HomeDa Birds NewsIs the Eagles' recent coaching hire a sign of urgency for Hurts?

Is the Eagles’ recent coaching hire a sign of urgency for Hurts?

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PHILADELPHIA – You could almost hear the whoosh of the pendulum swinging back to the other end in Philadelphia on Saturday when NFL sources confirmed the obvious: Doug Nussmeier will again accompany Kellen Moore to a third consecutive stop when he’s officially named the Philadelphia Eagles quarterbacks coach.

This will be the seventh consecutive season Nussmeier, 53, and Moore will coach together, the last five in the same setup with Moore as offensive coordinator and Nussmeier as the QB coach.

It all started back in Dallas in 2018 when Moore, a star college quarterback at Boise State with a six-year career at the NFL level as a backup, came straight off the playing field to become the Cowboys’ quarterbacks coach. At the time, Nussmeier, himself a high-level college QB at Idaho who spent five seasons in the pros, was the tight ends coach in Dallas.

Kellen Moore and Doug Nussmeirer will be tasked with turning around Jalen Hurts.

USA Today

By 2019, the fast-rising Moore was the Cowboys’ OC at the tender age of 31 and Nussmeier remained TE coach while former Seattle starter Jon Kitna mentored the QBs. That was the only year Kitna was an NFL coach, sandwiching that with high-school stints that continue to this day.

A bit of a scapegoat for a mediocre season, Kitna’s job was handed off to Nussmeier and the law firm of Moore and Nussmeier that toiled together in North Texas and Los Angeles for the 2023 season with Dak Prescott and Justin Herbert will be tasked with finding out what went wrong with Jalen Hurts last season.

It’s not hyperbole to suggest that Nussmeier is the most important positional coach hire Jeffery Lurie will approve this offseason because he will be the hands-on, day-to-day teacher for the most important player to the franchise moving forward.

The experience level between Nussmeier and the guy he’s succeeding couldn’t be more vast. Alex Tanney was trying to copy the Moore template, coming straight off the field after an eight-year playing career.

Tanney wasn’t thrown into the deep end of the pool like Moore, though. Nick Sirianni started him in quality control in 2021 before promoting Tanney to assistant QB coach in 2022, and then putting him in charge of the room last season after Brian Johnson was promoted to offensive coordinator in the wake of Shane Steichen’s defection to become the head coach in Indianapolis.

A disappointing outcome to that plan had Lurie ordering Sirianni to inject “fresh ideas” into the offense, which has resulted in Moore and Nussmeier.

The swing back on that aforementioned pendulum can be traced to two presumptions: experience and comfort.

The belief by Lurie is that leaning on lesser-experienced coaches contributed to the regression of Hurts, and the close relationship the quarterback had with Johnson didn’t create the sense of urgency greatness can demand.

There’s no definitive way of doing things that guarantees success, however, but most crave answers when things go unexpectedly. That’s why the natural response to something that doesn’t work is to go in the opposite direction.

In the case of Moore, he will enter his sixth season as a play-caller in 2024 despite his young age vs. Johnson’s first at the professional level.

Tanney had three years of coaching experience and was a rookie position coach handling a $255 million man. Nussmeier has been a coach for 23 years and has taught QBs in college at high-level programs like Michigan State, Washington, Alabama, Michigan, and Florida and mentored the position at the pro level in St. Louis, Dallas, and with the Chargers.

Related: Eagles Hire Kellen: Why Cowboys Ex is Here and What it Means

For an organization that regards itself as forward-thinking, this is an entirely predictable run-of-the-mill response, though.

That’s not to say Moore and Nussmeier can’t succeed but if it were as easy as hiring more experienced coaches who don’t have prior relationships with the star quarterback, the same pendulum wouldn’t have swung toward Johnson and Tanney in the first place.  

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