Q. How did you set the tone with your players at the beginning of this week? (Tim McManus)
NICK SIRIANNI: We came in a couple days ago, on Monday, we were able to get with them on Tuesday. Had their day off yesterday and then they are back in today. We just talked about how important their fundamentals and detail is and continuing on that. And then just talked about how important it is that we continue to gel and become more and more of a team. You’re not only trying to grow on the field; you’re trying to grow off the field as well.
So, I just reminded them of, how do you do that? You do that by spending time with each other, by competing against one another. Right about where you’re standing, [T/G] Jack Driscoll and [DT] Jalen Carter had a little shoot-off right there, and Jalen won that one. It wasn’t pretty, though.
Q. With personnel changes and staff changes, how much of a resource is the Super Bowl in prepping for this week? (Zach Berman)
NICK SIRIANNI: No matter what game you’re playing, you’re always going to go back and look at the film of the last time you played that coach. In many cases, you’re going to go back and look at maybe the last couple times that you’ve played them.
So that was obviously the last game of last year, and there’s a lot of things that we study that we’re not just studying the first eight games. We’re studying multiple years’ worth of things. Obviously that tape has been helpful to be able to look at it, and we understand it’s probably helpful for them to look at as well. It’s part of our preparation.
So, we’ve used that. We’ve used the tape. We’ve used the preparation going into it. There are things that I’ve been watching this week, and I’m like it feels like I just watched this stuff not too long ago, which is because I did. So, there was some deja vu there.
Obviously, we use everything that can help us prepare for a game, and obviously the preparation that we did going into it and also that game can help us a lot.
Q. When you’re watching the tape of that game, is it tough at all to remove the emotion from it? (Dave Zangaro)
NICK SIRIANNI: No. Again, you do that with every game, and there’s going to be things that you say, ‘oh, man, that was a really good play.’ Or, ‘oh, man, I wish we could have that one back.’ Do you find yourself sometimes doing that? Yeah, but you’ve got to remind yourself that, ‘hey, our job is to get prepared for this game.’ What happened in the past happened in the past. We’ll learn from our mistakes. We’ll get better from the things that we did well.
I’d be lying to say, if I’m like, ‘oh, if this would have just happened or that would have just happened’ every once in a while, but we’re not dwelling on it.
Q. What are the lasting lessons from that game that have influenced how you all have played this year? (Brooks Kubena)
NICK SIRIANNI: I don’t think — again, you use every game that you’re involved in to get better. We wouldn’t be doing our job if that game, the mistakes or the things we did well from that game didn’t influence us for our future or any game, for that matter. If that did more for — what I mean is, if we only use that game to develop and to get better, we wouldn’t be doing our job. Like using last week’s Dallas game and the things we made mistakes with or the things we did well.
So, it’s just part of our process. I know that’s not — that doesn’t make for great news, but it’s just part of our process to learn and grow from our past experiences.
Q. To what do you attribute QB Jalen Hurts’ improvement against the blitz, and did you add more built-in checkdowns to help with that this offseason? (Jeff McLane)
NICK SIRIANNI: No. We’re pretty similar, I would say. There are always things that you grow in as far as the scheme and everything like that, but he’s done a good job just in total football this year of just continuing to get better. Last year he had an MVP-type season. This year he’s having another great season, and he’s just growing in all areas.
We’re probably a little similar with wrinkles here and there as far as that goes, but that’s also a team stat too, right? That’s not just on Jalen, that’s also on the guys protecting. That’s also on not just the offensive linemen, but the running backs, and then also the receivers and tight ends getting open in those scenarios.
Q. T Jordan Mailata this week said this game is personal for him, having the confetti fall on him and the team that blocked him from winning the Super Bowl. Is it personal for you? (John Clark)
NICK SIRIANNI: Any week, you could turn any week in the NFL into ‘I’m going to get up for this one here,’ right? Our job is to make sure — it’s mentally challenging, and you have to be mentally tough to get up for every game the same every single week. We try to pride ourselves on being mentally tough. I hear Jordan. I hear what he said as far as ‘that’s personal.’
The important thing is, if you look for any ways to find motivation, but it is important that each and every week you’re locked in and have that mental toughness to go to work the same way, whether you’re playing team A or the team that beat you in the Super Bowl last year. You’ve got to have that mental toughness to go about your business that way.
If the motivation for Jordan is helping him and he’s not distracted by it, by all means use it. If the motivation is distracting to you, then don’t use it. So, for some guys it’s going to be we’re going to treat every week the same and get ready just the same, just like I said last week going into the Cowboys game. But if you can use that for extra motivation, then go ahead. If it’s a distraction, then leave it aside.
Q. What is the plan with CB Bradley Roby? What have you seen from him since he’s been here, and what can he give you if he’s healthy? (Reuben Frank)
NICK SIRIANNI: I just think he’s got a lot of experience, and he’s sticky in coverage, and he’s smart. He’s tough. If he’s available, which we’ll see, that will be helpful for our football team. If not, he’s just going to continue to work hard to get back on the field to help us going down the stretch.
Q. If CB Bradley Roby is healthy, does he go right into the slot? (Reuben Frank)
NICK SIRIANNI: We’ll see. We’ll see how that plays itself out. Obviously, we have practices to go through, see where everything is. We’ve been happy with what our guys have been doing. Yeah, we’ll see how that all plays out, but we’ve got a lot of confidence in Bradley.
Q. You always talk about self-scouting, especially when you have these stretches like this when you have more time to devote to it? How would you evaluate how that went for you and what you’ve learned about your team so far? (Gabriella Galati)
NICK SIRIANNI: That’s a very important part of the process is your self-scout and spending that time to make sure you’re getting better from that. Every week, depending on the week, is going to change your process. So, your process is going to change on a Monday night game. Your process is going to change going into the first game of the year, coming off of a bye, during a bye. All those things are very necessary, and you’re always trying to improve your process.
We did a couple different things this year that we thought after going through last year, ‘well, maybe we should add this’ or ‘maybe we should add that.’ We ended up having two byes last year, so we had a little extra time to practice our bye week process. But we worked hard during that time. We also took some time off to make sure we were rested in that area as well because I think both things are important.
Both being rested and taking some time off and working really hard, those both can be true, and they both need to be true in our bye week. I think it was really productive. You want to learn things about yourself, what you do well, what you don’t do well, what you need to improve on. What weaknesses you can make strengths, and what strengths can continue to be your strengths.
So, there was a lot of study in that in every area that we possibly can look at. It’s a daunting task, but very necessary in the process.
Q. It took a couple weeks for you guys to figure out how to compensate for the loss of TE Dallas Goedert last year. How do you make sure that doesn’t happen again? (Jeff McLane)
NICK SIRIANNI: Remind me of what the games were.
Q. The Colts game. You did better the second game. The first game was — (Jeff McLane)
NICK SIRIANNI: Any time you lose a player to Dallas Goedert’s capabilities, you have to compensate, and you have to — again, like I said, it’s never just one guy’s responsibility to take all the brunt of that work. It will be by committee. We just don’t have another guy like Dallas Goedert sitting around.
So, what you try to go through is, again, every game’s different of how you go about planning for that. Like does a different personnel help you out? Well, some weeks it will, and some weeks it won’t. Does a certain player help you out? Well, some weeks it will, some weeks it won’t. Everything’s a little bit different. This week, we’re treating it as this week and how we’re going to plan without Dallas this week.
We’ll miss him, no doubt. Have a lot of faith in the guys that have to step up in his absence. And you’re right, last year in the Colts game, we didn’t — I wouldn’t say – there are different reasons why you’re not successful. One of them is not having Dallas on the field, but we learned how to play without him and continued to improve and it made us just better when he got back.
Q. Through the first half, DT Jordan Davis has already exceeded his snap count from his rookie season. What have you noticed about his improved endurance and his ability to stay on the field? (Josh Tolentino)
NICK SIRIANNI: I think he’s just worked really hard to accomplish that. How do you do that? You work hard with your diet. You work hard with your conditioning. You work hard with your weight and being where you’re supposed to be. And he has. He’s really busted his butt to make sure he’s staying healthy and staying on the field because we need him.
He understands that everybody’s counting on him, and what I know about Jordan and really appreciate about Jordan is that he wants to please. He wants to please his teammates. He wants to please the coaches. He wants to please the strength and conditioning staff. That’s what good teammates do.
So, he’s really busted his butt to work because we need him on the field because we know how good of a football player he is.