Eagles Promote Ex-Giants, Cowboys QB: Expand Football Operations

Alex Tanney hired to Eagles coaching Staff


Alex Tanney #3 of the New York Giants.

The Philadelphia Eagles are striving for continuity during Nick Sirianni’s second season in charge. While the front office was forced to make some major changes, the coaching staff returns intact. Sirianni told reporters it was “huge” to bring his whole staff back while announcing a few under-the-radar promotions.

The Eagles have elevated Alex Tanney into a new role after he served as an offensive quality control coach in 2021. Tanney was a backup quarterback for nine NFL seasons during stints with the Chiefs, Cowboys, Browns, Buccaneers, Titans, Bills, Colts, and Giants. The 34-year-old retired in 2021 with a career passer rating of 113.2.

Tyler Scudder has also been promoted following one year as a coach’s assistant. Sirianni didn’t readily reveal the new titles for Tanney or Scudder, saying only they have gone “from support roles to a little bit more responsibility roles.” Whatever the case, the ability to promote from within is something Sirianni considers important.

“My vision here is to be able to keep the staff intact, win games obviously,” Sirianni said on June 8. “Guys will obviously get promoted from that, and then be able to have a good young group of nucleus guys that are in support roles to be able to promote. I think that was something that the college team that I came up in, Mount Union, that’s what we did a ton of. You look around the NFL, that’s what some of the great teams do is they promote from within. So, it’s just accumulating talent and trying to promote from within.”

The Eagles also announced three new hires to their expanding Football Operations department: Zach Drapkin, Quantitative Analyst; Marlon Sanders, Video Assistant; Elsie Reyes, Administrative Assistant. Drapkin is an interesting name to monitor as the Eagles continue to lean into statistics and analytics.

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Sirianni Breaks Down Play-Calling Responsilbity

Sirianni relinquished the play-calling responsibilities to offensive coordinator Shane Steichen midway through the 2021 season. That decision was made to smooth out the kinks in the chain of command, not due to anything performance-related.

And Steichen will continue to be the first and last voice that Jalen Hurts hears in his headset this season.

“Like I said, I’ll be calling the plays, but it is a complete group effort,” Steichen said. “It’s a complete group effort from the top down. It starts with Nick as the head coach.”

Sirianni emphasized that he has input on every decision and play called. He and Steichen share the same brain, so much so that they could complete each other’s answers on an episode of the Newlywed Game. That’s how in sync they are.

“I trusted Shane, he did a great job when he did it, and I feel really comfortable that we continue on that way,” Sirianni said. “Again, like I said, though, I’ll be in every meeting. I’m sitting in every meeting. Nothing more that I like to do than to put plays together.”

Jalen Hurts Working Hard on Fundamentals

Hurts has been noticeably crisper during OTAs this summer. His ball has more zip on it and it’s coming out of his hand faster. The Eagles asked him to work on his fundamentals in the offseason (see: that California trip), highlighted by instructions to work on his footwork and release. Hurts has looked sharp in limited practice time.

“The reason we know Jalen is going to continue to get better is because of the character,” Sirianni said, “and the football character and the personal character that he has. He’s just the type of guy that’s going to reach his maximum potential because of all the off-the-field qualities he has. I’ve also noticed just the crispness of the drop. It’s been the fundamentals — his fundamentals have improved, and he’s really worked hard at that.”

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