Veteran Eagles Players Rip Nick Sirianni for Favoritism of Stars

The Philadelphia Eagles' late-season collapse in 2023 has left several anonymous sources pointing fingers at the coaching staff.

It seems the soap opera regarding the Philadelphia Eagles and their 2023 demise simply won’t die. Philadelphia Inquirer sports columnist Marcus Hayes has unearthed more information surrounding the reason for the Eagles dropping six of their final seven games after a 10-1 start to end up being bounced out of the Wild Card round of the NFL playoffs.

Spoiler alert: Some players aren’t too big a fan of the way the coaching staff handled things down the stretch.

Anonymous Philadelphia Eagles Players Speak Out

Hayes spoke with one particular veteran player on the Eagles’ roster late in the season when the team was in a free fall. Part of it, according to the player who chose to be anonymous, was because head coach Nick Sirianni and his staff played favorites with some of the top players on the roster.

“Sirianni and his staff played favorites,” Hayes published in his piece from the source. “If you were a second-tier player or a recent addition, as the team staggered to its 1-6 finish, Sirianni and his assistants targeted you. But if you were Jalen Hurts, A.J. Brown, or one of the legacy stars, your miscues went unmentioned or were excused.”

The long-time columnist pointed to an example in which, following their 20-17 loss to the Seattle Seahawks (their third straight loss at the time), WR A.J. Brown and QB Jalen Hurts ran their own play on the final offensive snap of the game (an interception by Julian Love) instead of calling what the coaching staff instructed.

Hayes later reported that Brown and Hurts were not reprimanded for the action and were “incredibly” defended for the right to audible plays late in games.

That kind of uneven coaching was seen as a constant for some on the roster.

“I will say it doesn’t help when they treat guys two different ways,” the source told Hayes regarding Hurts. “I guess some guys can’t do anything wrong.”

It wasn’t just the top quarterback and receiver that were name-dropped, either, according to Hayes. When speaking to another source on the team, the original point of Sirianni playing favorites was expanded to other positions.

“If you were an offensive lineman — Jordan Mailata, Cam Jurgens, or Landon Dickerson — you got treated differently than if you were Jason Kelce or Lane Johnson,” Hayes wrote.

“And heaven forbid you were a young defensive lineman, like Jordan Davis or Jalen Carter, who could do no right in the last two months, as opposed to Fletcher Cox or Brandon Graham, the former of whom disappeared in the latter part of the season and the latter of whom didn’t show up in the former part of the season.”

It’s important to remember with every report, anonymous sources giving out information can have an agenda of their own accord. Whether it’s to defend themselves, deflect blame, or paint themselves in a better light, sources have reasons for dishing out information inside a team’s facility.

There’s no questioning that a disgruntled player on the Eagles’ 53-man roster wanted to speak to Hayes. He’s a trusted media member and has been for years within the NovaCare Complex. The disgruntled players may be missing the point when discussing the reason for the Eagles’ demise, though.

Brown and Hurts are two of Philadelphia’s biggest stars. Kelce, Johnson, Graham, and Cox are also the four longest-tenured players on the roster, with many on the list expected to be in the franchise’s Ring of Honor one day.

Of course, those important players will be treated differently as opposed to younger talents on the roster still trying to prove themselves.

Other teams like the New York Jets have done everything in their power to make four-time NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers happy. Other members of the Philadelphia media have pointed out that organizations treat their stars differently than other players on the roster. It’s not as uncommon as the anonymous source may believe.

This doesn’t take away from the valid concerns Hayes and others outside the media have regarding Sirianni’s viability as a head coach, however. He’s essentially the lone survivor on a team that changed offensive and defensive coordinators and has also acknowledged his work to improve his maturity on the sideline.

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Philadelphia has been picking up the pieces of their late-season collapse for the last few months. As free agency is set to begin in under a month, it will be up to Sirianni to prove to the fan base, media, and the rest of the disgruntled players inside the facility that he’s still the right man for the job.

Otherwise, the anonymous sources will only continue to pour in.

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