Q. There was a moment in yesterday’s practice where you coached up WR Jalen Reagor pretty hard after a snap, what was that about and how do you think he responded to it? (Eliot Shorr-Parks)
NICK SIRIANNI: Just the conversations on the field, I’ll keep them on the field. I told the wide receivers yesterday, we were in our film session making our corrections like we do all the time. And I said, ‘Guys, this was taught to me a long time ago as a coach: the player and the coach that is the hardest to play or coach is the one that your head coach played or coached.’
So quarterbacks, I’m talking to you guys, too, because I’ve coached that position. Wide receivers, I’m talking to you. The standard is high. The standard is high of what we want and sometimes those conversations happen like that, but it’s all out of just one thing is to get the guys as good as we possibly can get them and get them better.
Q. What’s your philosophy when it comes to tough coaching like that? You seem to be a players’ coach, and guys seem to like you, but you have to flip a switch at times? (Dave Zangaro)
NICK SIRIANNI: You know what my experience is, is that if you’re helping a guy become better, that’s all that these players really want is how do we — can this guy make me better and when that is the case, I think you can coach them as hard as you want to.
Now my philosophy is that, hey, I want it to be harder out here on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, than it is going to be on Sunday. And that’s kind of something I learned from my old head coach, [Former University of Mount Union Head Coach] Larry Kehres. He would yell and scream at us all week and then Saturday during the games, we didn’t get yelled at unless we did something really messed up. That’s my philosophy as far as that goes.
Q. As far as managing personnel, you have 90 different guys, the old adage that some need a kick in the butt and some need a pat on the back. Do you get a feel for what this player needs and what this player needs? (John McMullen)
NICK SIRIANNI: Most definitely. To say that you’re going to coach everybody, the exact same, it’s just not — it’s again where I’m glad to have my background in teaching, right, and education. It’s just not done that way. The only thing that’s important is that the coaching point goes through, and that the player gets better from it.
And so every player is handled differently and that’s why it always starts with a connection. And like, because you’ve got to know the player that you’re coaching to be able to reach him. So that’s why I think that’s so important.
Q. Is that trial and error, or do you specifically ask a guy how he wants to be coached? (Bo Wulf)
NICK SIRIANNI: [Jokingly/laughter] If I ask a guy how he wants to be coached, he’d be like, ‘Really nice.’ I don’t think it’d be, ‘Yell and scream at me all the time.’ No, it’s trial and error, and it’s getting to know the player.
Q. On day one, you and Executive Vice President/General Manager Howie Roseman said you wanted to see QB Jalen Hurts take control of the reigns of the offense. How has he done in week one progressing toward that goal? (Ed Kracz)
NICK SIRIANNI: It’s interesting because week one and through week one is an install. We have eight installs, just so you guys know. We have eight installs and we’re going through those day-by-day. It’s not like we are getting a ton of repeats of install one because you have to get the reps in of what you’re getting at.
So we’ll have more of a feel for that as we continue. I think he’s doing a great job of understanding the offense and learning the offense and getting the reps of the offense, but now as we get in, this is our eighth install because we combine two, so that will come even more when we start to repeat plays even more as we come into this next week.
Q. Do you ever talk to Jalen Hurts about all the noise outside about — I’m not asking you to mention a name, about the possibility of another quarterback coming here and just telling him to relax? (Howard Eskin)
NICK SIRIANNI: We talk as a group of how do you get better every single day, and this is my conversation with Jalen, and this will be my conversation with all the players. How do you get better every single day? And we talk about our core values: Our connect, our compete, our accountability, our football IQ, our fundamentals, and then what are the distractions that don’t allow you to get better every day?
And the distractions are different for everybody. They are different for everybody. Some are — and I won’t get into that. Everybody’s distractions are different and everybody’s going through something different. The message is clear with everybody: What are we doing to get better every day and what are we willing to eliminate from our life that is not allowing us to accomplish that goal?
Q. For the past seven practices, you’ve installed with Jalen Hurts as the first-team quarterback. If that’s not going to change, what’s your hesitation potentially naming him the starter for week one? (Mike Kaye)
NICK SIRIANNI: There’s just no rush there on having to do that. Again, we just want him to continue to impress and show like he has and we’re just not there yet.
Q. This franchise historically has favored the pass over the run more than most. What has been the messaging from Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Lurie on down as far as how you approach that, and if the season comes about and it shows the run is something you need to emphasize more than you previously have, will you go in that direction? (Jeff McLane)
NICK SIRIANNI: The only messaging that I’ve ever gotten from Mr. Lurie [Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Lurie] is: Do what you need to do to win games and I will support. Anything you need to get that done, I’m here to support you.
Q. We’ve seen your practices go an hour 15, an hour 20. We’re used to seeing three hours or two and a half hours out here. What’s your philosophy on the length of practice and how do you know you’re getting the work in that you need? (Reuben Frank)
NICK SIRIANNI: All that goes down to player health and I’m not the expert in that. So myself and our strength staff and our training staff and our doctors and [Executive Vice President/General Manager] Howie Roseman, we all get together and we talk about how do we keep those guys — we have so much ability on the field, how do we keep them available, right. If they are not available, that ability is worth nothing. That’s just a part of the design as far as the length of practices, but when we are out here working, the standard is set very clear of how we want practice to be.
We feel like we’re out here and enough of what we want to be out here as far as to keep the guys healthy, but when we’re out here, we’re going and practicing hard. Practicing hard, which we talk about as a group all the time, is how you get better.
Q. With the shorter practices, you’ve had two veteran days off in seven days and OTAs you were limited in what you can do and no mini-camp. What gives you confidence that this team is going to be ready when the games are live? (Tim McManus)
NICK SIRIANNI: Availability, again, first of all, player health is the first thing. The confidence is that just because they are not practicing for the amount of time, right, the three hours or whatever, two and a half hours with the walk throughs, we are full speed mentally in walk-throughs, okay, like we are still walking through, but it’s full speed to the snap. We are still meaning full speed, right. We are still connecting full speed when we are in there.
So it’s all these things like it’s just not — practice is one piece of the puzzle and it’s a big piece and there’s all these other pieces of the puzzle to get ourselves ready and we are doing those, you know, just like we would any other year.
Q. When you get that advice from the medical, the training staff and the coaches get together, how do you guys maximize the time that you do have? (John McMullen)
NICK SIRIANNI: It’s just about being highly organized and everybody communicating. It’s how do we make sure we go from period to period. You talk at length of what practice is going to look like. ‘Hey, we are going period one to period two, period three, here is where these guys are on the field, here is where they are on the field, here is where we go ones versus ones, here is where that field they are going to be on, this field.’
It’s just organization, communication, to make sure that when we are out here for an hour and 15, our practices are an hour 15, hour 30, hour 45, whether that can go north or south of that any day just based off the day. But when you’re out here that you’re highly organized and you’re not taking any time in between periods.
Q. You’ve emphasized availability, having players ready for the season. This franchise had a lot of issues with injuries over the last three years. Is that in response to that issue? (Jeff McLane)
NICK SIRIANNI: You know, I can’t speak to what happened here in the past or anything in the past. I just know that we have experts — this is a great organization in the sense that there’s no resource that Mr. Lurie [Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Lurie] won’t give for us to be successful. You know, we have these heads of departments for everything because I’m an expert at football, right? That’s my department, right, the football.
And I’ve got to lean on the people that we have here, the experts are the other thing. [Senior Vice President, Communications] Bob Lange is the expert at media relations, right. I don’t come in here — Bob prepares me. I don’t prepare myself. It’s the same thing with this. It’s the same thing with the strength staff. Like I don’t go in and run the workouts in the room. It’s just leaning on the people that this great organization has provided for me.
Q. Do you think come September, you’re going to have too many players trying to play themselves into shape? (Jeff McLane)
NICK SIRIANNI: No, because every day we talk about the conditioning of our team and what we need to do. That’s always a topic of conversation. Again, it’s availability. Still Jeff, your point is taken, I have to make the decision of how to get the football team ready the best, too. It’s not always like, ‘Hey, we are doing this, this is what we should do.’ My job as the head football coach is take all the information in — [Senior Vice President, Communications] Bob [Lange] gives me information here, but I have to handle it and [Vice President of Player Performance] Ted [Rath] and [Vice President of Sports Medicine/Head Athletic Trainer] Tom [Hunkele] give me information, but I have to handle what I think is best for the football team.
Q. The Texans QB Deshaun Watson rumors are not going away whether it’s fair or not, and whether or not you are truly involved. On a big decision like that, which would be a major move, how much input do you have on a decision like that? (Jeff Skversky)
NICK SIRIANNI: Yeah, I’m not going to talk about the hypotheticals of something with rumors.
But all I can tell you is that every decision that we make here is a group effort, right, and [Executive Vice President/General Manager] Howie Roseman and his staff and myself, we’re working together to get the best 53 out on the field every Sunday.
Q. In terms of availability, connection, sacrifice for the team, these things you’re preaching, how do you feel about the handful of players who are not vaccinated? (Bo Wulf)
NICK SIRIANNI: That’s their personal choice. I don’t — we’ve educated them with everything and then it’s up to them right there. That can also be — it’s a distraction to say, ‘We’re just going to talk about that every single day.’ We’ve educated them. We’ve talked about it. It’s everybody’s personal choice. All we have to do is get better every single day on the field and not worry about the other distractions.
Q. LB JaCoby Stevens talked yesterday about showing videos during team meetings and has never been around a coach that’s done that. Talked about a hot dog eating contest. What’s your philosophy behind teaching through the video? (Ed Kracz)
NICK SIRIANNI: At some point, my voice, they are going to hear me and I’m going to talk a lot but at some point, it can’t just be my voice saying it, right.
So I have these things, these messages that I want to get across. So how do I get those messages across? I think it’s the art of storytelling. I guess I’m a good storyteller. So you can have this story telling, but then visual is so big in our profession. If I’m going to teach a quarterback how to read a play, what are we going to do? We are going to go to the video. If I’m going to teach a receiver how to run a route, what are we going to do? We’re going to go to the video. I’ll set the stage of a message a lot and then we’ll go to a video.
I love Kobe Bryant and everything he stood for as a player. I find myself having a lot of videos on him but it’s anybody, right. The video that [LB] JaCoby [Stevens] was talking about was [Takeru] Kobayashi and I’ll tell you about that. Our fifth core value is fundamentals, and Kobayashi, there’s this video of Kobayashi and Joey Chestnut competing and they go, ‘Why is Kobayashi so good at eating hot dogs?’ The details and fundamentals he puts into it — he has to have the right temperature of water to dunk the thing. He has to break the hot dog perfectly in half.
So my point on that is, yeah, we are all seeing it and watching it, and it’s like, ‘What’s the point of that?’ My point is, if you want to be the best in the world at what you do, right, on the football field, it comes down to the little things and that right there was a fundamental talk.
So how does it go to what I want to get across and there’s just — we learn from great players in the past and great teams in the past.