Q. Weird one to start off with, but seemed like in the beginning of the game, in addition to late, you guys were taking the play clock down a little bit on offense. Curious if that was an intentional thing to limit the possessions in the game? (Bo Wulf)
NICK SIRIANNI: No, not at all. Our goal is to score as many points as possible. You’re not going to see us try to run any clock. I think that’s just a coincidence. I didn’t notice that. Kudos to you for noticing that.
But it wasn’t anything we were trying to do deliberately. Sometimes checks have things to do with that, changing personnel early on in the game.
You’re not going to see us, though, play that — with the type of offense that we have, you will not see us play that type of game very often, if ever.
Q. G Sua Opeta, can you talk about him and how he’s been doing? Has he exceeded your expectations? (Al Thompson)
NICK SIRIANNI: He’s played great. Done a really nice job. We have a lot of confidence in him dating back multiple years because of the way he’s stepped in and played for us.
We’ve won big games with him. Then he’s come in in place of [C/G] Cam [Jurgens] and we’ve done a nice job on offense, so he’s a big part of that. You win up front, and our guys up front have done a nice job.
Obviously, our depth is good. Tribute to [Executive Vice President/General Manager] Howie [Roseman] and his staff forgetting the right guys in here, and have a lot of respect for Sua. He’s tough, strong. Really strong. Has fit in nicely in between [T] Lane [Johnson] and [C] Jason [Kelce].
Q. I was talking about the sneak last night. You mentioned that it’s first and nine for us. You have that sort of advantage. You talked with Bo Wulf about the clock. Generally, you don’t do that. Is that something blanket you’re not risk adverse, if it’s fourth and one you’re going to go for it, or you don’t want to go that blanket statement? (John McMullen)
NICK SIRIANNI: I think it’s a matter of the game. There are a lot of different scenarios that play out in the game that you might not be — do we have confidence in it? Of course, we do. We have confidence in it. Obviously, you saw that yesterday, that we were successful on two fourth downs on a critical drive because we have confidence in it. And we have confidence in the players.
But that doesn’t mean every situation you do that, with closing your eyes and doing that. I think the game, the way the game is going, the score of the game, the possessions left in the game, there are so many things. That’s why I think it’s funny sometimes when I watch television, when I’m watching a game on TV and it’s like, the coach should 1000% go for this because the analytical numbers say that he should.
Well, there are so many different variables of the way the game is being played, right? So many different variables. Like the percentage of success is based off the big picture, but that big picture, you don’t just go up there and say, ‘hey, here is third down. Call these plays.’ You break it down a lot of different ways. You break it down into third down this section, third down that this section, third down this section, third down when you got to have it, third down when you’re in the red zone, third down in two minute.
There are a lot of variables in that. Well, there are a lot of variables in when you’re making decisions on going for it on fourth down as well. That’s why I chuckle to myself sometimes when I see that. Whether it’s the win probability — because I watched the TV copy yesterday. I always watch that because there are good things to teach.
The win probability from yesterday or whether it’s like the coach should 1000% go for this right here because this is what the numbers say. The game is not played that way. There are so many different variables that go to it.
So, I answered your question in a sense. I have a ton of confidence in the play, but every game scenario is a little different. What I do game A may be different than what we do game B, right? And so, my job is to put the guys in the best possible position to succeed, whether that’s with the design of the play or the decision to go for it on fourth down in different scenarios.
I’m constantly thinking about how we’re putting our guys in position to succeed and our team in position to win the football game.
Q. What’s the update on QB Jalen Hurts’ knee? And did he need any additional evaluation or testing this morning on it? (Dave Zangaro)
NICK SIRIANNI: Seemed like he was in good spirits and good today. We’ll see later in the week of how he’s feeling and everything. I know that he battled through being uncomfortable yesterday. He can answer some of those questions as far as how he felt and all those different things.
I just know this guy is tough as nails and is going to do everything he can do to help our football team win. He knows to help our football team win he has to be on the field, and just credit to him for him playing one of his better games this season through some discomfort that he had yesterday.
Q. I have one for you, and I’m sorry to put you in this position, but a report just came out the Eagles are trading for Titans S Kevin Byard. Any information you can help us with on that? (Zach Berman)
NICK SIRIANNI: Not right now. You read it. I obviously want to get with everybody and talk before I say anything here.
Q. That’s fair. (Zach Berman)
NICK SIRIANNI: You have to ask that question. I respect that.
Q. Appreciate it. The cameras caught you walking off the field in the tunnel screaming, ‘stop doubting the Eagles.’ Do you feel that your team has been doubted, and why do you feel that way, if so? (Zach Berman)
NICK SIRIANNI: I think we kind of went into that game an underdog. Again, you try to block out all noise that is being talked about you, whether that’s good or whether that’s bad.
I think just the nature of this business now, I don’t think it’s realistic that you can completely block it out. I’m going to talk to you today, I’m going to talk to you guys on Wednesday, Friday, talk to the production meeting on Saturday, talk to you all again on Sunday.
So, [Senior Vice President, Communications] Bob [Lange] has to get me prepared for whatever is being said, not just by our local media and you guys, but also the national media. Then it’s unrealistic for our players not to be on social media. That’s part of who they are. So, we do have to hear it. I just think that, yes, you have to block it out. It’s about being mentally tough and being able to block things out, whether good things are being talked about you or bad things.
But if you want to use it as your motivation, if somebody doubting us is good motivation for you and not a distraction for you, use it, by all means, right? You feel that. Have we felt like we have played to our standard? No, but we also know that we are continuing to grow.
I think you’re seeing that. Different aspects are growing each week. That was just an emotional thing because I do believe that from what we’ve heard out there that there has been some doubt. That’s okay.
We’ve given reason to doubt at times this season, as you guys know. Last night was a good win for us. Any time you win in the National Football League is big, especially against a really good team like we played last night.
I just have a lot of respect for — I know those coaches are outstanding, they have outstanding players. So that was a good win for the Eagles.
I think we were feeling like the underdog. You know what? Sometimes I feel like we play better when we feel like the underdog. Whether that’s noise that we hear and we use it as motivation or noise that we make up, whatever we need to do, we’ll look for any edge we can get.
I think that the big thing is that our guys wanted to play a physical game because that’s what our identity is, and I think we did that.
Q. Speaking of a different kind of noise, the Dolphins took a number of pre-snap penalties on offense, defense, and special teams. Just from your perspective on the sideline, what was the atmosphere like in the stadium, and how did crowd noise play a role in your favor? (Olivia Reiner)
NICK SIRIANNI: Yeah, big time. Great question. I think it was just loud and it’s hard to operate. The game has so much parity in it and it’s so hard to win. Every little advantage you can have you want to be able to take advantage of.
I definitely think those things are a huge help. Our crowd was rowdy. You knew it would be yesterday. You knew it would be loud, you knew it would be energetic. I felt that, how cool it was that we were on Sunday Night Football.
I remember looking at [WR] A.J. [Brown] and [TE] Dallas [Goedert] run out for starting lineups, I’m like, ‘man, this is pretty cool. It’s going to be a loud atmosphere tonight,’ and it really played into it. Our crowd helped contribute to that win with the noise that they created.
Shoot, I think they had a delay — I want to say they had delay of game first play of the game. Is that accurate? Then there was another one coming off a break. It’s hard– when you’re coming off break you don’t see many pre-snap penalties. What I mean is like first-and-ten of the drive, first play of the drive.
Tribute to our crowd of how loud it was. I’m assuming that while we’re in here game planning today, I’m going to hear the noise across the street for the Phillies game as well. I know that will be a rowdy atmosphere as well. You have to love Philadelphia sports and being a part of it, and the crowd that goes with it and our fans.
Q. I’m going to pivot from my original question. With the news coming down, what did you think about your secondary, especially the safety position, coming into this weekend? What did you see on tape from this last weekend? What do you know about Titans S Kevin Byard to begin with? (Chris Franklin)
NICK SIRIANNI: I thought our guys played good last night. Obviously to be able to go against the opponent that we went against yesterday, the type of offense we went against yesterday, obviously you’ll want some plays back here and there, but to hold that opponent down, starts with the guys up front on the defensive line.
But then it’s the guys matching the routes on the back end to make the quarterback hold it just a tick longer. I thought we did a really nice job of that. Obviously haven’t been able to talk to our players or anything about that so I’m going to hold off on anything there. I will be happy to answer any questions about the scenario on Wednesday.
Out of respect for the guys on our team and before we talk to anybody, obviously hold on that question.
Q. I know you won’t answer this one super well either, but S Reed Blankenship, T Lane Johnson, all the other injury guys, any updates there and how did Lane come out? (Bo Wulf)
NICK SIRIANNI: They were in today. We’re hopeful. Lane played outstanding. When Lane is on the field, we’re a different football team. He played outstanding. He’s tough as they come. Lane is tough as they come. We’re hopeful about Reed, but obviously we’ll never put any timetable on anything.
When his body is ready to go, he’ll play. I know how tough he is. Shoot, he wanted to be out there this week. If it was up to Reed, he would’ve played this week.
So, we’ll see with him. Obviously, we’re hopeful. We would love to get him back as soon as possible because we know how important he is for our defense.
Q. What has led to the improvement of your run defense so much this year? (Dave Zangaro)
NICK SIRIANNI: I just think the physicality of that group has been outstanding. [DT] Jordan Davis is playing at a high level. Someone sent me something of what [T] Lane [Johnson] said. I think somebody asked — maybe it was you, Dave, because it sounded like the question was exactly the same. He said, ‘have you ever tried to block [DT] Jordan Davis?’ He’s a big man, and, man, he’s fun to be around. What a great pro. He [Jordan Davis] works hard every day to be where he needs to be physically, and great person to be around, connecting with his teammates.
Knows how much fun football is and enjoys being around football and I love that. And then how big time of a player he is.
I start by saying Jordan [Davis] because he’s such a big guy and what Lane [Johnson] said the other day, but you look at all those guys.
You look at [DT] Milton [Williams], you look at [DT Fletcher Cox] Fletch and Fletcher [Cox] is playing at such a high level.
[DT] Jalen Carter is playing at a high level. And, oh, we have [DT] Marlon [Tuipulotu] and [DT Kentavius Street] Street coming off the bench.
That’s a wave of guys that stay fresh throughout the game because of the rotation we’re able to have. [Defensive Line Coach] Coach [Tracy] Rocker has done an unbelievable job.
Then we have the guys on the edge that can set the edge. [LB] Haason Reddick, when you watched him set the edge yesterday against a team that’s been doing a really good job getting the ball to the edge, that was really noticeable.
[DE] Josh Sweat, he was our player the game on defense. We thought he played such an outstanding game. He was player of the game for defense yesterday.
Then [DE Brandon Graham] BG and [DE] Derek Barnett. Watch a couple of the plays, how he sets the edge on the guy slice blocking him from one side to the other on the split zone. I mean, he’s as tough as they come.
[LB Nolan Smith] Nolan. I mean, you want to know why we play the run well? Because we have those guys right there that I’m talking about. Defensive coaches have done a good job putting them in position to make plays, and we have been getting knock-back and being highly physical and violent at the point of attack, and it’s been really noticeable.
It’s been awesome to watch just how physical we have been and that’s what’s stopping the run right now.