Howie Roseman and Nick Sirianni
Q. Looking back at the game itself, are there any decisions that are staying with you over the past couple of days, specifically the punt on fourth and three from the 33? (Bo Wulf)
COACH SIRIANNI: You want to know about that one, not anything else right?
I know I’ve been aggressive all year going for it. Really trust our guys in scenarios. I think fourth-and-3, on your own 30, what was it, 33? Yeah, I think you would get 32 out of 32 NFL coaches saying they punt that ball every time, 32 out of 32.
Hey, if I had known they were going to return it to the 4, in hindsight, I think obviously I would have gone for it there. But no regrets there on that. That is not in my thought process right there.
And to be quite honest with you, it depends on the score, but we were in a one-point game. And, like, if we were down two scores, then, of course you’re going to go for it there in that scenario.
But in a one-point game, you know what, until I was prepped for this question, because [Senior Vice President, Communications] Bob [Lange] does a really good job, as you guys know, it didn’t really come to my mind.
The other one, the fourth-and-6, fourth-and-7, actually it was, fourth-and-7 at the 20, yeah, that isn’t in my mindset either, especially, we’re up three, going to go up six. That’s not in my mindset.
Now, did I feel like when Kansas City came down and scored, we were up 10, Kansas City came down and scored, and I said to myself before the drive, we’ve got to go score here, and a touchdown. But fourth-and-6 right there, that’s not in my mindset either.
Again, when the score’s different in the sense of you’re down a couple of scores, then your mindset changes. But in that scenario, you know, I made the decision I was comfortable with in that particular time.
Q. You mentioned the punt. What went wrong there? (Jeff McLane)
COACH SIRIANNI: Obviously you guys saw the punt. [P] Arryn [Siposs] didn’t get the punt that he wanted there. So, there was a low hang time. The guy did a good job, [Chiefs WR Kadarius] Toney did a good job of scooping that up and not letting it hit.
We talk a lot about that with our group, just trying to catch, fielding the punt especially on a punt that’s missed is a huge deal. And give a lot of credit to Toney to come up and scoop that thing and get going.
And then we missed a couple tackles on that one. And we had guys down there, and for different reasons we missed a couple of tackles there. Tackling, I know what it will sound like, but tackling is our responsibility as coaches to teach the crap out of the fundamentals there. And it’s our responsibility as players to make the tackles in there.
Even though a tackle may look like, well, that guy missed a tackle, it’s on all of us, right, of just making sure that we’re on it with our fundamentals with it.
The biggest fundamentals, you guys see in our building all the time. Fundamentals, football IQ, all the things that we preach over and over again. But offensively there’s no bigger fundamental than taking care of the football, how you block. And then on defense it’s tackling, getting off blocks and how you take the football away.
And we missed some tackles, but we also got to do a better job of coaching the tackling fundamentals.
Q. The defense was really clicking in the first half. In the second half they made some adjustments, what were some of the adjustments you think they made to kind of make the defense struggle a little more? (Eliot Shorr-Parks)
COACH SIRIANNI: They did a good job staying on the field. I think it was the two halves, you saw one-half where we controlled the clock and they didn’t convert on some third downs. And then you saw the opposite happen in the second half where they were converting and then they had some drives.
I think at the end of the day, I know it says that we had four possessions on offense in the second half. But one of them was a one-play jump ball. And so, I’m not really counting that. So, we would only have three possessions in that second half. That’s low.
And I think you attribute that to they were able to run it and get their run game going more consistently, and really converting on third downs. I think in the first half, they were 0-for-4 in the first half, maybe. Then they finished the game 4-for-8.
They did a good job on converting on third downs. And then also I thought they did a nice job of running the ball there in those.
So that’s what I would contribute kind of the swing of the halves was the situational football on third down and also the run game.
Q. I know you guys don’t want to make excuses, but when you look at the field condition, what’s the organizational take on that? Is there any recourse you have with the league? Where do you go with that? (Reuben Frank)
HOWIE ROSEMAN: Both teams played on the same field.
Q. Obviously your edge rushers, it’s a big strength of this team. (Reuben Frank)
HOWIE ROSEMAN: Both teams played on the same field.
Q. Nick, obviously part of success is losing coaches. You knew this was a possibility. But how does that affect you moving forward? Obviously, it’s going to be difficult, but what plan do you have in place and obviously you’re not going to say who but how difficult is it to traverse this? (John McMullen)
COACH SIRIANNI: We’re obsessed with developing our football players, and we do many different things throughout the year to develop our players. And I’m obsessed personally because of the stock that people have put in me of how we develop our football coaches as well.
So constantly want, from our position coaches to our coordinators, all the way to our quality control coaches and assistant position coaches, I want them involved in everything. And I try to give them things that helped me throughout my career. That’s my job as the head coach.
With that, [Colts Head Coach] Shane [Steichen] and [Cardinals Head Coach] Jonathan [Gannon] were successful, not only because Shane and Jonathan are good football coaches, but also because they have good assistants. And they have good people working with them.
And so, I feel like we have a lot of good in-house options, which is always going to be where I start because that’s just always kind of been how I’ve learned of grooming the people that you have in attempts for when this day happens that you’re ready to go.
But we won’t stop just there. I mean, we’ll look at every option to make sure we’re getting the best people in here to help our team. We’re going to do what’s best for the Philadelphia Eagles.
But I do believe we have great options in-house, because when you’re grinding to put together a staff, you’re not just grinding to put together the offensive and defensive coordinators. As a matter of fact, really the offensive and defensive coordinator, when you [Howie Roseman] hired me, we knew who we were hiring at those spots.
The grind was getting the soldiers, getting those other guys in place that we felt really good with. A lot of good options.
Two years ago, I remember Shane and I, we interviewed about nine running back coaches, and Coach [Jemal] Singleton was the ninth. I was, like, this is the guy right here.
There was a lot of work that went into that. So, again feel really good about in-house but we will also do what’s best for the Philadelphia Eagles of replacing these guys.
Q. When you look at the touchdowns, one with Chiefs WR Kadarius Toney and one with Chiefs WR Skyy Moore, seem to be on a similar look motioning and going back the other way. Could you just kind of run us through what went wrong in those situations and why it wasn’t corrected when you got a similar look on the second one? (Tim McManus)
COACH SIRIANNI: Obviously, you talk about everything that happens out there with the attempts of if you see it again, you’re ready for it. That’s both offensively and defensively.
We were in a completely different coverage, a completely different look, different things were supposed to happen on each play. Meaning there was a different defensive coverage on the first one.
There was an execution error on the first one, and I just want everybody to understand, when I say “execution error,” that is we didn’t do something correct on the field. But what that also means is we have to do a better job of coaching it.
So, we’re all in this together. It’s never just one play, but we’re all in this thing together. Like, okay, they didn’t execute that well on the field, but we need to do a better job of making sure they can do it as coaches.
The second one, they got us. And you’re like, ‘Well, how did they get us when they already did it?’ We were in a completely different coverage, a completely different scheme that we were doing.
We were running to catch up with the motion and he fell back and ended up scoring on the play.
But what also doesn’t go into play either is that a lot of times that we’ve adjusted with that motion and the way we’ve done that has helped us a lot in the red zone as well.
Credit to them of finding a way to attack it. Again, it was two different coverages that they did. Credit to them to going back to something that worked for them as well.
But that defense right there has helped us a lot this season, too, with how we’ve adjusted with the motion on different things.
So, listen, there’s going to be things — like you can’t stop every play every time, you just can’t. ‘But you guys got beat on it earlier in the year.’ Yeah, we’ve gotten beat on a lot of different things throughout the year. Like, you give a little, you get a little.
You’re not going to be able to stop every single thing. You want to try to do your best to do that, but in that particular case they got us on that second one and hats off to them.
Q. When you’re looking to replace the opposite side coordinator, you’ve said before that the scheme that Jonathan Gannon runs is the one that you want. So, in replacing him, are you going to maintain that scheme, or do you want to just find the best guy possible and go with his scheme? (Jeff McLane)
COACH SIRIANNI: There’s core values that I have — not core values; you know what my core values are. There are core thought processes that I have on defense. So, there’s going to be things that, yes, do I like a lot of the things that we’re doing on there? Yes, I do.
You think you’re going to see that I really believe in, you know this, that I really believe in the turnover differential, I really believe in the explosive-play differential. There are things of that nature of that defense that I like.
Then there’s going to be things situationally that are non-negotiables. I guess, to say with me, whether it’s third-and-long, whether it’s tight red zone, whether it’s two-minute, end-of-game plays, whether it’s four-minute defense backed up.
I’m naturally going to have things that I’m going to require the next defensive coordinator to do. But I also know that I’m hiring somebody to do their job to the best of their abilities, and that’s why I’m hiring them.
Again, it’s all going to look a little bit different, no matter if you bring Jonathan’s twin brother in, which he doesn’t have — if you brought him in, it’s still going to look a little different when that guy calls it as opposed to Coach Gannon.
So, there’s going to be little changes, little differences. But, again, I guess my long way of answering that is I’m not opposed to changing. I’m going to do what’s best for the Eagles. We have great in-house candidates.
There are candidates outside that we know — there’s a lot of good football coaches out there that we know there as well. Again, there’s going to be core — not as much as the offense, like, where Shane leaves and I’m saying, here’s the offensive scheme that we’re running.
But with the defense, we’re hiring the guy to do his job. I do have core beliefs that I don’t want to change intermixed with that. But he’s still got to do the job to his best ability — to do his job whoever that may be.
Q. No matter who the new offensive coordinator, whether it’s Quarterbacks Coach Brian Johnson or someone else, will you have that guy call the plays? Do you like the setup? (Reuben Frank)
COACH SIRIANNI: I do. It does help me manage the game better, in my opinion. It helps me interact with the players more on the sideline. And it helps me be able to discuss something that, with somebody upstairs, to get on the defensive headset when the offense is up, vice versa.
Yes, that will be my intent to — the next offensive coordinator to call the game. I feel like we’ve seen benefits from that. I just feel like my ability to manage the game — I feel like I do a better job managing the game when I don’t have — and some guys do it and they do a great job of it. And I’m highly impressed by that.
For me, what works is this. And I’ll continue doing it that way. That’s the plan.
Q. What impressed you the most about Eagles quarterbacks coach Brian Johnson this year? And when you look at Jalen’s growth, how much was his input helpful? (Dave Zangaro)
COACH SIRIANNI: Huge, huge. It starts with the relationships that we have with the players. And Brian stepped right in here and had a great relationship with our quarterback dating back to when our quarterback was, however old he was, two years old.
So the relationship means a lot. And the trust was automatically there. Sometimes you have to develop the trust. A lot of times you have to develop the trust, but that was there.
And then with that, Brian’s great with, not just Jalen, with everybody. He can adapt and just be able to connect with anybody on our roster. And that’s offensively and defensively. And that’s one thing that I think Brian’s special at.
And then we’re not even talking about the football knowledge that he has. And so Brian’s excellent with Jalen as far as his development of fundamentals. I think you’ve heard me say this plenty of times.
Coaches have to have two things. They have to be able to — position coaches, first and foremost, have to be able to get their players better as players. They have to be able to take them a level here to a higher level that they can’t reach without the coaching of that individual.
And that happens through fundamentals and being able to explain the plan, being able to explain the offense to make it easier for that player to understand and to execute.
Brian does a great job of that. And Brian is also very gifted in the sense of helping be able to scheme, even though he wasn’t the offensive coordinator last year, he still helps a great deal with our schemes and the way we’re attacking defenses in the run game, in the pass game, in the protection world, in situationals.
So, yeah, he’s been a great influence, obviously, for Jalen. And Jalen’s done a nice job, obviously. But it’s a good relationship of those two guys because I do believe that’s helped Jalen become a better player.
Q. Howie, I know it’s been a while, Jalen’s eligible for a contract extension this offseason. How motivated is the organization to secure his future with the team long term? (EJ Smith)
HOWIE ROSEMAN: Obviously we want to keep our best players here for the long term. And he’s certainly one of our best players. So that’s something we’ll keep all the contract talks internal but we’d definitely like to keep Jalen Hurts here long term.
Q. Would you like to understand what that looks like before you can go forward with the rest of the offseason? (Dave Zangaro)
HOWIE ROSEMAN: I think we have a good sense of what we need to do here. We have a little bit of time here, too, to kind of figure it out and get away and discuss that. But at the end of the day, the most important thing is keeping our best players here. And Jalen’s certainly one of our best players.
Q. What’s the timeline looking like to hire a defensive coordinator? If you don’t have one in time by the Combine, how much will that affect the player evaluation process not having that person in place? (Chris Franklin)
COACH SIRIANNI: We want to get it done as soon as we can but not be in a rush. I think that’s the best way to say that is that we’ll be diligent because we need to be diligent. And if it takes us interviewing nine coordinators, like we did with the running backs to get Jemal Singleton, we’ll do that to get the best person that can help us be a good football team.
And, so, timeline – no timeline. Are we working with urgency? Of course. Are we working in a rush? No.
Q. There’s a sense out there that the Jalen Hurts contract will prohibit you guys from keeping other key pieces. What’s your confidence level that you’ll be able to – maybe not everybody that you want – but that you’ll be able to keep the core intact even with a Jalen contract? (Reuben Frank)
HOWIE ROSEMAN: I think we have obviously a large number of free agents that we knew going in. I think when we looked at this team – and we always look at this team over not just this year but over a period of time – we knew we needed to get additional picks. That’s one of the reasons that we made the trade last year was to make sure we have picks going forward.
And even though maybe we don’t have the amount of picks this year, we have a bunch of high picks. And then next year, we’re going to have a tremendous amount of picks.
We already have two additional picks from two trades that we made. And just by the sheer number of the free agents, we’re going to have comp picks next year. Even if we signed a bunch of guys, we are going to have comp picks next year.
So, I think we go into it with that understanding that it’s going to be impossible to keep every single person on this team. But we’re here to compete.
I think that a lot of times, I’ve heard this week, you know, we’ll be back. Just because we say it doesn’t mean it. We’ve got to make that happen. I take great pride in trying to do my part.
Q. Along those lines, obviously with you guys have three early-round picks from last year who didn’t play a whole lot. How important is it for those guys to kind of take a big step next year as well as the guys you’re probably going to draft this year as well? (Martin Frank)
HOWIE ROSEMAN: We look at the draft as kind of long-term decisions. We don’t want to just draft for immediate needs. It would be great if that’s what ends up happening with the right players. But we have gotten in problems here where we’ve said, hey, we have a need at this position, let’s draft the best guy at this position.
All of those guys are ready to play if we need them and they can play a variety of roles. So that doesn’t mean that we can’t bring back the veteran players at those positions. Some of those players at those positions are some of the greatest players not only to play on our team this year but in this franchise, and we’d love to have some of those guys back.
But those guys are ready. They were ready to play this year. They just had great guys in front of them.
Q. The fact that last time you gave out a big contract to a quarterback, it didn’t work out as envisioned. How did that inform your thinking? Does it influence you at all this time around? (Tim McManus)
HOWIE ROSEMAN: I think each example is on its own. And you’ve got to look at the individual player, and that’s not to be critical to anyone we’ve given a contract to that hasn’t worked out. But I think when we talk about Jalen [Hurts], we’re talking about a guy we have tremendous confidence in, a guy that we want to be here for a long time. And so, it will be something that will be a priority for us.
Q. Will Special Teams Coordinator Michael Clay be back? (Jeff McLane)
COACH SIRIANNI: Yes, he will. I thought we did a nice job as far as just improving, we had some rocky beginnings in special teams, and I thought we did a nice job improving those special teams as the year went along.
A lot of credit to Coach Clay. Obviously, a lot of credit to the players that stepped up and made plays to do so. Again, we talked about the punt and the punt return by Kansas City. Hats off to them. We didn’t do a good enough job on that play.
But again, nothing is ever decided on one play. So, I have a great deal of confidence in Coach Clay and the job that he did over these last two years, and how we’ve improved, and he’s improved. He’s improved greatly. Our special teams has improved greatly and he’ll be back.
Q. On the coaching search itself, even beyond the coordinators in terms of backfilling other spots, how does that work? Is it like you tapping into your network? Is Executive Vice President/General Manger Howie Roseman involved? What’s the process? (Bo Wulf)
COACH SIRIANNI: We discuss everything just like we discuss everything in the season. We discuss everything in the offseason. We’re going to discuss everything.
Again, we have so many bright minds in here. And it’s a team sport. We play the greatest — we’re involved in the greatest team sport there is. And so, we don’t go out into the field and say, hey, you’ve got it all. Hey, [C] Jason Kelce, you’ve got it all on you today. We do it as a team. Or,[QB] Jalen [Hurts], you’ve got it all on you today. We do it as a team.
That doesn’t just stop on the field with our players; it goes into the front office with the coaches, the coaches with the scouts, and everything and just with everybody.
I mean, you asked me how we were able to get into the position we were in. And it’s everything. It’s literally everything. It’s [Senior Vice President, Communications] Bob [Lange] and his staff. It’s the cafeteria staff. It’s [Senior Advisor to the General Manager/Chief Security Officer] Dom [DiSandro]. It’s [Senior Director of Player Engagement] Paul [Lancaster]. It’s [Player Resource Coordinator/Assistant Director of Player Engagement] Kathy [Mair]. It’s the video department. I mean, this is just a top-notch organization.
But, like I said, it’s everything. The first staff that we hired, was it just guys that I knew? No. We wanted to get the best coaches. And we ended up doing a lot of that just, Howie, do you know anybody here?
There’s a lot of back and forth in there, just like there is when we’re talking about a player and say what do you think, Kenny — you’ve heard our [RB] Kenny Gainwell story, look at this guy, we both love him. Let’s get this guy.
That’s just the way that good organizations, good football teams work. And I value that relationship.
Q. No matter the scheme, what does DT Jordan Davis need to do this offseason to become a regular player on this defense? (Jeff McLane)
COACH SIRIANNI: This year was unique. But I think to me, at least, on that defensive line group, maybe not so much for Jordan because Jordan played at Georgia where they got a deep defensive line group. We have a deep defensive line group. And even the conversations I’ve had with [DT] Milton [Williams] and [DT] Marlon [Tuipulotu], they played a little less than probably what people may think they should have in the sense of we had a lot of different guys playing on that and giving really good reps.
And so that was a unique year. We understand that not every year can be like that and that roles will change. And that’s just not on the defensive line, that’s through everybody. And we have so much confidence in Jordan that he’s going to continue to develop as a player.
He’s going to take the reps — he’s only going to continue to get better with the reps that he has. He has unusual traits. His unusual size, unusual athletic ability, unusual play strength. And looking forward to him being able to get more and more reps.
Q. Speaking of the defensive line from the other night, your pass rush was such a strength this year. Looking back at the tape, why do you think in key moments you weren’t able to get that pass rush that you usually got this season? (Dave Uram)
COACH SIRIANNI: A lot of different factors. Obviously, first and foremost you have to tip your hat to Kansas City, how they got the ball out different ways, schemes to get guys open. Their offensive line did a good job. They did a good job. They have good players. And they’re in that position to play in that game as well.
So, first, you always give credit there. We definitely had different games where we’ve had tons and tons of pressure. And this one wasn’t one of those games. Now, there’s still some pushback, there was still abilities to get there, and we still got some pushback in the pocket and everything like that. But again, sometimes [Chiefs QB Patrick] Mahomes scrambles, he sometimes got it away quick. [Chiefs TE Travis] Kelce got open quick. I think you’ve got to give them a lot of credit there.
Q. What’s the biggest piece of wisdom you walk away from the Super Bowl with? (Tim McManus)
COACH SIRIANNI: The wisdom is that I think we were there. We were close. And all that does to me is make me hungrier to get back and that’s about the last time you’ll hear me say get back because what you’re going to hear me say is we’re going to do it one day at a time one day at a time because that’s the right mindset. But that doesn’t stop you from when you see the red and yellow confetti fall or you have a piece of it stuck on your shirt, that you don’t think to yourself, I have to do everything I can to help our guys get back to this moment.
Maybe that’s not a wisdom thing, maybe that’s more of my drive and I know our players’ drive and I know Howie’s drive to be like, oh, my God, we were there. We talk about climbing the mountain. We climbed the mountain. We’d look one step at a time, one step at a time, one step at a time, and then we slip right before we were able to put our flag at the top of the mountain.
All that does is make you more determined, driven, to make that climb again, to get back to the top and hopefully stand at the top.
Like Rocky, before he fought Drago, and he’s yelling out “Drago,” over the top of Moscow — I use too many Rocky analogies, I get it. But that’s the wisdom that happens.
The other part of it is that half the fun of this thing, half the reason we do this, and a big part of the reason is the journey. So, without getting sentimental here, that is the last time that that group of men will be together.
So you know you’re going to — like Howie said, not everybody — it’s not going to be the same team. There’s going to be draft picks. Jonathan [Gannon] is gone. Shane [Steichen] is gone. Different things are going to happen. But you look back. You always cherish that journey. It didn’t end the way you wanted it to, but the journey was special.
The men involved in the journey were special. The relationships that were built will last forever.
Q. How do you go about the scenario with the offensive line dependent on C Jason Kelce’s decision? (Bo Wulf)
HOWIE ROSEMAN: Was just thinking about what coach said, to be honest with you.
Yeah, for us offensive line is always going to be a priority. You’ve seen the way we’ve built teams. It’s not like we have some secret sauce here. Everyone knows the ingredients. And so, for us we’re going to continue to go through our offseason process. I think for us during the season, we are doing everything for 2023 during the season. So, this isn’t like, hey, we’re a month behind and we’re starting from scratch. We’ve been working this, and coach will come to my office on a Wednesday who are you watching, tell me about this guy.
It’s not like we’re starting from scratch here. We’re going to evaluate all the players. We’re going to make sure that we keep our priorities in the right place here for this offseason and we have a scar. We have a scar on us. And it’s going to heal over time, and we’re going to do everything we can, everything in our power to make sure that we bring the city, our players, our staff, what they deserve.