As the Eagles exit the NovaCare Complex auditorium to head down to the locker room, the weight room, or the position meeting rooms, there is a wall that serves as a fork between two hallways. The players can't miss it, which is why Head Coach Nick Sirianni lists his five core principles in large silver metal letters hung on the midnight green wall.
At the top of the list is "connect." And while each of the five core principles is vital to the team's success, there's a reason why connect is the first one the players see.
"When guys are selling out for each other, it's because they love each other. It's because they've connected with each other and then they'll go a little bit harder for each other," Sirianni said.
That doesn't just go for his relationships with his players, but for everyone in the building. Executive Vice President/General Manager Howie Roseman was taken aback when Sirianni was first hired in January of 2021 and immediately asked when they were going to spend time together in the summer. It reminded Roseman that quality relationships don't just happen on their own. There needs to be intentionality behind it.
"You go through so much in these seven months together, ups and downs, so you bank on the trust and the relationships that you have," Roseman said.
The dynamic between Sirianni and Roseman is a critical component in why the Eagles are playing for a Super Bowl Championship on Sunday against the Kansas City Chiefs.
"We're tied at the hip," Sirianni said. "There can be division with the head coach and the general manager and you see that and it's not healthy, right? It doesn't work. I've really appreciated the working relationship with Howie. He's phenomenal at his job of building rosters. Everything that he does as a general manager he's great at, but I've really appreciated getting to know him as a person."
Roseman relayed a story of Brandon Hunt, the Eagles' Director of Scouting, asking him recently how long he knew Sirianni before working together. Hunt was shocked to learn that they had never spoken to each other before the first interview because of their chemistry.
"It's hard not to be impressed with Nick as a coach. He's got a really unique way of connecting with the players. He's able to take the players that you give them and put them in positions to be successful and he's able to fix problems," Roseman said.
One problem that has yet to surface is losing quality assistant coaches to other jobs. The Eagles reportedly ensured that Jeff Stoutland will remain as the team's Run Game Coordinator/Offensive Line Coach through a contract extension. Stoutland was in hot demand for jobs around the league.
"He's the best. He's the best. And that's one of the most important, though every position is important – don't get me wrong – that position to me, offensive line coach/run game coordinator, it's kind of like a quarterback," Sirianni said. "There's only so many people in the world that can do it at the level that Stout's doing it and I love Stout as a person. He is a phenomenal coach in so many different ways.
"Stout has the unbelievable ability to teach fundamentals and really detail it out for them. And then on top of that, he understands how to put the players in a great position. And that's not always easy in the run game and he's really talented at that. He has everything you're looking for in a coach with the fundamentals and then the scheming part of it. That's what you look for and then you always look for the fit of how they mesh with everybody on staff and everybody loves Stout. He hits all three out of the park."
And Sirianni's connection with Stoutland couldn't have hurt in the decision for the longest-tenured coach to stay in Philadelphia.