Nick Sirianni

Q. What was your messaging this week and how did you go about delivering it? (Tim McManus)

NICK SIRIANNI: We talked a lot about our identity as a football team and what we’re continuing to build. One thing we talk about is physicality, and that was kind of like our identity last year, we really felt like we’re mean, we’re tough, we’re nasty, [and] we’re physical.

That’s kind of what the message was – same message this week. There are a lot of football clips to show  guys being mean and nasty, tough and physical. There were a lot of clips at my disposal and I used one of those.

Q. What did you pull out? (Tim McManus)

NICK SIRIANNI: I’ll keep that one in house.

Q. Where do things stand with T Jordan Mailata, K Jake Elliott, and CB Avonte Maddox? (Jeff McLane)

NICK SIRIANNI: We’ll give you guys an injury report later. We’re still talking through some things. Again, I won’t set the precedent now and talk about it until after.

Q. A report came out specifically on K Jake Elliott that he will not play. (Jeff McLane)

NICK SIRIANNI: That’s a report, but that’s not from us. So, we’ll continue to monitor and we’ll let you know later today.

Q. When you have to sign an emergency kicker type guy, obviously you can look at the stats, but do you go beyond that and kind of try to figure out is this guy mentally tough enough in his first NFL game to make a 43 yard… how do you evaluate all that? (Reuben Frank)

NICK SIRIANNI: You go through the same or very similar process to when you go through the draft as far as toughness, mental toughness – all those different things.

He [K Cameron Dicker] was kicking and we put him through a couple different things that tested and showed that for us. I know there’s a big game this weekend between Oklahoma and Texas, and I know he made a big time kick in that game and that’s one of the bigger games obviously in college football.

So, yeah, we were comfortable with that. If he’s got to play, we’re confident in him.

Q. Last year you had WR DeVonta Smith come in and start right away. You had G Landon Dickerson. By the third game you had DT Milton Williams, a bunch of guys contributing on offense, defense. This year it’s kind of the opposite of that with your rookies. What’s your message to them in terms of waiting their turn and being ready? (Jeff McLane)

NICK SIRIANNI: Exactly that, that you’re only one snap away from having a more predominant role. Know what your role is and contribute like crazy on special teams.

[LB] Nakobe [Dean] made a big play on special teams last week on a kickoff. [C/G] Cam [Jurgens] is doing a great job just being in [C] Jason’s [Kelce] hip and getting good reps at practice, [and] we’re gaining more and more confidence in him. Just give us that confidence in practice and by going out and working. I think [LB] Kyron [Johnson] has done a really nice job of giving us some great special teams reps. So, the message is know your role, contribute in your role, but also look to extend your role. And how do you do that? By coming to work every day, by grinding every day, [and] by showing us you can play every single day.

Q. In the event of a turnover on offense, what’s your approach with offensive players? I ask because you saw T Jordan Mailata get hurt. I’m sure you talked about this quite a bit with former Colts QB Andrew Luck. What’s the coaching point? (Zach Berman)

NICK SIRIANNI: Let our defense play defense. Let our defense play defense and stop them from getting in the end zone, by all means.

So, I think I need to do a better job of coaching the tackling of the offensive guys. And for [T] Jordan [Mailata] right there, [the] simple coaching point is get to your back when you dive for a leg. I said to him, I go, ‘That’s my fault. I didn’t coach you this way.’

He said to me, ‘I’ve been playing rugby my whole life, I knew that wasn’t what I was supposed to do.’ But still, they know they’re not supposed to fumble or go out of bounds in four minute. I still am the one that needs to remind them. That’s my job as the head coach. That’s my job as a coach. So, I need to do a better job at that, so I’m beating myself up about that, pulling myself through the mud about that.

But [we have] to get them down. [P] Arryn Siposs got them down in the Minnesota game and that was a big difference in the game. We got to let them get them down, let our defense play defense, and to me, I treat that as like a four-point play. If you get a turnover in our side of the field, you getting them down potentially just made it a four point play. We saved four points and we know in this league that those matter.

There is a Super Bowl… I was with Todd Haley at Kansas City, and Todd was emphatic about showing the Super Bowl clip [from when] Todd was the offensive coordinator for the Arizona Cardinals when James Harrison returned it 100 yards for a touchdown.

And you can see in that clip there was of couple guys that didn’t… you know, the guys were going, but maybe they weren’t going right away, right? So, the point that was made to me my first year in the NFL is you got to go right away and get the guy down.

Because look what happens here. [Former Cardinals WRs] Larry Fitzgerald and Steve Breaston tackle them at the one-yard line and pull them into the end zone – which just so happens [to be] the way my son scored a touchdown last week. He caught it, ran for a touchdown, and he got tackled at the one and fell in the end zone. But you got to go right now – put a little plug in for my son (laughter) – but you got to go right now and get them down and let the defense play defense. In that situation in the Super Bowl, that would have been the end of the half.

So that is our coaching point. We do talk a lot about it. But I didn’t do a good enough job coaching Jordan on if he did dive at the leg to get to your back. Like I said, I’m beating myself up about it.

Q. You’re usually on the positive side of the stress off schedule offense can put on the opposing defense. This week you kind of get it from both ends of the spectrum. How much does it help your defense to work against QB Jalen Hurts when it comes to that situation? (John McMullen)

NICK SIRIANNI: I think big time, yeah. The fact that they’ve had to handle [QB] Jalen [Hurts] all training camp and all OTAs, it makes it a big difference. At least it’s not their first time doing it.

When I was a college coach and coaching defense at Mount Union, we played somebody and they were running the – I think we were playing like… I can’t remember who it was. But they were running triple option. And we were like, well, we’ve never seen this before. We sat there – I remember the week so vividly –we sat there all week, like, alright, what if this happens? Okay, then what if this happens?

We’re putting ourselves through those scenarios of all these different things that you can see in the triple option – I think it was Augustana, maybe it was Augustana – that you had to do against Augustana. We tried to put ourselves in that scenario as much as we can because we didn’t see it.

Well, my point is our defense has had to do that and has had to do that in practice a lot. Now, they don’t get to hit Jalen, right, and we’re going to have to go out there and tackle him live, but he’s a really good player. [Cardinals QB] Kyler [Murray] is a really good player. He can make plays with his arm. He can make plays with his feet. Very dynamic playmaker, and we’re going to have to be on it to make sure we’re doing the things to contain him.

In my opinion, and to answer your question, it definitely helps the fact that this isn’t their first rodeo with it. What’s different about it is now you got it tackle them. Yeah, to answer your question.