Eagles fans find themselves in disarray after one of the most historic late-season collapses of all time. In hindsight, there were signs that the collapse was inevitable, which has put the decisions the organization has made in its wake under even more scrutiny.

After a brutal seven weeks to end the season, Eagles fans find themselves watching other teams move deep into the postseason as they (im)patiently wait for a new league year. With such dissatisfaction with the season’s conclusion – and the aftermath – here are ~2000 words of what I’ll be keeping in mind to stay grounded over the next month and a half. Take them to heart, or with a grain of salt. We all need to find our own way to get us through to HOWIE SZN.

Sirianni Likely did NOT Lose the Locker Room

Before I get into this, I was pretty indifferent to whether or not Nick got fired. Both paths had significant upside and drawbacks. But now that he is returning, it’s important to address the most widely cited reason for firing him – the idea that he lost the locker room during the team’s collapse.

The product on the field clearly showed a team that lacked any kind of punch and tenacity down the stretch. But that alone is not enough to conclude the locker room was lost. The offense, for all of its struggles with the scheme, still tried. Even in the debacle against the Bucs, D’Andre Swift and Dallas Goedert were fighting through contact. DeVonta Smith had 8 catches for 148 yards (18.5 yards/rec). And given the terrible weather they faced all season, the brutality of the schedule, and the age at key positions, it’s fair to wonder if they were simply exhausted. All told, if there was one player on offense that appeared to quit, it was Hurts (which is obviously a problem – more on that in a bit.)

You could make an argument that the defense quit – but on whom? Patricia is notoriously unlikeable, and unfortunately the Eagles are an organization where it’s not particularly clear who installed him as the de facto defensive coordinator. Muddying the waters is the fact that Desai was demoted and not fired outright. Seriously, when does that happen in the NFL? I don’t think I’ve ever seen a coach get demoted, unless it was the head coach taking over playcalling duties. Given how late in the offseason Patricia was hired, and the circumstances surrounding his promotion to defensive coordinator, it is at the very least plausible Sirianni was forced to demote Desai. Defensive players had choice words for both Desai and Patricia throughout the season, but not Sirianni.

Likewise, the offense never – and I mean never – turned on Sirianni. In every interview and press conference, the players took full accountability every single time. A.J. Brown went as far as to point out how the coaches “don’t play any snaps” during one interview. There were no shots fired publicly at other position groups, no Twitter drama (from what I recall), no players-only meetings where the coaches were eviscerated.

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