PHILADELPHIA - One consistent theme throughout the NFL offseason has been the belief from national pundits that the Eagles aren't going to be very good in 2021.
The substance behind that sentiment is not all that deep for good reason.
The spin around the league is that Philadelphia will struggle because of the coach and the quarterback, the former a rookie mentor in Nick Sirianni who had never gotten an interview for the big chair before wowing Jeffrey Lurie and the latter a second-year player with four career starts under his belt and the skill set of the 53rd overall pick not an elite top-10 level package of gifts in Jalen Hurts.
“I think it’s pretty much it,” Newsday NFL columnist Bob Glauber admitted to SI.com’s Eagle Maven via BIRDS 365 when asked if the negativity surrounding the Eagles is tied to the coach and the QB. “... It is a league of coaches and quarterbacks. Questions about both of those for the Eagles and I don’t think those questions will be answered in a positive way until they can go out and prove that they can win games and win games consistently.”
The ultimate evaluation of Hurts will be far more tangible because you'll be able to see how the former Alabama and Oklahoma star performs on the field.
For Sirianni, absent significant early success, the grading scale will be murkier because the excuses are already built-in.
And one of them is the guy who hired the coach in the first place.
"My biggest concern about Sirriani is that he's a continuation of Doug Pederson in that he's going to be manipulated by the owner and the GM [Howie Roseman]," noted Jason Cole, the Pro Football Hall of Fame voter whose past stops have included The Miami Herald, the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel, Yahoo! Sports and Bleacher Report, while covering the league for over two decades.
Cole had a good relationship with former Lurie right-hand man Joe Banner and is even closer to Pederson, the ex-Eagles coach who was dismissed back in January less than three calendar years off a Super Bowl LII championship.
"I know Doug really well. I mean I covered him when he was a quarterback with the Dolphins," Cole said. "He doesn't have the persona to go into Howie or Jeff and say 'hey, you guys gotta back off okay. You guys gotta let me run my part of the organization you go do whatever it is you're gonna do and I'll win, OK?'.
"He never did that and they didn't trust him and they ran over the top of him. ... That's their nature."
Cole sees history repeating itself with Sirianni.
"[My concern] is that [Lurie and Roseman] are going to take control of the situation," Cole said. "They haven't found the authority figure like an Andy Reid. [A coach] they could trust to say 'go run the football operations.'
"Sirianni seems to me like a guy who's gonna get run over by the owner and the GM."
John McMullen contributes Eagles coverage for SI.com's EagleMaven and is the NFL Insider for JAKIB Media. You can listen to John, alongside legendary sports-talk host Jody McDonald every morning from 8-10 on ‘Birds 365,” streaming live on both PhillyVoice.com and YouTube. John is also the host of his own show "Extending the Play" on AM1490 in South Jersey. You can reach him at email@example.com or on Twitter @JFMcMullen
Ed Kracz is the publisher of SI.com’s Eagle Maven and co-host of the Eagles Unfiltered Podcast. Check out the latest Eagles news at www.SI.com/NFL/Eagles and please follow him on Twitter: @kracze.