Q. Regarding LB T.J. Edwards’ play so far this year… (Al Thompson)
NICK SIRIANNI: I think he’s had a really good year. He’s playing physical, getting to the football, identifying things. He’s been able to get to the — has a very good accelerated vision where he sees things happening and is able to diagnose quickly. He just thinks so quickly out on the field and he’s one of our leaders out there getting the calls in and communicating to the defense. He’s had a great year.
Q. What is the prognosis for TE Dallas Goedert and how do you plan on replacing him? (Jeff McLane)
NICK SIRIANNI: It’s not going to be easy to replace [TE] Dallas [Goedert], and not just one person does it. So, we’ll see how long he’s out. Obviously, you know he has to be out for at least four games, and we’ll play that by ear as that goes.
He was having a great year, right? To me he’s having a Top 3, Top 5, Top 2, whatever you want — Top 1 tight end year. So that stinks for us as a team, stinks for Dallas.
So how do we replace him? You can’t, right? You have to do it by committee. You have tight ends that are there that we have a lot of faith in in this building; it’ll start with them.
Then it goes to where some of his targets go. Probably a couple will go to [WR] A.J. [Brown], probably a couple go to [WR] DeVonta [Smith], and then you have backs that get intertwined in that. Slot receivers that get intertwined with that with [WR] Quez [Watkins].
You just have to balance it out and try to make — you’re not the going to be able to duplicate everything he does because he has a unique skillset. You try to figure out who can do what he does, and can they do it, and then you put that stuff in your offense.
Then some of it, you might lose some of your stuff in your offense because it’s always about players, as we talk about. I know we have guys in this building that I have a lot of faith in though.
Q. Looking at the players that get bumped up the depth chart now with TE Jack Stoll and TE Grant Calcaterra, what have you seen from them in their limited roles, and what is your feeling of comfort in them having them in expanded roles now? (Dave Zangaro)
NICK SIRIANNI: Yeah, I think the reason they’re active and the reason they’re on the roster is because we have a lot of faith in them.
We talk as far as roles go, we talk about, hey, this is your role. We sit in here and we say, hey, this is your role, this is your role, this is your role. The thing about roles is they can change; in this game they do change quite often.
You have to be preparing yourself to do so. I think even just in the last game I said something on the headset like — we threw the ball to Jack Stoll on a crossing route there in the game and I just said over the headset, ‘Man, [QB] Jalen [Hurts] really trusts Jack.’ You can just tell that the trust of Jack has continued to increase.
Because Jack is reliable and goes in and makes plays when his number is called. I’m excited about — obviously super bummed about Dallas because of how important he is to the football team and the offense, but excited for those guys to get an opportunity to do a little bit more.
Q. His injury happened on a non-call kind of late, have you heard from the league at all? (Tim McManus)
NICK SIRIANNI: I mean, we always want to get the ability to coach our guys how we can coach them, right? You turn in calls that you are like, okay, let’s get clarification on this call to know how we need to teach it better, right, or something like that.
I’m not going to — you guys saw the play. You don’t turn a play like that in. It’s just, again, like I said, the referees, they have a tough job. They have to do it in real time sometimes, and that’s sometimes with coaches, too. We’re able to stop and pause the tape and say, hey, look at that, look at that, look at that, look at that.
It had nothing to do with why we lost the game. We lost the game because we didn’t play good enough. As far as my conversations with the league on officials, I’ll never get into that, but we always do turn in things to see how we can coach things better.
Q. Was the DT Linval Joseph signing because of DT Marlon Tuipulotu’s injury or were you going to bring him in anyway? (Jeff McLane)
NICK SIRIANNI: We felt really good about Marlon, and so the things that he was doing, the camp that he had, the games that he played in, everything, we felt really good about him, and obviously we are in a scenario with him being out, too, on IR.
So, we had an opportunity to add a good player that we played against last year and who made things very difficult for us last year in that Chargers game. There are a lot of guys here that have had opportunities to be around him.
Coach Gannon [Defensive Coordinator Jonathan Gannon], Coach Rallis [Linebackers Coach Nick Rallis], [Vice President of Sports Medicine/Head Athletic Trainer] Tom Hunkele. I mean, there have been a lot of guys who have had experience with him, and we think he’s the right type of guy for the locker room. We think he’s still a heck of a football player and he’s going to be able to help us.
Q. You have now brought in two defensive linemen who are well over 30. How do you gauge whether or not they’re still physically able to hold up and whether or not they still have the passion for the game? (Dave Zangaro)
NICK SIRIANNI: You watch the tape, talk to them. Obviously with [DE] Robert [Quinn] you’re not able to talk to him, but you watch the tape. You get a feel for guys that have been around him, guys that have been with him recently.
Are you going to be able to tell everything? No, because you’re not in the building with them and you’re not with them every single day.
But we feel good about the process we go through, and that these guys are going to be ready to go and ready to play.
Q. There was a report that he believes he can play as early as Sunday against the Colts. Do you think he has a chance? I mean, he hasn’t been on a roster. And when will be he be in the building and on the field? (Reuben Frank)
NICK SIRIANNI: He’s not here yet. Obviously, this just went down. We’ll get him here as soon as we possibly can to get him up to speed, and hopefully he gets to play on Sunday.
Q. It’s been a long time since TE Tyree Jackson played, is it too soon for him to be back on the field? (Zach Berman)
NICK SIRIANNI: No. No, because it’s not just — he’s been practicing, right? So, we’re not just going to throw him out there if we didn’t think he was ready. We’ll see how it goes, but he’s been having good practices the last couple of weeks, and we’re confident in him that he is going to pick up where he left off last training camp or last season, pardon me.
Q. In the second quarter with DT Marlon Tuipulotu, what happened? (Josh Tolentino)
NICK SIRIANNI: I don’t know exactly. He played through a lot of the pain that he was having, and obviously he toughed that out, which is awesome, because he has to be out, right? So, he played through it. I don’t really know exactly when it happened in the game, what exactly happened to be quite honest with you — pardon me, I don’t know the exact moment in it, but knowing that he did it, but he kept going. Which is pretty impressive from him on his part.
Q. Coming off your first loss of the season and you’ve got some injuries now. What’s your message to the team this week as you get ready to hit the road? (John Clark)
NICK SIRIANNI: Messaging to the team is always the same each week as far as let’s get back to work, let’s fix the mistakes that we had. Let’s make sure that we’re detailed in our process, and every day just don’t think about tomorrow, don’t think about the next day.
Same message every week really, and you find different ways to say that just to make sure everybody understands we have to go back to work. We have to get better. We win, we have to get better. We lose, we have to get better. It’s a process, right? Keep going.
Q. What does this week mean to you going back to Indianapolis? Obviously, it was a big part of your emergence as a coach in this league. (John McMullen)
NICK SIRIANNI: I try not to get too wrapped up into that, knowing that every game is big, every game is exciting, every game has somebody that has to go back to a place they coached, a place maybe where they’re from or anything like that.
My thinking is just, don’t get wrapped up in that moment, right? You don’t want to have anything different about, oh, we’re playing a team that’s this record, we’re playing a team that’s that record, we’re playing a team that I used to coach on, or I used to play on, or whatever it is, my hometown.
You try not to fall into that and try just to go through and make sure you’re doing everything you need to do. But it’ll be nice to go back and see that place.
Q. What is DT Marlon Tuipulotu’s injury? (Jeff McLane)
NICK SIRIANNI: It is a knee.
Q. Is it season-ending? (Jeff McLane)
NICK SIRIANNI: We don’t know yet.
Q. When you look at TE Dallas Goedert’s skillset, what’s the most difficult thing to replace? (Zach Berman)
NICK SIRIANNI: He’s fast. He’s strong with the ball in his hands. He’s fast and good out of the break to create separation from the defender.
There is a lot of — he’s unique, right? That’s why we’re talking about him as a Top 3 tight end in the NFL.
So, there is a lot. He’s a heck of a football player. Catches the ball clean, sound. Can win with quickness, can win with strength, can win with speed.
And, again, you don’t have to throw him the ball down the field for him to create a play, a big play. You don’t have to throw him the ball down the field 30 yards, you could throw it to him at the line of scrimmage, 5 yards, 15 yards, and he’s going to be able to make a big play.
Q. In your assessment of the run defense, what are the main things that you’re seeing? (Tim McManus)
NICK SIRIANNI: We talked a lot obviously as coaches, and then with the players as far as what needs to be better. Always want to put them in the best positions you possibly can to make plays.
So that’s first. It’s always our job as coaches to put them in the best position to make plays, and as players will tell you, it’s their job to execute the technique and the assignment to make sure we’re creating the plays.
So, again, to say that it’s just one thing or two things, like it’s not — it changes each opponent you play, too, right?
So, what might have been good to stop Houston might not be good to stop Indy. But it always comes down to the fundamentals, playing physical, playing with the fundamentals, and tackling sound.
Q. When you look at a guy like WR Quez Watkins, obviously he had the fumble and everything, but do you look past that and to the ability of him to get open deep down the field? (Martin Frank)
NICK SIRIANNI: We’ll never let one play define somebody and [WR] Quez [Watkins], when he’s been called upon this year, which hasn’t been as much because of [WR] A.J. [Brown] and [TE] Dallas [Goedert] and [WR] DeVonta [Smith], when he’s been called upon, he’s made plays. He’s pretty efficient when the ball comes to him.
He obviously had a big fumble this week in this game, and he knows that. We’ll work to fix that, and he’ll work to fix that, but we have a lot of confidence in him, and we have a lot — again, when I tell you we have confidence in somebody, that’s not blind faith. There were all the reps that we’ve had in practice with him last year, every rep this year where he’s taken advantage of that opportunity. He just continued to put his head down and work.
Again, that’s what we say with the roles, hey, this might be your role, this is what you need to do, but this role can change as the year goes on. And you have to be ready to excel in the role you’re called upon. How do you do that? You just try to get better every day so when your role increases, you’re ready to go.
Q. Do you guys do anything differently this week for guys like DT Fletcher Cox and DT Javon Hargrave who have played so many snaps or more snaps than usual? (Bo Wulf)
NICK SIRIANNI: We do that every week, to be quite honest with you. There are guys that are monitored each week for different reasons, so we’re thinking about that at all times. There’s a group of guys we go through that with. So, monitoring their bodies, making sure they’re healthy, is our top priority.