Philadelphia Eagles

Pascal explains how Sirianni relationship led him to Eagles


It started with a simple text:


That’s how Nick Sirianni began recruiting Zach Pascal the day free agency began.

“The first text message was eyes,” Pascal said Thursday. “Like, ‘What’s going on?’ He said, ‘I’m getting you,’ I said, ‘I’m trying,’ and the next thing you know it happened.”

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Pascal signed a one-year, $1.5 million contract with the Eagles, reuniting him with his offensive coordinator when he had his best years in Indianapolis.  

Sirianni has raved about Pascal since the day he was introduced as Eagles head coach last year, and with the Eagles needing receiving depth and Pascal hitting free agency, it seemed like an obvious match from the start of free agency.

“Oh man, it was big,” Pascal said of his relationship with Sirianni. “Just knowing the relationship that we had in Indy and being able to talk throughout the season last year, connecting and growing all the time. Even talking to him throughout this whole free agency process, it was cool. That played a big part in this whole thing."

Sirianni and Pascal both arrived in Indianapolis in 2018, Sirianni as Frank Reich’s offensive coordinator, Pascal as an unheralded, undrafted 23-year-old who had been released by Washington and the Titans.

They hit it off immediately. 

“It was quick,” he said. “I’m a competitor and Nick is a competitor. We could sit right here, both look at that water bottle, and it’s like, ‘I’m going to drink this first, no you’re not, let’s do it.’ 

“We just vibe off that and it brings energy to the field and to our relationship, too. It blossomed really quick.”

Asked in what ways he and Sirianni compete, Pascal laughed and pointed to the regulation basketball hoop that now sits in the NovaCare Complex auditorium.

READ: 5 thoughts on Eagles receiver position after Zach Pascal signing

“You see this hoop right here? See this hoop right here? Me and Nick love to shoot,” he said. “We’re always shooting it out. He’s a good shooter, I’m a good shooter, so we battle it out.”

Who usually wins? “Me.”

Once you spend a few minutes with Pascal you can see why he and Sirianni get along so well.

They really do share the same approach to sports and life.

“Even as a younger kid, when somebody told me I couldn’t do something, I would always try to prove that person wrong, regardless of my situation,” Pascal said. 

“If I was too short and (someone said) I couldn’t dunk, I would find a way to dunk. I’m going to grind it out regardless of the situation. It helps me mentally. I take that in life. … I accept all challenges and I think that’s helped me come a long way.”

Pascal had a small role on offense as a rookie but was solid playing with Jacoby Brisett in 2019 and Philip Rivers in 2020, with 85 catches for 1,236 yards and 10 touchdowns. Of those 85 catches, 58 went for first downs.

He was one of only six NFL WRs who had at least 600 yards, five TDs and 14 yards per catch in both 2019 and 2020. The others were A.J. Brown, Mike Evans, Michael Gallup, Tyreek Hill and D.K. Metcalf.

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Playing with Carson Wentz last year, his numbers plummeted to 38-for-384 with three TDs. In his last eight games, he caught just eight passes for 67 yards.

“Everybody has a lot of questions in regards to last season,” he said Thursday. “As a team we didn’t reach our goal. It didn’t end well. Everybody felt that pain. Regardless of the season we all learned from it. 

“I can’t put a finger on what happened, all I can say is we fought hard and we didn’t reach that goal and so now I’m just excited to be in this position, able to help this organization, this team reach its goal.”

Pascal’s role here won’t be clear until we see what the roster looks like after the draft, but at best he’s a steady slot who can move the sticks on 3rd down. At worst he’s better than Jalen Reagor and carries a modest $1.5 million cap figure.

“Go into every season not trying to think of a role but just being able to do whatever they ask of me and if that’s to go block 50 people, then I’ll go block 52 people,” he said. 

“If they tell me to go make a couple catches, I’m going to go make spectacular catches. Help guide the receivers, whatever it is. Whatever it is, I’m available to help this team, this city, this organization in any way I can.”

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