American Football

The Linc – Nick Sirianni was significantly impacted by the Big Dom suspension?


NFL: NFC Wild Card Round-Philadelphia Eagles at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
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Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 2/22/24.

Let’s get to the Philadelphia Eagles links …

Report: Dom DiSandro suspension impacted Nick Sirianni during games – PFT
At a time when FS1 host Craig Carton has hinted at (but has not disclosed) a potentially salacious “real reason” for the implosion of the Eagles in 2023, long-time Eagles reporter Derrick Gunn has offered something more concrete, and far less juicy. According to Gunn, the banishment of Eagles security chief Dom DiSandro from the sidelines after he made contact with 49ers linebacker Dre Greenlaw during a December 3 game against San Francisco threw coach Nick Sirianni off balance. Gunn posted on X that “Big Dom” “controls Sirianni emotions on sideline” and that “in his absence Nick gets in numerous arguments with players/coaches during games.” The Eagles went into a free fall after the Big Dom sideline suspension, which lasted for the rest of the regular season. The Eagles won only one more game and surrendered the division title to the Cowboys. (After the lone victory — on Christmas over the Giants — Sirianni admitted he was “too tense” during the game.)

D Gunn with Two Nuggets on the Eagles’ Late-Season Struggles – Crossing Broad
Nick’s a head football coach and team leader. He should be able to handle things on the sidelines and manage relationships with his players and assistants. You shouldn’t need a large Italian man to keep your emotions in check. It’s one thing to be passionate, but if the fervor becomes counterproductive, and the head coach isn’t calling the plays on either side of the ball, then it lends some ironic credence to T Mac asking at the press conference the football version of “what would ya say ya do here?“

2024 NFL Draft positions of need: Running back – BGN
The Birds could be looking at a completely revamped running back’s room in the 2024 season as D’Andre Swift, Boston Scott, and Rashaad Penny are all unrestricted free agents this offseason. While Swift was fifth in the league in rushing in 2023 and made the Pro Bowl, I can’t imagine Philadelphia offering him the sort of contract he’d like. Penny had 11 carries last year after being signed last summer as, ostensibly, a contributing player so I’d guess he’ll be elsewhere next season too. Scott has been a success story for the Eagles in the RB3 role, especially when playing the New York Giants, but I’d guess they can find someone younger and better in the draft or free agency. Kenny Gainwell still has one year on his contract, so barring something drastic happening he’ll be back to infuriate fans in the fall. Lew Nichols III was on the practice squad last season and could be there again this year. Who knows what Howie Roseman will do!?

2024 NFL offseason: All 32 teams’ WR situations ahead of free agency, draft –
Brown and Smith are dynamite wideouts who can take over a game when used properly. The Eagles should pick up Smith’s fifth-year option for 2025 in the coming months. The issue is the lack of depth behind the elite duo. You can see the plan to find a speed option as a third fiddle, but neither Zaccheaus nor Watkins filled that role well. Jones was a midseason add that did little to move the needle. Adding outside speed — preferably via someone who can actually catch — is the priority for this group in 2024.

Eagles mailbag: Who should the Eagles target in free agency? – NBCSP
This is a follow-up from yesterday’s mailbag. A little bit. It’s really hard to judge just about anyone from that defense … but any way you look at Smith’s rookie season, it was disappointing. I might actually blame the coaching staff for not giving him more playing time but I also don’t get to watch practices during the season. If he really wasn’t ready for a bigger role, that’s concerning. If it was stubbornness from the coaches just because they trusted Haason Reddick, Josh Sweat and Brandon Graham, then that’s on coaching. Sometimes you have to find a way to carve out playing time for talented young players, especially at a rotational position. Wish we would have seen Smith more in 2023.

Why the release of Michael Gallup is a foregone conclusion for the Cowboys this offseason – Blogging The Boys
Sadly, things did not go as expected. Cooper has been tearing it up in Cleveland putting up over 2,400 yards over the past two seasons with his new team. In terms of yardage, it’s the best two-year stretch Cooper has ever had throughout his entire career. And to make matters worse, Gallup has been almost non-existent. In 2022, he only had 39 catches and 424 yards across 14 games, putting up just 30.3 yards per game, his worst per-game outage over his five-year career. Most of us chalked that up to the slow recovery as he was coming off a knee injury in the regular-season finale the year prior. With another year removed from his knee surgery, fans expected bigger things from him this past season, but despite playing in all 17 games, his numbers were even worse. He only had 34 catches for 418 yards with a new career-low per-game outage of just 24.6 yards a game. His production had become just 33% of the prime Gallup we were seeing back in 2019.

Offensive coordinator Mike Kafka was willing to leave Giants for lateral position, per report – Big Blue View
While the Giants had no intentions to move on from Kafka, the 36-year-old assistant coach would go on to interview for the vacant head coaching positions of the Seattle Seahawks and Tennesee Titans. Ultimately, the end result is that Kafka will return for a third season as offensive coordinator and was even elevated to assistant head coach. New York Post NFL reporter Ryan Dunleavy recently discussed the situation between Daboll and Kafka on Talkin’ Giants. According to Dunleavy, Kafka was looking to leave the Giants. There had been reports of a strained relationship between Kafka and Brian Daboll. Dunleavy’s sources indicated Kafka was seeking a lateral position as an offensive coordinator elsewhere. This is because he believes that Daboll will call plays in 2024, meaning he would essentially be demoted. Therefore, becoming an offensive coordinator with play-calling duties somewhere else would be seen as a better opportunity.

Kirk Cousins is the answer in NFL free agency, if you like that – SB Nation
Kirk Cousins has always been an infuriating player to evaluate. There are times he looks and plays like a top-five quarterback, then others when you wonder how the heck he’s routinely one of the NFL’s top passers. Now, he’s set to hit free agency for the first time since 2018 — and he’s one of the most fascinating players to watch as the process unfolds. There are no shortage of teams in need of a starting quarterback. On one end of the spectrum are the likes of the Bears, Commanders and Patriots — all of whom are expected to draft a passer in April that can be their long-term answer, but when it comes to Cousins it’s the other tier of teams that could try to make a splash. These are teams who are in dire need of an upgrade at the position, but who find themselves out of the draft’s Top 10 where they could find a quarterback. The shared DNA here is that these teams are all potential playoff teams, if they had more talent under center. To complicate matters: The Vikings are one of these teams needing a quarterback. As it stands they’re poised to lose Cousins without any recourse, and they may be unwilling to meet their QB’s salary demands. We’re left with one of the most fascinating players hitting the market this season.

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