Q. What was your reaction to what happened in Indianapolis? (Bo Wulf)
NICK SIRIANNI: Obviously, I’m only concerned about what’s going on here and trying to keep my eyes on just what the situation is here, and that’s being ready for Washington.
But as you know, what I think about [former Indianapolis Colts Head Coach] Frank [Reich] and how much I respect Frank as a person, how much I respect him as a football coach, you can probably imagine how I feel.
Q. In what ways has QB Jalen Hurts’ ascension as a passer opened up sort of a variety of ways in which you can attack a defense? (Tim McManus)
NICK SIRIANNI: Yeah, he’s been able to attack all parts of the field through different ways, through the different types of players we have, and that’s outside, inside, short game, deep game, intermediate game. The more they have to prepare for, the harder we are going to be to defend. So that’s not only our run game, which is in the top tier of the league, but also in our passing game. Then you just open up with the way the ball is coming out and where the ball is coming out, there’s just more and more to defend.
That’s tough on any defense, the more they’ve got to defend, the harder it is for them.
Q. You’ve had a lot of success against Washington Commanders QB Carson Wentz earlier in the season. How do things change with Washington Commanders QB Taylor Heinicke back there? (Josh Tolentino)
NICK SIRIANNI: Well, I mean, they’re doing some different things on offense now, and there are some things that we’ve got to be alert for with him, and that’s going to be different if there’s a different play caller, if there’s a different quarterback. Those are the two things. If their top receiver is out, whatever it is, there are going to be some differences there.
I like the fact that we’ve got some games on them and not just — it didn’t just happen last week. Then we can study our game film against them last year. So, I’ve got a lot of respect for him as a player. He’s a scrappy player that finds ways to get it done, so we’re going to have to be on our game. Any division game, and when you’re playing a quarterback like this that’s scrappy and finds ways to make plays, you’re going to have to be on it.
Q. Defensive Coordinator Johnathan Gannon said the DBs go through catch circuits like the receivers. What do those catch circuits entail and why is that important? (Dave Zangaro)
NICK SIRIANNI: Yeah, that’s a long — how much time you got for me to explain the catch circuit? The catch circuit is just putting yourself in different positions to make catches that you aren’t typically going to make. So, if you and I were playing catch, I’d be putting it on your chin every single time, right, and you’d probably be putting it close to there, too. I’m not saying it would be perfect, but it would be close to there. But you don’t get the reps of maybe a ball that’s low or a high or somebody hitting you on the side, and so we try to put ourselves in position to make those plays as much as we possibly can, so the first time you’re catching a ball — it’s hard to simulate a dive, don’t get me wrong, like the way [S] Chauncey [C.J. Gardner-Johnson] caught the one in the last game, the way [CB] James [Bradberry] caught the one in the Jacksonville game.
But wet balls, stuff like that, you’re trying to put them in as many hard catching situations as you possibly can so the first time that you go out there and you catch it is not the first time. So that’s a [former University of Mount Union Head Coach] Larry Kehres thing all the way back to Mount Union, kind of how I trained myself to be able to catch.
Q. Defensive Coordinator Johnathan Gannon was also bragging about his ability to throw the ball the other day? Who’s got the best arm on the staff? (Bo Wulf)
NICK SIRIANNI: [Quarterbacks coach] Brian Johnson was in the Heisman running, I would have to say he’s got it, on the staff.
Q. What about Assistant Quarterbacks/Offensive Assistant coach Alex Tanney? (John McMullen)
NICK SIRIANNI: Yeah, I didn’t think about [Assistant Quarterbacks/Offensive Assistant coach Alex] Tanney. Tanney has got to be up there, [Quarterbacks coach] Brian [Johnson] has got to be up there. [Tight Ends coach] Jason Michael is up there. Jason Michael threw me one before the game on Thursday, and the spin was going so fast. Now, there was good tack on the ball up there in the humidity in Houston, and it almost tore my hand off. [Offensive Coordinator] Shane [Steichen] can spin it; Shane was a starting quarterback at UNLV. Goodness, we’ve got a lot. [Passing Game Coordinator] Kevin [Patullo] played quarterback and receiver at South Florida, and then he changed to receiver.
Yeah, I don’t know, that’s a good question. We probably should in the off-season have a throw-off.
Q. You’re going to have two games over the last month as far as the long layoffs you’ve had, maybe throwing off some rhythm. Pluses or minuses to those things, and do you do anything different going into a normal game? (John Clark)
NICK SIRIANNI: No, this one I know we’re coming off of a little longer delay, and we’re just going to have to go — coming off the bye week, there’s definitely something you do a little bit different, and there’s things we did a little bit different coming off the bye week. This one maybe not quite as much because you’re not on quite as long of a delay.
What we need to do, though, is really be able to come out here and compete and practice and make it as much game-like as we possibly can without tackling to the ground but we’ll be doing all our fundamentals with tackling, all our fundamentals with taking the ball away, and then really popping in the pads today out there in practice and let it simulate that as much as we can.
Q. The signs up here, what compelled you to put them up? (Zach Berman)
NICK SIRIANNI: Those have been up all year, to be quite honest with you. Those have been, maybe not in this room, but those are in the receiver room, that’s in the quarterback room, that’s in the running back room, that’s in the tight end room. Since this is our team meeting room and then this is our offensive room, I guess the signs just got delivered, so it wasn’t anything to compel us. It’s something that we’ve done all year in the other rooms, and we finally got the shipment in, I guess. I don’t know. They put it up when they have them here, so that’s why they went up and that’s why they’re in here. They look pretty cool, though, right?
Q. How does the team keep its mental edge when you can do what you can physically with the practice and such, but how do you keep your mental edge when you’re playing your third game in the last 29 days? (Ed Kracz)
NICK SIRIANNI: Just going about the same process every time, and that’s dawg mentality, that’s your process, however you want to say it. You can’t ride the waves of the season. I get it, you guys got to ask those questions, right, but we don’t think of it that way. We’re just like, hey, we’re working this week, and we’re working today to get ready for this upcoming game and nothing else.
So that’s just our process. That’s the guys that we have in this room. That’s what we preach over and over and over again. That’s what our captains believe, and that’s just the mentality we have.
Q. A natural thought would be because of your relationship with Frank to bring him in, in some capacity. Is that something that you’re considering, and why or why not? (Tim McManus)
NICK SIRIANNI: We’ll see how that goes. I don’t know yet. That’s not something that’s been — that happened, when, Monday? My focus has been completely on Washington. Again, you know how I feel about [former Indianapolis Colts Head Coach] Frank [Reich]; I’m always going to use him as a consultant, whether he’s in the building or whether he’s not in the building. But I haven’t really thought about that to be quite honest with you. We’re just really focused on today to get ready for Washington.
Q. You said last week that S Chauncey Gardner-Johnson would bug you every now and then to play receiver and everything; do you think that has something to do with all the interceptions, like the fact he’s a defensive back, used to be a wide receiver? Do you think that helps? (Martin Frank)
NICK SIRIANNI: Yeah, sure, guys that have caught the ball a lot and grew up catching the ball and played some wide out, they’ll think that they can play wide out, and he probably can. He can probably do some things out there. There’s no doubt we’ve got some good wide outs, though. I don’t know how ready I am to take them off the field.
But yeah, I mean, I think that the guys that played multiple positions in high school, caught the ball, yeah, it goes back to what you did as a kid and what you did in high school and playing.
Q. You always mention it’s about going 1-0 this week, staying in the moment. You’ve been around a lot of teams, though; is that rare to get a team that buys into that so fully? (John McMullen)
NICK SIRIANNI: I don’t think so. Sometimes I think you get what you preach. That might not be every single time, but I think if that’s on your mind at all times — and if I’m constantly talking to you about — I don’t even know a good example — why Roob [NBC Sports Philadelphia reporter Reuben Frank] is the best writer in the building. At some point you’re going to be like, yeah, Roob is the best writer in the building. I just looked at Roob and said it. Or [Delaware News Journal] Martin [Frank]. Martin is the best writer in the building. At some point you’re like, yeah, he’s said it to me a million times.
So, to me, one thing I always say to the guys is good coaching sometimes is like — I’m not hiding coaching points from you. I don’t want to be like, boom, I got a new coaching point for you, here it is: One day at a time. Like I’m not hiding any coaching points from you. We say it all the time, and sometimes I think you get what you emphasize.
Q. Do you think you need an upgrade at nose tackle with DT Jordan Davis out for a period? (Jeff McLane)
NICK SIRIANNI: I really have a lot of faith in the guys that we have playing in there. I think that was a deep room coming in. Obviously, we’ll miss [DT] Jordan [Davis] because Jordan is a good player, but I have a lot of faith with the guys that are playing in there. I’m excited to continue to get them reps and more reps for guys that may not have got as many in the past.
Q. All the qualities that QB Jalen Hurts is showing now for the Eagles, patience, calm, unflappability, ready when called upon were evident in two famous games that he played in college, the 2018 National Championship game where he got replaced by Tua Tagovailoa, and then later that year the 2018 SEC Championship game where Tua Tagovailoa got hurt and Jalen came in and saved the day. I was wondering, did you see those games when they happened, or have you talked to Jalen about them, and what do they suggest about him? (Jere Longman)
NICK SIRIANNI: Yeah, I remember watching the — I’m close with Brian Daboll. Brian was a really good mentor for me, so he was calling that 2018 National Championship game.
So, I remember watching that game. I do recall watching that game. I got to see [WR] DeVonta [Smith] make a big play at the end of that game. And then that SEC Championship game, I can’t quite remember if I watched that or not. The SEC Championship game is always in the middle of your season.
But obviously you do all your work on a player coming out, right, and so maybe you’ll watch that — when I was in Indianapolis getting ready for the draft or whatever, and that was something that was very evident with him is you could tell like how serious he was about football and how much — you knew he was a coach’s kid and I got big-time respect for that as a coach’s kid and just knowing how much you go around the game.
But I don’t know if I truly knew everything about how steady he is until you’re around him every single day. There are some things that you can do all the work in the world and you can get all the — but when you live it every day, it smacks you in the face every day, like, man, this guy is steady no matter what the situation.
I would be lying to you if I said, yeah, we picked that up. You knew how good, how high his football character was, you knew how high his football intelligence was and his general overall character, as well, but to say that you knew — until you live that with him — I’m sure the Alabama coaches know, I’m sure the Oklahoma coaches know. But until you live that with him, that’s when it becomes really impressive and you really feel it.