Nick Sirianni had the first blunder in his short head coaching career, reenacting a play that arguably goes down as the greatest call in Philadelphia Eagles history. Sirianni, who has embraced the city of Philadelphia with his clothing line of sports team apparel, got a tad obsessive during the Eagles' 17-11 loss to the San Francisco 49ers Sunday.
With Philadelphia holding a 3-0 lead in the second quarter and facing a fourth-and-goal at the 49ers' 3-yard line, Sirianni called his variation of the "Philly Special" that failed miserably. Jalen Hurts took the snap and handed the ball off to DeVonta Smith on a reverse. Smith flipped the ball back to Greg Ward, as the former college quarterback went back to pass. Ward rolled to his right to find Hurts in the end zone, but the Eagles quarterback was covered with little room to fake out the defender and make a play.
Ward decided to just force the ball into the end zone in hopes of a miracle catch, but the pass went incomplete. Revisiting history did not work for the Eagles, as Sirianni tried all the stops to take a two-score lead on the 49ers -- just like what Doug Pederson and the Eagles did to the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LII.
"We thought it was a certain coverage; it wasn't," Sirianni said after the game. "They did a good job of disguising it. 54 [49ers linebacker Fred Warner] gets the show running out there and can get everybody lined up the way he needs to, so I give them credit first. Then I felt confident in the play. The play looked good in practicing this last week. Felt confident in the coverage we were getting, and they didn't play it. That happens sometimes.
"On second thought do I want that play back? Of course. Any time you call a play that doesn't work, especially in tight games and especially down there in a seven-point play you're going to want that back. So, I've got to call a better play."
Hurts also took accountability on the failed "Philly Special," saying he "expects to make all the plays." As Hurts explained, the play was just one the Eagles didn't make. The call seemed embarrassing for those watching highlights of the loss, but it's one Sirianni doesn't second guess.
Next time, it won't be the "Philly Special."
"What I regret is I just wanted -- I think I should have called a better play and put our guys in better position to score," Sirianni said. "So, I take full responsibility on that. Again, if it works, then great, we're up 10-0. It didn't.
"In hindsight, I just wanted a different play call. I didn't call the right play in the right time."