Q. As far as Bills S Damar Hamlin, have you talked to the team? What kind of conversations have you had about what went down Monday night? (Ed Kracz)
NICK SIRIANNI: Any time there’s a situation outside of our building that requires discussion, we definitely do that. That’s kind of our standard operating procedure here, and we did the same thing today.
I won’t get into the conversation and the major specifics, but really just want everyone to know that they have a lot of people that care for them in this building and that the relationships, this is one of the reasons why you build the relationships, so the people that are hurting from this can come talk to the people they need to.
Then, obviously, we just all feel for [Bills S] Damar [Hamlin] and his family and just praying for a speedy recovery.
Q. Where do you stand in terms of QB Jalen Hurts’ readiness for Sunday? (Jeff McLane)
NICK SIRIANNI: We’ll still keep that day-by-day. We don’t have to make a decision yet, and we’re going to see how this week goes, and we’ll see how today’s walk-through goes of everything.
Then tomorrow we’ll see a little bit more because we’ll be more than a walk-through. We’ll be practicing. So, we’ll get a better idea here within the next couple of days.
Q. When you see something like that happen that happened Monday night, how do you — I mean, it reminded all of us, I think, of just our own mortality, and it is truly a life-or-death situation. How do you handle that when talking to guys who might be slightly skittish when they need to dress for this weekend? (Breland Moore)
NICK SIRIANNI: The first thing you do when you see that, it’s just shock. You don’t see that very often, so it just shocks you.
A lot of emotions and things are going through your mind. My first was as a football coach and as a former football player what was going through my mind. Then my thought process turned into how do I mentor 80 guys through a tough situation like this? Then it turned into, well, my son plays football.
There are just a lot of emotions that you have to go through, but to me it is just the support aspect of it. The last thing on my mind is how do I convince them that, like you said, they have to go out and play.
We’re just here for them right now and trying to just be there for them, and this is an opportunity for us to practice what we preach. Do we really believe the connecting thing, or is it all just BS? This is our opportunity to not only say we’re there for you guys, but also be there for them.
So that’s all we care about is that they know that they have a lot of people. All the guys, anybody that’s suffering through this mentally, knows that they have people in this building that care. First of all, they have the resources in this building to be able to talk through things if they need to talk through things with all the different people that we have. But then also they have their teammates and their coaches and a front office that deeply care about these guys.
Just like we do anything, just do it together and get through this tough time. There have been other things that we’ve had these things in these past couple of years as well that you just go through, you have tough conversations, and you go through it, but at the end of the day you just want them to know that you’re there for them and that you’ll do anything you can do.
Then one thing that we talked about was, hey, there are a lot of perks to this game. This game gives us a lot of different things, and we’re completely grateful for those things, but the best perk it gives us are the relationships. If you ask somebody, if you ask a player or a coach who is no longer involved in the game, of course, we’ll be able to rattle off some wins or some plays or whatever, some cool restaurant in Philly that we ate at or anything like that, but the first thing that’s going to come to everybody’s mind is the relationships.
So that’s what you have hoped you’ve built to this point so you can help guys through a tough time.
Q. After speaking with the players are you sensing any hesitancy among any of them about returning to play? (Tim McManus)
NICK SIRIANNI: Not the sense that I’ve gotten, but, again, for the past couple of days when I’ve talked to guys on the phone or seen them in person, that’s not been the focus of the conversation. The focus of the conversations is how can we be there for you? So, we’re not even to that point yet.
We might not ever get to that point, right? It’s just we want to be there for these guys in a tough time, and that’s where we are right now.
Q. How do you balance those conversations with also trying to refocus for a game on Sunday? (Dave Zangaro)
NICK SIRIANNI: You just do. You go from one to the next, and you try to make the transition there because you talk about the tough things that are happening, and you have that conversation and then you transition.
It’s not easy, and it’s not going from, like, meetings to walk-through. That’s not what we’re talking about here, so you just try to move on. It’s a tough balance, but you just try to move on to the next thing and be where you are at that time, but also understanding that guys’ minds could be in other places at that time as well.
Q. What’s the update on DE Josh Sweat, and is he back with the team? (Zach Berman)
NICK SIRIANNI: [DE] Josh [Sweat] was in here today. No update as far as where he is. As far as anything there, we’ll just continue to take it day-by-day.
Obviously, we all know what happened to him on Sunday, but it was good to see him back in here today and a smile on his face. Probably going to be bugging me to play. We’ll see, but we’ll take that day-by-day. I’m glad he is back in the building with his teammates.
Q. Do you anticipate opening the practice window for S Chauncey Gardner-Johnson or DE Robert Quinn? And also, CB Avonte Maddox, is there any update on how is he doing? Do you have a chance to get him back? (Reuben Frank)
NICK SIRIANNI: With [CB] Avonte [Maddox], again, we’re just taking that day-by-day as well. I’m not going to put a timetable on him. I know he is getting better as it goes.
I know he has been in there every day rehabbing and so not sure when we’ll get Avonte back. We’re hopeful that we get him back, but not sure when that’s going to happen.
With [S] Chauncey [Gardner-Johnson] and with [DE] Robert [Quinn], we’ll open their window today and open their practice window today.
Q. QB Jalen Hurts, will he be taking part in the walk-through today? (Tim McManus)
NICK SIRIANNI: Yes.
Q. Last year you ran a quarterback sneak 14 times. This year 30 times, which no other team is doing. My data goes back to 2000, and no one has run a quarterback sneak 30 times since 2000. The highest was 20. So, you guys are running at an unprecedented rate here. What goes into that decision? Why is it working for you, and why is that part of your strategy this year? (Kalyn Kahler)
NICK SIRIANNI: What goes behind the decision is execution breeds confidence, and it’s probably not the right time to say this because we didn’t get the one done on Sunday, but we really just trust those guys in that scenario.
I think somebody asked me if I had to do it again, and I would. The answer is I would do it because I have so much confidence that our guys will get it done and really the confidence starts in those first three guys right there. It’s [C] Jason Kelce, it’s [G] Isaac [Seumalo], and it’s [G] Landon [Dickerson] and them pushing the way right there.
Then it’s the quarterback getting through it, and then there are a lot of different elements to it. So, we have confidence in the play. We’ve scored a bunch of touchdowns on it. We have a lot of third-and-short yardage conversions on it, so that’s where the execution breeds our confidence and why we like to call it.
As far as the pure sheer number of it we’ve been pretty good on first and second downs, obviously with the exception of the last game, but we’ve been pretty good on first and second down where we’re putting ourselves in positions to run these plays because we have a lot of short yardage plays.
So, the sheer number of it of why they’re so high is because we’ve been in a lot of goal-to-goal situations. We’ve been in a lot of short-yardage situations, and that’s where we’ve been comfortable running those plays. So that’s a credit to the guys of what they’ve done on first and second down is why the sheer number of it.
Q. You joked with C Jason Kelce about his 92% stat on that. Did you guys actually have a conversation about it, or was that after the fact? (Bo Wulf)
NICK SIRIANNI: We have a lot of confidence in the play. He is one of the reasons why. I don’t know the exact number of what it was.
Q. Did he lobby you for doing it more or no? (Bo Wulf)
NICK SIRIANNI: I actually can’t quite remember all that, but we do it because of him because he is so good at it. So maybe subconsciously he did lobby just because of how good of a player he is and how good he is at that.
Like I said, we’ve had confidence in the play. We’ve done a good job with the play, and the players have done a great job, and the coaches have done a good job of coaching the detail of the play.
You would be surprised how much detail goes into just that play. Like, well, they just get down low and push, right? There’s so much detail that goes well they into the play and the different things we’ve had conversations with. We’ve done a nice job with that play because of the guys.
Q. You guys have players in those plays mostly – QB Jalen Hurts will get pushed by a couple of players behind him. There are different formations that you use. That’s kind of the feature of it. Talking to people around the league, that seems to be kind of a new aspect of the QB sneak is actually pushing the quarterback, having guys do that. Have you talked to any defensive guys around the league who are annoyed with you for utilizing that advantage? (Kalyn Kahler)
NICK SIRIANNI: Yeah, I’m sure they are. Until they say that we can’t do that, it’s legal. As an offensive coach, there are a lot of things that defensive coaches do that annoy us as well on the opposite end.
So, we’re doing what we can do to put our guys in position to succeed, and then our guys are going out and doing it.
Q. If I could go back to DE Josh Sweat. Obviously, what happened on the field Sunday was kind of traumatic and then to have Buffalo Bills S Damar Hamlin the next night. Do you think that makes it even more difficult for your guys seeing this two days in a row basically? (Martin Frank)
NICK SIRIANNI: Again, I’m not trying to go there. I’m just, again, being there for them to talk through things. Like I said, I’ve had a bunch of conversations with guys.
But, of course, there’s a human side to this too of they see those things and of course, it’s going to affect us in different ways. Not everybody is going to be affected the same way on it.
Josh Sweat’s situation was scary. I think having to watch him lay there and not getting up right away, that’s a scary thing too that the guys have to deal with and have to maneuver. That’s tough.
That’s the tough part of this game. The injuries happen in this game. Again, you just try to be there for the guys, and that’s all you’re trying to do. Everybody’s situation and everybody’s thought process is a little bit different, but that’s why you have the relationships so you can help because not everybody’s case is the same.
Q. As far as the offensive line goes, six sacks. People might say, oh, T Lane Johnson is not there or QB Gardner Minshew held the ball too long. What was your take on that, and how do you think T/G Jack Driscoll did coming in at right tackle? (Ed Kracz)
NICK SIRIANNI: Obviously, you never want to give up that many sacks because they put you behind. It’s worse than an incomplete pass, right, because you’re losing yards on it.
So, there’s plenty of blame to go around for those sacks, right? Whether we didn’t put the player at — first and foremost, we didn’t put the players in a couple of the sacks. Like, man, there wasn’t anybody open on that, and we just didn’t do a good job helping the guys get open. Or whether a receiver didn’t get open on a play or a tight end didn’t get open on a play or running back missed the block.
It’s the best team game there is, and so it truly takes all 11 to do it, and it takes us as coaches too to put them in the right spot. So, a ton of blame to go around for that, and it starts with us as coaches to make sure that we help guys get open in those senses.
I thought [T/G] Jack [Driscoll] did a nice job coming in and playing against a player that’s a good player, and he fought, and he is going to get better from this, so no complaints there with Jack.