Q. What has Jets QB Zach Wilson been showing you on tape, especially recently? (Tim McManus)
NICK SIRIANNI: I think he’s done a good job managing the game. I think he’s got a lot of weapons around him that he is utilizing.
I thought he had a really good game last game. Again, sometimes you watch the games in sequence and sometimes in cutups. I see a guy that’s getting better. Again, the weapons around him, they play good complementary football with their defense on the other side of the ball as well.
Q. What’s the plan for LB Nakobe Dean this week in practice, and if he is healthy, is he still the starter? (Zach Berman)
NICK SIRIANNI: We’ll see. We don’t have to make that decision right now. We’re going to see how he looks out there today.
Obviously will be a little bit more individual periods, a little less team periods, and see how the day goes. We don’t have to make that decision on starting right at this particular time. Do we have a plan in our head? Obviously, I think that’s something that we keep tight though for a competitive advantage.
Q. Following up on that, with a young guy like LB Nakobe Dean, what do you ask of him during a month layoff like this to keep him engaged? (Reuben Frank)
NICK SIRIANNI: You don’t have to ask much of him. He wants to be around at all times. He’s a football junkie. Always trying to be around it. You saw that he was at the game. Sometimes you don’t always take guys to the away games. He really wanted to be there. He was great on the sideline.
Obviously, we would rather have him on the field, but he was great on the sideline with his teammates saying what he saw.
So, I thought the way he went about his time off, again, we’ll see what’s going on as the week progresses, but the way he went about his time off was really continuing to try to grow and get better. You just can’t keep him out of the building and can’t keep him out of the film room.
Q. What goes through your mind and what changes about long-term preparation when you see Jets QB Aaron Rodgers go down like that and know he’s not going to play against you guys? After an offseason of thinking we’re going to face the Jets with QB Aaron Rodgers, how does it change for you and your staff when you find out there is no Aaron Rodgers? (Mike Sielski)
NICK SIRIANNI: Obviously when Aaron got hurt, we were getting ready for our next game, right? Was that our second game? We were getting ready for Minnesota.
So, you try to stay in the moment as much as you possibly can, and not think about anything else. That’s a hard mentality to have, but I know it’s the right mentality, to be completely locked in to where you are right now.
And so that wasn’t something that was on our mind, and you cross bridges when you get to them. Now we’re on the bridge of the Jets. We’ll get ready for the players that they have on their team.
Q. During the offseason… (Mike Sielski)
NICK SIRIANNI: Didn’t think about it.
Q. Not at all? (Mike Sielski)
NICK SIRIANNI: No. That’s for you guys to do. Not for me to do. My job is to get the players ready to play, and my job is to get them ready day-in, day-out to get ready to play. That’s their job as well, and be completely locked in for — again, not a mindset I’m asking anybody to understand, but I know the right mindset to have is be completely locked in. That’s something that you don’t have to do that, right? I do. And the team does.
Fans don’t have to do that. We do. We have to be — if you slip up in this league and start looking ahead, if we would have looked towards the Jets in the offseason or Aaron Rodgers or anything like that, we wouldn’t have been ready to tackle the day that we had ahead of us.
So again, not a mindset I’m asking anybody to understand, but a mindset that is necessary to be successful in my opinion in this league.
Q. While you’re on this bridge, however, can you see the difference between what the Jets offense is like with Jets QB Aaron Rodgers and with Jets QB Zach Wilson? (Martin Frank)
NICK SIRIANNI: We didn’t watch any of the pre-season or anything like that, and I don’t think it was many plays before he did get injured.
Q. Following up on the locked in thoughts. You’ve been doing this for a while now. What is the most difficult part of coaching? Managing the people or the X’s and O’s type stuff? (John McMullen)
NICK SIRIANNI: All very important, right? I wouldn’t say one is more important than the other.
I do know that coaching has — there has to be a connection. There has to be a belief that us as coaches can get the player better, right? That’s how the relationship starts.
I say that a lot to our coaches. The relationship’s really important but the relationship can really take off once the player realizes that you can help them get better.
So, it kind of goes hand in hand there. Am I answering your question enough right there?
Q. I meant now that you’ve been in it, so every coach pretty much says this is a little bit different… (John McMullen)
NICK SIRIANNI: I guess I’ve been in it a long time, too. I don’t consider my three years as the head coach — like it’s the same way you go about the X’s and O’s and the relationships with the players or managing the players is the same as — just with bigger aspects of the group.
So, when you’re a quarterback coach you’ve got one guy, or three guys. When you’re a receiver coach, you have a couple more. When you’re an offensive coordinator, got a couple more. When you have the team, couple more.
So, I just think both parts are very, very important. To manage guys, though, they’ve got to know you care about and are connected to them. Both are very important.
Q. Jets Head Coach Robert Saleh was asked about defending the tush push. He said he wanted to make sure QB Jalen Hurts gets 11 kisses after the snap. I was curious, as the play gets more attention, do you see more teams going after QB Jalen Hurts specifically? (Elliot Shorr-Parks)
NICK SIRIANNI: You watch our tape, you know that’s part of our offense. The attention, again, like if Coach Saleh is in there watching the tape, regardless of if anybody is talking about it, he’s trying to do what he can do to defend that play because it shows up.
We don’t just start defending plays because it’s a hot topic in the media, which you know, I understand that.
So, no, they know it’s an important play to be able to defend. We know it’s an important play for us. I don’t think the media attention changes the way defensive coordinators and a head coach like Coach Saleh, how they prepare and go about their business.
And so, no, I don’t notice any difference of that. Just know that people are making an emphasis to stop it and we’re making an emphasis to try to grow and get a little bit better at that each time we step on the field.
Q. Each week different stats come out. You now have the highest winning percentage of any Eagles head coach, and then last week it came out that you are now the eighth coach who has started with consecutive 5-0 seasons. Do these things mean anything to you? (Merrill Reese)
NICK SIRIANNI: That was the first I heard about it right there, so you just broke the news to me. It’s a journey, right? It’s a long journey.
I guess when I was 1-0 after we played Atlanta when we were 1-0, I had the best winning percentage, too, right? I’ve gone down since then, whatever it is.
Long journey. A lot of the season to play. Appreciate you letting me know. Doesn’t mean much to me.
Q. You faced Los Angeles Rams DT Aaron Donald last week, New York Jets DL Quinnen Williams this week. You said you had to be aware where Los Angeles Rams DT Aaron Donald was every play. Does New York Jets DL Quinnen Williams get that same respect, and do you see any similarities or differences? (Ed Kracz)
NICK SIRIANNI: They’re different types of players but get the same type of respect. Very good player. Very good player, excellent.
And so, we have to know where he [Quinnen Williams] is on every single play as well. You know, differences, they have differences of who they are as players, but both very effective with who they are.
So, yes, we’ll be thinking about him. We’ve been thinking about him a lot and we’ll continue to think about him throughout the rest of the week.
Q. Since you’ve been here you guys have been better on the road than at home, which is abnormal, so what is it about being effective as a road team for you guys? That’s not always the case. (Zach Berman)
NICK SIRIANNI: I don’t think we think about it like that. We get ready and go about the preparation that you go about. If you’re going to play a rain game, you get ready for a rain game, if you’re going to play an away game, get ready for an away game. How do you do that? It’s the right nutrition, being hydrated for the long plane ride and practicing crowd noise or the elements you’ll face.
So, we do that and try to do that with everything. Like I said, there have been a lot of away games that have been substantially more Eagles fans than the opposing team’s fans, which speaks to the fan base that we have.
And so just appreciative. I tried to show my appreciation to the Eagles fans in LA and Tampa and look forward to the continued support. Not as long of a drive here to get over there to Met-Life Stadium, so we’ll see how it is. Assuming there are a lot of Eagles fans making their way down. Might not be able to tell by the colors they’re wearing, but we will be able to tell with the noise that’s brought.
Q. Was it strange last week to coach without DT Fletcher Cox on the field? (Dave Zangaro)
NICK SIRIANNI: I told him I’d miss him and I knew he would miss being in there.
But once you get into the game — again, those are — that’s something I definitely said to him and definitely felt going into the game, that I would love coming off to the sideline, getting together with the defense, and high fiving Fletch, right? That’s always a good moment.
You miss those moments with the guys on the field. I think once the game gets going you don’t — I definitely thought about it. I think [DT] Jordan [Davis] couple times was sitting on the spot where Fletch normally would sit.
But yeah, I mean you miss them. I guess I don’t think too much about it during the game except for the couple times, shoot, missed him on that one.
Q. Do you expect him back this week? (Dave Zangaro)
NICK SIRIANNI: We’ll see. We’ll see.
Q. You mentioned Jets DL Quinnen Williams a little bit. Game planning last week, Los Angeles Rams DT Aaron Donald was obviously in the forefront. They have a great supporting cast as well. Can you afford to hone in on just one guy? (John McMullen)
NICK SIRIANNI: They’re really outstanding on defense, you’re right. They have a really good front seven. A lot of respect for the linebackers they have.
The rest of the defensive line. Then they got really good players in the secondary as well. I think they do a great job with Coach Saleh of preparing the defense.
Got a lot of respect for their defensive coordinator as well. And so, yeah, good question because you do have to be locked into the best guys but understanding that there are other guys on the team that will make plays as well.
There is a balance to all that, right? You have to make sure that their best players don’t beat you while also maintaining the other good players they have. That’s a challenge each week in this league because there are so many good players out there.
And so that will be a challenge this week for us to make sure that we know where [Jets DL Quinnen] Williams is at all times, but also being able to handle their other good defenders out there as well. That looks different each week of how we do that.
Q. When you’re trying to balance, getting your playmakers involved, do you ever have to be mindful of not force feeding but at the same time is it important to get them a touch or two when things aren’t going their direction? (Cayden Steele)
NICK SIRIANNI: There are things you can get them, right, to get a touch. But you don’t tell the quarterback just to blast it in there, right? There are some things you can do on screens or something like that, but what if that day the screen is not — the defensive line doesn’t cooperate with screens, or the secondary doesn’t cooperate with screens.
Well, you don’t want to waste the play to get a touch, so you try to call different things. You play the percentage. Maybe this will get to him but it’s never a 100% certain thing, if that makes sense.
You’re trying like crazy to get the guy a touch, but you don’t want to — you want to do what’s best for the team at that point. I can say this: Again, [WR] DeVonta [Smith] was the one that was a little quiet this week as far as his production in the game. That goes in ebbs and flows. Every time, every game, the pass game runs through those three guys, and then sometimes like it’s — they’re going to have big production and sometimes they’re going to be quiet.
But it’s always a constant fight to get them the football. Last year against Detroit, DeVonta didn’t have any catches. Next week he had an unbelievable game.
So that’s what happens sometimes on teams that are really talented with the skill players like we have here. But what it takes is guys that are selfless, care about the success of their teammates, and the ultimate goal, which is winning. I think those three guys are very selfless in their approach and how they play this game.
Q. What’s impressed you the most about RB D’Andre Swift since he got here? (Reuben Frank)
NICK SIRIANNI: I think he’s got this amazing ability to get the ball, make a cut, and then accelerate again. I think you don’t see that unless you’re in person with him and watching that happen over and over again.
I’ve said this before, I don’t know if I said this to you guys, he has the ability — it’s very similar to what I thought [Former Kansas City RB] Jamaal Charles had in my time with him. The ability to cut and accelerate. That’s what — again, I’m not comparing one to the other.
Just that aspect of the game reminds me a lot of that. Boom, I can make him miss and accelerate before the defense closes in on me because I’ve stopped my feet to make you miss.
So that’s been really impressive. He’s tough. I felt like there was a — the play last week I’m like oh, man they got us, right and he somehow made a seven yard carry on it. It was actually on a pass. And somehow made a seven-yard reception out of it.
He’s a really good player. Looking forward to his continued success and trying to get him the football as well of. I think that’s the main thing, what I just said with the comparison to Jamaal in that aspect.
Q. I’m sure you know TV copies of the game have shown animated sidelines for guys. What’s your view on that? Do you view it as a good thing because of passion and competitiveness or do you want more composure? (Zach Berman)
NICK SIRIANNI: I guess I’m animated a lot, right? So, I don’t think I can myself I can be animated on the sideline and then ask anybody else not to be. I think that’s part of the game. Emotion is part of the game.
Getting to the root of the problem is part of the game. Just like you have a way to have a coaching point it’s sometimes going to be delivered with a smack on the butt and sometimes it’s going to be delivered with a yell or whatever it is. Same way it can happen with animation on the sideline, right.
And so, to me, that’s healthy. When you’re connected and together, the only thing that matters is that we’re getting better from it.
[Jokingly] But emotions, if I had to take emotion out of our sideline, I would have to go sit in the press box. And I don’t see many head coaches doing that.