Q. I know you put a lot of thought into messaging, with this week have you given it any extra thought? You don’t have to tell me exactly what you are going to do in the team meeting but do you have an idea? (Dave Zangaro)
NICK SIRIANNI: No extra thought. I put a lot of thought into it every week. I put a lot of thought really, I think I have told you guys that, I do a lot of these thoughts in the summer when I have some time so I can pick and choose messages but things pop up in the year. Then you come up with different ones. I put a normal amount of thought into it, just like anything. Just like any of these other messages. It’s what we think is important for this week.
Q. One of the advantages you have going into this game is the crowd. What is your message to the crowd to make things especially difficult for one of the toughest opponents you are going to face this season? (Dave Uram)
NICK SIRIANNI: Somebody asked me last week what my message was to [QB] Jalen [Hurts] going into this game. It’s his second playoff game, what’s your message to Jalen? Be you. That would be my same message to our great fans, our great city is just be you.
The reputation of having to come into Philadelphia and play is the reputation that we have because it is intimidating and it’s loud and it’s hype. They are passionate fans; we have great passionate fans. Be who you have been for the entire time the Eagles have been here.
[Defensive Coordinator] Jonathan Gannon always jokes around about when he was in 2017, when he was with the Vikings and they came into Lincoln Financial Field in the NFC Championship game. Every time he talks about it, he’s like ‘Woah, that was intense.’ We were talking about that.
Make the other team, right — where are the cameras — make the other team say, ‘Whoa’, like Jonathan Gannon did five or six years ago.
So that would be my message.
Q. As far as you’re concerned, unless I’m mistaken, this is your first conference title game that you’re coaching in, right? Do you consider this the biggest game that you’re coaching in your career so far? (Dave Uram)
NICK SIRIANNI: No. I think what you would know about me and what our constant message always is is our biggest game is the next game. That’s the way I was raised in this profession, and when I say profession, I got raised by my dad who was a football coach, track coach, and just all the way through my career it was the biggest game is the next game.
If you treat one game bigger than what you treat others, do the other games not matter? Does it not matter as much week eight? So, when you treat them all the same and you go through the same preparation each game, then you don’t ride the roller coaster and the wave of the season.
Q. That said, do you coach differently in a playoff game? Obviously, the stakes are higher. Do you approach it, like you said, just the same as any other game? (Reuben Frank)
NICK SIRIANNI: I know you guys want me to say something different here, like, hey, yeah, this is the biggest one ever. I’m not going to say that, because then like I said, you can’t treat things differently.
Now, there are different rules. Where things with some different rules maybe you treat it a little bit different, right? I speak to like the overtime thing and this and that. Maybe you do and maybe you don’t.
But it’s like, again, you go through your process of everything, what you do on this fourth down or what you do in this decision to go for it here or do something there. You’ve been practicing that your whole career all throughout the year and you put yourself in those positions.
It would be like coming out with a brand-new offense or a brand-new defense. I know San Francisco is not doing that, we’re not doing that. We’re here for a reason, and we’re going to keep going with what got us here.
Q. What changed with special teams after the Packers game? (Bo Wulf)
NICK SIRIANNI: We just found our groove a little bit. We found our groove a little bit. What I really thought was we were playing good football on special teams and there was a play here and there on each game. And I wouldn’t say each game. There were games we had really good games. There was a play here and there that soured the whole game, right, and our vision of what we thought was going on, right?
And so, we’re just being more consistent. At the end of the day, we’re being more consistent. Guys are doing a great job. We have some great guys that are having some great individual efforts. [WR] Zach Pascal, [CB] Zech McPhearson, [CB] Josh Jobe, [LB] Christian Ellis, [S] K’Von Wallace. These guys are putting in really good work, and so guys are playing really well, executing really well. [Special Teams Coordinator] Coach [Michael] Clay and the special teams staff are doing a nice job putting them in position to make plays.
I just think it’s just that. It’s the consistency throughout the entire game.
Q. Is this the most complete team you’ve ever coach? (Stacey Dales)
NICK SIRIANNI: Coached, yeah. We had some good Mount Union teams. I mean, we had some really good Mount Union teams, that’s for darn sure. But, yeah, in the NFL this is the most complete team that I’ve ever been around.
The thing that makes you say that is that I’ve been taught from very young that it’s O-line, D-line, O-line, D-line, O-line, D-line. It doesn’t matter if it’s my son’s pee wee game, it doesn’t matter if it’s a high school game, it doesn’t matter if it’s a college game, it doesn’t matter if it’s a pro game, the O-line, D-line, wins games and sets the tone.
We have a great defensive line. We have a great offensive line. And not only do we have these pieces in place there, we also understand that we have backups and we have rotations, guys ready to step in and make plays and guys that have stepped in to make plays.
We also know this about San Francisco: They have a great O-line and D-line. You get to the NFC Championship game, that’s what it’s going to look like. I haven’t looked at Cincinnati or Kansas City, but I am assuming it is similar traits.
So, it’ll be a battle. Yeah, a lot of credit to our O-line, D-line. A lot of credit to [Executive Vice President/General Manager] Howie [Roseman], and how he’s put this roster together and his staff and [Run Game Coordinator/Offensive Line] coach Stout [Jeff Stoutland] and [Defensive Line] coach [Tracy] Rocker and [Defensive Ends/Outside Linebackers] coach Wash [Jeremiah Washburn]. We have a lot of guys in place that are making it possible with those guys.
Q. What have the conversations been like with Defensive Coordinator Jonathan Gannon this week to try and get inside the head of 49ers Head Coach Kyle Shanahan? Do you geek out on that process? (Tim McManus)
NICK SIRIANNI: It’s similar to the other processes, right? It’s me being able to give him an offensive point of view of the things they’re doing, right? And that’s been the same each week.
Obviously, Coach [Kyle] Shanahan is an unbelievable football coach. We all know that. Everybody knows that. His record speaks for itself. His accomplishments speak for itself. I just try to give [Defensive Coordinator Jonathan] Gannon the offensive point of view. He’s the expert on defense.
I am trying to give him an offensive point of view each and every week of what could potentially give us problems in the run game or in the pass game or in protections. So we talk through things like that. So, it’s been business as usual.
Q. CB Avonte Maddox was able to get out there yesterday a little bit and do some stuff for the first time in a while. How did he come out of that practice? How did he feel physically? (Ed Kracz)
NICK SIRIANNI: We’re going to see a little bit more today. Again, we feel like he’s on a trajectory up. Getting better every day. Today we’ll tell a little bit more.
But, again, like I said, we’re hopeful but we’ll continue to see.
Q. This thing you have with situational football, where does it come from? Is there a particular coach or team you were on that — (Zach Berman)
NICK SIRIANNI: It’s just such a point in the game that’s just — I think the obsession is obsession with detail. And that’s with everything. But there are some things that you just look at and it’s like, can we get an edge here? Maybe not everybody does that.
I remember — it’s different in college, so in college there are a lot less situations. There are different things that happen because of the clock, because of some of the rules, all these different things.
But Todd Haley would talk a lot about Bill Parcells and I felt like — he would talk a ton about him. I feel like I would get a lot of information. I obviously learned a lot from Todd, and then I felt like I was getting — just like somebody that’s around me, probably is like, man I feel like I know [former Mount Union head football coach] Larry Kehres. I’m getting stuff that Larry Kehres did.
So similar with Todd. I remember one of the first training camp practices or training camp meetings we had a big board with all the situations we needed to hit and we’d check them off, and that kind of continued. Frank [Reich] and I were really obsessed with it.
I think when we were in San Diego together, we were really obsessed with it and then we took it to another level with the Colts.
Then it was just something that, I don’t know, something that I just got really interested in. The other thing I find is that I’m in the offensive meeting all the time correcting the tape.
‘Hey, we got to do this here or that here,’ and what I found with the situational thing is it’s my way to coach the entire team, as a head coach should. When we’re in here on situational Saturdays or what we call situational Saturdays or teaching situations from the game, it’s my way to do what I do with the offense to the special teams. It’s my way to do what I do with the offense to the defense.
So, yeah, we have a lot of guys that care. That situational meeting that we have every week, there are a lot of guys in there. My job is to groom coaches to be able to go and do it on their own as well. There are a lot of guys in there and it keeps growing.
Yeah, we are. We’re obsessed with it. It’s not just me, we are obsessed with it as a team.
Q. Has P Arryn Siposs been able to punt? Is he back punting, practicing punts? (Jeff McLane)
NICK SIRIANNI: He’s done some on his own. He hasn’t been back out at practice yet though. Still monitoring that.
Q. When you look at the four quarterbacks in this final four, three of them are 24 and under. Why do you think that is? (Martin Frank)
NICK SIRIANNI: First of all, I think that’s great for this league, it feels like the more guys that play quarterback at a high level in this league, the more exciting this league is.
Now, as an opposing coach might not always want to say, ‘Oh, shoot, this guy is,’ — but the more guys that are good at that position though, it makes the game exciting. It really does, so it’s great for the league.
I love seeing quarterbacks develop because it’s what I grew up watching. Shoot, there’s Dan Marino and Joe Montana and Jim Kelly. Those were the guys. It’s just good to have more guys performing at a really high level.
This year, I don’t know why it is that way this year. What was it last year? Do you know what it was last year?
Q. Joe Burrow, Patrick Mahomes, Tom Brady and Matt Stafford.
NICK SIRIANNI: [Cincinnati Bengals QB Joe] Burrow, [Kansas City Chiefs QB Patrick] Mahomes, [Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB] Brady, and [Los Angeles Rams QB Matt] Stafford. So, it was a little bit of a mix. Sometimes it’s just the ebbs and flows of the year, the teams, and all the different things like that.
But it’s exciting to have some of these young guys go against each other. Again, I don’t know much what’s going on in the AFC except for the teams that are playing there, but they look like they’ve got a really cool rivalry going on there with Burrow and Mahomes, and then we have two young guys in the NFC.
So, it’s exciting to see good young quarterbacks playing good football. It’s really good for the league.
Q. Talking with TE Dallas Goedert yesterday, he was talking about the teach tape, how you guys make him a better player. You talked about it before, you’ll put up Keenan Allen or something. I was just curious from that perspective, do those guys ever make it on the teach tape? Players like Dallas or WR A.J. Brown for example? (John McMullen)
NICK SIRIANNI: Oh, heck yeah. The teach tape is ever evolving. It’s forever changing, right? One thing I always say to them is like there is always — they know if I’m going to put up a certain route, like they know what one is coming up. They know all right, he’s going to correct the curl right here. Here we go. I don’t know what the first curl is… it doesn’t matter. But they know they’re going to see this route versus this look.
What I always say is run a good route and you overtake the teach tape. You’ll be forever on the teach tape. Well, that’s not actually true, because number one is always — the first look is always going to be the very best look.
So, yeah, they always can overtake because all you’re looking for is an opportunity. When you make a correction on a tape, you talk, you go over the tape, and you’re looking at it. I can tell them, ‘Hey when you’re running this route right here, turn your foot a little bit in. Make sure your arch is facing back to the quarterback. Make sure your body is bent, your arms are pumped, your body is bent, your nose is over your toes, and you don’t make a wasted step, and drive back to the quarterback and use your length. I’m getting very into that.
But I can say that all I want. I have to be able to show them. We’re visual. If a coach — I think that’s where that came from. When a coach said something like that to me, I’m looking like this, and basically I’m closing my eyes and trying to visualize that. What a great example to be able to not really say much, say what you want to say, as you show them the tape.
To answer your question there, you do that because you want them to see and feel what you want them to do, right, and how their body needs to move so they can be efficient in their route.
Q. What makes their run defense so good? (Bo Wulf)
NICK SIRIANNI: Really good players and really good coaches. They have a good scheme. They play hard. They tackle well. They can defeat blocks. You talk about football. Who is going to block, tackle, like those are the physical parts of football, blocking, tackling, protecting the football, taking the football away, getting off blocks.
Blocking not just at the offensive line, but everywhere. And they do those things that are — like when we talk about a receiver, the requirement of a receiver is to —
Q. Catch the ball. (Bo Wulf)
NICK SIRIANNI: Catch the ball. Good. You’ve heard me enough and knew that anyway.
It’s the same thing. When you want to a play tough, physical brand of football, it’s tackling. So why I respect their coaches so much is because you can see their players playing with great energy, great effort, and with great fundamental detail with defeating blocks and tackling.
So, a lot of respect to their players, because they got really good players and their coaches, because I can see they’re really coaching the detail.