The Local Media Can’t Handle the Truth

The Local Media Can’t Handle the Truth


     All I could do was laugh last week when Jalen Hurts revealed that 95% of the offense being installed by new Eagles coordinator Kellen Moore is brand-new.

     In other words, there will be a lot more Moore and almost no Nick. In fact, if you’re doing the math, 19 out of every 20 plays called next season will be freshly designed and carefully overseen by Moore, and one in 20 will remain from head coach Nick Sirianni’s admittedly stale playbook.

      Just so his defenders can’t hide behind semantics, here’s the actual comment the Eagles franchise quarterback made during mini-camp last week: “Right now it’s been a lot of new inventory in — the majority of it, probably 95% of it, being new.”

     My former co-host Marcus Hayes broke it down a bit further in the Daily News last week. He speculated that since the Eagles use the “tush push” at least a few times every game – the short-yardage rugby shove that won them countless first downs – they will retain that one effective Sirianni play and throw out all the rest.

     Of course, the lame-duck coach left a far different impression after the 2023 collapse when he said: “There’s been some things that we’ve done well that our offense has done in the past that you’ll mesh in some of that together (with Moore’s plan) as well.”

     Mesh? Maybe sprinkle. Or flavor slightly. Definitely not mesh.

     One of my emailers last week used an old line that fits Sirianni perfectly these days: “He got a B.S. in BS.” Never a zealot about truth even when he was winning, Sirianni is tossing word salads at a record rate these days, and that’s going to become a major problem in a month or so when training camp opens.

      You see, the only duty Sirianni has fully retained since the collapse is talking to the media. Moore is in control of the offense now. Vic Fangio only agreed to take the defensive coordinator’s job if the Eagles promised him autonomy. Michael Clay had his best season last year as special-teams coordinator. Most of the strategic decisions now are preordained by analytics.

     So Sirianni’s main purpose is to babble about the next game and then, more often than not, explain why things didn’t work out as planned. If he continues to flop at that task, what’s left? As someone who got to talk to him after every game for three years on WIP, I can say with authority that speaking into a microphone is not one of Sirianni’s biggest assets.

     Maybe, now that he has more time to work on his media skills, he can improve. Maybe he can actually answer questions honestly once in a while. Maybe, when a player makes a terrible play or two – see James Bradberry any game in the last half of 2023 – the coach will respect the fans enough at least to acknowledge a problem.

     Don’t bet on it. Sirianni is in full survival mode right now. We already know he will say anything to save his job.

     But the odds are, he will soon not be the head coach of the Eagles.

     I’d say there’s a 95% chance he will be gone by President’s Day.


    The newfangled soft Philadelphia sports media has no respect for the honesty that Jalen Hurts brings to his news conferences. They outdid themselves last week when several Sirianni supporters took Hurts to task for not backing his lame-duck coach more enthusiastically.

     This is a new one for me. The media would prefer a star player twist the truth than provide an honest answer to a fair question? And for a coach whose ineptitude almost got Hurts killed last season? Really?

     Need I remind anyone that Sirianni – in his last game with actual control over the offense – left blitzers totally unblocked 10 times in the playoff loss to Tampa last January? Is it really necessary that I bring back up the facts that the play-calling was abysmal the second half of the season and utterly atrocious in that one playoff game?

     And now, after all of that, Hurts is supposed to gush over Sirianni’s brilliance? The fact is, Hurts was too kind in his appraisal of his head coach’s new role in the offense.

      You decide. Here’s the softball question that one of these media apologists asked: “What have you noticed about Nick being open-minded to change up the offense like he has? What does that say about him?”

      “Um, I mean, that’s a great question,” Hurts replied. “I don’t know that I know the answer to it.”

      By the way, it was not a great question. Hurts was being overly kind with that characterization. Whoever asked it needs another year in journalism school. Or maybe they should switch to public relations.

      There was a follow-up, of course. The media was determined to get a supportive comment from Hurts, despite the reality of the situation.

        “Well, what have you seen from him as far as doing that?”

        “Um, I think he’s been great in the messages he’s delivering to the team,’’ Hurts offered. “Trying to be very intentional in what he’s saying. Yeah.”

       One of the kinder, gentler media types who felt Hurts was not being vocal enough in support of Sirianni was a regular contributor to our WIP show for many years, John Stolnis.

       John is a smart commentator. I wouldn’t have employed him if he weren’t. But not this time. On the Bleeding Green Nation website, Stolnis actually provided some better answers to those questions, some things Hurts should have said about his coach. I would repeat them here, but one wave of nausea is enough for me.

      At the risk of become preachy, let me just say that it is never the media’s job to suggest dishonest answers to their questions. A much better option is to respect the honesty of the reply.

     If Hurts wanted to gush over Sirianni – a ridiculous notion after that historic collapse – he would have done it. He didn’t because he respects the fans. And he respects the premise that news conferences are held to inform those fans, not preach the company line.

      Sirianni has no respect for that process. All he cares about is the reaction in his locker room, so he bobs and weaves through all interrogations. Hurts actually tries to give some insight into the inner workings of the offense.

      It’s about time the media begins to grasp this difference. It’s also about time the media stop kissing the coach’s ass.

      Don’t you think?


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