How a brief meeting with Andy Reid changed Nick Sirianni's life


PHOENIX — The day before Nick Sirianni flew with his team to Arizona for Super Bowl LVII, he was asked about his first encounter with Andy Reid.

You know, the time Andy fired him.

Back in 2013 after the Eagles fired Reid, he quickly got a job in Kansas City and had the difficult task of firing the the coaching staff led by Romeo Crennel that led the Chiefs to a 2-14 record in 2012.

The Chiefs’ receivers coach that year? Sirianni.

“What I appreciated was that he brought everybody in and talked to them,” Sirianni remembered on Saturday. “Unfortunately, it was the same thing I had to do (when I was hired by the Eagles in 2021).

“I didn’t coach with Andy but he gave me a good example of what do, unfortunately, of the hard part of the job of, ‘Hey, I got a guy here.’ And he was very complimentary. He knew I would be down so he gave me strength when I was down. And I appreciated that. And it sounds like that’s who he is as a person and as a coach.”

The guy Reid had lined up to coach receivers was David Culley, who held that position in Philly with Reid for all 14 seasons. So there just wasn’t a job for Sirianni.

But things obviously worked out for Sirianni. If he doesn’t get fired in Kansas City, he doesn’t end up in San Diego the following season. That’s where he met one of his biggest mentors in Frank Reich. That relationship led to the offensive coordinator job under Reich in Indianapolis.

And that led to Sirianni’s being named the head coach in Philly at age 39, just eight years after Reid fired him.

Sirianni believes everything happened for a reason.

“Did I want to leave Kansas City? No,” he said. “My future wife was from there and we were engaged at the time. But she was from there. She had a nice teaching job there, she had all her friends there, here mom and dad were a half hour down the road. Of course I didn’t want to leave there. But when I look at it, God’s always put me in great positions and guided my path. I know I don’t say stuff like that all the time, but I know he has.”

That doesn’t mean he was just fine with getting let go.

"Do you always have this little chip on your shoulder? Sure, you do," Sirianni said. "You’re always like … but that’s who I am as a coach, as a person. I want to make sure that I’m working my butt off to be as good as I possibly can. And sure you hold on to some of those things but at the end of the day. I told the story about my leg and how I injured my leg. I told some of you guys about that. I really went through that and I was like, hey, if I didn’t go through one of the worst experiences of my life with my life, then I know I wouldn’t be sitting in this seat today. So I had to go through that. Well, it’s the same thing here."

Even understanding how the NFL works, Sirianni was excited the following season when his Chargers played the then-9-1 Chiefs at Arrowhead in Week 12 of the 2013 season. It was an emotion return to KC for a coach who wears his emotions on his sleeve.

The Chargers won that game 41-38 after Philip Rivers hit Seyi Ajirotutu on a 26-yard touchdown with just 24 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter.

Sirianni was up in the booth for that game but he admitted he showed a ton of emotion in the press box, jumping up from his seat after the win. He’s become known for those fiery moments since he got the Philly and since the cameras have been focused on him.

“If I was the head coach, I guess they would have saw that there and people would have been talking about that,” Sirianni said, “that I was on the press box and going crazy like that. They just didn’t see it.”

But Sirianni’s personality is what makes him who he is.

Even though Reid knew that a decade ago. He had already made up his mind that Culley was obviously taking that receivers job on his staff. But Reid was impressed with Sirianni during that meeting.

“I loved his personality,” Reid said to Kansas City media last week. “He’s a guy that you can talk to and communicates well. He’s got a fire to him that you appreciate and the players appreciate. A personality, a good personality, and he’s smart. I had a chance to talk to him and he’s a smart kid. And I think he’s perfect for Philadelphia. That’s a tough place and he’s a tough kid. He relates well with the people there.”

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