Q. DE Robert Quinn, do you think he will be up to speed and ready to play on Sunday, and what does his addition mean for this team? (Rob Kuestner)
NICK SIRIANNI: We’re working on getting him up to speed. He’s a smart guy that’s been in a lot of different systems. Our coaches are working hard, and we’re hopeful he’s playing on Sunday.
His addition adds another good player to the system, amongst a group of guys that can already get after the passer. Then you add another guy, and that’s just more fresh legs coming after the quarterback, which to me is one of the most important positions in football.
Q. Has the term cohabitation matrix, is that still used here? (Tim McManus)
NICK SIRIANNI: Cohabitation matrix?
Q. Executive Vice President/General Manager Howie Roseman used to drop that on us a couple years ago. Like when you’re bringing in guys you kind of cross reference them with people they’ve worked with in the past. (Tim McManus)
NICK SIRIANNI: Yes, I just wasn’t familiar with the term the way you [phrased it]. Yes, of course.
Q. How important was that with all the acquisitions, including Quinn? (Tim McManus)
NICK SIRIANNI: You always want to know about guys, so you’re turning over every stone you possibly can to figure out about the guys that you bring in here. That’s in the draft, free agency, middle-of-the-year trade, everything.
So, there are not a lot of secrets. We know a lot of guys at different spots and guys that have played different places, so yeah, we are doing our homework on that at all times.
Q. What’s your experience coaching against Quinn, and is there any insight as to the dropoff in production this year relative to last year? (Zach Berman)
NICK SIRIANNI: You always had to know where he was at all times, and so there are protections that we’ve had before and that you name them after the player because you’re going to — without giving too much away, you’re going to be very aware of where he is on the field.
There has definitely been a protection we’ve had called 2 Jet Quinn, so, because you want to know where he was.
I have a ton of respect for him as a player. He’s still playing at a high level. Obviously, we know how many sacks he had last year, setting the Bears single season record for sacks, and still seeing him getting after the passer.
Sometimes sacks come in waves, but we still see the juice in his legs, his ability to put the tackle in a threatening spot and create pressure. We’re excited to have him.
Q. He was pretty open yesterday about the shock of coming here and then obviously learning the playbook and even getting to know the names of people in the building, something he says he struggles with. What’s the process of integrating him into this team? (Jeff McLane)
NICK SIRIANNI: You know what the best part of the process is? Having the guys in the locker room that we have, the culture that we have that that’s what we care about, is connecting and getting to know our guys, coaches to players, players to players, players to coaches.
So to me, it’s already built — the players that we have here, the Brandon Grahams, the Jason Kelces, Lane Johnsons, that’s who they are, and so there is not — when it’s running smoothly like that, as we talked about before with the different guys we have integrated this year, it’s just the next guy that comes in and we welcome, we put our arms around them and we welcome them.
Really happy that we have him here.
Q. Is he the kind of guy that can benefit from playing less than 68% he was playing in Chicago working with DE Brandon Graham and DE Josh Sweat and all those guys? (Martin Frank)
NICK SIRIANNI: Sure, we’ll see what we end up going with for playing time with all the guys, and we’re still in discussion through all those things. Just like you guys ask me at times with [TE] Dallas [Goedert] and [WR] AJ [Brown] and [WR] DeVonta [Smith]. We want to get them all the ball. Same thing here. We want them all to be able to rush. They all need to rush, and they all need to go out there and play.
Yeah, we look to have good fresh legs and waves coming at the quarterbacks creating pressure.
Q. What kind of a spark has RB Miles Sanders been able to provide the first couple months, and where is your overall satisfaction with the entire position group? (Josh Tolentino)
NICK SIRIANNI: I love that position group. Right at the beginning of the year I was super excited with the guys as far as Miles and [RB] Boston [Scott] and [RB] Kenny [Gainwell]. Then I was really excited about the addition of [RB] Trey [Sermon], who we did a ton of work on.
Again, you look at all these guys in the draft and then you’re disappointed when you can’t get them because someone else takes them.
It was awesome to be able to get a third-round pick in Trey to be on our football team. He played good in the game that he was able to play. He was up for a couple games, but played really good in the one he got carries against in Jacksonville.
So, I love that group. [Running backs/assistant head coach] Jemal Singleton, the running back coach, is doing a great job of coaching them. They’re doing a great job protecting the football, the emphasis of it. They are playing with great fundamentals. Miles is obviously our guy and is making big plays on top of big plays.
That’s not something that’s surprising to us because we see that in practice every day. Thought he had a great practice yesterday. Excited for him to be able to play against his hometown team. That’s kind of a cool thing.
Not that he’s putting any more emphasis on it than he normally does, but it’s pretty cool that all his friends will be able to — and family members who probably grew up Steelers fans, knowing that area, that they’re going to be able to see him play and be proud of him.
The guys at Woodland Hills High School over there where Miles went, I know some guys that played at Woodland Hills. A guy I coached with at IUP played at Woodland Hills.
It’s just a cool thing.
Q. I’m curious about your Saturday situational meetings. How do you come up with the situations each week? When you quiz the coaches, are the answers usually black and white or are you trying to come up with ideas for what to do in those situations? (Zach Berman)
NICK SIRIANNI: The situational meeting is not just limited to that Saturday. There is a lot of work that goes into it. There is a Thursday meeting that’s a situation meeting. There is a Friday meeting that’s a situation meeting. That’s just with coaches, myself, [Offensive Coordinator] Shane [Steichen], [Defensive Coordinator Jonathan] Gannon, [Special Teams Coordinator Michael] Clay is in and out of that at times because it’s not always pertaining to Coach Clay.
You’re trying to put yourself in as many scenarios as you possibly can so you do have as much — now, it’s never clearly black and white ever in this game, so you’re always trying to make it as close to it as you possibly can because there are always little bits of gray. So, we worked hard there.
Then we get into this scenario, and, yeah, we quiz, everybody’s there. Shane has to make that call in less than 40 seconds, ten seconds, to be able to let the players — and it’s really quicker than that. Gannon has to make that call even quicker at times.
So, we are putting them in those scenarios, and it’s also by design to let the players hear it– because the players don’t to have call the play. They just have to react to the situation and the play that’s called. It’s kind of going in the same steps of the way a game would go. Shane will call a play, players know the scenario we are on, we give our reminders for that play or that scenario, and they have to go [snapping fingers].
So, we are basically doing what we would do in a walk-through or practice setting. You are practicing what’s to come.
Q. Earlier Sixers Head Coach Doc Rivers was asked about Philadelphia Phillies Bryce Harper’s homer. He talked so much about his ability to focus through the rain, the noise, all those kinds of things. Just curious from a coach’s perspective, can you teach that ability to block it out, and what kind of skill does that take? (Rob Kuestner)
NICK SIRIANNI: We sure as heck try. We sure as heck try, because there are a lot of things that grab for your attention. We talk probably ad nauseam to the players about dawg mentality. What does that mean? That means who cares what happened last week. Who cares whether it was good. Bryce Harper, you hit a homerun last time? Okay, here we go. We have to go do it again.
Controlling what you can control. You can’t control the crowd noise. Well, sometimes at home you can quiet them down. You can’t control the rain, the weather. You control what you can control. We talk at length about that.
That’s what I say to the guys. Sometimes good coaching to me is when you know what I’m going to say. So, lock into where you are. I don’t care if you’re 6-0. I don’t know all of Bryce’s stats, but I don’t care that you hit four home runs in the series to date. I’m sure he’s thinking too, today, I was the NL MVP, he’s ready to play today. You can tell the focus that he has like Coach Rivers said.
You preach it and you hope that when you’re preaching it, it gets through and the guys do it. These guys are professionals and we have great professionals on this team that know what it takes in this long season to be able to, boom, next play, boom, next play, boom, next week type mentality.