Q. Last season you guys had Jim Bob Cooter help out with the short week game preparation. Who’s taking the helm this season? When did that process start? And how tough is it to have a game plan for the second opponent on a short week? (Chris Franklin)
NICK SIRIANNI: We had a unique situation this year where we had our bye week not too long ago, that’s pretty unique. We were able to get a lot of that work done during the bye week.
Obviously, we are doing things a little bit differently this year as far as how we’re going about our process this week, so it was a group effort by everybody because we had a little bit of extra time. So, everybody was able to still do all their parts of the research for this week.
Q. I heard you mention in your post-game speech to the team that playing on a short week is an advantage for the team that thinks it’s an advantage. Do you feel like it’s an advantage for you or is that something you have to talk yourself into? (Dave Zangaro)
NICK SIRIANNI: No, I think the way we go about our process, it is an advantage for us. The way we walk-through, the way we meet. We talk about these things all the time, of how important it is. That not only does your intensity at practice need to be extremely high and detailed, but it needs to be that way in the walk-through, too.
That’s why we say, you’re full speed to the snap in walk-through, so your mind is working as if you’re playing the entire game; your body is just not.
Then in the meetings, it’s high, high, high detail. And that always starts with the coaches. I always say, we can’t have mistakes on things. We have to know the answers, what we’re going to do against this play versus this look, this play versus this look. All the different looks that we could possibly give them, have an answer for them.
But then that also goes to the players as well. When you coach a guy like [C] Jason Kelce, he’s such an intelligent football player. His mind will be working to say, ‘Well what if this happens and what if this happens.’
With how detailed a guy like Jason Kelce is, he’s going to want those answers. It goes both ways, and it forces the coaches to be even more detailed because of how detailed the players are. So that’s a give and take. I always feel like it does start with us as coaches, of the high detail in those meetings.
This isn’t the first time you guys have heard me say that. This is our process regardless of a short week or a regular week. It just so happens on this short week we have walk-throughs and meetings to get the guys’ bodies ready to go.
Q. Do you have more detail on DT Jordan Davis’ ankle injury? And is this a high ankle sprain, as it has been reported? (Jeff McLane)
NICK SIRIANNI: Still working through that. I’m never going to put a timetable on him, and I know you didn’t ask for a timetable, but probably not going to be going this week. We’ll see how it goes and how everything is working through it. Like you said, he has an ankle, but I don’t know the extent of it yet, of how long he’s going to be out.
Q. So not significant? (Jeff McLane)
NICK SIRIANNI: Again, don’t have that information quite yet, Jeff.
Q. After the Carolina game last year, going into the Thursday game you spoke about having all the coaches over for dinner or for game prep rather. If you reflect on that, how much farther along is this coaching staff in terms of the game planning, the system, than you were at this time last year? (Zach Berman)
NICK SIRIANNI: [Joking] Yeah, they wouldn’t come to my house anymore because I think I yell at them sometimes, so sometimes they don’t want to come to my house when they don’t have to be.
We didn’t feel like we needed to do that. You’re right, Zach, that’s exactly what we did that last year. I had them over to my house and did some of the preliminary game planning on first and second down.
With that bye week we didn’t have to get into that, so we were able to go and assess the game that we played against the Steelers yesterday and then spend a little bit of time with our family before the long week.
But as far as where we are, you always are trying to improve your process. I have this long list of things that we do and I’m constantly changing that thing. I like this better, or I like that better.
So, you’re constantly trying to improve your process, and whether that’s how you look at a certain defense, whether that’s how you meet on something, a little addition to a thing you meet on or a subtraction on it. You’re always trying to say, what can we do better. That’s our philosophy as a whole organization: How do we get a little bit better each day, how do we get a little bit better each day?
One thing that we constantly work on as coaches is how we can improve our process. In the past year, obviously, the year plus from back then, we feel like we have done that. We’ve gotten a little bit better each day and working on our process. There are definitely things that are different there that we think are for the better part of the process.
Q. We never hear anybody on the team talk about being undefeated, being 7-0, 6-0. Obviously, they know that. Where do you think that comes from? Does it come from you? The coaches? Does it come from QB Jalen Hurts’ focus? Why is it a good thing that it’s something that never comes up? (Reuben Frank)
NICK SIRIANNI: Because we know that nothing matters, right? Dawg mentality is that nothing matters of what happened before. We’re ready to go today to get ready to go 1-0 this week. That’s something that it’s just a mindset that we have as an organization.
To answer your question, yeah, because it’s the greatest team sport there is, it’s coaches, it’s players, and we have great leaders on this football team that know what it takes. There have been a lot of guys here, whether it’s the guys that put their flag on the top of the mountain of the Super Bowl mountain of the NFL, or guys in college that know what it takes to get to the top of that mountain.
The common denominator of great teams is they focus on one day at a time and they don’t think about the past, they don’t think about the future. They think about where we are and how we’re going to go 1-0 this day, and completely focus on that.
That’s the only way you get better. I think our guys are seeing that, that that’s how you get better. The more you kind of have success with that formula the more buy-in there is, more and more and more.
Again, when you have the guys that we have on our team and the leaders that we have on our team, that’s just how they go about business, and that’s contagious as well.
Q. I just want to ask about DT Marvin Wilson on the practice squad with DT Jordan Davis’ possible long-term injury. How has he looked to you on the practice squad? Looked like he had a pretty good training camp. Would he be ready for a role should he be called upon? (Ed Kracz)
NICK SIRIANNI: Yeah, if he’s called upon, we’re very confident in him. That’s why he’s here, right? The guys that are on the practice squad, we feel great that we are going to be able to bring them up and that they will come in and make plays in a game, otherwise we wouldn’t have them here in that scenario.
With [DT] Marvin [Wilson], I think Marvin, what we saw with him is that he came back in great shape. He came back with his body ready to play. He had a great training camp that we’re like, hopefully — and we’re deep at that room, right? We’re like we can’t keep them all. Hopefully we don’t lose Marvin.
We are fortunate that we have him. If he’s called upon in this game, he’ll be ready to go. We have confidence in him. And again, like I said to you guys, it’s not just like blind faith. We’re seeing him work every single day. We’re evaluating him. We’re evaluating the practice squad players all the time. All the time with the different things that we’re doing with them from the developmental periods to the individual periods to the one-on-one periods, and we have a lot of faith in him if he’s number is called on.