Nick Sirianni

Q. Nick, DE Brandon Graham is going to set a franchise mark for games played. What has he meant to you in your time here? (Dave Zangaro)

NICK SIRIANNI: Man, he’s a special player, special leader, special person, and so just to be able to step into an organization — again, and I always feel like I group all those guys together with those four guys that have been 10-year plus Eagles. That’s a unique situation, and it’s really helped my job as a head coach. Made it a lot more simple — not simple; I don’t think that’s the right way to say it.

But just helped me out in my transition from becoming an offensive coordinator to a head coach because of the leader that he is. To have leaders like that. He’s awesome. He’s unbelievable.

When he got hurt that first year, right, I missed him being around every day. Once he was healthy enough he was around every day, and you could feel the difference.

I mean, there is just — I could talk about him for a long time here and I want to be respectful and answer everybody’s questions I can.

But, man, he’s a special guy. And I saw him this summer somewhere down the Jersey Shore, and he’s like, ‘Hey, coach.’ We were at the same pool. He was like, ‘Hey, coach, can I use that ball that you have?’ And I’m like, ‘Yeah, no problem.’ I throw him the ball. He’s like, ‘I’m going to play catch with my son.’

Next thing I know, he’s playing catch with the entire pool, like 30 kids. He wanted to play catch with his son, but he’s playing catch with the entire pool. This is the type of guy he is. It’s mostly kids that are playing catch, but you know, grown-ups are going by going, ‘Whoo! Give me a shot.’ He’s throwing it to them. The guy is unbelievable.

I actually appreciate the question because it gave me a chance to brag on him. Again, just not only a great football player, but a great person, a great teammate, a great leader, you name it. I think you would hear the same thing from every person in that locker room and every person in this building.

Q. Some video got out about your reaction after Monday’s game. I’m wondering if that’s something you embrace because it’s you being you, or is it something that maybe when you watch it back you’re like, ‘Oh, is that me? Do I need to curtail some of it?’ (Jeff McLane)

NICK SIRIANNI: Yeah, you know, emotions run high in games. I give it to the Kansas City fans. They were rowdy. They had some good things to say coming in at halftime. They had some good things to say when they would score. I don’t hear fans all that often; I did in this game. I definitely heard them at halftime.

I give them credit. They aren’t Philly fans. They’re not as good as Philly fans, but I definitely heard a couple things they were saying in the game.

You always look at those things. To me, with everything that I am, I’m not going to hide who I am. I think that, shoot, I talked to my buddy after the [Indianapolis] game last year because I had something like that with the Indy game and he said that he was talking to another teacher because he’s a teacher and he said — how did he say it? It was interesting.

The other teacher said to my best friend, he was like, ‘Hey, did you see how cool it was that Nick was celebrating with the Eagles fans after the game?’ He laughed. He goes [jokingly], ‘Nick wasn’t celebrating with the Eagles fans, he was talking [trash] to the Colts fans. He’s been doing that since I’ve known him. That’s who he is.’

You know what? I think if you’re somebody you’re not, that gets seen through by everybody, and so, hey, like that was some — I was emotional after the game. That was a little playful back and forth with the Kansas City fans.

But, again, I tip my hat to them. They’re not as good as Eagles fans, but they’re good fans and we heard them. That’s the way it went after the game.

I like [Eagles CB Darius] Slay’s reaction, too.

Q. When CB Avonte Maddox went down, it was assumed he’d be out for the year, but does he have a chance of coming back? (Jimmy Kempski)

NICK SIRIANNI: We’ll see. Yeah, we’ll see. He’s working hard. Working really hard to be able to [come back]. We’ll see. That all depends on how his — I know he’s going to put the hard work in. I know we got the best trainers and doctors and strength staff in the NFL.

But sometimes it’s just going to be all with the way the body reacts. We’ll see how that goes. I’d hate to put a timetable on him and say, ‘Yeah, we’re expecting him back’ and he doesn’t make it [back] or vice versa.

So, day by day, we’ll see.

Q. You always talk about motivation, use it if it helps you. Whether you’re going back to Kansas City, playing Buffalo, if it helps you, do you ever look at it from Inquirer reporter Jeff McLane’s question, that perspective of, ‘Hey, maybe somebody will get fired up, use that as motivation?’ (John McMullen)

NICK SIRIANNI: Yeah, I do. I do. But, again, there are so many things that everybody can use for motivation. We all saw the Michael Jordan documentary. He would make things up. Listen, I think that was said in that documentary, right? He would make things up to get motivated by.

These guys in this league are here for a reason. They know how to work. They know how to get ready for games. And so maybe — I guess that really doesn’t go through my mind, but they could use it, right?

Again, use what motivates you the best. If it distracts you, it distracts you. I’m not going into this game being like, ‘I’m from the Buffalo area.’ Only thing I would say is like my friends that are rooting for Buffalo, I’d be like, ‘That’s a little crazy you’re rooting for Buffalo. I know you’ve rooted for Buffalo your entire lives’ — and I guess I’m kind of talking to some of my friends right now. ‘I know you’ve rooted for Buffalo your entire lives. I get it. But shoot, you didn’t play all these games and all these different things with [Bills head coach] Sean McDermott when you were growing up, it was me. So, let’s reevaluate how you’re thinking about this game and who you’re rooting for.’

Q. You were speaking earlier in the week about Eagles offensive coordinator Brian Johnson and how people weren’t talking enough about him specific to how he’s worked with QB Jalen Hurts this year. What have you seen that he’s been able to bring out in him, the checks and things you’re seeing so far? (Brooks Kubena)

NICK SIRIANNI: He’s a great communicator. Him and [Eagles QB] Jalen [Hurts] have a great relationship. Jalen has played really good football because Jalen is a really good football player and he’s continued to develop, but also because Brian Johnson has helped him.

And now it’s just in a different stage, a different role. Obviously, I have to hear things, right? [Eagles senior vice president of communications] Bob [Lange] gets me — whether it’s the fans in Kansas City that I overhear or Bob getting me ready for the questions that I need to answer, the criticism on Brian Johnson, I think that’s silly.

I think it’s kind of, I don’t know, I think it’s a very silly take on him, if there is any criticism on him. I think he’s doing a phenomenal job. I think our offense is doing a good job.

You can look at every stat you want, but do you score as many points and win as many games? That’s all it’s about, right? We’re averaging half a point less than last year and we have the same record, so he’s done a nice job.