Nick Sirianni

Q. Going into this week, two questions. One, do you have any plans to change play calling duties on the defensive side, and with off ball linebackers, with LB Haason Reddick and LB Nolan Smith and others, reviewing that yesterday, do you have any sense of where Senior Defensive Assistant Matt Patricia or Defensive Coordinator Sean Desai would want to go with that and after working with that a couple of weeks? (Brooks Kubena)

NICK SIRIANNI: No, we’re going to continue to go in the direction we’re going in on defense that we’ve been these last couple weeks. Again, we made an adjustment earlier in the year to get things going back on track. For a couple weeks, we felt like they were, and then yesterday obviously wasn’t up to what we wanted to be able to do and play to our standard or coach to our standard.

But we’ll continue in that direction.

Q. Curious over the last month or so, and maybe over the last 24 hours, how difficult has this been for you personally? (Bo Wulf)

NICK SIRIANNI: When you’re in a rut or you’re in a hole like we’re in right now, just not playing and coaching the way we want to do things, yeah, that’s always tough because you put everything you’ve got into this. The family is there for Christmas and you’re sitting there and you’re grinding through everything because you’re trying like crazy to get everything right and that’s players and coaches. You asked me about myself, and so you think about that, and you put everything — you sacrifice everything. You put everything into it.

So of course, when you’re not seeing the rewards of it, you’re upset, but you can only be upset for so long, and you can only be down for so long because you’ve got to get back up and figure out what the solutions are and what the answers are to the issues that are going on.

And so obviously any time you go through a rut like this, yeah, it’s tough. I think that we have all been through things in our lives that we would all agree are tougher and we know we came out better because of it. You remind yourself of that, those types of things, in these types of moments.

Q. A few games into Matt Patricia being the defensive play-caller, do you have any regrets about making decision when you did? (Dave Zangaro)

NICK SIRIANNI: No. No, I don’t. Again, everything that I do, every decision that I make, is with the thought of the team first and what is best for the team.

You know, the adjustments that I made a couple weeks ago were in attempts to do what was best for the team, and I still believe that. We made some adjustments. Coming off a game like that, no one is going to be satisfied about anything that happened. But I do believe in the guys that we have on the field. I do believe on the guys that we have – the defensive coaches.

And so no, again, every decision I’m trying to make, is what’s best for the team, and I believe that adjustment was necessary and where we are right now.

Q. You guys have had a double-digit lead in nine games this year. You’ve lost three of them and in four others, you ended up scrambling in the last couple minutes to win. Just wonder if you have any thoughts on why you guys have been unable to put teams away when you do build big leads. (Reuben Frank)

NICK SIRIANNI: Yeah, obviously that’s a really good question. I don’t know if there’s ever just one answer to it. You know, I think there’s times where you go through it and I say I’m always going to look at myself first, was I aggressive enough keeping the lead offensively? You’re always going to think through that. And when it doesn’t go – like yesterday, when you come out on the losing end of it, you’re going to think through all those different things.

So of course when I look at the game yesterday and we’re in that four-minute, we get the onside kick and we’re in that four-minute, I like the call, but you know, maybe I could have been more aggressive there. And that’s just me being honest with you guys. That’s something I’m always going to look at first and then it goes into are we putting the guys into position to make plays and are the guys executing them.

But like I said, I’m always going to look at myself first. That’s one thing – we haven’t been great on four-minute offense and that’s me, right. That starts with me. And again, with how aggressive we play it.

I think those are a couple of things. Now, when you’re up ten and you get into four-minute, it’s completely different being up ten in four-minute or one possession in four-minute. So some things went into that to get to that, to where the lead is eaten back up. But to have that lead in that many games and winning six of them and losing three of them, obviously those three that you lose are always going to stick in your mind and you’re going to evaluate everything, and like I said, those are my evaluations – without watching all of them today – my evaluation is that of myself.

Q. I want to see if you agree with the sentiment that it seems like there’s been a weight to this team for most of the season, even when you guys were winning. What do you make of that, and how important is it to kind of shed that in order to have success in the coming weeks here? (Tim McManus)

NICK SIRIANNI: I think that’s expectations and I think that always plays into it. This is what it’s supposed to look like; this is what we know we’re capable of, and that’s our expectations of ourselves.

And knowing that we can continue to play better and coach better. And so I think that has been a little bit of it. I think, you know, if I’m — obviously we’d have to spend some time thinking through that, but my initial reaction is, you know, expectations.

Like I said, we all have high expectations. The fans, you know, us as the Eagles, the coaches, the players, and so it’s just wanting to live up to the expectations. But also, we’ve got to understand that it’s about daily improvements and looking, zoning in just on where we are. I’ve always got to make sure that that’s the focus of the team and myself of being where we are today. That’s why I mean, I know how cliché that sounds coming from a coach that, ‘Hey, you can’t worry about the playoffs. You can’t worry about this. You have to be worried about today; how are we going to put a plan in today while the players are off to beat the Giants, right?’ And just taking those steady moments, I think sometimes you can get yourself out when your expectations — when you feel like you’re not playing to your expectations and coaching to your expectations, it’s easy to look forward and say, ‘Alright, here is what we’ve got to do to get to doing those things.

And you want to do that, but like how are we going to do this in two weeks, in three weeks. Well, it’s just it’s so important that you are locked into where you are at that particular time. So that plays into it, too.

Q. Do you know why Eagles WR A.J. Brown is frustrated or upset? Have you spoken to him and can you convey to us what’s going on there? (Jeff McLane)

NICK SIRIANNI: You know, obviously I don’t want to speak for him. But you know, obviously when you have a dynamic playmaker like [Eagles WR] A.J. [Brown], he’s going to want to change the game at all times and he’s capable of doing that at all times.

And so again, I don’t want to speak for him, but obviously we’re all frustrated. We’re all frustrated right now, especially coming off that loss yesterday. And so you want to be able to have fun. You want to be able to do all these things, and you know, that football brings, but sometimes it’s hard to have fun and hard to find the enjoyment when you’re in a rut like we are.

But he’s always going to want to — he’s always going to want to change the game because he knows he’s capable and that’s just him being the playmaker he is. I know this, and I said this to you guys on the record, off the record, all — everything, that there’s nobody that is as good of a teammate. There is nobody that’s as good of a person as [Eagles WR] A.J. [Brown] and shoot, he’s one of our very best players and one of our best players since I’ve been here in the past three years.

I can’t say enough good things about him. We’re all frustrated, I think and again, like I said, I don’t want to speak for him on anything.

Q. I know you come from an offensive perspective when it comes to the defense and them stopping the run. You’ve had a bunch of 200-yard performances. When you see that inability to do it on a certain game day, and you were able to do it so well early in the season, what’s kind of the disconnect there? (John McMullen)

NICK SIRIANNI: Yeah, I think when you look at that, any time that somebody rushes for 200 yards, you can look at it a bunch of different ways. They had some really good schemes that they did against our defense. They schemed us a couple times. There were a couple times we had some uncharacteristic missed tackles that they had, and granted, give them credit, too. I don’t want to take anything away from them because [Cardinals RB James] Conner is really good at breaking tackles. That’s what he’s good at.

So, sometimes it was our run fits of where we were. And when I say that, it’s like, okay, maybe we missed a run fit by a player, but also we have to coach it better in those scenarios. It’s never — especially when there’s that many, and when it feels like that and it’s over 200 yards, it’s always — there’s never one thing. There’s never one thing. It’s a combination of they schemed us, run fits of us not doing it, not executing it well enough and us not coaching it well enough, and then also some missed tackles based off the guys that they have and what they were doing.

Q. If I could ask about a couple injuries: WR DeVonta Smith was seen in a walking boot after the game. Can you give us an update on his status and what he means to this team? And also, do you expect to have CB Darius Slay back this week against the Giants, or is he someone waiting for the playoffs? (Martin Frank)

NICK SIRIANNI: Yeah, we’ll see on Slay. We’ll see where he is this week. Obviously, we didn’t put him on IR, but we’ll see how his progression is going. He’s worked really hard to get himself back. Really admire the way he’s been working.

As far as DeVonta, obviously he got rolled up on that second-to-last drive on that third down call and he was still on — he came up today and I actually got to see him today. I got to spend some time with him. He was on crutches, still in the boot. And so, we’ll see. We’ll see where he is. He’s tough as anybody we have on this team. This guy, he’s a warrior. He’s tough as heck. He’ll do everything he possibly can to get himself back on that field as fast as he possibly can.

And what he means to this football team is not only the play-making ability that he has to change the game with the ball in his hands, but also just his toughness is contagious. I think his toughness is super contagious. To know that he goes out there and puts his body on the line and throws his body around the way he does, I think that toughness everyone sees it, everybody feeds off it.

So, obviously not having him on that field … Any time a player with the caliber of DeVonta, the play-making ability, not having him on the field is a big deal, but also his toughness will be a big deal as well.

Q. Knowing you guys are at the mercy of the Cowboys here to lose the division, do you consider at all sitting guys this week and maybe even individual guys, you just talked about guys that are injured, does that go into your thought at all, how much process goes with that? (Bob Brookover)

NICK SIRIANNI: Yeah, sure, that’s a good question. Obviously, we always try to think through everything at all times and we are always thinking about those things. We’re going to do whatever we need to do to win this game. But still, that’s a consideration, what you’re saying, because we think through all those different things.

So, we understand we are at the mercy of another team to win the division, all those different things. But we still know that we’ve got to — like you can’t control that game, right. There are so many different things that you can’t control in there, so you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do to win this game.

And hey, we’ve also got to get out of the rut that we’re in, and so I’m not saying to you yes, I’m not saying to you no. I’m saying to you that everything is discussed but there are some unknowns about the game, Dallas and Washington. And we’ve got to start — we’ve got to play and coach good football, too. And to be able to go into the playoffs, again, I’m just answering your question, not that I’m thinking too far ahead, but to go into the playoffs not in a rut.

So, everything is on the table. We’ll think through everything on that. We are preparing right now to play the Giants, and that’s been our big conversation so far. Later this evening, tomorrow, we’ll discuss more about playing and who is up and who is down, so we’ll see.

Q. You mentioned that second-to-last drive. You said maybe you guys could have been more aggressive. I guess what was the approach for that drive? Was it to bleed more of the clock and also, there were some miscommunications on that drive, you guys had the timeout on the third and 20 and the substitution that came in late. What was behind that? (E.J. Smith)

NICK SIRIANNI: Just that, just a little miscommunication. Again, any time something like that happens, that’s on me. The coach-to-quarterback communication, that’s always — that’s on me.

As far as the drive, again you think through different things and different scenarios. We did feel like there was aggression in the play call to be able to run the run that we ran.

But when something like that doesn’t work out, you think to yourself, well, should have done it the other way, right. And that’s just the mud you drag yourself through as a coach. Sometimes the decisions work. Sometimes they don’t work, and when they don’t work, when you’re not the one out there, you know, playing, you think to yourself, what could we have done differently in that scenario, and of course the different thought process would have been to be passive in that scenario.

And shoot, that’s something that we’ve got to live with and we’ve got to think through, and that’s all in attempts for us to get better.

Then I know there was earlier in the year against Washington, we scored — we scored fast. We had that double move to [WR] AJ [Brown], scored fast and that game ended up going into overtime. And not that you think through that. Again, you try to use clock while still being aggressive. If that was easy, everybody would be able to do that, and so it’s not an easy task. I thought it was really important that we got ourselves points, obviously, there, but also get as many first downs as we possibly could and score a touchdown. Hey, it didn’t work out that way, and looking at it, we think to ourselves, all right, this didn’t work.

So not saying next time or anything like that. Obviously, I wouldn’t say that. But you say, well, what would work in this scenario, and that’s — and you drag yourself through the mud and you hope that you come out cleaner on the other side because you’ve gotten better from the scenario that you went through in the loss that you went through.

Q. What’s the reason you guys are dropping LB Haason Reddick into coverage more, and is that maximizing his skill set as a pass-rusher? (Zach Berman)

NICK SIRIANNI: Yeah, good question. Again, you’re trying to not be predictable in different fronts that you’re in. I know when we see somebody that’s predictable in anything, right, that we try to take advantage of that. And so, you’re trying not to be predictable.

We know, he gets paid to rush the passer and he’s really good at it. But again, if the predictability — quarterback is going to get it out even quicker if he knows exactly what’s happening.

So again, there’s some games, he’s going to drop a little more than other games. But make no mistake about it. You know what, I think he dropped six times maybe — what was it?

Q. Seven. (Zach Berman)

NICK SIRIANNI: Seven. He dropped seven times. But there were, I don’t even know how many plays were in that game. He rushed the other ones.

And so, six out of, I think he played 70-some plays, or he maybe played 60-some plays. That happens.

Q. Just wanted to check in quickly to see, it looked like CB Avonte Maddox was going back to get an X-ray as well after the game, if you had an update on him and if there is any potential long-term concern there? (Olivia Reiner)

NICK SIRIANNI: Don’t know all that information yet. And so, I’ll have more information for you on Wednesday about that. I don’t want to talk prematurely on something I don’t have all the information on yet.