Q. When you put the staff together, one of the things you were asked about was the lack of a former head coach on the team – or on the staff, somebody to bounce ideas off of. How has that played out and are you still regularly in touch with Colts Head Coach Frank Reich in terms of just going through stuff like that? (Bo Wulf)
NICK SIRIANNI: I think it’s played out well. I trust the guys, obviously immensely, on the staff that I can bounce ideas off of them as well. We’ve all been around good coaches, too, that we were close with as well.
I do have a list of guys that I can call. Yeah, no secret, I was on the phone with Frank yesterday, I was on the phone with Frank the day before that too on the way home. I might have talked to him a little bit more this week than I talked to my wife.
Yeah, I feel really confident that I can call guys that I trust. You know what, I got a dad who was a coach and I got brothers who are coaches, too. I feel like I got a lot of good people in my corner.
Q. What kind of stuff do you and Frank talk about? (Bo Wulf)
NICK SIRIANNI: Obviously, I’m going to keep those a little bit more private, but anything. Anything and everything. That’s a guy I’m really close to and it’s not just football. It’s not just X’s and O’s. It’s the communication with the team, leading the team and then just life in general as well.
Q. As far as game management goes, when you’re in the guts of the game, obviously you’re a play-caller, so things come up. Timeouts, end of half, end of game, might be a rules thing. Do you have somebody specifically set to look at certain things, whether it is timeouts, challenges, things like that? (John McMullen)
NICK SIRIANNI: I do. I do. I have a couple guys that are helping me out with that. But at the end of the day, everything, I get, is going to fall on me. That’s just my role as the head coach, that no matter what happens in the building, I’m going to lean on people that are experts in the things, but I know ultimately at the end of the day, everything and every decision is on me.
Q. Are you comfortable saying who is responsible? (John McMullen)
NICK SIRIANNI: No, because it’s a group effort. I would just rather – those questions about if anything happens in game, I just want to make sure that everybody knows those are my decisions and I have the final decision on all those things.
Yeah, I don’t think anybody really needs to know that. We know who it is and all the responsibility is on me.
Q. Where do things stand with G Brandon Brooks for Sunday? (Jeff McLane)
NICK SIRIANNI: He’ll be up. He’ll be up and ready to go.
Q. What about S Rodney McLeod? (Tim McManus)
NICK SIRIANNI: McLeod will be out.
Q. And OL Landon Dickerson? (Martin Frank)
NICK SIRIANNI: Dickerson will be out.
Q. How have those guys looked in practice this week? Obviously, you ramped things up on them. (Martin Frank)
NICK SIRIANNI: Really good. I’ve really been pleased with Landon. I’m getting to see Rodney even more since he’s working on the scout team a little bit for us.
I’m just seeing every day – I’d just like to take a second to brag on Rodney, because every day I see why – every day, more and more from the day I got here till now, I see more and more why the guys have voted him a captain.
He is a team player, he’s a good player and he just leads by example over and over and over again and he can be vocal when he needs to. It’s been a great look for our offense this week because Rodney was running the defensive scout.
Q. As far as the Saturday night meetings, what is your approach to that? Are you the kind of coach who puts a lot of thought and preparation into what you say and what you present? Or is it more improv? (Zach Berman)
NICK SIRIANNI: Yeah. I’ve put a lot of thought into it. Just the way my mind works, I kind of think about every scenario we could be in, right? So, I think about this first game and what’s a good message for the first game.
I think about our first home game. This is what I did, this is what I’ve been doing for the last five years is getting ready for head coach, when I figured I got a chance to be a head coach. What you’re going to say to a team before your first home game? What are you going to say to a team when you’re on a winning streak? What are you going to say to a team when you’re on a losing streak? What are you going to say to a team when you’re an underdog? When you’re favored, right? Hostile environment, guys banged up, late in the year. I mean, the list goes on and on.
I’m kind of a nerd, so I got a talk for all those things. I value Frank Reich, too, because it was Saturday night with the offense, I was having a lot of these talks with the Colts, too, on these Saturday nights prepping for this time, too.
Yeah, I’m prepared for them. Whatever the message needs to be that week, I kind of try to figure that out and I’ve got a little story planned for it. I got a lot of stories.
Q. What’s Focus Friday? (Jeff McLane)
NICK SIRIANNI: Focus Friday. A lot of people say, ‘Fast Friday.’ I would like to think of it as Focus Friday.
My experiences – again, you look at the good teams you’ve been on, you look at the bad teams you’ve been on, or the not-so-good teams you’ve been on. My experience is on Friday, I always think it starts with the coaches. You’ve been here, right, you’ve been here working 6 to 10 every night. 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., give or take, whatever it is. You do that Monday, and you do that Tuesday, and you do that Wednesday, and you do that Thursday. Then Friday, like, I get to go home and see everybody tonight, right, see everybody at a decent hour, maybe pick the kids up from school, this and that. There’s a tendency to be (sighing). You can’t do that in this sport, right? You can’t ever sigh and say “(sighing)”. No, you have to be completely focused at the task at hand.
That was my message to them. That’s going to be my message to them on Saturday, to be quite honest with you. It’s, ‘Hey, what happened the play before?’ Good? Bad? Doesn’t matter. We have to be completely focused on the task at hand.
So, everything that we go through in training camp, everything we go through in practice, is prep for us to play in this game. I just look at it as a good opportunity to be, like, ‘Be now, be now, be in the moment, dog mentality and be here right now,’ and that’s what Focus Friday is.
Q. We didn’t get to see a ton of WR DeVonta Smith this summer. Do you have a pretty good feel for where he is from a comfort perspective and chemistry perspective? (Tim McManus)
NICK SIRIANNI: I do. I do, yeah. I feel good about where he is. I feel good about his fundamentals, his technique, his ability obviously. I feel good that him and [QB] Jalen [Hurts] have past history and past chemistry as well. And so, I feel good about the chemistry between the quarterback and the wide receiver.
Q. Those messages and stories you were telling us about, do you run them by people first before you deliver them to the team? (Dave Zangaro)
NICK SIRIANNI: [Eagles Coaches Assistant] Tyler [Scudder], my assistant, he types them all up, PowerPoints them, makes them nice and neat, so I kind of go through it with him.
Again, some of these stories I’ve been telling for a while, since they happened to me, whether it was high school, whether it was growing up. Some of the stories, yeah, might be about me. Some of the stories are about other people, whatever it is.
So, yeah, I kind of prep for it pretty good. So, it’s not like a public speaking class. But, yeah, I prep. Tyler is usually the one. I run it by [Eagles Passing Game Coordinator] Kevin Patullo every once in a while, [Eagles Running Backs/Assistant Head Coach] Jemal Singleton.
Q. When Frank Reich was here, him and Doug Pederson would meet every Saturday night for maybe an hour together. Did you guys do that together? (Jeff McLane)
NICK SIRIANNI: We started the first year like that. Frank and I started the first year like that. Not that we didn’t love the flow, we just changed the flow, right? We did instead of the hour at the end, we kind of did it intertwined on Thursday, Friday, Saturday. So, I kind of like that better.
Sure, something might come up Saturday night that [Eagles Offensive Coordinator] Shane [Steichen] and I will talk about. Even Sunday morning. That was kind of the thing, Sunday morning, just reminders here and there. I just got a little bit out of the habit, but we did start that way as well.
Q. With Frank, you’re so secluded here in this building with all the coaches and players from the start of training camp up through now. Is there value in having an outside voice, I mean Frank has different approaches. Does that help? (Reuben Frank)
NICK SIRIANNI: You’re saying the advice I get from Frank?
Q. Just the conversations you have now. (Reuben Frank)
NICK SIRIANNI: Gosh, I mean, I can’t say enough good things about him. Shoot, I know the city can’t either, right? You guys won a Super Bowl with him as offensive coordinator. He’s like a big brother to me. Again, it’s just not football things. It’s super helpful to have that.
I think you ask anybody in life, to be able to talk through things, problems, good times, bad times, whatever, situations you’re going through, everybody needs somebody like that. I’m just lucky that I have somebody like that in Frank.
Q. You talked about not getting home to see the family till Friday. What is the atmosphere in the house like now? Kids excited for the first game? (Bo Wulf)
NICK SIRIANNI: I think my youngest, he doesn’t know any better right now. My oldest is, yeah. My oldest is. He’s excited about it. He’s got a Jalen Hurts jersey. It’s been hard to get him out of that jersey. He just started school. My wife has had to get him out of it a couple times to go to school. He’s excited. Definitely my oldest son is the most excited in the family.
Q. Do you stress anything additional for road trips or for week one in your experience? (Mike Kaye)
NICK SIRIANNI: Yeah. With road trips, again, it’s the crowd noise that we practice with. I know you guys aren’t out there for team periods. You can probably hear it out here with the crowd noise going. Definitely different things. The communication you have to handle, this and that.
I think you always got to be ready in game one, more hands-on deck ready to go just because — I feel really confident with where we are from a conditioning standpoint, very excited with [Eagles Vice President of Player Performance] Ted Rath and his staff of the plan that we’ve had to get our guys ready to go.
But still, it’s still a game that they’re playing more plays than they have. It’s going to be hot, as we know. My experience is, hey, more hands-on deck ready to go that first game. Even if it’s five plays, you got a role. If it’s five plays, go play those five plays like you need to and be a star in your role.
Those are the two main things with the road, the noise, really handling that. And then, like I said, game one, just everybody being ready to play, even if you don’t think you’re going to.
Q. When you talk about that plan and obviously the pre-season, ramping up from a handful of snaps to a full game, is that kind of baked into your thought, like we know we’re going to have to have a couple weeks to get everyone back into it? (John McMullen)
NICK SIRIANNI: No, I really feel like, again, the way we’ve been practice, we started with whatever it was, five reps in a row, then we built to six, then we went to eight with the ones. Longer drives. Last week we were 12. This week we went back to 10.
I feel like we’re ready as far as that goes. Really confident and committed to the plan that we use to get the guys ready. I’ve seen them ready to play all those plays and go.
But again, the all hands-on deck is just so you’re ultimately ready in case someone needs a blow.
Q. Now that most of the hay is in the barn from a preparation standpoint, how are you feeling about your team heading into week one? (Tim McManus)
NICK SIRIANNI: Yeah, I’m excited about this team. Again, I see a team that is really close together. I see a team that has continued to improve their fundamentals. I thought yesterday’s practice particularly, I was watching third down on the offense, we were just really crisp in the fundamentals, in the pass game. Every play I was watching with the guys, I was like, ‘This is exactly how you do it, this is exactly how you do it.’ That is a good feeling as a coach, right, to really feel like we’re getting better.
Again, you’re not ready for this moment unless you’ve built to this moment. That’s what we’ve been trying to do every day, build, build, build, build, build, continue to build through the season when other teams plateau, and just try to have that mindset of getting better every day.
Q. On the defensive side, have you decided which players will be wearing a headset? (Josh Tolentino)
NICK SIRIANNI: We’re still talking through that. Still got a little bit of time. They’ve been working with a couple different guys at practice. Still working through that.