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Nick Sirianni Provides Insights on NFL Hiring Season: ‘It’s Just the Way It Is’

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Nick Sirianni Provides Insights on NFL Hiring Season: ‘It’s Just the Way It Is’

PHILADELPHIA – Philadelphia Eagles offensive coordinator Brian Johnson will have an opportunity to interview for at least two teams with head-coaching vacancies next week.

An NFL source confirmed to SI.com’s Eagles Today that the Carolina Panthers and Tennessee Titans want to speak with Johnson, who helped put together the No. 8 offense in the NFL this season despite the Eagles faltering late in the season with five losses in six game entering Monday night’s Wild Card playoff game at Tampa Bay.

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New league rules say Johnson can’t speak with the Panthers and/or Titans until next week but the Eagles hope the first-year OC will be trying to serve two masters in the form of prepping for a divisional round postseason game after a win over the Bucs and those interviews.

The Carolina Panthers and Tennessee Titans want to talk to Brian Johnson about their head-coaching vacancies. John McMullen Eagles Today

Philadelphia coach Nick Sirianni is already well-versed in other organizations coveting his coaching staff after losing both of his coordinators – Shane Steichen and Jonathan Gannon – to head-coaching positions last season after the Eagles lost Super Bowl LVII to the Kansas City Chiefs.

The Arizona Cardinals’ late run at Gannon prompted tampering charges and the subsequent rule changes that Johnson must adhere to during his attempt to take the next step in his coaching career.

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Some fans and even media members questioned whether Gannon was focused during the lead-up to the Super Bowl and Sirianni extinguished what he described as a “silly narrative” now that he’s more experienced in handling these types of situations.

“I know you guys asked about Gannon last year, was he distracted? He’d been ready for that interview for 15 years. And he had been putting those things together for 15 years,” Sirianni told Si.com’s Eagles Today. “I think that’s a silly narrative that people put out there sometimes because it can be a narrative because if you don’t know what goes into all those things.”

Philadelphia Eagles Nick Sirianni
Philadelphia Eagles Nick Sirianni answering questions during a recent press conference. Philadelphia Inquirer

It’s just business as usual for successful organizations when it comes to assistants getting interviews during playoff runs and that’s always better than the alternative.

There is very little upheaval to game preparation and any interviews are done on personal time but prep is a constant process, not some all-nighter for an exam.

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For Sirianni, he sees his job as not only coaching his players but coaching his coaches.

“You try to help him as much as you can prior to [ the interviews],” said Sirianni. “And, two things, I try to help him as much as I can being the same person every day and teaching him what I know day-to-day, or bringing him in and saying maybe you’ll have to go through this just like people have done for me.”

Sirianni was done with his season as the OC in Indianapolis when he interviewed with the Eagles in 2021.

“When I interviewed for the Eagles job, we [the Colts] were off,” Sirianni said. “We weren’t playing anymore. So I was able to just sit there and write down a bunch of thoughts. But I wasn’t struggling to write down thoughts; I knew exactly what I wanted to say; I knew exactly what I wanted to do. And that’s how it goes.

“It’s not like a pop quiz you don’t know that’s coming. It’s not like a final exam where you’re studying all these different things. It’s just what you know and what you have done.”

Related: Eagles OC Brian Johnson Interviewing for NFL Head Coaching Job

For Johnson, when he does open up a dialogue with the Panthers, a team that was seriously considering him to be offensive coordinator last season before the Eagles promoted him, or the Titans, it will be about his career as a coach and the things he learned along the way.

“You don’t just prepare for an interview in a week,” Sirianni said. “… So the preparation I guess to say has been done for these coaches. Now, that might take an hour or two of their time when they’re with that owner or with the search committee or anything like that. But all these coaches who are going for interviews now, their preparation has been done through the past 15, 20 years of their lives.”

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