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Eagles need a coordinated effort to get back to Super Bowl

How much better can the Eagles be?

A lot better, as it turns out.

The Eagles were the hottest team in the National Football League after back-to-back wins against the Chiefs and Bills in late November.

From that point on, the biggest mistakes of the post-Super Bowl 57 offseason took root. The Eagles won just one more game the rest of the season before a 23-point loss to Tampa Bay in the Wild Card round.

The biggest result of the Eagles’ magical run to face the Chiefs in the Super Bowl was the inevitable loss of offensive coordinator Shane Steichen to Minnesota and defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon to Arizona.

The Eagles doubled down on replacing two young, talented coordinators with two more unproven coordinators to continue the success chain. Unfortunately, the Eagles missed on both counts.

Brian Johnson, who had spent two years as quarterbacks coach, was named to the OC role. Former Seahawks associate head coach Sean Desai was tabbed to take over as DC.

Johnson had success helping Jalen Hurts transition into the franchise quarterback role but couldn’t turn that skill into running a dynamic, exciting offense. Desai never overcame the challenge of multiple injuries to the defensive backfield plus a talent drain at the linebacker position. Late in the season, Desai was ousted in favor of former Lions head coach Matt Patricia, to disastrous effect.

The Eagles had two options heading into this season. Stick with head coach Nick Sirianni or hit the reset button two years removed playing in the Super Bowl. Both options would mean replacing the coaching leaders of the offensive and defensive sides of the ball.

The Eagle set their sights on finding two new coordinators for the second season in a row.

This time around they went for proven quality, rather than potential.

Former Cowboys and Chargers offensive coordinator Kellen Moore and onetime Broncos head coach Vic Fangio were tabbed to take over.

Both will have big jobs ahead of them.

Moore has the most to work with. Hurts is back with both of his top targets, DaVonta Smith and A.J. Brown, back on new contracts. Saquon Barkley was the biggest addition. The retirement of center Jason Kelce and the resulting evolution of the offensive line is the biggest issue.

The Eagles offense became predictable and stagnant as last season wore on. Through adjustments opposing teams made and a lack of creativity, the Eagles offense ground down to a halt.  

Moore, who made his reputation on getting the most out of Dak Prescott in Dallas and, to a lesser extent, Justin Herbert in his one year at Los Angeles, will try to fold the best parts of the Eagles offense with Hurts and blend in more dynamic options that can return the Eagles offense into one of the most feared units in the league.

Fangio is one of the most innovative defensive minds in the game. His defensive scheme and its successes in Chicago made him a solid head coaching candidate, though, ultimately, his tenure in Denver didn’t pan out.

Fangio returns to Philadelphia for what he claims will be the final spot in his coaching career. Fangio started out as part of the Philadelphia Stars coaching staff in the original USFL 40 years ago.

Ironically, the Eagles had Fangio in the pipeline to replace Jonathan Gannon last year. Fangio was a consultant with the Eagles in 2022 but the timing didn’t quite work out for Fangio to take over from Gannon so he spent last year in Miami. When that relationship ended after the season, the Eagles quickly brought him back.

Fangio has the bigger rebuild job ahead of him as the defense will have more changeover. Fortunately, the Eagles’ draft, free agency and trades give Fangio a lot to work with.

Starting with the defensive backfield, Fangio needs to return an attacking, versatile style to the Eagles defense.

The Eagles will have two brand new coordinators for the second year in a row. The team’s different approach this year needs to bring immediate results.

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