Part of the evolution of the Eagles' offense in 2021 was the maturation of a new coaching staff. Head Coach Nick Sirianni and Offensive Coordinator Shane Steichen have both previously spoken publicly about the collaborative nature of gameplanning and playcalling. While Sirianni is ultimately in charge of the offense and his fingerprints are all over the game plan and the plays that are called, Steichen explained how his role as the playcaller expanded over the course of the season, and provided details of how it all comes together, both during the week and on gameday, with the entire offensive staff.
"I think last year we were a new staff, and we were evolving as an offense," Steichen said. "So as the season got going on, I ended up taking over more of the play calling midseason. Then again, Nick has a stamp on every single thing we do. So, in the meeting rooms, he has a stamp on everything we do, every play that's on that call sheet, he makes sure it's justified, boom, and we're good to go. So going forward, I'll be calling the plays next year (2022), and we'll go from there."
Steichen also stressed that it's not all about him. It is a collaborative effort to get the right game plan in place for quarterback Jalen Hurts, who has the same offensive coordinator in place for a consecutive season for the first time since his high school days.
"I'll be calling the plays, but it is a complete group effort. It's a complete group effort from the top down," Steichen said. "It starts with Nick as the head coach. He does a hell of a job gameplanning. Then we go from there. On gameday, he's the head coach, and if he wants something called, he'll tell me, and I'll get it called.
"We have a system. We have an opener. We go through the third downs. We go through everything we do, week in and week out, so we're prepared for the game. So once the game starts, we're kind of on the same page. Then in between series just like every team probably does around the league, you talk through the next series of plays, 'Hey, here's what we're going to go with, boom, boom, boom, be ready for this in this situation,' just so all the coaches are on the same page."
The goal, of course, is to put Hurts and the skill-position players in the best spots to have success. The additions of wide receivers A.J. Brown and Zach Pascal have been an obvious boost, and the offensive line returns with a group that is talented, intact, and deep with talent. The scheme is expanding in the second year with the same coaching staff.
It's far too early to make any predictions or get ahead of the game, but Steichen is pumped. He uses the word "excited" a lot because, well, that's how he feels. And it all starts with the quarterback and the progress No. 1 has made in his third NFL season.
"He's making great strides and that's what we're working on every day. He's going into his third year in the NFL. He made great strides last year. You saw it as the season went on, and we hope to continue to do that this year," Steichen said. "He just has a relentless effort to be great. So, every approach he takes, the offseason, he doesn't have an offseason. He's always on it. He's always thinking about football. We're always talking football day in and day out and he's continuing to grow as a player, as a leader, every single day. Obviously going into Year 2 in the system, like I said, the communication has been great with him in meetings. We're not starting from scratch anymore.
"I feel really good where he's at right now and we're continuing to work on that."
They are continuing to work on everything in these OTAs, which conclude next week. After that, it's a long break before Training Camp starts and the pads go on and we learn a whole lot more about the 2022 version of the Philadelphia Eagles.