Eagles Head Coach Nick Sirianni (Post-Game Transcript)
QB Jalen Hurts now has five game-winning drives, or six if you want to count the one in regulation. Can you talk about how he played today? (Marcus Hayes)
NICK SIRIANNI: I thought he played clutch. Just clutch. I think that’s the best way to say it. Whether it was the overtime drive, whether it was the drive where we scored with about a minute plus left. We didn’t have a lot of possessions in the first half, and we needed that end-of-half drive to get going. Clutch. I think that is the best way to say it.
He seemed to have a lot of trust in his playmakers too. Got WR DeVonta Smith a ball, two to WR A.J. Brown, TE Dallas Goedert, had RB D’Andre Swift — (Marcus Hayes)
NICK SIRIANNI: That’s trust. Not blind faith, but trust and faith that is built up through the reps that you get. With Dallas and DeVonta and A.J., that’s trust over the last couple of years. With D’Andre, that’s trust that’s building. OZ [WR Olamide Zaccheaus] had a big catch. That’s trust that is building. That was a big 3rd down catch. That’s trust that’s building through that work that you do week in and week out at practice, training camp and OTAs.
You guys don’t fall behind often in games. I don’t think you’ve been in overtime in two years. What did you learn from your players to be able to come back and win in that setting? (Eliot Shorr-Parks)
NICK SIRIANNI: We won in a different way than we’ve had to win so far this year. I think that builds character. I think that builds a tighter team. I think that builds trust. Defense comes out, they make a stop, the offense goes out and drives the ball into a position to score and the special teams converts to make a play. Those are all team building things.
Trust me, I don’t want — that’s not good for me when we have to win in overtime. There’s a lot of anxiety going into all that. But, no, it is good when you’re able to win in different ways. It tells you a lot about the character of your football team. And I think we showed that today.
I’m sure you’d rather win 50 to nothing week in, week out. But when you have adverse situations like this, what does that teach you about your team and how does that set you up for it down the road? (Rob Maaddi)
NICK SIRIANNI: When you can win different ways, it just — you’re going to be put in all these scenarios through a long season, right? And so, it just builds confidence that, okay, we’ve been here before, we know how to win this way. We’ve been here before, we know how to win this way. We’ve been here before, we know how to win this way.
I think it just builds a lot of things for your team. That was a sweet way to win. Man, [K] Jake Elliott — I talked about [QB] Jalen [Hurts] being clutch, Jake Elliott is so clutch. I don’t watch field goals. I don’t know why. I don’t watch it.
I look at Coach Clay [Special Teams Coordinator Michael Clay], he points at me or gives me one of these [looks] if we miss. I was looking at him and he hit me with that [thumbs up]. And I don’t know if I was really even that surprised. Jake’s just clutch. Jalen and Jake just played clutch games today and really happy for them.
On your third and 11 call — not your call but Offensive Coordinator Brian Johnson’s call, I guess, in the red zone in the second half, the run to RB Kenny Gainwell, is that a situation where you prefer to be more aggressive or is that a call that – (Jimmy Kempski)
NICK SIRIANNI: Last week on that call — I think it was third and eight against Tampa, we converted. So, hey, we convert on those, we’re high fiving. If we don’t convert, I understand there could be criticism there. All those calls — again, Brian and I make those — we do those throughout the week. That’s what we thought would give us the best chance to get the first down.
And I think there’s been a lot of discussion there on that call. It’s always a call that we think about. And like I said, last week, the run worked. This week, it didn’t. The field shrinks sometimes in there. It’s a little bit tougher to throw in there with the field shrinking, you don’t have your whole playbook at your disposal. We trust our offensive line, we trust Kenny.
That doesn’t mean there wasn’t an option to pass the ball there, if the defense showed that we could. We’ve run that play in the past against that same coverage and scored on that play. Hey, but you know what, it didn’t work this time.
But everything we do, like, there’s an aggression in everything we do. Aggressiveness doesn’t look the same at all times, right? Aggressiveness can look many different ways. In that particular case, we thought we were being aggressive there with the play that we had on. And you know what, it didn’t work. Credit to the defense for stopping that play.
I know Brian doesn’t regret that call because we talked a lot about it. I don’t regret that call. But it didn’t work this time.
11 penalties overall: What was, I guess, the reason for that? And on the QB sneak, what explanation did you get? (Zach Berman)
NICK SIRIANNI: I have to watch the tape to give you a full answer. There were some sloppy things here and there. I have to go watch that. That’s a little uncharacteristic for us. But I have to watch the tape. The explanation? They said we were a little bit offsides ourselves with the guard. We have to make sure we’re teaching that up and to get the guys back. It probably was a penalty. It was tough because we stopped ourselves there.
I won’t get into too much of the conversation with the ref and I. They have a tough job. They did a good job on that.
What did you think of QB Jalen Hurts’ performance today overall? Was this the best game he’s played so far this year? (Chris Murray)
NICK SIRIANNI: I said that in there, I think it was his best game this year. I have to watch it and see everything. But I thought it was his best game this year. I thought he was clutch. And sometimes in quarterback stats and all these different things you can override anything that’s going on with a quarterback when they make plays when the play’s needed, right?
I thought that’s what he did today. We needed a completion on that third and forever, and he got a completion. We needed a touchdown at the end of the game, and he got the touchdown. So just clutch. That’s where I really felt. I have to watch the game to give you a sure answer. But I do think that was one of his better games to date.
I was talking to WR A.J. Brown about your postgame remarks, and he talked about sort of what you said, we’ve been able to win different ways. Is that a balancing act for you? Obviously, you want to be able to win in all these different ways. But do you want to figure out that we always call that identity and how quickly – (John McMullen)
NICK SIRIANNI: I just want to win. I just want to win and do anything we can do to be able to do that. I guess what I’d say is it’s natural in this league to have to win multiple ways and we’ve had to.
But at the end of the day, however we need to get to victory — you know, I’ve said this a thousand times: If we need to blitz 100 times, if we need to throw it 100 times, if we need to pass it 100 times, whatever we have to do to win, we’ll win it that way.
I think that’s what you do. You try to put your players in the best positions, and you try to do whatever you think is right. And sometimes are we wrong? Heck yeah. But everything we’re trying to do is trying to get the W whatever way we possibly can.
WR A.J. Brown said after the game that QB Jalen Hurts is usually pretty calm, but he saw some fire from him today. Curious if you’ve noticed a different demeanor from Jalen or anything like that? (Eliot Shorr-Parks)
NICK SIRIANNI: I’m not with him — I’m only with him about — when defense is up and he’s on the sidelines, a lot of times, I’m watching the defense and having to manage the game. I saw the calmness, but I’m not with him all the time, right? So A.J.’s observation — because he’s out there in the huddle with him. I don’t know. I can’t answer the question. But, man, he played good today.
Through four games, what have you learned about this team? I know it takes a little while, but now that you’re at this quarter mark? (Reporter)
NICK SIRIANNI: I think we are truly a team that’s in a growth mindset. We’re happy to be 4-0, but we know that there’s work to do. Even talking to [C] Jason Kelce after the game and I was, like, ‘We’re 4-0! Let’s go!’ And even he said it, ‘yeah, I know we have a lot to clean up.’ And he’s right. We have a lot to clean up.
So, there’s a gratification that we’re 4-0. But there’s a hunger to grow. And that’s what you want. Shoot, that’s what you want. Because you want to continue to raise the level of your play so you’re playing your best ball at the end of the year.
It’s not easy to be 4-0, right? Us and the 49ers. Miami lost today? Us and the 49ers are the only two teams that — and they got to play. I don’t know what their score is or anything like that, but it isn’t easy. Obviously, there’s 30 teams that would like to be in our spot. We’re grateful for where we are right now, at 4-0, but we know there’s a lot of work to be done to get better.
The touchdown at the end of the game, how do you balance there’s a lot of time remaining, you went deep with A.J., do you have to kind of balance being aggressive there? Was there any thought about maybe running it a little more? (Reporter)
NICK SIRIANNI: The main goal is to score, right? Sometimes it happens where — you know, we ended up getting a big play. We saw a corner that was aggressive. We took an opportunity there and it worked. Jalen and A.J. made a great play.
You go in there and score. What you don’t want is the penalty to give them the extra 15 yards. A.J., obviously, was apologetic about that coming off the field. A lot of emotions in that game. We’ll definitely learn from that. It’ll be a teaching moment from that.
You’ve seen it, a lot of times, that when maybe a team gets too conservative in that area, then they don’t score. Right? And so, we saw an opportunity. Did we think it would go for a touchdown? We didn’t know. I mean, we thought it was an opportunity, right?
And even if you don’t score on a scenario when you’re aggressive, it backs them off for the next play to help you get into where you want to get to. I’m not sure I’m going to apologize for scoring too quick ever unless we can help it. In that particular case, I didn’t think we could. And I thought Brian Johnson did a great job calling it and the players did a great job executing it.