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Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni was visibly animated on the sideline immediately after his team’s game-winning stop against the Colts, forcibly ridding himself of his headset before jumping onto the bench to holler at a pack of Philadelphia fans.
For Sirianni, it was more than just a win that improves the Eagles’ record to 9-1 following a disappointing Week 10 defeat, but something much deeper.
“I’m emotional because I love Frank Reich,” Sirianni told reporters after the 17-16 victory. “He’s one of the best damn football coaches I’ve ever been around. I was hoping he and I would be able to coach against each other in this game.”
Reich was fired by the Colts on Nov. 7 following a 3-5-1 start to what was his fifth season in Indianapolis. Sirianni served as the Colts’ offensive coordinator for the first three seasons of Reich’s tenure in Indy, which led to the 41-year-old attaining the head coach job in Philadelphia.
“I spent a lot of time here. One of my children was born here,” Sirianni said. “It was sweet to come here, especially with what happened with this organization the last couple weeks, and get the win. A win! Leave Indianapolis. With. A. Win.”
The Colts hired Jeff Saturday as the team’s interim head coach following Reich’s dismissal. Saturday’s Colts debuted with a surprising victory last week, and held a lead against the Eagles up until the final 80 seconds of Sunday’s game when Jalen Hurts scooted into the end zone for the go-ahead score.
“You don’t want to know what I think about whether he should be here or not, because you guys can probably imagine what I really think,” Sirianni said of Reich. “I love him. So I got a little emotional about that.”
An emotional win that came under the critical circumstances of a close, tough game may do wonders for the first-place Eagles going forward. Hurts recognized Sirianni’s emotions after the game by handing him the game ball, and adding another positive chapter to Philadelphia’s 2022 season.
“I know it’s special for him,” said Hurts. “He spent a lot of time here in Indianapolis. He has a lot of memories here — great homecoming for him. I’m glad we were able to get the win for him. As he walked off the field, I hear he got a little bit emotional. I guess I didn’t help when I tossed him the ball.
“Coach doesn’t get enough credit for what he does and what he’s been for us. He does a great job. I’m happy he got to get this win.”