Nick Sirianni

Q. I wanted to ask you about the jet sweep to RB D’Andre Swift. He was coming across almost full speed and it was like bang, bang, bang snap, turn, handoff. I am guessing you probably repped that a lot. What do you like about those two running back sets and how they can expand your playbook? (Jimmy Kempski)

NICK SIRIANNI: I appreciate you noticing that because the reps that go into getting that detail right on, it takes a lot of work because, D’Andre is obviously a special talent, but without the exact detail on that play being right on, that play doesn’t work for that, and then we lose all those yards rushing that we got on that play and that obviously set up a touchdown.

So, the amount of time that our guys have spent on that play and the ball handling of plays, right, and that’s just not on that play. That’s every running play that is in and every play-action that’s in. There is a lot of time devoted toward the detail of the play. The talents of the players make the play go and then the detail lets the play really shine. And so, man, they really worked hard on that.

As far as the sets, D’Andre is a special back in the sense he can line up different places and be an issue to the defense at different places where he lines up.

Whether it’s in the backfield with another back, whether that’s in the backfield with himself, whether that’s in the backfield with like [WR] DeVonta [Smith] which we had this week, or whether that’s in the slot or outside, that just makes him harder to defend and more of a problem.

Those are some of the things we’ve used in the past and last week to just help our guys make plays.

Q. Why was that the perfect time for Offensive Coordinator Brian Johnson to call that? (Jeff McLane)

NICK SIRIANNI: Because it worked. Obviously sometimes you’re going to call plays — in that particular set, without getting too much into that, there were some plays that were set up prior to and that meshed well. Whether that’s the week before, two weeks before, earlier in the game, you’re looking for things like that.

So, you’re looking for is there a motion that shows this play earlier in the game or that you’ve seen another team run. How does that look? And then you kind of try to piece that together based off what that looks.

That doesn’t mean you can’t come out and start with that play. It’s just Brian did a great job of calling that play in that particular time. Shoot, I think Brian has done a phenomenal job of calling the game.

Obviously, [former Eagles Offensive Coordinator] Shane [Steichen] did an unbelievable job all last year, but I don’t feel like we’ve missed a beat on offense. We’ve been in a good groove, and Brian has just done, to me, a great job of leading this group. Has done a great job calling the game, adjusting in the game. I just think he’s done a top-notch job, and that was an example of that.

Q. The details of a different play, the interception, not to like allocate blame, but just to understand where the disconnect is, what are the teaching points on that? What leads to them not being on the same page there? (Bo Wulf)

NICK SIRIANNI: Yeah, that’s going to happen at some times. We give our guys freedom. When you put a playbook page up, this is what it’s supposed to look like, there is route discipline and detail that goes with that.

We also give them freedom. It’s not a thing where it’s like, ‘you have to run it this way every single time.’ Then you’re creating robots. So, there is freedom. Sometimes when you beat a guy over the top and you have a clear lane to go vertically, there is a time to put your hand up and do that and there is a time not to.

So, in that particular case it got us. Slight miscommunication on that. But you’re going to have some of those when you give the guys freedom to make plays like that. Obviously, those are very less obvious when they go for huge plays, right? They may score a touchdown, but you may not have known that he broke his route off or did something different on the route.

Obviously a very different scenario when it leads to an interception because you can see the disconnect there. So that’s just us. I’ll always take that. That’s just us as coaches being able to communicate when it’s okay, when it’s not okay, and be even more detailed on our end as coaches to make sure that we know exactly — our job as coaches is to make sure the job description is very clear on everything, and so on that particular one, we probably didn’t want that to happen but I’ve got to be clearer about that.

Q. WR Julio Jones was on the field for twice as many snaps as he played in any game before for you guys. How much of that is him doing some stuff that TE Dallas Goedert would normally do? Looked like in some pass routes there were plays that looked familiar if 88 was out there. (Mike Sielski)

NICK SIRIANNI: Yeah, some of that is that. With Dallas out, again, doesn’t fall on one person to take the place of Dallas Goedert. It’s hard to replace a player with the style of play and the type of player that Dallas is, and so some of it is that and some is he’s continuing to ramp up.

Obviously, he didn’t have training camp, he didn’t have all those different things, and he’s been here for a certain amount of time now where we feel better and better that he knows — he really did pick it up fast — but that he knows all the adjustments and every different thing like that, and that his body is ready to play there.

So, a little bit of supplementing Dallas, a little bit that he’s ready to go more and more and more each week. We’ll see how that continues.

Q. Are you finding that teams now are really determined to take away WR A.J. Brown? Even with TE Dallas Goedert out now, more bracketing and what that means for guys like WR DeVonta Smith. (Martin Frank)

NICK SIRIANNI: Yeah, and it’s sometimes hard to do that when you have a player like DeVonta on the other side. So, for instance, the big third down conversion, the play before DeVonta caught the slot go-ball down to the one yard line. He had a big third down conversion. Well, what happened on that play? They doubled A.J., and then DeVonta was able to create some single coverage with something that went down on that.

And obviously that was a huge play, and so that’s tough to — we definitely see that and we definitely — you plan for that. Especially teams that have it in their pocket because there are so many great players in this league you see that leading up to it. Like, ‘hey, well they doubled whoever,’ right, you name a player, they double [Bengals WR] Ja’Marr Chase, whoever it is, just like anything, you make educated guesses that, ‘hey, they could do this to A.J. as well.’ That just frees up our other guys.

Like you said, the best example of that was on the third down conversion prior to DeVonta’s big catch. The resources are going to A.J. You put your resources in to stop one thing, it’s going to be hard to stop another thing. We’ve seen that a couple times throughout the year.

This week it happened to be DeVonta, but there has been a couple where it’s been D’Andre, there has been a couple where it’s been Dallas, and [QB] Jalen [Hurts] has done a nice job finding them in those scenarios and getting them the ball.

Q. Last couple of years, you’ve added so many players in the middle of the season, what’s led to that being successful, and do you have like a template of when you bring a player in how you’re going to get them involved? (Dave Zangaro)

NICK SIRIANNI: Sometimes the circumstances of how it happens are different, right? The need at the position because maybe of an injury. I think what [Executive Vice President/ General Manager] Howie [Roseman] and his staff have done an unbelievable job of is not only getting good players that can help us, but good people this fit into the locker room.

We get these guys like [CB Bradley] Roby and [S] Kevin Byard that have come in, Julio, that have come in and like these are top-notch pros as far as players, but also really good teammates as well. So that’s Howie and his staff doing the homework of, ‘hey, this is the right type of guy to bring in here right now where there is a need.’

And then make no mistake about it, it’s a reflection of how our locker room currently is. Where they know these guys are coming in to help our goal, which is just to win this week, and they open their arms to them and accept them into the team.

Those are the type of guys we have here. I think back. It’s been, like you said, last year, [K] Jake [Elliott] got hurt. [Former Eagles K] Cam Dicker comes in. The confidence these guys had that Cam was going to make a play, and he does, to win the football game for us.

So, it’s really a cool thing to see because that’s to me a definition of a team, right, of what our locker room is like. It’s led by our captains and players.

Q. Did the noise level of the crowd contribute to pass protection problems in the first half, and then how do you rectify it in the second half? (Merrill Reese)

NICK SIRIANNI: Yeah, it definitely was loud there. That’s a loud stadium, a rowdy stadium. When it is loud like that, it makes it more challenging to communicate. We do our best to simulate that as much as we can in practice, but there are some times you can’t get those speakers outside as loud as it in Arrowhead or Lincoln Financial Field or wherever it may be.

There were various reasons, whether that was us putting the players in position to make plays, execution, or communication error of what led to that. But, everybody did a nice job settling in and handling it in the second half, and obviously led to more production by the offense in the second half.

Q. You were talking about Offensive Coordinator Brian Johnson a minute ago. What do you like best about his play calling? (Reuben Frank)

NICK SIRIANNI: I think he has a good feel. Brian is not going to just do something to do it. He has a good feel and good flow for what’s going on in the game and being able to adjust in the game. He’s really smart situationally.

When I talk about situational football, these things pop up everywhere. Third down, red zone, two minute, backed up, third down and backed up, four minute, four minute backed up, four minute third down; they’re endless.

He’s done an unbelievable job in those scenarios of the preparation that we put in for it, and we do all that preparation in that together, but then there is going to be an art to it of, ‘okay, this is what we planned on doing, but this is what the play requires right now because of the way the defense is.’

So, I think he does a great job adjusting, does a great job in-game having feel for the situations and is going to do what we feel is best to do to win that game.

And that doesn’t — that can mean run it a ton, throw it a ton, and that can be a mix. So, again, just like I said, I just feel like as you look at our statistics and the feel of games, I think he’s done a really good job and probably hasn’t been talked enough about as good of a job he’s done.

I think there was an expectation coming in, ‘oh, we lost our coordinator, we’re going to take a step back,’ and that’s really not been the case. Same record we had last year. To me, Brian deserves a lot of credit for that and should be being talked about more in that light of, ‘man, this guy is doing a really good job.’

Q. You mentioned QB Jalen Hurts’ check. On his interception, you said there was freedom. How would you describe his role in checks with the run game in that? (Brooks Kubena)

NICK SIRIANNI: Yeah, again, he is responsible — him and [C] Jason [Kelce] are responsible to get us in and out of plays. Now, there are times where it’s a call and run it run; there are times where he’s going to have to think on the fly; there are going to have to check play; there are times this happens, and he has to throw a screen out to the receiver to get us out of a run play.

So those are the — and I said this on Monday, there are about three to four, four to five plays a game that the quarterback has to make with his mind that really change the game and to me, Jalen continues to grow and excel in that area. For instance, like I said about the DeVonta play of him getting to that, that was a game-changing play for us. He made a great throw, made a great check, and DeVonta made a great catch.

Q. Going from Chiefs Defensive Coordinator Steve Spagnuolo to Bills Head Coach Sean McDermott, do they have any similarities? (Jeff McLane)

NICK SIRIANNI: Yeah, there are some similarities. There is obviously — we know their history with Coach Johnson and everything like that, so there are definitely similarities in there.

But like any coordinator, there are big differences, too. So, thought the world of Spags. I think Coach McDermott, think highly of him too and the style and product of defenses he’s put on the field for multiple years that led to him getting the job and now with him calling it again in Buffalo.

So, definitely some similarities in some of their structures and definitely some uniqueness that they have — that he has separate from that that challenge us as well.

Q. The called runs for QB Jalen Hurts, I know he’s going to say that he’s good to go on those, but how often do you find yourself checking in with him health-wise on those? (Bo Wulf)

NICK SIRIANNI: Yeah. That’s what we’re doing all week at practice, right? He can tell us one thing: we’re watching him at practice as well. So, it is checking in with him, seeing how he’s feeling, but it’s also seeing how practice goes. You go into a game with plays that you intend on calling, and past experiences with those plays give you confidence to call them, but also practice reps. What they look like in practice gives you confidence to call them.

So those are all judged a lot, especially how a guy is feeling in practice and how those look in practice.

Q. But also, he’s not going full speed in practice, right? So, when you’re watching the games, you’re like, ‘oh, he’s got his legs today?’ (Bo Wulf)

NICK SIRIANNI: No, because we go pretty hard in practice. That’s something that we pride ourselves in, the tempo that we go in practice, and so I think that we have a pretty good feel for that going into the game.

Q. 49ers Head Coach Kyle Shanahan a couple weeks ago, on a national telecast they were talking about he got to the point where when they beat the Cowboys pretty good, he felt like his team was really good and it was a mistake to think that; didn’t really like the way he handled things. At this point, where you are at 9-1, just beat the Chiefs, do you have to worry about being too overconfident and making sure those guys aren’t? (Bob Brookover)

NICK SIRIANNI: I think there is a difference between confidence and overconfident, cockiness. There’s a difference. It’s good to have confidence. It’s good to believe in each other, it’s good to believe in the team. But we also know that believing in ourselves and believing in this team is a product of the work that we put in not only the past, but more so about the work we’re going to put in this week to get ready for this game.

There is a big power in belief, belief in each other. When you believe in somebody, it takes the guy to another level. Coach to player, player to player, player to coach. So that’s a powerful thing.

But we also know what goes into making that belief happen. That’s the work you put in week in, week out. Our focus every week is to make sure — just like coming into this year, how do you duplicate — the question was probably at the beginning of the year was how do you duplicate what you did last year? It’s little steps. It’s not going to be boom, all of a sudden this happens. It happens because of the work you put in in walk-through, meeting detail, the intensity at practice, the commitment to getting better at core values, and so that’s what it’s about.