Story by Barry McNamara for Monmouth College
MONMOUTH, ILL. (02/07/2023) Leading up to Super Bowl LVII, Jason and Travis Kelce are making plenty of headlines as the first brothers to go head-to-head in the NFL’s championship finale.
Jason is the center for the Philadelphia Eagles, starting each offensive play by snapping the ball to quarterback Jalen Hurts, while Travis is the tight end for the Kansas City Chiefs and the favorite target of Patrick Mahomes.
But with Philadelphia’s return to the big game, Monmouth College now has its own pair of brothers with Super Bowl experience. Record-setting Scots quarterback Alex Tanney ’11, a member of the Eagles’ staff who works closely with Hurts as the assistant quarterbacks coach, has again followed in the footsteps of his older brother.
In 2015, Mitch Tanney ’06, who led the Fighting Scots to a 19-2 record in his two years as the starting quarterback, made it to Super Bowl 50 (a one-year exception was made for Roman numerals, to avoid having Super Bowl L) with the Denver Broncos. It turned out to be a Super Bowl “W” for the Broncos, who defeated the Carolina Panthers 24-10, led by their star linebacker, Von Miller.
A summa cum laude mathematics and Spanish major at Monmouth, Tanney earned his Super Bowl ring as Denver’s director of football analytics, a role he held for five years. A Sports Illustrated article from 2020 summarized Tanney’s contribution to the Broncos’ success:
“Tanney had been the Broncos’ analytics guru the past five seasons. His job entailed providing objective research and analysis that influence football decisions for personnel executives (in particular evaluating draft prospects and free agents), coaches, trainers and strength-and-conditioning coaches.”
Ironically, the younger Tanney’s success in coaching is easier to quantify in terms of statistics. The work that he and other coaches did behind the scenes helped the Eagles lead the NFC in yards per game (389.1) and points per game (28.7) and helped Hurts become one of the main contenders for the NFL’s Most Valuable Player award. The Eagles’ passing offense had a quarterback rating of 98.4, good for sixth in the entire NFL.
Now completing his second year on Philadelphia’s staff, Tanney entered the coaching ranks with the reputation of being a valuable mentor to younger quarterbacks during his nine-year NFL playing career, which concluded with him serving as a backup to Daniel Jones with the New York Giants.
Made to be broken
In one other bit of Alex Tanney news, the former Scots All-American no longer holds his 11-year-old NCAA all-divisions record for touchdown passes in a career. His 157 TD throws remain the mark in Division III, but Shepherd University’s Tyson Bagent topped it during the ’22 season, concluding his Division II career with 159.
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