Eagles Head Coach Nick Sirianni (Post-Game Transcript)
What were your emotions like on that final play at the end of the game? (Eliot Shorr-Parks)
NICK SIRIANNI: Football is such an unbelievable game. There are highs. There are lows. Sometimes it brings you to tears of joy. Sometimes it brings you to tears. It was obviously the plays before that that led to them being in that desperation at the end. Great job by our defensive line to get pressure there at the end of the game.
You tried to impress upon everyone that this was just another game. Watching you and now seeing you, I just don’t think this was just another game. (Howard Eskin)
NICK SIRIANNI: I feel like I am the same guy every day. Now that we played the game and the game is over, it’s always a little cooler when you win against a really good football team and that good football team being Dallas. I know that means a lot to our fans. I have a lot of respect for those players and coaches over there. It was a good battle back and forth, and it’s cool to be part of that rivalry.
What happened with QB Jalen Hurts when he had to leave, you called the time out and he came back in? (Jeff McLane)
NICK SIRIANNI: He’s okay. Yeah, he’s fine.
Why was he almost falling over on the ground? (Jeff McLane)
NICK SIRIANNI: You can ask him. I think he is okay. He played an unbelievable game. Really accurate the entire game. Went to the right place with the ball all game. You saw how he played after that, so he’s good.
So you didn’t change the play calling? I think you had a zone read where he ran for it on third down? (Jeff McLane)
NICK SIRIANNI: He ran for a couple ones after that, so just let him go out there and ball.
What does DE Brandon Graham do to stay fresh and productive at this stage of his career, and what do you guys do to help him? (Mike Sielski)
NICK SIRIANNI: He’s such an important part of this football team. The player, the person, the leader, the captain. When he makes a play like he did today, I promise you everybody feeds off of that and everybody feels that because our guys are so excited when he makes a play.
He does a great job of taking care of his body. Our trainers, strength staff, doctors do a great job helping him take care of his body, and that’s why he’s playing so successfully and at such a high level at later stages of his career.
When you get to the later stages of your career, again, it’s about maintenance and playing with fundamentals and technique, and it’s about playing with great passion, and nobody does that more than BG.
I know you said Jalen Hurts is fine, but he has obviously been dealing with something. Looked like he got knocked again today. Do you approach this week to say let’s give him as much rest as we possibly can? (Mike Garafolo)
NICK SIRIANNI: We’re going to give all the guys rest and he’ll be one of the guys that benefits from our rest. It’s an important week for us to self-scout, and an important week for our players to take some time away from the game.
We never can fully take time, but we’ll take some time away from it. We’ll take some time away from it as coaches, but I know our guys and I know they’ll be intertwined, whether it’s — I know I’ll get texts from our guys on Saturday during the college football games; I know I’ll get texts from them on Sunday; I know I’ll get texts from them on Tuesday when MACtion is going on.
I think my buddy Jason Candle is playing in MACtion this week. I’m looking forward to watching his game as well. When you have a group of guys that just wants to continue to get better, they’ll take away time with their bodes but I know they’ll have attention on a lot of games this week.
How many times did the plan change on Cowboys WR CeeDee Lamb during the course of the game? (Jeff McLane)
NICK SIRIANNI: Man, he’s a really outstanding player. He did a good job today. They threw the ball to him a lot. Yeah, tried to give some different looks.
But, again, him and [Cowboys QB] Dak [Prescott] make it difficult to take him away because of how good they are and how much rhythm and chemistry they have. I’m really impressed by that.
I think the world of Dak Prescott and CeeDee Lamb, and they had a good game today. We tried to throw some different wrinkles at them trying to slow them down.
On the final drive how big was DE Josh Sweat’s sack and what were the emotions like? (EJ Smith)
NICK SIRIANNI: Man, it was huge, but, man, he started to celebrate — good thing his celebration is quick. Man, I’m like, get back out there. I think a couple weeks ago, just to — we don’t mess around as far as situational football. A couple weeks ago, Notre Dame had a play where their guys were celebrating like that and Coach Freeman had to call a timeout. We didn’t have any timeouts there, so I’m trying to get them back.
Huge play, huge, huge play. That’s what really good players do in crunch moments, is make plays like that. He made an enormous play in a huge moment. The clock ticks, right, third and 21 now. It puts them in a rush right there.
I thought they were going to spike it, too to play one more play, but we had to be ready to go the next play, and, man, that was huge.
And Josh Sweat just continues to have a really impressive year. Those two guys feed off each other, Josh and [LB] Haason [Reddick], because it’s hard to take one away. If you pay attention too much to one, the other guy makes a play.
And so, man, I wouldn’t want anyone else rushing the passer besides the guys that we have, and, man, they played big in some big moments today. At times their O-line did a good job as well and gave Dak time to throw. In big, big moments our guys really stepped up when they needed to. I think they had a big first half of 17 points and then 6 points in the second half.
So, our defense really rose to the occasion in the second half, and that’s not the first time this year that we’ve had a really impressive second half.
On the opening drive, I believe you went for it on fourth down twice. Was that intentional and wanting to be aggressive early or was that situational? (Eliot Shorr-Parks)
NICK SIRIANNI: It’s the confidence in our guys. That’s just confidence in our guys, confidence in the play call. [Eagles Offensive Coordinator] Brian [Johnson] and I talk a lot about those play calls. You don’t make decisions in the spur of the moment. You know what’s coming.
Now, things change during the game, but that’s just confidence in the guys and the play call that we have,
What happened on the third and three? Jalen threw it up to WR A.J. Brown. Was that the call there, to go deep there? (Jeff McLane)
NICK SIRIANNI: I’ll have to look at the tape. Looked like A.J. just didn’t see the ball, couldn’t find the ball, and so in those situations, there are times where it’s time to throw it short and times to throw it deep.
You have to feel how the defensive backs are playing all game. Well, why not go to the sticks? Well, sometimes they squat at the sticks and sometimes they grab at the sticks and all those different things, so it’s time to go deep.
I think this week on the third and three we did that. Last week on fourth and three we did that. We ended up getting a pass interference in the end zone right before we had the turnover on the quarterback sneak.
So sometimes it’s the time to go past the sticks, and sometimes it’s a time to go way past the sticks, and sometimes it’s a time to go to the sticks. I thought it was a good call by Brian. It was a good ball by Jalen, and sometimes — I thought A.J. had his eyes around and the right timing, but sometimes you just don’t get it.
But I know this: When you are aggressive like that, it opens up everything, and shoot, A.J. Brown has been on a tear with the ball vertically in the past five games. So hey, they got us on that one.
Jalen Hurts’ numbers have been incredible on a banged up knee. How do you explain the success that he’s had despite being what we would assume to be limited? (Rob Maaddi)
NICK SIRIANNI: Yeah, again, he’s tough as heck. Never been on the injury report though because his play status has never been in doubt. Great leader, great player, rises to the occasion in big time moments.
That’s who he is. And so, whether his body is feeling 100%, whether his body is not feeling 100%, which nobody’s body is at this particular time, he’s a warrior. He’s going to play through bumps and bruises and at a high level because he’s a big-time player.
You’re 8-1 and you had to tough out a lot of games. It hasn’t been easy. What does that say about your team, the fact you kind of won through some of those tough games, and what do you guys have to do to be even better in the second half of the season? (Chris Murray)
NICK SIRIANNI: There is always room for improvement. Always room for improvement.
We’ll continue to work on things, the details, the ball security, the ability to take the football away. That’s something we’re going to continue to work on.
What did Bill Parcells say? You are what your record says you are. So we’re in a good spot right now and we are going to enjoy this bye week at 8-1 and get ready for the Kansas City Chiefs who obviously are a great football team, and just continue to try to bust our butts to get better every single day.
When you’re truly in that mindset and willing to get better each day no matter how you feel, that’s got to be the mindset. I’m tired today. Oh, we’re 8-1 today; we’re 2-8 today, whatever the heck it is, you have to be in a — it’s a mental challenge and you have to be mentally tough to say, I’m going to get better today and I’m going to treat today the same way I treated the other day regardless how I feel today.
And so that’s our mission. That’s our goal. Our goal, I know there will be a lot of chatter about this and that, oh, now they got this lead and they have the best record. We don’t care about any of that. All we care about is how we get better to win our next game, how we rest our bodies this week, how we go 1-0 each day the following week to try to go 1-0 against the Kansas City Chiefs.
That’s our mission. There is this huge mountain to climb. You can’t climb the mountain all in one week. When you look up that mountain and you start to look up at how much more you have to climb, that’s what makes you slip, when you do that.
Your head has to be down, focus has to be on the mountain, focus has to be on your next step and that will be our next practice and this week resting our bodies.
You mentioned CeeDee Lamb a little bit, how good he is. That’s tough duty for guys like S Sydney Brown and CB Eli Ricks. When you see rookies persevere like that, what does that mean to you? (John McMullen)
NICK SIRIANNI: Yeah, we have faith in these guys. That’s why we drafted Sydney. That’s why we picked up Eli in free agency. That’s why they made the football team and are playing in these critical moments.
We have been banged up in the secondary, no doubt. But, again, at the end of the day, there are times you will bleed out in the pass game, but to give up six points in the second half against a team like that, that’s what was impressive.
So now, you get that a little bit, right, because if the game was different and we didn’t have the lead, maybe they go for a field goal here and there and maybe you give up more than six points.
But that’s now how the game was played right there.
I know what the stats say. I do feel that Dallas did play a really good game, especially in the pass game. But our guys made plays in crunch situations, and those two young guys made plays in crunch situations, and they were there and contesting and they were in good spots.
Sometimes good offense beats good defense. I mean, we know that. We see that on a consistent — you know, this city can go back and see Allen Iverson, good offense beats good defense. Shoot, I just met JJ Reddick in the hallway. I know for a fact there were a lot of guys with hands in his face. I see him make a ton of jump shots with guys in his face. That was good defense, but sometimes good offense beats good defense, and that’s the same thing here.
But I was proud of the way they continued to fight and continued to just keep fighting for the next play. Our guys did that. They had that dawg mentality. Shoot, we had the pass interference call on the first play with 45 seconds left, to put them at mid-field and just kept refocusing themselves.
All that mattered is they played that next play, the next play, the next play, and you saw what happened and the great resiliency by our guys.