail, how are they to work with, how are they to work with when there's ups and downs of a season, how are they under enormous stress, how are they in competitive situations. The list goes on and on and on about the characteristics."
• How did Nick Sirianni stand out above the rest?
"Nick, with a group of so many good candidates, just shined throughout the process from the very beginning. The research on Nick was terrific. It was somebody that knew the game as well as anybody, football IQ off the charts, a grinder, somebody that had an unlimited work ethic and a desire to be great," Lurie said.
"As soon as you got to spend time with Nick, and we probably spent about, I don't know, 10, 12 hours together over two days, it became apparent that this is a very special communicator, not just a brilliant football IQ, which was very evident early on as we went through how he gameplans, how he attacks defenses, how he maximizes personnel, not just relying on a scheme but how to each week attack exactly who you're playing, what their strengths and weaknesses are in great detail. Much more than that.
"Nick was sort of the culmination of a lot of thought that went into it, a lot of projection. Of course, that's what it is. It's an evaluation of what is now and what coach he can become and what organization we can become with his leadership.
"Football IQ, off the charts, as I said. Leadership, it goes hand-in-hand with what I've been talking about, but it's even bigger than that. Can command a room. He has an edge. I think he'll be himself and at times it will be with an edge. I think that's great. I encourage that.
"Independent thinker. Not tied to a particular scheme that's in fashion at any moment, but wants to maximize the individuals on the team. Bring everybody together for a common good. With all that, the most important, a teacher who wants teachers around him at all times.
"It's the man. It's the teacher. It's the coach. It's the father. It's the husband. A lot goes into it. It's an important decision for an owner. It's an important decision for an organization. I'm very, very excited by Nick and want to welcome his family, Brett, (and) their three kids."
Take a look at Nick Sirianni from his days playing wide receiver Mount Union to the new Head Coach of the Eagles.