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Eagles Slow to Move on From Brian Johnson

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Despite losing their play-caller from last year’s Super Bowl team, the Philadelphia Eagles managed to have a top-10 offense during the regular season in 2023.

That comes with offensive coordinator Brian Johnson learning how to call plays for the first time in his NFL coaching career.

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Despite the success the Eagles have had this year on offense, Johnson, along with head coach Nick Sirianni have taken heat for the team’s recent collapse late in the season, and the lack of efficiency the offense plays with. Philadelphia’s first and second down percentage plays are among the worst in football – sandwiched in between being the best on third and fourth down.

Mandatory Credit Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Watching franchise quarterback Jalen Hurts finish second in turnovers allowed this season, with the entire offense in the top 10 as well, certainly doesn’t help matters.

That’s why, when NFL Network reported that Johnson was receiving head coaching interviews for jobs in Tennessee and Carolina, many Eagle fans were clamoring for the first-year OC to leave Philly.

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Those fans (and some analysts) who believe the Eagles would be better off without Johnson are missing some very important pieces to the argument.

First, should Johnson leave for greener pastures, that would mean Philadelphia is hiring the third different offensive coordinator in three seasons. That lack of continuity can be detrimental to any quarterback, let alone a top one like Hurts.

Second, there’s no guarantee that the Eagles would be even able to upgrade at play-caller as so many people may think. While roughly 1/3rd of the league’s head coaches change every year, the need for new offensive ideas becomes paramount. If Philadelphia succeeds in 2024 with a new play-caller, who is to say that the new coordinator won’t get a new head job quickly? The endless cycle becomes difficult to manage once people realize that.

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Finally, Johnson is only in his first year on the job. It’s natural for young players to struggle a bit in their first year, learn from their mistakes, and then come back the following year with a better, more efficient plan.

To get rid of a coach after just one season would be foolish. To think Johnson can’t improve with further study and understanding of an offense is more so.

Philadelphia losing two of their play-calling coordinators last season meant that 2023 was going to be a challenge.

It’s been that way all year.

Eagles fans should hope Johnson doesn’t get a head coaching job, or they could be in an even harder situation next year.

The 2023 season has been an interesting one for the Philadelphia Eagles. Despite losing their play-caller from the previous year’s Super Bowl team, the Eagles managed to have a top-10 offense during the regular season. This comes with offensive coordinator Brian Johnson learning how to call plays for the first time in his NFL coaching career. However, the team has faced criticism for its recent collapse late in the season and the lack of efficiency in its offensive plays.

Philadelphia’s first and second down percentage plays are among the worst in football, although they are the best on third and fourth down. This inconsistency has led to scrutiny of Johnson and head coach Nick Sirianni. Further, franchise quarterback Jalen Hurts finished second in turnovers allowed this season, contributing to the team’s shaky performance on offense.

Despite these challenges, when NFL Network reported that Johnson was receiving head coaching interviews for jobs in Tennessee and Carolina, many Eagle fans were clamoring for the first-year OC to leave Philly. However, those who believe the Eagles would be better off without Johnson are missing some important points. For one, if Johnson were to leave, it would mean that Philadelphia is hiring its third different offensive coordinator in three seasons, which could be detrimental to the team’s quarterback, especially a top player like Hurts. Additionally, there’s no guarantee that the Eagles would be able to upgrade at play-caller as easily as some might think. The league’s coaching landscape changes frequently, and the need for new offensive ideas becomes paramount. The endless cycle of coaching changes can be difficult to manage.

Another important consideration is that Johnson is only in his first year on the job. It’s natural for young players, including coaches, to struggle in their first year, learn from their mistakes, and then come back the following year with a better and more efficient plan. To get rid of a coach after just one season would be premature, especially considering that Johnson has the potential to improve with further study and understanding of the team’s offense.

Furthermore, Philadelphia’s loss of two play-calling coordinators last season meant that 2023 was always going to be a challenge. There is no denying that the team has faced numerous obstacles throughout the year. Given these circumstances, Eagles fans should hope that Johnson does not get a head coaching job, as it would put the team in an even more challenging situation next year.

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