Howie Roseman and Nick Sirianni
Q. Before we get into the football stuff, the team’s vaccination rate, where is it at? Are you comfortable with how the players have responded to it? (Eliot Shorr-Parks)
HOWIE ROSEMAN: From an administrative purpose, we’re really excited about where we are from a team perspective. We’re over 90% of guys who have started the process. All we’re trying to do is educate them and trying to give them the information. We understand it’s a very personal decision. They’re doing a great job with it, as is our medical team.
Q. So you are over 90% of the guys are vaccinated? (Ed Kracz)
HOWIE ROSEMAN: Over 90% of the guys have started the process and will be vaccinated and we continue to give information to the other guys.
Q. Just to clarify you mean the actual roster, not just the staff, right? (Reporter)
HOWIE ROSEMAN: Yes.
Q. The staff is 100%? (John McMullen)
HOWIE ROSEMAN: You’re not allowed to be here, per league rules, unless you’re vaccinated, so yes.
Q. How important is that? Obviously, the guys who aren’t vaccinated can’t be in everything in camp once you’re inside. How important is it to have a high rate there? (Reuben Frank)
NICK SIRIANNI: The thing we’ve done is, like Howie just said, we’ve educated our guys on everything that has to do with it. We made a decision, obviously, that it’s up to them whether they do that. Everything we focus on from there is football, right?
This is the kind of thing, like last year with all this information, you had to deal with COVID and the restrictions and everything like that. The best thing we found out is to educate, let everybody know what the rules are, everything like that, and then focus on what’s going to win and lose you football games. That’s the technique, that’s the fundamentals, that’s coming together, that’s competing, the accountability, everything like that.
Q. Nick, what went into the decision to have everybody report on the same day as opposed to rookies or quarterbacks coming in early? (Mike Kaye)
NICK SIRIANNI: That’s a good question. We did meet with [the rookies] for two days. Some of us have been — I know in Indy we had them come in two days early. We talked about the pros, the positives and negatives of doing so.
We felt like some of the things, it just put our rookies in a spot where they were a little more tired for a couple weeks. It took them some time to catch up and get their bodies caught up. We didn’t want to put anybody at a disadvantage. That’s a great question, but that’s the “why” behind why we didn’t do it. A lot went into it mentally.
Again, like I said, quarterbacks and rookies had meetings, but just necessarily weren’t on the field.
Q. Did it take anything extra to get TE Zach Ertz here on time? What do you envision is going to play out over the next six weeks in terms of him being on the roster by the start of the season? (Jeff McLane)
HOWIE ROSEMAN: Kind of go back to what I said at the start of this offseason. We have a tremendous opinion about Zach as a player and as a person. All he wants to do is play football and he knows what kind of player he is.
I think, when we look at last year, it was embarrassing for this organization and this team. A lot of us have a chip on our shoulder. When you talk about Zach, it doesn’t take a lot to get him here. He cares so much about this team and this city. Just really good to see him out there.
Q. Do you expect him to be on the roster opening day? (Tim McManus)
HOWIE ROSEMAN: Yeah, I think when you talk about the guys that are here and the kind of player that he is, and you think about our young skill position group, and having a Pro Bowl player like that on your roster who players can learn from, it’s huge. It’s huge for us.
I think that, again, just really excited to have him here, and being out there today is huge for our football team as we get started.
Q. When you have a player like Zach who has some history with the team that is well-noted, how do you go about making sure that situation is stable going into training camp? (Dave Zangaro)
NICK SIRIANNI: We just want to get him out here and see what he can do in person, right? I’ve seen plenty of tape on Zach and everything that he’s done. He’s been such a good player in this league for so long.
But we just are getting him here in person, seeing what he can do, seeing how we can use him. That’s our job as coaches, to figure out how we can use each player and what we can do to take advantage of their abilities. Zach is no different. That’s what we’re doing right now, is seeing what we can do with him.
Again, there’s a lot of tape on him that suggests what we can do. Now it’s just being out here and coaching it and seeing what he can do in person.
Q. Does Zach’s presence box you into playing more 12 personnel? (Zach Berman)
NICK SIRIANNI: No. I think Zach’s presence makes you more multiple of what you can do, right? You have your 11-personnel things. Now the defense has to prepare for all your 11 stuff. You have your 21-speed stuff that the defense has to prepare for because you have these different pieces. Then they have to prepare for the 12 stuff. You might be running similar things out of each one of those sets, but out of different formations, out of different personnel groups and it looks completely different to the defense.
What we always talk about is if we are in 11, because that’s where you might be going, who does things better? Who’s better at this route? Who’s better at this route? It’s a blend. It’s always been that way.
In fact, teams that I’ve been on have always had two good tight ends and it was always a blend of how you use them and what you use them as. Just that multiplicity of being able to use 12 personnel and be dangerous there. It’s different between 12-personnel because we have two tight ends and 12-personnel because we have two tight ends that can roll. Puts a ton of stress on the defense.
Q. Will we see QB Joe Flacco as the first team quarterback at some point? (Bo Wulf)
NICK SIRIANNI: Right now, [QB] Jalen [Hurts] is in with the ones. He’s working with the ones and he’s earned that because he’s worked his butt off. We’re hoping that he takes the reins and rolls with it and continues to just get good reps with the ones.
Q. What areas do you want to see growth from Jalen? Are you working with his mechanics at all? (John Clark)
NICK SIRIANNI: The growth where we want to see is just acceleration in the offense, right? It’s just getting better and more reps at the offense. This is the first time we’ve had an 11-on-11 team period, right? These are some of the first times he’s run these plays.
Now, maybe he’s run a version of these plays, but there’s some plays he’s never run before. We can’t get enough of that, whether that’s in the film room, whether that’s on the field. He’s just got to continue to take these reps.
I am so confident in Jalen. He’s a gym rat. He’s just thinking about football all the time, that’s what I love about him. He’s going to use those mental reps, that’s for sure. We just got to get him more reps out here on the field.
Q. Are there things with his mechanics? (John Clark)
NICK SIRIANNI: I don’t mess with a QB’s… There’s a couple things I talk about with a quarterback finish, right? It’s just about finish. But the way they throw it… They’re going to keep throwing it that way. It takes a long time before you can switch anything there. I don’t perceive him to have any issues up top.
What we do with a quarterback is work with their feet, how do their feet correlate with the play, right? This is the drop with the play. The drop will tell you when the ball should be out as you read the defense. As far as fundamentals with his feet, we’re obsessed with it. That’s what we’re doing.
That again comes into the reps on the field. He’s got to get his feet in sync with each play. That’s what we’re working on being on the field, in the meeting room and individually.
Q. As far as Jalen Hurts goes, this is kind of viewed as prove-it year for him. Are there any tangible benchmarks you want to see him reach to say he’s our guy going forward into 2022? (Ed Kracz)
HOWIE ROSEMAN: I think first, at the quarterback position, you want to make sure you’re doing everything possible to have that room successful. That starts up front.
When we look at our team this year and talk about what we’re really excited about, it starts with the O-line. Obviously, part of our lack of success last year was the O-line and the injuries that they had. We have a lot of resources at that position, it’s really important to us as we build our team.
You see today, having [G] Brandon [Brooks] out there with [T] Lane [Johnson] on the right side, that’s huge. If we can start with the offensive line and make sure those guys are playing at a really high level, that’s going to help everybody in the quarterback room.
From there, talking about the skill position group. Most of these guys, the receiver group, the running back group, besides Zach, the tight end group, those are young guys. They get a chance to grow and build together.
But it starts with the offensive line, making sure we’re looking at ourselves in the mirror and saying can we fairly evaluate the quarterbacks because of who is protecting them and the weapons they have around them.
Q. What is your level of confidence in Jalen right now? (Mike Kaye)
HOWIE ROSEMAN: Obviously, we did a lot of work on Jalen coming out. We drafted him in the second round. You look at what he’s done, we talk about the jump from year one to year two. This guy has done everything possible to put himself into a successful position with his work ethic, with his studying habits, with his leadership.
I think for us, like coach said, we’re looking for him to grab the reins and go and follow him as it goes. That all comes out here as we start practice and as we start the pre-season and training camp.
Q. Have you done homework on other quarterbacks that might be available? (Bo Wulf)
HOWIE ROSEMAN: Have we done homework on quarterbacks that might be available? I mean, we have a shortlist. Is that what you’re talking about?
Q. How extensively have you looked into those options? (Bo Wulf)
HOWIE ROSEMAN: I think our job is to always evaluate every option at every position. We’re always constantly doing that and looking about what’s going on in the league. We do that before the draft, we look at next year’s draft classes at every position and try to figure out the strengths and weaknesses.
That’s what we are doing during this time period. We’re watching tape on guys, we’re looking at guys and we’re making sure that we’re ready, one in case of injury, and also for any position that trades become available, being ready for that. I’m obviously not going to talk about anyone who is property of another team.
Q. You got CB Steven Nelson late in the process. How did that come together? How long was he on your radar? How did you lock that up? (John McMullen)
HOWIE ROSEMAN: Steve came on our radar right when he was let go from the Steelers. A lot of respect for him and who he is as a person and as a player.
I mean, this guy is incredibly competitive and tough and instinctive. I think this is another guy who sits there and goes, like, Why aren’t I recognized as the kind of player that I am? I want to be recognized as the kind of player I am. I know there’s going to be a lot of attention on who’s playing opposite [CB] Darius [Slay], and I embrace that.
I think as you got closer to camp, some of it kind of goes. He really kind of figured out where he wanted to be, why he wanted to be there. You can never have enough corners in this league. We saw it last year. Again, another position that we had starting guys we got off the street.
Excited to have him here and be part of this team.
Q. Nick, a few minutes ago Howie talked about what happened last year and it was embarrassing. Now you are brought in, and the team is kind of in this transition, but I’m sure you expect, come week one, to win. What are your expectations for this team as it is in a transition, your first year? (Jeff Skversky)
NICK SIRIANNI: My message to the team is very clear: we attack every day. It’s a climb and we’re attacking every day. We like to even break it down further than that. We’re not only attacking every day, we’re attacking the little parts of that day, right?
The players right now are attacking rest. The coaches, when we’re done here, I’m going to go up with the offensive staff and we’re going to watch the tape and we’re going to attack the crap out of the film. Then we’re going to attack the meeting room, right? Then we’re going to attack the walk-through, then we are going to attack the meeting room again.
It really is just a climb, trying to get a little bit better each day. We know if you can do that, the gains you can make…
What I’m saying to you is no different than the message I’m saying to the team. The gains that you can make when you go in and think about each and every day you’re going to work, each and every period you’re going to work, your gains can be huge. That’s all our goal is, is just to try to get better, a little bit better with each thing that we’re doing so the gains, by the time we get to that first game, we’re ready to roll.
Q. Do you have a win total in your mind where you would say this is going to be successful for me? (Jeff Skversky)
NICK SIRIANNI: I don’t think that is a — Again, when you follow the process of what I’m talking about, that takes care of itself. That’s a great question because you see every year that a team starts 1-3, and they make the playoffs. You see a team every year a team starts 3-1, and they fall off.
Why is that? In my experience, in what I’ve been around good teams, they either stick to the process and overcome the bad start, whatever it is, the lull in the season, the adversity, or they don’t stick to the process and they fall off.
That’s what we’re trying to do every single day, work at those five core values, getting better at those, because we know that will take care of itself.
HOWIE ROSEMAN: You guys had that your first year in Indy, right?
NICK SIRIANNI: We had that my first year in Indy. We started off 1-5, we came up to Philadelphia, we got our butts kicked, we ended up rallying off 9 out of 10.
That was a great example from [Colts head coach] Frank Reich to me of Hey, Frank, you got the whole organization like, What are we going to do? Coach, we’re looking at you, what are we going to do?
He said, I’m doubling down. I’m doubling down. This is the process we believe in, this is what we are going to do, this is the common denominator of good teams. We’re going to stick to that, double down and we’re going to go.
Q. Can you describe the atmosphere today. It’s the first time in front of the fans today pretty much in over a year. What was it like for the first training camp process? (Chris McPherson)
NICK SIRIANNI: That was nice to have the fans back out, especially for training camp. It felt like training camp again, right? Instead of just being there yourself. Now it’s important as a team that you don’t care who is in the stands, right? You don’t care if you’re practicing in a parking lot, if you’re practicing in a playground, on these fields, if there’s a hundred thousand people there, doesn’t matter. It’s the same process.
It was cool to have them out there. I think everybody kind of got going and felt that out there.
HOWIE ROSEMAN: Not having fans last year was a different experience. When teams come in, and you hear this from all the people we talk to in different teams, people don’t want to come into the stadium, people don’t want to come to Philly because they know it’s going to be a hard day’s work with our fans, and that environment we have over there.
It’s exciting to think about getting that back, and how much this city and our fans are part of this team. That’s a big thing that we’re looking forward to having back.
Q. Are S Rodney McLeod and OL Landon Dickerson on pace to be back by week one? Is G Isaac Seumalo’s injury one that could stretch into the season? (Zach Berman)
NICK SIRIANNI: I think that’s something we take day by day. Not going to give a timetable on any injury. I think that puts unfair pressure on everybody involved there.
Again, they just have to attack that rehab like we’re attacking the practice field right now. They’re getting the mental reps. Mentally, there’s no doubt they’ll be ready. We will just see how their bodies react.
Q. We saw a lot of 2019, 2020 draft picks running with the ones today for various reasons. How do you see that? Is that something you want to give those guys the opportunity to win those jobs, or do you feel like they’ve earned it at this point? (Jeff McLane)
HOWIE ROSEMAN: I think when you’re going through training camp, and we discussed this, at the end of the day you want to see as many reps as possible so you’re making the right decisions before you start the season.
Our goal is to put together the best roster we possibly can. Where they come from isn’t as important as putting together the best possible team.
We never want to lose credibility by putting guys out there that aren’t ready to play just because of their draft status or free agent status. Because Coach can’t talk about competition on the team, and they’re watching the tape, too. They’re going to see the results.
I think what you’ll see from the coaches, what they described to us as a personnel staff, as a front office staff, is that there are going to be a lot of combinations of guys, so don’t read too much into what’s going on right now as opposed to we have a month here to prepare for the season and make sure we have the right guys in the right spots.
Q. Your day one of practice seemed red zone heavy, certainly to us. Is there a message behind that? (John McMullen)
NICK SIRIANNI: No, last year we had some things that we got to go through to see the health of the team. We have some guys here with our strength staff and our training staff led by [vice president of sports medicine/head athletic trainer] Tom [Hunkele], Dr. Arsh [Chief Medical Officer Arsh Dhanota, MD, CAQSM] and [vice president of player performance] Ted Rath, they’re the experts at how we ease guys into things. I don’t want to say ‘ease into it’ because we were rolling down there. You saw how we were going.
But just to make sure the health of the team… Like the availability is the best ability, right? We just need to make sure we’re doing the right things to keep the team healthy. That’s the ‘why’ behind why we start in the red zone, so we weren’t pulling up, throwing go balls, and pulling muscles there.
We’re just taking the information and the education that we’re getting there, and Howie and I are trying to make the best decisions possible to keep our team healthy.
Q. Nick, do you have a timetable in mind when you’d like to name a starting quarterback by? Is it truly an open competition? Is there a chance, barring injury, QB Jalen Hurts could not be the starting quarterback? (Joe DeCamara)
NICK SIRIANNI: We play Atlanta. We have to be ready by Atlanta to have all the ones named and all the twos named. Nothing in mind as far as when we got to make these decisions. They’ll play out. They’ll play out as we go, right, with these practices.
It’s just great to get out there and practice. We’re going to be able to go in there and make the corrections and praise the things that went well, and set the standard so they can see it.
So, again, those will play out. Just really excited to work with Jalen and [QB] Joe [Flacco] and [QB] Nick [Mullens]. I think a lot of teams in this league would be thrilled to have that quarterback room that we have with the veteran leadership and then the playing experience that the guys have.
No timetable. Just really excited to work with the guys.
Q. Following up on the quarterbacks, you guys have been linked to one specific quarterback pretty consistently, leaving some uncertainty in the public view as to where Jalen Hurts’ standing is on the team, and whether you are going in a different direction. I know that you can’t talk about a specific player on another team, but can you address kind of Jalen’s standing, and exactly how you guys are operating looking at quarterback? (Tim McManus)
HOWIE ROSEMAN: I think we talked about Jalen, and how he’s done everything possible off the field and during the spring practices to take the reins. We want to see him do that. I think this is a big year for any player going from year one to year two. We’re excited to see that, and see his growth, and working with the ones. And hopefully that happens.
One of the things that I always find kind of funny is whenever there’s a name bandied about, the Eagles are kind of associated with that. I understand because we have more draft picks, high draft picks, going forward that that’s probably going to be continual as players become available.
We draft these guys for a reason. We’re really excited about the development of them. Excited to start practice here.
Q. Nick, obviously with Steven Nelson and TE Zach Ertz is still here, and all the other veterans, how much of a presence does that help as far as getting the young guys to buy into your system? Were you able to see that today? (Martin Frank)
NICK SIRIANNI: Yeah, absolutely. I’m going to talk to the team tonight about the importance of studying tape and how to kind of take the tape, make the corrections and not make the mistake again. So we’re going to have a long talk about that tonight.
The second point of what we talk about in this tape is how are you learning — We have all this – [vice president of football technology] Pat Dolan, great video coordinator, he’s got all this tape for us, right, in this league. There’s all this tape out there for us to study the greatest, right? We can go back, look at Lynn Swann, Jerry Rice, we can look at all these great players’ tape and study from them.
Not only can we do that, we have these players in place on this team that have won so many football games, done it at a high level. To have players like that, that not only now can you look at the greats of the past, now you can look at the greats of this organization. Not only can you watch their tape, you can ask them the question, right?
It’s hard to get Jerry Rice on the phone. You can go to Zach Ertz and ask him the question and Steve Nelson, ask him the question: Why did you do this here? I saw the tape there, I’m going to make my footwork go this way, I’m going to do what you did right there when you attacked that DB like that, Zach. Why did you do it?
When you get to the why, that’s a greater form of learning. Your game only elevates even more from that because you understand.
Great resource. Great resource to have Zach out here. I’m watching Zach out here run routes after practice. That’s the common denominator of great players: they stay after, they work their butts off, they work harder than anybody else. There’s no secret why he’s been good. That’s a great example for our young guys also.
HOWIE ROSEMAN: One other thing. When you’re trying to build and continue to have a winning culture, it’s not so easy to just draft players and say we want you to do this, and we want to see it from you. They need role models, they need to see people who have succeeded at a high level to be able to go in and not just ask their coaches, which are a great resource, but also to see players, watch their work ethic, watch what they’ve done on the field, ask them the questions they’re more comfortable from.
When you look at all the great teams in all sports really, they always have that balance. I think ‘culture’ is a very overused word, but it’s hard to set a culture if you don’t have the examples. It’s hard to do it with guys who are all going through the same thing for the first time.
That’s why we add some of these guys who have some of that experience. We try to have guys in each room that blend in with that. That’s why some of our draft decisions are based on that, too. Guys who have had success, who know what it feels like to have the confetti fall on their head. We think that’s important.