How Shane Steichen’s Departure Impacts the Eagles’ Offense

The Philadelphia Eagles have to find an offensive coordinator to replace Shane Steichen. We break down how Steichen's departure impacts the Eagles' offense.

The Philadelphia Eagles are in for a painful few days after losing Super Bowl 57. Not only were they unable to hold the 10-point halftime lead against the Kansas City Chiefs, but Philadelphia could lose both of their coordinators in the days after the big game. We already know the Indianapolis Colts plan to hire offensive coordinator Shane Steichen as their head coach, but defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon is also a finalist for the head coaching job in Arizona as well.

Losing Steichen will be painful. He’s overseen the Eagles’ offense for the last two seasons, growing the unit into one of the most efficient and effective offenses in the NFL. He helped develop Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert in 2020, then Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts in 2021 and 2022.

Steichen took over play-calling in the middle of 2021 from head coach Nick Sirianni, which completely changed the direction of the franchise. Let’s dive into how the move puts pressure on Sirianni, general manager Howie Roseman, and Hurts as they figure out the offense moving forward.

How Shane Steichen’s Departure Impacts the Eagles’ Offense

The Eagles must do everything in their power to ensure their organization doesn’t suffer a considerable setback after losing their top coordinator. That starts with their quarterback.

Jalen Hurts Must Fight Regression

Hurts was absolutely brilliant in Super Bowl 57 despite not having a running game to rely on. He completed 27 passes on 38 attempts for 304 yards and one touchdown. He completed several difficult passes requiring perfect precision, and Hurts nailed them.

Had Philadelphia’s defense forced a stop on the fatal 3rd-and-8 that featured a defensive holding call on cornerback James Bradberry, Hurts may have had his own game-winning Super Bowl drive.

Alas, the Eagles fell short despite Hurts’ excellence. But Hurts cemented his status as the franchise QB this season, completing 66.5% of his passes for 3,701 yards, 22 touchdowns, and six interceptions. He added another 760 yards and 13 touchdowns on the ground in 15 games played.

MORE: Super Bowl 57 Fallout — Eagles Fumble the Bag, But Jalen Hurts Announced His Arrival

Though Hurts has improved every single season of his career going back to when he was a freshman at Alabama, he’ll now have a tougher time doing so without Steichen overseeing his development.

Steichen was an ace play designer and play-caller, showing great timing and understanding of spacing. He maximized a talented unit that could’ve easily grown stale or missed opportunities to highlight players’ strengths.

Hurts will still have an elite surrounding cast next year, but the burden will be more on his shoulders to be the leader of the unit. Any regression could cost the team the chance to make a repeat Super Bowl appearance.

Eagles Should Invest in a Star RB

The Eagles boast a deeply talented roster with few weaknesses. Adding a young corner to develop into a starter and working linebacker Nakobe Dean into a bigger role should be a defensive priority. The offense could use a better third receiver than Quez Watkins, and they need to make a decision on free agent RB Miles Sanders.

For as well as Sanders played, totaling 1,269 yards and 11 touchdowns, he’s not a receiving threat, and his production came to a grinding halt over the last seven weeks of the season. He had only one game with more than 65 yards rushing and just 20 receptions all season long. It makes little sense for Philadelphia to pay him this offseason.

Instead, the Eagles can capitalize on a unique opportunity. I rarely advocate for first-round running backs, but there are two worth the investment in this draft cycle: Texas’ Bijan Robinson and Alabama’s Jahmyr Gibbs. They’re different archetypes of players but high-end playmakers who can quickly be elite backs.

Robinson’s power and receiving ability would give Hurts a well-rounded partner who can further pulverize defenses with his physicality. Gibbs is a clone of Saints’ star Alvin Kamara, winning with contact balance and burst. He’s also a phenomenal threat as a receiver.

Going cheap with a mid-round talent like Sean Tucker and pairing him with Kenneth Gainwell is also a viable option. But the best option is to take pressure off Hurts, and that means getting a cost-controlled creator in the backfield for the next five years.

Nick Sirianni Must Maximize His Replacement Hire

Sirianni made the right call in not only hiring Steichen despite a somewhat limited background but also giving him the keys to the offense as soon as his own play-calling went sideways in 2021. He’ll have the option to promote from within for the vacant OC role or to go outside of the organization. Both veteran and ascending candidates should have significant interest in the shot to run a highly-talented offense.

MORE: Philadelphia Eagles Offseason Preview 2023

There’s no avenue that provides any sort of guarantee. While it’s advantageous to inherit so much talent, we’ve also seen how Philadelphia’s offense operates at its best. They must continue tweaking the scheme to keep it fresh but remain true to their identity.

Missing the next OC hire can quickly lead to the team’s regression. Putting too much on Hurts’ shoulders loses the dominant run aspect the offense needs. Finding a complementary voice who can push the unit to evolve into an even more refined version of the 2022 offense is the goal, but easier said than done.

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