Nick Sirianni

Q. This whole offseason, there was some talk going back and forth with the 49ers and the championship game, do you expect any chippiness in this game? (Ed Kracz)

NICK SIRIANNI: I just know this game is going to be about two good teams coming in here and having a good game. I got a lot of respect for the guys over there and [49ers Head] Coach [Kyle] Shanahan and his coaches.

There are a lot of good players on the San Francisco 49ers, some of best players in the world over there.

This is a different — this is 2023, right? It’s not 2022. Very similar to what we responded with the Chiefs’ stuff, like going into the Chiefs’ game, right? There are different players on this team. There are different players on their team. Shoot, one of our better players from last year is on their team.

So, this is about the 2023 Eagles versus the 2023 Niners. Both teams are doing well. It’s going to be a heck of a battle.

Q. With two healthy off-ball linebackers at this moment, what is your plan at that position? (Zach Berman)

NICK SIRIANNI: We’ll see. I don’t know where they will be at the end of the week. I’m hopeful with these guys, and so I got a lot of faith in the guys that we have in that room, and we’ll see how their rehab continues throughout the week.

We have some guys on the practice squad and obviously you guys know somebody is in the building as well.

Q. You guys haven’t played a whole lot of games that have been 60 minutes of probably what you would accept as standard Eagles’ football. Is there a sense and is that a message you want to get to these guys, that you’re going to have to play 60 minutes Sunday? (Reuben Frank)

NICK SIRIANNI: I mean, shoot, how many minutes did we play last week, 70 minutes, right?

Q. Good minutes. (Reuben Frank)

NICK SIRIANNI: Yeah, yeah. And then obviously the week before with Kansas City. So, yeah, we know when you play good football teams like we’re about to play this week, you’re going to have to be ready to go for 60 minutes.

Shoot, that’s usually the case in the NFL, that you’re playing all 60 minutes and it’s a battle until the end. Think about how many games come down to one-score games. We’ve been in two overtime games this year. Obviously, the Kansas City game before that. Those are the ones that are on my mind right now.

And our strength and conditioning and our trainers do a great job with the guys with their conditioning; the guys do a really good job working their conditioning, because it takes both parts.

We feel like we’ll be ready to go, and we’ll do the right things this week to not only get us ready to play the game, but also get our bodies ready to play the game, because we knew we had a lot of plays there on Sunday against the Bills.

Q. You mentioned free agent LB Shaq Leonard is in the building. What’s that process like for you? Obviously, you have a relationship. You’ve got to prepare for the 49ers. When someone comes into the building during the week, what is that process like for you? (John McMullen)

NICK SIRIANNI: You just shuffle things around a little bit, get in a little bit earlier to get some things done so you can have a little bit more time to spend.

So, any guy that comes in here, I want to spend time with them and talk to them. Obviously, there is a prior relationship there. I was close with him when we were in Indy. I just thought you can learn so much from good players. Just think about how he went about how he attacked the day, and also how he saw the game as an offensive coach. That was always a good perspective talking to him and I just had so much respect for him.

It was good to be able to catch up with him and relive some memories, but also talk a little bit about what this building is like.

Q. You only saw 49ers QB Brock Purdy for the first quarter in the NFC Championship game. What are you seeing that’s different about him this year, or not? (Martin Frank)

NICK SIRIANNI: I think he’s a winner, and that goes back to — obviously I played with his college coach and a bunch of guys that were on that staff. We were all at Mount Union together and they’ve been talking about this guy for a long time. He led them to the Fiesta Bowl. He’s a winner and just continues to win. I think you saw that all last year, and also what he’s doing this year.

I think he’s got good athleticism, I think he knows where to go with the football in a timely fashion, and I think he is accurate going there. Those are the things you want in a quarterback, and so hats off to him and Kyle and their staff of putting him in good positions and continuing to develop this guy.

Again, I just think the guy is a winner and I have a lot of respect for him, and you can see that on tape.

Q. With free agent LB Shaq Leonard, did he pass his physical and are you confident you guys are going to be able to sign him? (Tim McManus)

NICK SIRIANNI: I don’t know all that yet. I just got a chance to talk to him this morning and I probably wouldn’t give that you information either way.

I don’t know where we are with all that. I know he’s meeting with some of the coaches right now. I got to meet with him and we’ll see with all the other stuff.

Q. If it comes down to his decision, what’s your pitch? (Dave Zangaro)

NICK SIRIANNI: Shoot, good question. All I’ll ever do is just be honest with him and tell him what the situation is here, what the situation is in this building.

I think the pitch is just the guys that we have in this building, and some of them he has a prior relationship, too. I want Shaq to make the decision that’s best for him. Because, again, when there is that prior relationship you want to make sure — and that’s what I said to him, ‘I just want you to make the best decision for you. Take all the information from both places and do what’s best for you.’

So, I’ve called him a bunch the last couple days, and, shoot, he’ll make the decision that’s best for him. I’m confident in that. He’s a good person.

Q. What did you think about Bills DT Jordan Phillips’ false start or offsides on the tush push? (Jeff McLane)

NICK SIRIANNI: Yeah, he definitely did it [smiling].

Q. C Jason Kelce had strong words about how it was handled. Do you feel like this is something teams will resort to increasingly? (Jeff McLane)

NICK SIRIANNI: No, I mean, no. I don’t think so. But we’ll see. We’ll see. People are going to try every different way to stop the play and we’ll have to be ready for everything.

Q. What are the keys to getting off to a faster start this weekend? (Dave Uram)

NICK SIRIANNI: Obviously everything that you do is — we don’t start with things that — I mean, there are different ways you’re starting. There are things you set up and want to see, but you always want to start off fast.

It’s just us putting the guys in positions to succeed and the guys executing. It’ll always come down to that. We have been pretty successful here in this past two years of our opening drives, a lot with our opening drives of going down and being able to get points.

Obviously last week and the week before that — I think you need to look at the entire body of work, but I also understand we’re judged on our last game or last two games. So that’s not something — we know we’ve been pretty good at that; not something at all that we’re hitting a panic button on.

We just got to do a better job putting the guys in positions to succeed and then just the execution. It’ll always be that.

Q. The 49ers did a lot of talking in this off season, and even one player calling another player trash on this Eagles team. Did you talk to your players at all through this whole time, or even this week about how you want them to handle it? Are you happy with the way they’ve handled it? (John Clark)

NICK SIRIANNI: Again, I just think it’s just such different teams. It’s the 2023 Eagles versus the 2023 Niners. So, all we talk about is there is no greater motivation than not wanting to let each other down. That’s our connect piece, right? There is always going to be outside motivations.

I say this all the time: Whether you’re going to play against your hometown team in Buffalo, going back to playing a team that beat you in the Super Bowl, whether it’s a rematch of the NFC — like there is that each and every week. You’re playing against a former teammate of yours.

But again, at the end of the day, we want to put in the work that we need to put into the week just because we don’t want to let each other down. Because we know it’s the best teams that win, not the best groups of individuals.

So that is our message throughout anything like that, regardless of the circumstances is, ‘Let’s go to work for each other this week,’ because we know we got a close-knit group of guys.

Q. How has San Francisco 49ers DE Chase Young’s addition impacted what was already a pretty good pass rush? (Bob Brookover)

NICK SIRIANNI: Obviously they’re outstanding on the defensive line and he’s an outstanding player as well, so they just added to a really solid group, you know, a really good group.

So, we obviously I guess this year was the first year since I’ve been here that Chase played against us twice this season, and so had a lot of respect for the way he looked, the way he plays. I think very highly of him as a player.

To add him with [49ers DL Arik] Armstead and [49ers DL Joey] Bosa and [49ers DL] Javon [Hargrave], you know, they’ve got depth behind that. Obviously, it’s paid dividends for them and they’re really solid on that defensive line.

Q. You’re underdogs for this game. What’s your reaction to that? (Tim McManus)

NICK SIRIANNI: Again, not going to get wrapped into what anybody else thinks of us, whether that’s another team, whether that’s whoever makes the spreads, or anything like that.

We just worry about going to work for ourselves. I think going into the last year and the year before, no one really thought we would be any good. I think it’s okay to be the underdog.

I said on the radio the other day, before I ever stepped foot in the city all I knew about this city was Rocky versus Apollo Creed and the city plays the underdog well.

Q. What’s your view on point differential? Is that a data point that you value? (Zach Berman)

NICK SIRIANNI: No, because there are different things you do to win each and every game and there are times that you do different things that, at the end of games you’re just trying to preserve the win or trying to really take the other team out. There are all these different ways to say it. We just got find ways to win football games.

I think over the body of the year that you get something out of it, but at the end of the day, the stats I’m really looking at are the turnover differential and the explosive play differential.

If you do a good job on those, the better you do in those, probably goes and correlates to the point differential. So, we really focus on those two statistics.

We need to make a jump on especially the turnovers, so we’re working to do that. Our players are working to do that. But I think that correlates to your question. It’s just a stat that I don’t look at as much as the other one.

Q. As far as TE Dallas Goedert goes, he wasn’t put on IR. Maybe the expectation is he comes back against Dallas. I know you don’t like to put a timeline on it, but is his rehab progressing where he could potentially be in play for Sunday? (Ed Kracz)

NICK SIRIANNI: We’ll see. I need to be around him today, on the field with him. Today it’s a walk-through, so obviously won’t get all I need from that. We’ll see how that goes.

I can’t answer that quite yet just because so many things have to happen before that.

Q. As somebody who has built offenses, designed plays, what makes San Francisco 49ers Head Coach Kyle Shanahan so good at it? (John McMullen)

NICK SIRIANNI: He’s been really good at it for a long time. I think he does a really good job, as I watch, meshing his system together. There are things that look alike that — you know, one thing looks like this and it’s a play-action pass or a shot or a run and they all marry together really good.

I think you’ve always seen his quarterbacks play well. I think you also see that — I always admire how his receivers play. You can see he has a background in receiver play. I obviously know a couple guys. [WR] Julio [Jones], I’ll let him say what he feels about him, but I know he has a lot of respect for him. [Former NFL WR] Pierre Garcon played for him, someone I know, and Pierre had some of his best years with him, so I admire that as well.

He’s an outstanding coach. The other thing is I look at myself. I grew up going to football practices. I’m sure he did the same and he’s been around this sport for a long time. So just a ton of respect for him and the job he’s done and continues to do over there.

Q. It’s been a few decades or a few years since you recruited. How are you as a recruiter? (Zach Berman)

NICK SIRIANNI: I don’t know. I don’t know. It’s been a few decades actually. Yeah, I don’t know. Just always try to tell them the positives about our place. It’s not all that different than connecting with your own teammates. You find common things and you talk to them about it.

I don’t know. I don’t know if I would be cut out for the college game of recruiting. I don’t know how good I am. We’ll see.