Q. Now that you had some time to look at the tape, how would you assess the way the tight ends played in replacing TE Dallas Goedert yesterday? (Chris Franklin)
NICK SIRIANNI: Obviously [TE] Jack Stoll got the majority of the snaps. I think he had 55 or something like that. I think [TE] Tyree [Jackson] had 9 and maybe 17, 18 for [TE] Grant [Calcaterra].
I know that the production obviously in the pass game wasn’t there, but I thought they did a nice job and did their jobs. We had a couple penalties there by those two guys, by Grant and by Tyree, are plays we would want back, but I really did believe that Jack — Jack is a dirty work guy. He’s kind of like — of the tight ends he’s kind of like the [WR] Zach Pascal of the wide receivers. They might not stuff the stat sheet, but the things they’re doing are helping us win the game and being productive.
I thought that Jack played an outstanding football game. Again, the reps will come for the other guys as the games go along, but I thought Jack was outstanding in his role yesterday. I thought the other two guys did a nice job in their role, but Jack really stood out in my mind.
Q. On the QB Jalen Hurts touchdown at the end there, who came up with that wrinkle, and in general how does that process play out when you put something on tape and want to play off it a little bit like that? (Dave Zangaro)
NICK SIRIANNI: Yeah, it’s obviously all a group effort. We all are thinking through things together. My favorite meeting personally of the week is the low red zone, tight red zone meeting. It’s a long meeting. It’s a grind where you’re thinking about plays that are really — that you probably get about five to seven of them, and that’s a lot, right? But it’s the grimiest, longest meeting that we have of the week, and I always look forward to that so much.
There are just so many things that can happen, and we know when you get down there — man, you set me up for a good question; I don’t know if you knew about this meeting — when you get down there it’s like, hey, these are four-point plays, right? What I mean by that is, hey, these plays, if you succeed at them, you score touchdowns. If you don’t, you potentially kick field goals, or in that situation, we would have gone for it on fourth down and hopefully scored after that.
But these are four-point plays, and so it’s such an important part of the meeting and important part of the week. So, it’s a group effort of the runs and the passes that we come up with to go into that area. Everybody is in there. Everybody is in there on the coaching staff and coming up with it.
Obviously, our job is to put the players in position to succeed and to get the ball to the players that we believe will help us succeed the most. [QB] Jalen [Hurts] was on fire right then at that point and made a great play to get in and the guys blocked their butts off.
But so many different things can come up in the red zone meeting, and you have to be ready for it, just like you do in the first down and second down and third down — but you have to be ready for anything to come up there because there are a lot of different wrinkles and a lot of different things. The field shrinks. It’s just one of my favorite meetings of the week, and our coaches have done a fantastic job of coming up with a plan there to get us in the end zone.
Q. What day of the week is that? (Dave Zangaro)
NICK SIRIANNI: That is Wednesday. It starts a little bit on Tuesday night. Some of the prep work of it goes on Tuesday night, but then Wednesday night, man, it’s a grind. We all come out of there with our eyes wide open and like, that was a long meeting, but we know it’s going to be worth it.
Shoot, if we can score from 30 yards out, we’ll do that. Then you might not have to use that plan. But when stuff like that happens it’s so exciting, because just the amount of time and the grind that it is. Man, I love that meeting. I love that meeting.
[Jokingly] You might have to ask some of the other guys if they love that meeting, because it can be a grind. Sometimes they come out like, shoot, there were three plays there, but we spent three or four hours in that meeting.
Q. Is that meeting longer than that answer? (Reuben Frank)
NICK SIRIANNI: [Jokingly/smiling] No. My answers usually outlast any meeting because I like to talk, as you guys know.
Q. I wanted to ask you, obviously DE Brandon Graham and WR Quez Watkins both had unfortunate plays in the fourth quarter last week or on Monday, and they both had big plays in the fourth quarter yesterday. How good was that to see? What does that say about those guys that they were ready when the opportunity arose to kind of — I am sure those other plays weren’t on their minds — but redemption for both of them; how sweet was that? (Reuben Frank)
NICK SIRIANNI: It was so sweet. You know, I love that. I love that this is such a great part of this game, is that you get to win, lose, good play, bad play, you get to move on and play the next play.
It’s like life, right? You get to move on and play the next play no matter what. All you can control is that next play. So, whether you made a great play or made a bad play or whatever it is, all you can control is the next one.
To see what those guys were able to do and come in there and make plays speaks to who they are as people, who they are as players, that they’re truly in the moment. Both those guys truly in the moment. [WR] Quez [Watkins] had a big third down conversion. Obviously had the touchdown, but he had a big third down conversion too where he had great ball security on that, because he got whacked by [Colts LB] E.J. Speed, No. 45 over there. He got whacked pretty good and held onto the football.
Then BG [DE Brandon Graham] just has this knack of making plays in critical moments, as this entire city knows. It’s great that those guys made big time plays. Doesn’t surprise me and just have that next-play mentality, next-play mentality, next-play mentality, it speaks to who they are, again, as I said, as people and as players.
Q. Can you give us some background into what went into getting DT Ndamukong Suh and DT Linval Joseph ready on such short notice? The type of hours Defensive Line Coach Tracy Rocker and Suh and Joseph put in, any anecdotes that stand out from the week. (Tim McManus)
NICK SIRIANNI: Sure. Obviously to get there in that part of the week, it’s a grind for everybody involved. The time commitment obviously is, hey, whatever we’ve got to do to get these guys involved, and [Defensive Line Coach Tracy] Coach Rock [Rocker] did a great job getting them the necessary materials and then teaching them where they could understand it.
I don’t know if I have a great story for you or anything like that, but those guys worked their butts off to get it done. That’s why they’re true professionals. That’s why they’ve done it at a very high level in this league for a long time.
Because a lot of guys have talent, but you’ve got to be able to put that talent to use on the field, and these guys can think through it. First of all, they have the talent, and then they have the ability to process everything to put that talent to use.
Their detail allowed their talent to shine. Their intelligence of the game of football allowed their talent to shine in the game. It’s just a true team effort to do that. They’ve got to work their butts off; Coach Rocker has got to coach his butt off; [Defensive Coordinator Jonathan] Gannon has got to do what they can do when they’re in the game as far as the packages that we’re calling. So true team effort by the defensive staff.
True team effort by the people in this building to get them here in timely fashion. [Executive Vice President/General Manager] Howie [Roseman] goes through and does his magic and gets them signed. Then there are a whole bunch of people like [Football Operations Director] Katie David and [Director of Team Travel and Football Logistics] Dan Ryan that have to get them here, get them intertwined into everything and the trainers to get them their physicals and the contract people to get them to sign the contract.
It’s a full-blown process, which is why this is a great team sport and why this is a great organization lead by Mr. Lurie [Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Lurie]. So unbelievable job by the entire building. Coach Rock and the players, [DT Ndamukong] Suh and [DT] Linval [Joseph], are going to get all the credit, but there are a lot of behind-the-scenes things that are happening, too, to even help that furthermore.
Q. As you have the benefit of time now, are there any game management or time management decisions that if you had the chance to do over again you would? (Zach Berman)
NICK SIRIANNI: Obviously, we think long and hard about all those decisions that we make. And it’s interesting, I say long and hard about all those decisions you make. You only have about five seconds to make them in the game, right?
So, the process of when you make those decisions is throughout the week. It’s not only throughout the week, we have two meetings that are devoted to just situational football. And there’s more than that. Like two meetings of just coaches, and then they filter into two other meetings with the players.
But you have to put yourself through those situations as much as you possibly can, whether it’s watching all the fourth downs or watching all the two-minute drives and the situations that lead into the two-minute drives, and you try to — hey, this was a new situation that we saw right here. What will we do in this situation? It’s not just about the meeting time that you spent on the Indianapolis Colts. It’s throughout the league. Let’s look at this decision by this coach in this scenario. What will we do here? So, it’s a long, thought-out process to get yourself to that.
Why I say that, too, is that I kind of have to make those decisions quickly. I know that, and I do know that I’m the head football coach and all those decisions I’m accountable for. Sometimes they’re going to work and sometimes they aren’t. So, what I have to do, is be convicted about those decisions.
Like I say to you about a play that we run, hey, why did you go for it on fourth down here? Because I trust the players. It’s got to be the same thing there, Zach. I’m convicted on this one to take the timeout, to try to draw them offsides and take the timeout on fourth down, because of my studies of what I’ve watched in the past, different things there, and I’ve got to be convicted about that in the moment.
If I’m not convicted about that, that’s where I have a problem with my decision making, because I didn’t go through the proper channels of getting myself ready to make that call. All those calls that I made yesterday in those decisions — and it’s nobody else’s decision but mine — all those calls I made yesterday in that decision, I felt like I put myself through the proper channels to do so.
I felt like I made the — did I make the right call? Did I make the wrong call? I believed in my heart at that time, based off not blind conviction, conviction of going through the process that I made the right decision in those scenarios.
I get it. Sometimes that’s going to work and sometimes that’s not going to work. Yesterday, let’s talk about the fourth down on fourth and two. I thought it was better in that scenario to have two opportunities to get the fourth and two done as opposed to just one.
What do I mean by that? Try to draw them offsides on fourth and two. Did we get it? Yes, that’s try number one, we didn’t get that. But then we have another try to get it.
It’s hard to get inside the 10, all right, to save the time out, get the ball back at the 50 — potentially, maybe, right; you got to stop them — get the ball back at the 50 and then go and try to get back inside the 10 again.
In my opinion right there, again, it was better for us to have two opportunities at fourth and two inside the ten — I believe we were on the nine at the time — than to only have one.
We needed it on our second one. We didn’t get them to draw offsides and then we got it on the second one because of a great play by our offensive line and a great play by Jalen [Hurts].
It worked out. I get what would happen. If we didn’t get it there would be — I understand that, and I know what I signed up for. But my point of saying all that, and I probably educated a little bit more than I wanted to. I always try to give you guys an answer, and there is a time for me to not say what exactly went into it.
Today I didn’t think that was necessary. I felt like I can answer as much as I possibly can here for you guys to educate to you and the fans what I’m thinking. But I was convicted in that moment, and it wasn’t blind conviction. It worked, but I get the other side of it as well.
There are other things like that that go on as well. I didn’t feel unprepared in any of those scenarios yesterday because my staff and myself put ourselves through the grind of it, and we’ll do the same thing this week to get ourselves ready for Sunday.
[Jokingly] Roob, that was a long answer.
Q. Nick, I think I’m getting a sense of why your meetings are so long. (Reuben Frank)
NICK SIRIANNI: [Jokingly/Laughter] Roob, that was an outstanding, quick-witted comeback.
Q. I was curious, a couple weeks ago I think you mentioned at some point you guys are going to get tested, and obviously you have the last two games. Curious what you kind of learned about your team in the last two games, obviously the one you lost and then this one? (Martin Frank)
NICK SIRIANNI: Sure. Let’s talk about the one that we won yesterday. Any time you get a win on the road, or you have to scratch, claw, and fight, it’s a great character builder for your team. Any time your back is against the wall, and you have to fight out of it, it’s a great character builder for your team.
You feel like no matter — because now you’ve been in all these different spots, down early, down late, up big. Like you feel like, hey, we have been here before. Because mindset is such an important part of this thing, right? Mindset is a huge part of this thing that you feel like we’re going to — it’s next-play mentality, we are in the moment of where we are here because we’ve been in all these scenarios. We know how to win in all these scenarios.
So that’s what the — of course you want to win by double digits, and I think for a little bit we were up two scores in every game we played prior to the last game, which I’m not sure I’ve ever been a part of before in the first eight games of the year.
But I think when you have to win like that and it’s got to be grimy and gritty, that’s who we are. We are nasty. We are physical. That’s the type of team we are.
We had to win that way — not that we haven’t had to win that way with our style of play, but we had to win that way with our mentality yesterday, which is only going to build character and build who you are as a football team.
Q. I want to ask about QB Jalen Hurts. He ran 16 times. I think it’s the most rushes he had since Arizona. I haven’t watched the game again, but didn’t seem like there were a lot of off-script rushes for him. There seemed to be more designed runs. Was that something — you can correct me if I’m wrong — but was that something you saw that you could take advantage of against the Colts? (Ed Kracz)
NICK SIRIANNI: It definitely was more designed runs than in the past. Again, we always trying to do what you think is best to put yourself in a position. Some of their defensive line techniques, you know, obviously you’re always trying to put them in the best possible position you can. You look at the way they’re playing, their defensive line techniques, you look at the way they’re playing their coverage techniques, you look at the way they’re playing their coverages, all these different things and you try to put them in the best position.
The plays we were calling yesterday we felt going into the game were going to be successful. That’s why we called them. It happened to be some of the things we were doing with Jalen. And sometimes you go through the game, too, and build confidence in a call and you call it again, right?
So, it’s again, a little bit of hey, your game plan, what’s working in the game, and we felt like right there in that last drive especially — you know, in the last drive was kind of what happened, right? We went from a two-minute drive, boom, got the big penalty, and now you’re not. You’re more in normal football there where you’re just playing ball.
Sometimes the situation of the game dictates that; obviously sometimes what you see on tape dictates that; and then how the game is going and how you’re seeing it and adjusting to it on the field dictates that.
Q. You briefly touched on — or not briefly — but you touched on DT Ndamukong Suh and DT Linval Joseph’s process getting here. Yesterday you expressed excitement in wanting to see how Joseph specifically graded out. Could you provide your staff’s review on the tape from his performance yesterday? (Josh Tolentino)
NICK SIRIANNI: We thought the entire defensive line played really well. Obviously those two guys played really well. It was exciting to see that, and felt like all the plays that we felt were splash or play-of-the-game type caliber plays had something to do with the defensive line.
So, it was all of them. [DT Ndamukong] Suh and [DT] Linval [Joseph], they both played outstanding games, and it was great to get them going and get in here and make an immediate impact.
I think that’s what we were all hoping for, and they did, and that speaks to the type of players they are, the types of pros they are, the types of teammates they are, and look forward to continuing to get them in and mixing them into an already really outstanding defensive line that I think a lot of teams in this league would be salivating to have.
I’m just happy that I’m the head coach here and they’re on the Eagles team.