Connecting possible offensive, defensive coordinators for Nick Sirianni’s Eagles staff

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Dave Zangaro
·5 min read
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Connecting possible offensive, defensive coordinators for Sirianni’s staff originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

The last time the Eagles went through the process of hiring a head coach and assembling a staff around him, Doug Pederson didn't end up with a staff of guys he knew. 

He had never worked with Jim Schwartz or Frank Reich before. 

That's important to keep in mind over the next week. Because there's a chance that connections to Nick Sirianni won't mean anything. But unlike Pederson, Sirianni has coached under more head coaches and is probably better equipped to put together a coaching staff than Pederson was five years ago.

So let's take a look at some connections to potential offensive and defensive coordinators: 

Defensive coordinator options

Jonathan Gannon

The Colts' defensive backs coach has been getting a lot of buzz in the last week. Gannon has already interviewed with the Bears and Chargers this offseason, so if the Eagles want him, they might have some competition. But Gannon has worked with Sirianni for the last three seasons in Indianapolis, so maybe he'll be able to lure him to Philadelphia. While Gannon has never been a DC, it seems like it's only a matter of time. He has coached in Tennessee, Minnesota and Indianapolis. SI.com's Albert Breer pegged Gannon as the guy for the Eagles if Josh McDaniels got the job in Philly but we can probably keep his name in the conversation now that we know Sirianni has the job. 

Romeo Crennel

The 73-year-old defensive coach kept Sirianni on staff in Kansas City when he became the head coach in 2012. (The next season, Andy Reid did not keep Sirianni on staff.) Crennel just finished up a stint as the Texans' interim coach and he might just be ready to retire. There is the thought that Crennel could be an experienced sounding board for a young head coach but the Eagles would also probably need to flip to a 3-4. 

John Pagano

Pagano (younger brother of Chuck) was the Chargers' defensive coordinator from 2012-16 after an eight-year stint as their linebackers coach. So he and Sirianni overlapped with the Chargers for four years after Sirianni joined the team as a quality control coach before coaching QBs and WRs. Under Pagano, the Chargers ran a 3-4 but it was a 3-4 in the mold of a Wade Phillips defense; they weren't two-gapping, they were getting up field. Pagano is currently the Broncos' outside linebackers coach. 

Dave Borgonzi

While Gannon is the guy getting buzz, Borgonzi is another attractive option if the Eagles want to poach their DC from Indianapolis. He has been the Colts' LBs coach for three seasons and was with the Bucs and Cowboys before that. His linebackers have performed very well under DC Matt Eberflus and he might have been a candidate to replace him if Elberflus was hired away. 

Joe Barry

This would be a good hire but it probably won't happen. Barry already agreed to go with Brandon Staley from the Rams to the Chargers as their linebackers coach/defensive passing game coordinator. But Barry and Sirianni overlapped during his first stint with the Chargers and Barry would be a good fit. Maybe offering him a real DC job would be enough to get it done. 

Offensive coordinator options

Anthony Lynn

When Lynn was hired as the Chargers' head coach in 2017, he kept Sirianni on staff for that first year before Sirianni ended up in Indianapolis in 2018. Hiring Lynn would give the Eagles an experienced coach to pair with the inexperienced head coach. Lynn is reportedly a candidate for some other jobs, but his relationship with Sirianni might help if the Eagles want him. 

Shane Steichen

Another member of the Chargers staff, Steichen was the OC in LA in 2020 and before then was quarterbacks coach. He had actually been with the Chargers dating back to 2014, so he worked with Sirianni there. Steichen is still just 35. 

Marcus Brady

Brady has been the Colts' quarterbacks coach for the last two years and was their assistant quarterbacks coach in 2018. Now, he's obviously going to be on the short list to replace Sirianni in Indianapolis, so if that's what Frank Reich wants to do, he'll probably be able to. But Brady has also reportedly drawn interest from the Jaguars this week. 

Update: Brady is getting promoted in Indy, according to ESPN. Not a surprise.

Ken Whisenhunt 

One of the most veteran coaches on this list, Whisenhunt has experience as a two-time NFL head coach and an offensive coordinator. The 58-year-old did not coach in 2020 but was most recently the Chargers' OC from 2016-19, a position he also held in 2013 with the Chargers. In between, he was the head coach for two seasons in Tennessee. He has also been a head coach in Arizona. 

Jim Bob Cooter 

Sirianni worked with Cooter for just one season back in 2012. That year, Sirianni was the Chiefs' WRs coach and Cooter was a quality control coordinator. After that, Cooter eventually went to Detroit and became a favorite of Matthew Stafford. Even though he was fired after the 2018 season, Cooter got the most out of Stafford. He has been the Jets' running backs coach for the last two seasons. 

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