A bundle of nerves.
That can best summarize the first impression Nick Sirianni made when he met the Eagles media, with about 60 participants logged into the Zoom videoconference, and a likely crowd of thousands of fans gathered in various settings watching a stream of the encounter on whatever screen was most convenient at high noon on Friday.
You never get a second chance to make a first impression, but Sirianni will get plenty of opportunity to make further impressions.
As for the first one, well, being nervous is understandable.
This was his first time meeting a throng of media as a head coach and he had to do it virtually, not face-to-face.
Also, Sirianni has worked in two markets most recently where there isn’t a lot of scrutiny from fans or media, that being San Diego, a city that couldn’t hold onto a team after the Chargers moved to Los Angeles, and Indianapolis.
Mike Catalana, an Eagles fan from Bridgeton, N.J. now living in western New York and the sports director for 13WHAM and Fox Rochester, chimed in after the news conference with some good perspective.
“I have a lot of experience at new coach new conferences,” he wrote to me. “Rex (Ryan) won the day. Mike Mularkey was great. Chan Gailey said all the right things. Sean McDermott made no promises, talked about his principles and fundamentals, and sounded nervous.
“I can understand the nerves. But at that point, we had no idea and he (McDermott) did not sound like he was ready to step in front of a room and lead. But everything we heard about him was that's the guy he would be.”
McDermott was 42 when hired by Buffalo as a first-time head coach in 2017.
Sirianni is 39.
After a rookie coaching season that ended at 9-7, McDermott went 6-10, 10-6 then 13-3 this past season with a trip to the AFC Championship Game.
Brandon Beane is the general manager and he had a big hand in molding the Bills' roster into what it is today, bringing in the right quarterback in Josh Allen while making strong decisions in the draft and free agency.
So, Sirianni cannot do this alone. GM Howie Roseman has to uphold his end of the bargain, and there is doubt among a good percentage of the fan base that he will be able to do that.
Sirianni said Roseman will have the final say over the 53-man roster.
“I believe I have the say over the 47 on game day of what we need to go through the game and get into the game and the pieces that we need,” said the new coach. “As far as picking the players and helping pick the players, I really look forward to working with Howie and his staff to help the players in here that we feel like fit to what we want to do offensively and defensively.
“…really look forward to doing that with him. I think the best organizations I’ve been on are the ones that work together on that.”
Ed Kracz is the publisher of EagleMaven. Check out the latest Eagles news at www.SI.com/NFL/Eagles and please follow him on Twitter: @kracze.