This was a bit of an eye-raiser during Eagles OTA media availability on Friday: offensive coordinator Shane Steichen said will be calling plays for the team this upcoming season.
The Inquirer’s Jeff McLane asked the following question:
“Nick Sirianni said late last season one of the changes that benefitted the offense was having you call plays directly to Jalen Hurts. Obviously, you’re still involved with that. Can you explain how that was handled and how you think it’ll be?”
Steichen responded [bolded section is my doing]:
“I think last year we were a new staff, and we were evolving as an offense. So as the season got going on, I ended up taking over more of the play calling mid-season. Then again, Nick has a stamp on every single thing we do. So, in the meeting rooms he has a stamp on everything we do, every play that’s on that call sheet, he makes sure it’s justified, boom, and we’re good to go. So going forward, I’ll be calling the plays next year, and we’ll go from there.”
Steichen clarified in a follow-up question that he would be the one calling plays for the Birds’ offense [bolded section is my doing]:
“Like I said, I’ll be calling the plays, but it is a complete group effort. It’s a complete group effort from the top down. It starts with Nick as the head coach. He does a hell of a job game planning. Then we go from there. On game day, he’s the head coach, and if he wants something called, he’ll tell me, and I’ll get it called.”
This is a surprise. The thought process was that head coach Nick Sirianni was brought to Philly in 2021 to not just be the head coach, but the play-caller as well. It looks as if Steichen took over a lot of those responsibilities down the stretch last season, as the Eagles shifted to a more run-heavy attack and had greater offensive success.
That may change in 2022 with the acquisition of star wide receiver A.J. Brown and the assumption that quarterback Jalen Hurts has improved as a passer.
Steichen previously called plays with the Chargers when he worked as their offensive coordinator in 2020 with a rookie Justin Herbert under center.
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