Why Sirianni wants the Eagles to emulate the Phillies

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Nick Sirianni is a football junkie. He’s always watching games at all levels trying to steal a play or a concept or learn something new.

So it’s notable that this past weekend, as the Eagles enjoyed their bye week, Sirianni’s eyes were glued to the Phillies as they knocked off the Padres in the NLCS to advance to the World Series.

“That’s a fun team,” Sirianni said on Wednesday. “Man, I just look at that team and I think about the way they connect with each other, because you want to emulate good teams and you want to see what makes good teams good teams. They connect with each other. They're always celebrating together. It's fun to watch.

“All those different things, they went through adversity throughout the year and came out better because of it. My hat’s off to their coaches and to their players for having the dawg mentality to go and control what you can control.”

In a lot of ways the 2022 Phillies have many of the components Sirianni wants his  own teams to have. They’ve been tough and resilient, they’ve been competitive and they’ve really connected. There’s a special vibe around that ballclub.

So don’t be surprised that if at some point during the remainder of this NFL season Sirianni uses the Phillies as a part of his messaging to his team. As much as Sirianni is always looking for a new offensive wrinkle, he’s similarly always ready to find an anecdote or a message to deliver to his players.

“At some point I'll probably use a dawg mentality thing with what they went through in the season, so at some point, yeah, the connecting,” Sirianni said. “I know we used a connecting clip last year in one of the team meetings of the '93 Phillies. I remember some of the clips we showed, how much they enjoyed being around each other. So yeah, I imagine that we will at some point.

“I know there were some situational things that were in question from the Padres that I've heard a little bit about. Situations are situations. Now, do we have the same — do we have to decide if we're going to bunt or not in a certain situation? No. But handling situations is handling situations. So maybe that's going to be in our Saturday situational meeting this week. We'll see.”

Sirianni isn’t the only person in the NovaCare Complex to catch Phillies fever this month. In addition to the head coach, general manager Howie Roseman and owner Jeffrey Lurie have recently been spotted at games. And plenty of players have been over there during this run too.

Brandon Graham wasn’t chugging a beer and hugging the Philly Phanatic like Jason Kelce, but he was at game recently at Citizens Bank Park. The longest tenured professional athlete in the city has been enjoying this run.

“Man, they’re doing some special stuff right now,” Graham said. “I’m just happy they’re doing it. They ain’t done yet, they ain’t finished. But I am excited. Philly is on fire right now.”

Of all the players in the Eagles’ locker room, the one who probably understands baseball best is A.J. Brown, who was once drafted by the Padres and has flirted in the past about a potential return to baseball.

Brown has just one question.

“I don’t understand why people are still pitching to Bryce Harper,” he said. “It’s something serious when you’re really seeing the baseball and you can hit any pitch. I think that’s where he’s at right now. If I’m the opposing team, I wouldn’t pitch to him. But they’ve been doing really good. Hopefully they get the job done so the city can celebrate.”

You’ll understand if Jalen Hurts is a tad conflicted about this upcoming Phillies-Astros matchup in the World Series. After all, Hurts grew up in Houston and was a fan of the Astros and Craig Biggio as a kid.

Hurts was as diplomatic as possible on Wednesday, astutely maneuvering around a question about his allegiances. He instead talked about his love for his hometown and his new home.

But there’s no question the Phils have brought a buzz back to Philly.

“I think it’s great for the City of Philadelphia what the Phillies are doing,” Hurts said. “Nobody, for whatever reason, expected them to do this. I think it shows the type of team they are, how they’re coached and the mentality they have. We preach it all the time and you see it when they play, how they play together. Truly making plays for one another.”

The Eagles, for the most part, will be rooting for the Phillies to have a parade down Broad Street soon. And then they’ll hope to follow their lead with their own in a few months.

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