Nick Sirianni

Q. First time speaking with you since the matchup has been finalized. General thoughts on the Chiefs and also where were you able to watch the game on Sunday night? (Josh Tolentino)

NICK SIRIANNI: We watched the game at my house. We obviously stayed at the stadium for a little bit, took pictures with the family and things like that, enjoyed the moment. 

Then really got back to the house around the second half. Had my parents there, my wife’s parents there, my brothers, their families. Actually, my sister-in-law flew in and her husband, he’s actually from Kansas City and that’s where I met my wife. He is not conflicted, though. He is a Kansas City Chiefs fan, but he also knows that he comes to my house every Christmas, so he’s rooting for us now.

But that’s where we watched the game.

As far as the Chiefs, obviously they’ve been really good for a long time, great organization. [Chiefs Head] Coach [Andy] Reid is a great coach, and [Chiefs QB] Patrick Mahomes is one of the best players in the world, [Chiefs TE] Travis Kelce, [Chiefs DT] Chris Jones. They have good players everywhere, and really good coaching.

We’re just in our early stages of studying them, having a couple weeks here. Yesterday was more of a review of the game day and doing some of the logistics things and then with everything, but then today, we’re in our early stages of studying the Chiefs, and that’s where we are right now.

But really good team, obviously, as you would expect, as they’re in the Super Bowl.

Q. How much do you rely on previous experiences the team went through in the 2017-2018 Super Bowl run, and how do you balance it with your own messaging and your own ideas on how to prepare for the week and who have you talked to to prepare for everything? (Chris Franklin)

NICK SIRIANNI: I’ve talked to a lot of different guys. Obviously, a handful of guys were here as far as our players go for the Super Bowl in 2018, but there were a lot of people in the building that were here and that’s obviously an advantage, schedule-wise, things like that.

I’ve talked to multiple different coaches, [Passing Game Coordinator] Kevin Patullo has helped me a lot with that, as well, being able to reach out to some of the other coaches that have went through this before.

We feel good about our schedule, about what we’re doing this week, about what we’re going to do next week and everything like that. You just go through the process like you do with everything else and try to leave no stone unturned when you’re thinking about what’s the best schedule for you as your team.

And the year is different, right? The year is different. We obviously have the schedule that the team used in 2018, but there are obviously going to be some adjustments and differences because the way we practice is different. There are just some different things.

But just trying to not leave any stone unturned and do what’s best for us as a team.

Q. With that said, what do you want to accomplish this week before you actually get to Phoenix? (Dave Zangaro)

NICK SIRIANNI: Without giving too much out there, you’re working on getting a big chunk of your game plan done and practicing like a normal week, knowing that the schedule when you get out there next week is a little bit different.

So, you’re going to try to keep everything as similar as possible. We’re going to keep these next two weeks as normal as we possibly can for our guys and our schedule.

Q. I was wondering, obviously Kansas City was important to your career, and you mentioned your personal life there a little bit. You talked about it a while back, but when Kansas City Chiefs Head Coach Andy Reid came in and you got to meet with him, do you remember what went on in that meeting, and did you try to pick his brain as far as what kind of coach he was? (John McMullen)

NICK SIRIANNI: That probably wasn’t the time, so I didn’t get a chance to there. It was kind of more so just kind of receiving my fate there. He had a guy that I really admired that he pulled me into the office and asked to meet with me and told me face to face that he had a guy, but had heard good things about me, and I appreciated that, his honesty, his ability to get to me as soon as he possibly could so I could move on and find another job.

I didn’t get a chance to pick his brain at all on anything like that but got a ton of respect for Coach Reid and who he is as a person and who he is as a coach. His record speaks for itself, but you talk to anybody, and they think even higher of him as a person.

Do I know him all that well? No. But I have a high amount of respect for him.

Q. I want to ask you about the actual game planning process. I think you were asked about handing over the play calling to Offensive Coordinator Shane Steichen and said the thing you enjoy more is the game planning process during the week. Why is that? (Bo Wulf)

NICK SIRIANNI: It’s just the process. It’s the same reason that you enjoy the journey of the season more than maybe you enjoy just one particular game because it’s just all about the journey.

I love being in the game plan meetings, going and grinding and dissecting through all the film and finding the little things that you needed to find to help the players be successful, put them in good positions, help them understand the opponent.

It’s just the camaraderie with the coaches, the camaraderie with the players. When you go through that process together, we talk so much about connecting, that’s a big important part of it, of the connecting, because you’re tired together, you feel like your eyes are bleeding at times together, all our backs and our necks are messed up because we’re sitting in these chairs looking at a computer screen. We’re all that way together as far as coaches.

Then kind of talking about the plan and discussing the plan and refining the details of the plans with the players who we have really smart players that we talk through these things with, and tweak things based off what they see, as well.

It’s just the grind that you love, it’s the journey that you love, it’s the camaraderie from the grind and the journey that continues to pull people together.

Q. Getting back to Kansas City real quick, was that more important for your professional or personal life, your time there? (Jeff McLane)

NICK SIRIANNI: Well, I have to say personal life. I met my wife there. Obviously meeting my wife there, that will always be a special place to us because of that.

Then professionally, my first stint in the NFL. Obviously, it was really important both ways. Kansas City is a great town. We really enjoyed our time there. My wife had a lot of friends there. I made some good friends there, as well, none of which I would assume are rooting for us or our family this weekend, but that’s okay.

When you have something as significant as meeting your wife there in that city, that place, that time frame, that city is always going to carry a special place in my heart because of that.

Q. Was the wedding there? (Jeff McLane)

NICK SIRIANNI: No, it was in Springfield, Missouri. That’s where my wife is from. They’re close to the Arkansas border, so it’s like three hours southwest maybe of that.

Q. I heard Todd Haley tell a story of how you kind of stalked him at a YMCA to get to know him and ask for a coaching opportunity. Do you remember that experience, what it was like? And obviously he gave you your first shot in the NFL. (Rob Maaddi)

NICK SIRIANNI: Somebody introduced Todd and I. I was home for a couple weeks in the summer and Todd was there vacationing. Somebody that was at the gym said, ‘Hey, this is a local college receiver. He plays at Mount Union; and then ‘Hey, this is the receiver coach.’ I think Todd was at the Jets right there.

So it all started off, well, how do I make myself a better football player. That was where I first met Todd. How do I make myself a better football player, and Todd was very open to helping me out, and I really admired that, that he would want to help me out.

I remember it started off like give me some wide receiver drills to do, some things, talking through some routes and stuff like that. Then I turned into a coach, and just so happened to be a receiver coach, defensive back coach then receiver coach, so then talking through that stuff with him, as well.

Once I became a coach and figured out that that was going to be my profession, then I think I had his number, we’d text back and forth like that, and then he got a head [coaching] job and I was lucky that he made me part of his staff.

As far as the stalking goes, yeah, I think sometimes I would go there – I wanted knowledge. You guys know me. I’ll do anything to make myself better at what I do, whether it was a player or whether it was a coach. I remember the times he would go there and I just so happened to lift some of the times there when he was there at those times. Hey, it worked. It worked.

The same thing I say to my wife when she kind of says to me, ‘When you first met me you used the Chiefs card.’ Yeah, you worked for the Chiefs. I said, ‘Hey, it worked.’ So whatever I needed to do to get my wife, whatever I needed to do to get in good with Todd Haley, I did both of those things.

Q. After the game a lot of the questions were big-picture questions. As you think back to that game, what plays or moments jump out to you? (Zach Berman)

NICK SIRIANNI: The whole thing as far as just being in an electric atmosphere was really awesome as far as just the whole atmosphere. The plays — I just felt like we were very physical in the game. You really saw that throughout the entire game. You saw that with the first touchdown run, the combination blocks from [G] Landon [Dickerson] and [C] Jason [Kelce] as well as [G] Isaac [Seumalo] and [T] Lane [Johnson]. That really showed up.

You saw the physicality of our defense the entire day, finishing off plays, and there were some really good tackles our guys made getting off blocks.

Because we talk so much about being physical, physically tough and mentally tough, there’s just a lot of that that popped up through the game. I know that the game started with a really good kickoff return and we had a pretty good start on that play with a combination block on one of their really good players to start us off.

Those are the plays that stick out because that was the thought all week of just how we’re going to be mentally tough and how we’re going to be physically tough and hopefully do it for longer than they were.

Q. You talked so much all year about keeping the process the same, keeping every day the same, focusing on the moment and not the past or the future. That’s going to be really tough to do out in Arizona. Everything changes, like you said earlier. How do you impress upon your guys the importance of sticking to that process even though with all the distractions you’re going to face, all the national media, everything that happens Super Bowl week? How do you keep them focusing on the minute mode? (Reuben Frank)

NICK SIRIANNI: It’s just like anything. You’re going to just preach it and talk about it, and because we understand that it is real. Early in the year, I told you guys we do a talk about roles, what everybody’s role is going to be. That’s one thing you’ve talked to me about. Another thing that we talk about are distractions.

You say distractions — and we’ll probably give this talk again — but you say in distraction, your job, our job is to get a little bit better each day, right, is to climb. How do I get a little bit better each day. We don’t need to think about getting way down the road here, but how do we get a little bit better today.

And our formula for that, we always talk about this, is practicing with high, high intensity, high, high detail and job description in the meeting, and full speed to the snap and walk-through.

Well, one thing that can stop you from getting a little bit better each day, even if you are doing those three things I just said, is distractions in the outside world. So we talk about that. Everybody’s distractions look different. Everybody’s distractions aren’t the same. We all have different distractions.

We’ll touch back on that and just understanding, hey, what can stop you from doing this, to go 1-0 each day so you can go 1-0 this week. Distractions can. I already know what to expect when we go out there and practice. Our guys are going to practice their butts off, all those different things, all the things I just said.

It’s just how do we eliminate distractions, and it’s hard. It will be hard. It will be a challenge. But again, when you’re playing for something that’s bigger than yourself, right, because of the relationships that you have with the teammates that you have and the coaches that you have, then you’re willing to sacrifice things.

And that’s the definition I talk about all the time. That’s the definition, the greatest motivator is love, and I know our guys love each other, and sacrificing things is one of the greatest indicators of love.

It’s just, know your distractions is the first thing; try to eliminate them as much as you possibly can this week with what’s going on so we can go 1-0 each day. That will be essentially the message of what we talk about, and it will be a repeat, and that’s essentially a repeat message that we started the year with.

You say, too, things like, well, you guys have gone to such great lengths, such great lengths, put your bodies through so many different things, sacrificed all these different things to get to where you are now; let’s see if we can continue to eliminate distractions for these last two weeks so we can reach our goals.

Q. I just want to point out based on his rendition of the fight song, QB Jalen Hurts may heal faster than me, but he does not sing better than me. Just pointing that out. (Mike Sielski)


Q. What is it we don’t see at practice, in the building, in team meetings, that makes Run Game Coordinator/Offensive Line coach Jeff Stoutland such a good coach? (Mike Sielski)

NICK SIRIANNI: High, high detail, high energy would be the first two things that really come to my mind. Trying to put the players in every position they possibly can prior to them going out there, putting their rules in place, putting their footwork in place, based off the different looks that they get.

High, high, high detail. High intelligence, too, with being in there, having done that. Understanding what different looks will require them to do, putting the players in good positions with our run game plan, and then just high intensity.

Similar to what we talk about that are common denominators with good players, high detail, love football. This guy loves football. [Run Game Coordinator/Offensive Line Jeff] Stout [Stoutland] loves football. He’s always here. He’s always working. He’s always looking, and he loves his guys, and he loves the guys on this team. It’s not just the offensive linemen. I always see him talking to other players on this team because he knows how important it is to connect.

But he does love his offensive line so much that he’s willing to go — and that’s the whole point of everything we always talk about. He’s so willing to go the extra mile for them because he loves them and he doesn’t want to let them down.

That’s the whole point when you have these relationships, Stout is the epitome of this. When you have these relationships, you go a little bit further than what you deemed possible. You go further than what you thought your limits could reach because you’re connected to the offensive line.

He just doesn’t stop. He’s relentless. I always say this: good leadership, good coaching is when you know what I’m going to say, and there’s a part of that to it, too. He’s not going to get bored of hey, if this step is off or if a technique is off, a fundamental is off, or a point or anything like that is off, you’re going to hear about it. He’s going to let them know. He’s going to talk through it with them.

That’s just going back to detail, and I could talk all day here with Stout. Obviously one of the best coaches I’ve ever been around, and our guys greatly — the proof is in the pudding with the development of his players, of how good his players play for him and how good they want to do for him, as well.

Q. I know how you like to absorb knowledge to obviously move further and further along in everything you do. It’s a game, but we know it’s a big game. What is the best advice you or your coaches or anybody got preparing and getting ready for this game that you can use and maybe impress upon with the players? (Howard Eskin)

NICK SIRIANNI: It’s going to go back to the same thing that we kind of started the playoffs with, it is the next game, and don’t try to make it too much. Don’t try to make too much of it as far as — we understand the stakes. Everybody understands the stakes, but our job is to literally look at the day of where we are right now and take the steps that we need to take today. That’s not going to change. I don’t care — this is the biggest game in football. We all know that. It’s the biggest game; it’s the Super Bowl. It’s the biggest game that anybody will ever play in football. We understand that.

But when you start treating these games differently, that’s when mistakes happen. That’s when you don’t stick to the process of who you are and your identity as a team, your fundamentals, all the things we’ve been talking about all year.

And that’s not to say scheduling. You’re going to do different things scheduling because next week is going to require different things scheduling, so you try to go and talk to different people that have been here before, just like I do with everything. I try to talk to the experts that we have in the building on things and then make a decision that’s best for the team.

As far as just the overall everything that goes along with the game, halftime is different, so that will be a little bit different, how we do that. Everything else is just be as in the moment as possible and not think about the magnitude of the game, because it is, it’s just the next opportunity for us to get better for each other, for us to get better as individuals, and for us to go out and play for each other one more time this year.

This is the last time this team will be together, but that doesn’t mean you treat it any different. You go about it the exact same way. I can’t wait to go up there and finish some of our 1st and 2nd down plan that we’re doing right now with the guys and just go through the same process over and over and over again.

That’s something I learned so much last year, too, of just being 2-5, how are we going to climb out of this hole that we’re in? One day at a time, one meeting at a time, one practice at a time, over and over and over and over again.

Q. I wanted to take you back to the time when you guys played the Kansas City Chiefs early in the ’21 season, I think it was like week 4. QB Jalen Hurts threw for a career high 387 yards, you guys stayed toe to toe with the Chiefs, even though you obviously don’t have the roster or didn’t have the roster that you do now. I was wondering what you learned about Jalen from that game, just how he took it upon himself to kind of go toe to toe with Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes and everything? (Martin Frank)

NICK SIRIANNI: I thought he played really well that game. Actually, that was one of the things we’re doing too right now, is just rewatching some of that, just like I know they are, just watching some of the things that happened in that game.

I thought Jalen played a really good game. I know everybody did, and then just to see him, how he’s continued to grow each day since then.

That’s some of the things you see there, too, are like, man, he continues to get better. He had a great game this day, but he continues to get better.

That’s the kind of guy he is. He just strives to get better each day.

I don’t have any particular plays that stick out or anything like that from the game, again, just watching it, looking at some things from it. But just Jalen, his leadership, his ability to improve each day, you’ll definitely see that, and you’ve definitely seen him improve since that day.