To help repair their reputation as an overly harsh fan base, Philadelphia Eagles fans made sure to give Nick Sirianni a warm welcome to the City of Brotherly Love without judging him too quickly.
A new head coach should be the talk of the town, but you'd prefer it to be for a different reason than this. What should reassure any Eagles fans who are highly skeptical of their new head coach after he botched his introductory press conference is how he handled the fallout, with a half-serious answer.
"I've got to look at the tape," Sirianni told John Clark of NBC Sports. "And sure... just like when you're going to have a game, right, there's going to be calls that you want back and there's going to be calls that you said, 'Man, that was a good call.' "
And what should reassure Eagles fans even more is how Colts running back Nyheim Hines viewed the presser and talked about his former coach in the grand scheme of things (via SB Nation).
"I didn't really see much of the presser, I heard it, but I know how Nick is. Nick, sometimes, he may not even be nervous, he just sometimes fumbles words when he's excited and that's what he's passionate about. You're going to get a lot of passion from him, a great coach and he's gonna develop the players. I can personally say he developed me offensively, helping me in the route game. When I was watching those routes from Philip Rivers to Darren Sproles and Danny Woodhead, Nick was the one coaching me up on those routes... The offense will be great. Great mind and really even better person, I can promise you that."
It doesn't get much better than that. And Hines has the stats to back up the fact that Sirianni helped him to grow. In his first two seasons, Hines totaled 513 rushing yards, 745 receiving yards and six total touchdowns. He ran at an average of 3.7 yards per carry, and had a 7.0 yards per reception average.
In 2020, he finished with career highs in rushing yards (380), rushing touchdowns (3), yards per carry (4.3), receiving yards (482), receiving touchdowns (4) and yards per reception (7.7). If that's not positive development, I don't know what is.
Where Hines really excelled was in the receiving department for a running back, finishing as one of just three running backs — along with Alvin Kamara and J.D. McKissic — with over 60 catches and 450 yards. This is an area where the Eagles struggled. Miles Sanders had a brilliant rookie season as a pass-catcher, totaling 50 catches for 509 yards and three scores. And though injuries and poor passing came into play in 2020, Sanders' stats dropped off significantly, as he tallied 28 catches for just 197 yards and zero scores through the air.
Here's to hoping that that's one of the many areas that Sirianna can improve as he begins a difficult journey to repair a sunken Eagles team.