Eagles Head Coach Nick Sirianni (Post-Game Transcript)

What was your biggest takeaway tonight? (Zach Berman)

NICK SIRIANNI: The guys played hard and fought. Obviously, had a limited roster. I don’t know how many we ended up with. We rested a lot of guys and didn’t play a lot of guys. Was happy with the way they fought. For some guys, it might have been their last opportunity to fight, but sometimes that’s not just for our team. They have 31 other teams to be able to make it, so I was happy with those guys.

What have you learned about constructing the roster that you didn’t know before you became a head coach? (Dave Zangaro)

NICK SIRIANNI: Let the whole process play itself out even if you feel like you know early on. You don’t have to make any decisions right away, so you just keep letting the evaluation process play itself out. There have been multiple times where I was like, “this guy might not be able to make it.” Then he keeps developing and he makes it. So just not to be quick to jump to any conclusions and let the whole process play itself out.

You are a couple days away from that final decision-making day. How many tough decisions do you think you have to make? (Dave Uram)

NICK SIRIANNI: The better the roster, the more tough decisions you are going to have to make. We are going to have a bunch of tough ones. The guys that are going to end up getting cut, they made it hard on us. We will evaluate this tape tonight. We still have some question marks of who it is going to be. I look forward to watching this tape, and hopefully some of these guys made it real hard for us.

How much can this one game kind of tilt things? (John McMullen)

NICK SIRIANNI: Yeah, I’ve been on teams that that last game, the player played himself into it. Austin Ekeler comes to mind.

Not sure he was going to make it beforehand and then had a big game at San Francisco back in 2000 — ’16, ’17, I think it was ’17 — and made it.

Yeah, we’re watching everything. We’re watching everything. We’ll go back and evaluate this tape and see who pops up on tape.

You got to see a lot of QB Tanner McKee. What maybe surprised you? It appears like pretty good development.

NICK SIRIANNI: I wouldn’t say anything surprised me. We drafted him because we liked him, and we liked the accuracy he showed on tape. We liked the decision making he showed on tape, and he’s continued to show that throughout practice and games.

He’s put three good games together, and so was excited to work with him. Really pleased with how he was this pre-season.

He looked pretty comfortable, too. (Howard Eskin)

NICK SIRIANNI: Yeah, he was. I know he got sacked a bunch at Stanford. We’re pretty good on the O-line, though — no offense to anybody there.

He felt really comfortable back there. You could definitely see that.

What kind of moment do you think that was for LB Tyreek Maddox-Williams being able to come home and jumping into this? He said he was so relaxed out there and playing freely. To do it in front of his family and friends. (John Clark)

NICK SIRIANNI: Yeah, really cool any time you can do that in front of your family and friends. Awesome. So really nice play on the ball and good return and that was great.

He’s been with you guys for less than a week. What was your message to him going into the game? (Olivia Reiner)

NICK SIRIANNI: [Jokingly] How are you doing? I’m Coach Sirianni. Nice to meet you.

No, just the same message I had to everybody else: Leave everything out there on the field and go out there, and if this is your last game, make it one to remember.

But don’t let it be. Let us all have to have really hard decisions to make and the rest of the NFL have really hard decisions to make.

What happened at the joint practice? What led to C Jason Kelce blindsiding … (Jeff McLane)

NICK SIRIANNI: That’s over and that’s in the past. We are moving on from that.

Was CB Mario Goodrich’s absence injury related? (Zach Berman)

NICK SIRIANNI: We’ll get you all the injury report, which you’ll see. Did we see anything there?

Okay. We’ll get you some of the reports.

WR Devon Allen, obviously you know he can run, the kickoff return. As a gunner he seemed to show up and he hasn’t done that a lot. When somebody steps up like that, you have had injuries at that position, how important is that? (John McMullen)

NICK SIRIANNI: Yeah, Devon is tough. He shows his speed a lot, right? Shoot, when you’re as good at track and field as he is everyone thinks about the speed, but he has toughness, too. That’s why he’s able to make those plays on special teams.

My dad, being a former track coach, he’s always asking about Devon. How is Devon doing? I’m always like, ‘hey, he’s doing really good. He’s not only fast, he’s tough.’ That’s the same thing I always say to my dad.

So, it was good to get Devon out there and see him making some plays on special teams. The speed is real and the toughness is real.

You talked about the guys giving you hard decisions to make. What are the next few days like for the coaching staff when you know you have to get the roster cut down? I’m sure that’s hard on you. (Jamie Apody)

NICK SIRIANNI: Yeah, you say hey, it’s so hard on me. It’s not as hard on me as the guys getting that news. Of course, it’s hard on me. Of course, it’s hard on [Executive Vice President/General Manager] Howie [Roseman], and that we have to do that, what, 40 some times.

But at the end of the day, we still are able to go on and be on the team and they’re not. That’s hard. That’s what’s hard for us, is that the guys that have — culture, I said to the guys in there, culture is your daily habits.

Most of these guys that we’re going to have to cut have contributed to the culture of the Philadelphia Eagles for the past four months or whatever it has been with how they competed every day, held themselves accountable, their growth in football IQ and fundamentals.

That’s always the tough part. We know we have some special guys in this room, in that locker room, and not all the guys will be able to be a part of the 2023 season. But that’s the life in the NFL. Not a fun week. Not a fun couple days coming up.

But you never know. That’s the other thing, right? How many guys that you cut and then you have to — that you bring back. Practice squad is always an option, but [WR] Deon Cain was on our team last year. We cut him and he was back this year. [DT] Marvin Wilson; [RB] Kennedy Brooks was away for a little bit and came back.

So sometimes that works out that way as well.

In the last meeting, what was the best stat or fact you shared? (Zach Berman)

NICK SIRIANNI: As far as their…

You gave the example of S Reed Blankenship last year… (Zach Berman)

NICK SIRIANNI: I think [CB] Kelee [Ringo] had something like 31 yards a return on four interceptions, and we showed the one in the national championship game of him intercepting the ball and returning it for a touchdown.

I saw some of our Alabama guys kind of look to the back as [DT] Jordan Davis and [DT] Jalen Carter and [LB] Nolan [Smith] and [LB] Nakobe [Dean] were all barking, supporting their Dawgs.

I thought that was an interesting one.

It’s only pre-season, but you and Colts Head Coach Shane Steichen, head coach against head coach, how did that feel? (John McMullen)

NICK SIRIANNI: I’m happy for Shane and his opportunity. Obviously, you always miss the guys that leave because they’re good coaches and good friends. Always happy for their opportunity. I didn’t want to let them beat us, shoot, but he did a good job and he’s done a good job throughout the training — you can see the guys’ growth in the training camp with his quarterback and all the guys.

So, yeah, I was excited for him to be on the opposite sideline. I was a little anxious to throw that red flag. I should have let the replay assist help me out, but I knew what Shane was doing. I knew what he was doing. He was going on the ball to try and run it quick. We had some eye contact and a fun back and forth on that play.