Shane Steichen

OC Shane Steichen To Call Eagles’ Plays

Although the Eagles hired an offense-oriented head coach in Nick Sirianni, he will work in a sideline CEO-type role next season. Offensive coordinator Shane Steichen will call Philadelphia’s plays in 2022, he said Friday (via the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Jeff McLane, on Twitter).

This will not necessarily represent a change. Sirianni began his Eagles debut season calling plays, but he handed the reins to Steichen midway through the campaign. That resulted in a shift for the team, which used a more run-centric offense down the stretch to craft a surprise playoff route.

Steichen’s role in the offense does make Sirianni’s stand out. The former Colts offensive coordinator did not call plays while in that post, with Frank Reich doing so. Most of the league’s head coaches with offensive backgrounds call their teams’ plays. Sirianni’s approach resembles Mike McCarthy‘s in Dallas, where OC Kellen Moore holds that responsibility.

I think last year, we were a new staff and we were evolving as an offense. And so as the season got going on, I ended up taking over more of the play-calling midseason,” Steichen said, via Eagles Wire’s Glenn Irby. “And 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 and we’re good to go.”

Steichen’s previous position was as a play-caller for a team with an offense-geared HC (Anthony Lynn). The Chargers promoted Steichen to OC during the 2019 season, and he continued to call plays in 2020, playing a central role in Justin Herbert‘s Offensive Rookie of the Year campaign. Steichen’s encore in this role illustrated a willingness to play to a team’s strengths. The Eagles became the first team since the 1985 Bears to rush for at least 175 yards in seven straight games. Philly finished the season as the NFL’s top-ranked rushing attack.

Steichen, 37, may need to adjust again given the personnel change that occurred on the draft’s first night. The team’s key ball-carrying principals — Miles Sanders, Boston Scott, Jalen Hurts — return, but Philly’s offense figures to change now that A.J. Brown is on the team. Brown comes from a Titans team that also centered its offense around the ground game, but the Eagles authorized a wide receiver-record $56MM fully guaranteed upon trading for the fourth-year playmaker. That will require an increased aerial focus, something that should help the team determine Hurts’ long-term viability.

Nick Sirianni Tests Positive For COVID-19

Nick Sirianni became the second NFL head coach to test positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday. Following Jets HC Robert Saleh, Sirianni is now in the league’s COVID protocol.

The Eagles announced their first-year coach experienced symptoms. Although Sirianni remains hopeful to be cleared in time to coach Sunday against the Giants, the Eagles could well be without their play-caller in Week 16.

If Sirianni is unable to recover in time, passing-game coordinator Kevin Patullo will be Philadelphia’s acting HC. Offensive coordinator Shane Steichen will call plays in this scenario, Eliot Shorr-Parks of 94WIP.com tweets.

Under Sirianni’s guidance, the Eagles have reeled off one of the most successful rushing stretches in modern NFL history. They are riding a streak of seven straight games with 175 rushing yards, a run not matched since the 1985 Bears accomplished this. The Eagles’ win over Washington on Tuesday moved them to .500; FiveThirtyEight.com gives Philly a 36% chance to make the playoffs. The Eagles lost to the Giants in the teams’ New Jersey meeting, but Big Blue will not have Daniel Jones this time around.

Two head coaches — the Saints’ Sean Payton and the Browns’ Kevin Stefanski — missed last week’s games due to positive coronavirus tests. Stefanski has been cleared to return. Payton has not.

Nick Sirianni To Call Eagles’ Plays

The Eagles have a new head coach in Nick Sirianni and a new offensive coordinator in Shane Steichen. However, Sirianni will be the one calling plays. 

[RELATED: Duce Staley Joins Lions]

I do plan on calling the plays,” Sirianni told the team website. ““I know we’re going to work really hard throughout the week to make sure we’re ready,” Sirianni said. “And then we’re built with the right people in place to handle the challenges that I foresee as the most challenging things.”

The challenge, Sirianni says, will be to manage all aspects of the game while also calling the plays. Interesting, Sirianni has never called plays at the NFL level, despite serving as the Colts’ offensive coordinator in his last job. The Eagles trust his judgement, however. The 39-year-old guided the Colts through their transition from Andrew Luck to Philip Rivers. Under Sirianni’s watch, Rivers completed 68% of his throws for 4,169 yards with 24 touchdowns against eleven interceptions, leading Indy to the playoffs.

Recently, Sirianni also tapped a new quarterbacks coach, though the status of the actual QB position remains murky.

Eagles Hire Shane Steichen As OC

The Eagles will hire Shane Steichen as their new offensive coordinator (Twitter link via Ian Rapoport of NFL.com). The deal will likely become official sometime this week. 

[RELATED: Duce Staley Wants Out]

Steichen has history with new head coach Nick Sirianni – the two worked together with the Chargers from 2014 through 2017. Most recently, Steichen served as the offensive coordinator in Los Angeles, guiding Justin Herbert in his tremendous rookie season. Some believed that Steichen would be a candidate for the Seahawks opening, following Brian Schottenheimer‘s firing, but he’s heading out east instead.

The Bolts promoted Steichen from quarterbacks coach to OC in October 2019 after Ken Whisenhunt‘s offense tanked. Under Whisenhunt, the run game was downright pitiful: The Chargers went four straight games without achieving 40 yards rushing, leaving them in the bottom third of the league in points. With Steichen at the helm, things improved – the Chargers finished out that year ranked No. 12 in DVOA.

Now, the 35-year-old will be tasked with getting Carson Wentz back on track. He’ll also have to hire a new assistant to help with the run game with Duce Staley leaving.

Eagles Hire Jonathan Gannon As DC; Latest On OC Search

The Eagles have hired Colts defensive backs coach Jonathan Gannon as their new defensive coordinator, per Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (via Twitter). Albert Breer of SI.com reported yesterday that Gannon had emerged as the favorite for the job and that all signs were pointing towards a union between him and Philadelphia (Twitter link).

Both Rapoport and Breer classify Gannon as a coveted addition, with Breer noting that the former Colts staffer had multiple coordinator offers. We knew that both the Chargers and the Bears were considering Gannon, and it’s possible that those two clubs extended him offers, along with the Eagles.

Of course, Gannon may have chosen the Eagles because of his familiarity with new Philadelphia head coach Nick Sirianni, who served as the Colts’ OC over the past three seasons. Sirianni was clearly a fan of Gannon’s work, as he was a key part of a staff that helped turn Indianapolis’ defense into one of the league’s top units over the past several seasons. Under Gannon’s watch, cornerback Xavier Rhodes revived his career in 2020, while fellow CB Kenny Moore and safety Khari Willis also turned in strong seasons.

Meanwhile, Sirianni is acting quickly to fill out the rest of his staff. Mike Klis of 9News.com reports that the Eagles are meeting with Broncos RB coach Curtis Modkins about their OC opening, while Rapoport notes that the club is also interviewing Chargers OC Shane Steichen (Twitter links).

Modkins is the more experienced of the two, having served as running backs coach or offensive coordinator with seven different NFL teams since 2008. But Steichen is at least partially credited for Justin Herbert‘s terrific rookie season in Los Angeles in 2020, and he and Sirianni did work together on the Chargers’ offensive staff from 2014-17.

In related news, the Eagles considered interviewing Josh McCown for their head coaching position before hiring Sirianni, according to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports. McCown, who is now under consideration for the Texans’ HC job, impressed Eagles brass with his leadership skills and football acumen during his recent stint as a Philadelphia quarterback, and the club believes he has what it takes to be an NFL coach.

But the fact that he had no coaching experience of any kind led the Eagles to move in a different direction.

Seahawks Fire OC Brian Schottenheimer

A day after Pete Carroll said Brian Schottenheimer would stay on as offensive coordinator, the Seahawks have reversed course. Schottenheimer is out after three seasons as Seattle’s OC, according to the team, which cited “philosophical differences.”

Carroll said Monday during an interview with 710 ESPN Seattle that Schottenheimer would be back next season (Twitter link via the Seattle Times’ Bob Condotta), but the franchise will instead look for his replacement.

Often criticized for overusing the run game, Schottenheimer nevertheless oversaw a season that saw Russell Wilson break the team’s single-season touchdown pass record (40) and D.K. Metcalf break Steve Largent‘s 35-year-old single-season receiving yardage record (1,303). The traditionally conservative Carroll attributed the Seahawks’ return to a run-oriented offense down the stretch as an effort to prevent turnovers. This came after Wilson struggled with interceptions during a midseason swoon. The Seahawks ranked 17th in total offense but eighth in points this season; they ranked top 10 in scoring during each of Schottenheimer’s three seasons calling plays.

Seattle was on a historic offensive pace (and a historically bad defensive pace) to start the season, turning Wilson loose in September and October. But he committed seven turnovers in losses to the Bills and Rams. After five 300-yard passing performances from Weeks 1-9, the ninth-year quarterback did not eclipse 270 yards in any game in the season’s second half. Schottenheimer’s firing comes after Wilson’s woeful 11-for-27 playoff outing, which included a pick-six on a wide receiver screen pass.

Schottenheimer, 47, has been an NFL OC for three teams — the Jets, Rams and Seahawks — and began that run in 2006. He stayed on during multiple Jets coaching regimes but was let go after the 2011 season. During his 12 seasons in charge of offenses, only one of them — the 2019 Seahawks — ranked in the top 10 in total yardage.

As for the next Seahawks OC, NFL.com’s Mike Garafolo throws out former Chargers play-caller Shane Steichen as a name under consideration (Twitter links). Despite the Chargers going through a coaching change, Steichen’s work with Justin Herbert should ensure he will see another play-calling opportunity soon.

Chargers Request Interview With 49ers DC Robert Saleh

49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh continues to be a busy man. He’s already been linked to the jobs in Detroit and Atlanta, and now Los Angeles has come calling. The Chargers have requested an interview with the Kyle Shanahan deputy, a source told Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (Twitter link).

Saleh is from the Michigan area and coached for a while at Michigan State, which has led to some reports that he’s high on the Lions’ wish list. But if Detroit wants him, they’re going to have some competition. On paper, the Chargers might be the most attractive job opening. Not only do they have a rookie sensation at quarterback in Justin Herbert, but there’s a ton of talent on defense for someone like Saleh to work with as well.

Safety Derwin James missed the entire 2020 season, but should be back at an All-Pro level in 2021.Then there’s Casey Hayward and Chris Harris at cornerback, and Melvin Ingram and Joey Bosa at edge rusher. With Pro Bowl defensive tackle Linval Joseph clogging up running lanes in the middle. The 49ers were besieged by injuries this past year, but they had one of the best defenses in the league in 2019.

If Saleh were hired, it’d be very interesting to see what OC he paired Herbert with. Herbert apparently “loves” his current OC Shane Steichen, Mike Garafolo of NFL Network reports (Twitter video link), so maybe Chargers GM Tom Telesco will be looking for a candidate willing to keep Steichen on staff.

Chargers Re-Sign OC Shane Steichen

It’s official. On Tuesday, the Chargers formally re-signed offensive coordinator Shane Steichen to a brand new deal that will keep him on board for the 2020 season and beyond. 

[RELATED: Chargers’ Anthony Lynn Signs Extension]

Terms of the deal are not yet known, but Steichen’s pact almost certainly will take him through the 2022 season, and possibly longer. Steichen started last season as the team’s quarterbacks coach, but he was bumped up to the OC job – with play-calling responsibilities – after Ken Whisenhunt was canned in October.

Under Whisenhunt, the run game was downright pitiful: The Chargers went four straight games without achieving 40 yards rushing and their spotty aerial attack had them ranked No. 23 in the league in points. With Steichen at the helm, things improved somewhat – they converted on more red zone opportunities, placed No. 12 in DVOA on the year, and averaged nearly three more points per contest in the second half of the season.

Meanwhile, Steichen’s effect on wide receiver Mike Williams was immediately apparent – the former first-round pick had an iffy start to the year, bu the helped kick off the OC’s promotion with three catches for 111 yards against the Packers in Week 9. All in all, he had 582 receiving yards in the back half of the season and finished with a league-leading 20.4 yards per reception.

Steichen’s relationship with Philip Rivers could help to facilitate a reunion. The veteran is scheduled for free agency and recently bought a home in Florida, but the Chargers are still open to keeping him via a new deal or the franchise tag.

Chargers To Keep OC Shane Steichen

The Chargers are expected to retain Shane Steichen as their offensive coordinator, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link). They’ll first have to negotiate a new deal with him, however, as his contract is set to expire.

Steichen was elevated from quarterbacks coach to offensive play caller after the firing of Ken Whisenhunt in October. The Chargers’ offense improved somewhat under Stiechen’s guidance and the ground game went from pitiful to decent. Still, they went just 2-6 in the second half versus 3-5 in the first half of the season.

The Chargers believe that Steichen can do better this time around. The front office will have upwards of $55MM to spend in March and the No. 6 overall pick in April as they look to fortify the offense.

Meanwhile, the Chargers say they’ll stay the course with quarterback Philip Rivers, who GM Tom Telesco still views as a “top-starter level” playerAnthony Lynn, of course, will return as the team’s head coach.

Shane Steichen To Call Chargers’ Plays

The Chargers fired their offensive coordinator on Monday night and, technically speaking, they do not have a new one just yet. They do, however, have a new play-caller: QB coach Shane Steichen will be at the wheel, according to NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport (on Twitter). 

[RELATED: Chargers Fire OC Ken Whisenhunt]

Head coach Anthony Lynn, meanwhile, will be heavily involved. That only makes sense since offense is Lynn’s bread and butter – he was a running backs coach for the bulk of his NFL coaching career and served as the Bills’ OC in 2016. Towards the end of the year, he succeeded Rex Ryan as the interim head coach before moving on to the L.A. job.

Lynn traveled the NFL throughout his assistant coaching career, but Steichen has spent most of his sideline time with the Chargers, dating back to 2011. Since 2016, he’s managed Philip Rivers & his backups as the Bolts’ QB coach.

Steichen takes over for Ken Whisenhunt, who got the heave-ho on Monday night. The Chargers haven’t cracked 40 yards rushing in any of their last four games (despite having Melvin Gordon on the field) and they ranked just 23rd in points under Whisenhunt this year.

With a new de facto OC, the Chargers will look for their second straight win when they face the Packers in L.A. on Sunday.