Q. How concerned are you with the tackling? (Reuben Frank)
NICK SIRIANNI: I’m not. We’ll make sure we get back to work and fix it just like we did after the Detroit game. Sometimes it’s a certain player that’s making you miss some tackles. That was a good back last night. We have to do a better job coaching. We have to do a better job playing, and really right there I know I’m confident in our coaches and our players that we’ll respond like we did against Detroit and get it back on track.
Q. Did that show like how much you guys missed DT Jordan Davis, especially in the run game? (Martin Frank)
NICK SIRIANNI: Anytime you have a player of [DT] Jordan’s [Davis] caliber, how he is against the run, and you’re without him, of course that makes you not quite as good against the run. But again, I felt like we need to put our guys in a better position, and when they were in those positions and be able to tackle better. It always starts with us as coaches putting the guys in better spots. We need to do that, and it starts with us as coaches.
Q. You have kind of an unusual situation here with a Thursday game going into a Monday game, a long stretch. How will you use this time, and is it kind of like a bye week in a way? (Dave Zangaro)
NICK SIRIANNI: Yeah, it is. It is important after coming off of a Thursday game that the guys — like we got right off the plane, we slept for a couple hours on the plane — we watched the game, and once guys got done watching the game on the plane, they took a little bit of a nap. Once we got off the plane, we immediately came in here and started working by watching the game and then doing some self-scout stuff that we’ll continue to study over the weekend.
But when you play on a short week, it’s also important because of the grind that it is to get ready for that short week game that the guys have a little bit of time to rest. So yes, it will be — we’ve already done some things that’s kind of like a bye. After we got done studying the game, we did some of the self-scout stuff again. Now, what’s unique about that is there are only two additional games from all our studies from the bye week.
We went through a similar process, obviously way shorter, in the sense of there are only two games, but a similar process, we’re continuing through that similar process, the guys need to go home right now and get some sleep. I know our staff is on their way home right now after working for the last five and a half hours here at the office, and then we’ll continue to evaluate things over the weekend, as well, because this is an important part of the process this mini-bye.
Q. This isn’t the ultimate goal, the 8-0 start, but how special does it feel to be part of that? The only Eagles team that’s ever done it; people are going to be going, yeah, that was the Head Coach Nick Sirianni team. How special was that? (Bob Grotz)
NICK SIRIANNI: Well, I just think we went to work each day, each week, and we’ve got it done each week. That’s not an easy thing to do, each week coming out victorious. Our team has done that, and obviously that feels good sitting here, but all we’re really concerned about now is how we get better from the last game, how do we get better from our little self-scout again, and then how do we get ready to play this next game. Because yeah, sure, right now 8-0 is fine, but it’s not the goal. Our goal – there are a lot of goals, but none of them can be accomplished unless you take care of business each week, so always our goal is to handle this week and feel good about it because we have a little bit more time to sit with it.
But you make sure we do this work that we need to do. That’s an important part of the process after playing a Thursday night game. We’ll work like crazy to make sure we’re getting better every single day.
Q. QB Jalen Hurts is up to 68 percent accuracy; how much of that do you think is physical, how much it mental, and what are some of the factors that you think have gone into that improvement? (Reuben Frank)
NICK SIRIANNI: I think it’s both-and. It’s both his ability to see the plays over and over and over again, know exactly where he’s going with the ball and make quick decisions. That’s a huge part of it. And that leads to physical. His mind working fast and knowing where to go with the football leads to better opportunities to throw.
So, when you throw it quicker, the rush is not quite there yet. You’re able to make more accurate throws when the rush isn’t there because you’ve made quick decisions. So, it goes hand in hand. [QB] Jalen [Hurts] has done a great job of just continuing to develop himself as a player. [Quarterbacks coach] Brian Johnson has done great job coaching him. [Offensive Coordinator] Shane [Steichen] has done a great job coaching him. That’s a great quarterback room with Gardner [Minshew] and Ian [Book], [Assistant Quarterbacks/Offensive Assistant coach] Alex Tanney is in that room, as well, and it’s fun just being in there with those guys. He’s just continuing to get better, and I look forward to seeing him continue to grow.
Q. With DT Jordan Davis out at least another three more games, do you have the personnel to handle that position during his absence? (Jeff McLane)
NICK SIRIANNI: Yeah, we’re confident in the guys that are there. We’ve always felt like that was a pretty deep room with [DT] Javon [Hargrave] and [DT] Fletch [Cox] and [DT] Marlon [Tuipulotu] and [DT] Milton [Williams], and then obviously [DT] Jordan [Davis]. Then [DT] Marvin [Wilson] off the practice squad.
Yeah, we’re confident there. We were excited to see Marvin play and get some good reps in there, and so yeah, we’re confident in that group. I know they’ll continue to get better, and the young guys will continue to get better for sure as they see more playing time.
Q. As you look at the playing time distribution, what was the reason behind DE Robert Quinn taking seven defensive snaps? (Zach Berman)
NICK SIRIANNI: Just the way the reps shook out yesterday is kind of how that played out. With being on a short week and everything, it’s just the way the reps played out the other day. Obviously, we want to get him — and it’s the way some of the packages are being called, as well.
So hey, the reps play out the way they are based off of some of the packages you’re in. There are certain packages where Robert wasn’t in on them, and there are packages that he was, and the ones that he wasn’t in on just got called a little bit more because that’s what we were trying to do to stop him. Now, does he need to get a little bit more reps? Yeah, we want him to be kind of in that — we’re kind of where BG [DE Brandon Graham] was with his reps the other day, and that’s something that that’s not the easiest thing to monitor during the game when [defensive coordinator] Jonathan [Gannon] is trying to make calls to try to stop them. But we have to do a better job of making sure that he does get more reps because we know he can affect the game in that manner.
But yeah, that’s obviously something we’re aware of and that he’ll get more reps as we continue to move forward.
Q. How would you characterize the chemistry level right now between QB Jalen Hurts and TE Dallas Goedert specifically? (Josh Tolentino)
NICK SIRIANNI: It’s obviously really good. I said yesterday, and I double down on it, Dallas Goedert needs to be in the conversation for best tight ends in the NFL. He’s a big-time player. He can do it many different ways. He does it in the intermediate game, he does it in the short passing game, he does it in the screen game, and then he’s an all-around good blocker. There aren’t a lot of guys like him.
Jalen has full trust in him, our offensive coaches and myself have full trust in him, that we know when we need a play, there’s certain plays that we call for Dallas that we know are going to be successful, and that’s part of that self-scout, too. To be able to study some of those things that we know that we’re good at and that we know Dallas is good at and continue to get him that football.
They have great chemistry. I think there was a 3rd down play yesterday where we completed it down to the 4 on a corner route to Dallas, and it was just a great touch by Jalen, knowing exactly where Dallas was going to be, that he was going to be right in front of the safety and right behind the corner against cover two. I think that was on full display, the trust that he has, that he was going to be right there in that spot for him on that play yesterday. It was a big conversion that set up a score for us.
Yeah, he trusts, and you tend to trust guys that are the best players at their position in the NFL.
Q. Your defense has forced so many turnovers so far. Is that sustainable, and can you rely on that? (Dave Zangaro)
NICK SIRIANNI: Yeah, we think so. Our goal every week is to be plus 2 in that turnover category. I would say the Jacksonville game, I’m not sure that the five turnovers is sustainable, but we plan to take care of the football. Plus 2 is a goal for a reason, because we plan to take care of the football, and we want to get at least two turnovers during the defensive game, so we definitely think that’s sustainable. The way we come after the football, the way we get pressure on the quarterback and the way I feel like we have some DBs back there obviously in Slay [CB Darius Slay] and [CB] James [Bradberry] and [S] Chauncey [Gardner-Johnson] and [S] Marcus [Epps] and [CB] Avonte [Maddox] that can make you pay if you make a mistake. That’s always something that you’re aware of as an offensive coach, like hey, if I make a mistake, is this guy going to be able to make us pay, and we’ve got guys back there that can.
Because of the playmakers that we have, I definitely think that’s sustainable. We obviously know that’s a big part of our success to date is the turnover battle. We think long and hard about that, and how we teach the fundamentals with that and all the different things that go to that.
Chauncey is catching a lot of balls after practice to make sure that when we get our hands on — he’s made some unbelievable catches, and when he gets his hands on the ball, he’s finishing on those plays because he works hard at it.
I think sometimes there’s a tendency for people to think, oh, they’re getting lucky in the turnover category. To me, luck has nothing to do with it. We talk about it more than anybody. We live it. We preach it. We rep it. There are fundamentals to it. Our coaches are all over it. Our players are all over it. It’s constantly on our mind. Nobody thinks about turning the ball over or protecting the football more than we do.
I think it’s sustainable because it’s part of our culture and what we live and preach every single day. Again, the coaches are doing a good job of teaching the fundamentals of how to take the ball away, how to finish with the ball, and our offensive coaches are doing a great job of teaching the fundamentals of how to protect the football.
There were multiple times yesterday in that game, and I know you asked about the takeaways, but I’ll go into the takeaway margin. Multiple times in that game where their guys had really good strip attempts, outstanding strip attempts on defense that would have been on our defensive highlights of this is a great strip attempt, keep coming after it because it’s going to come out, and our guys protecting the crap out of it. It was [WR] Quez Watkins on his play, they really tried to come after that ball on him. [TE] Jack Stoll on his play. Dallas Goedert had a couple where he really protected that ball in some traffic. Then [RB] Miles Sanders and [RB] Kenny [Gainwell] and [RB] Boston [Scott], all of them. Miles continues to impress. There was one play going down into the red zone where the guy, I think No. 2, got his hand on it, and really raked at it pretty good, and Miles held on to the football.
Now, we lost a couple, and we’ll clean those things up with Jalen having two hands on the ball and making sure we get the other hand on the ball on the run in the four-minute mode, but make no mistake about it, that is what we talk about more than anything we talk about in this building. As much as we talk about connecting, I would say we talk even more about protecting the football and taking the football away and how we do that.
Q. You were four for four in the red zone, and two of those touchdowns came rushing and you guys have had very much success rushing down in there. What do you attribute that success to? (Jeff McLane)
NICK SIRIANNI: It’s obviously a full team game, and it always starts with the offensive line and the way they’re able to move people down there and the way they’re able to create some movement on the defensive line up to the linebackers. It goes into how the backs are running, and the backs are really running hard. I think [RB] Miles [Sanders] is running so hard. I think he’s really having an outstanding season to date. He’s just running with anger and passion, and he’s just really getting after it, and he’s not being denied down there.
[RB] Kenny Gainwell’s run yesterday down there, it was really, really impressive. It was 3rd and 4, we hand the ball off to Kenny, and the play was blocked well, but there was a safety that’s not blocked on that play. You can’t block everybody, right?
So, Kenny was able to finish through the safety with a good — Kenny is a strong man. He was able to finish through the safety. He’s got a knack down there to get the ball into the end zone. We’ve seen that for the past two years now with Kenny.
Then obviously Jalen creates so much attention down in the red zone. Whether that’s the quarterback sneak that you’ve seen him run or whether we’re in the gun and he’s holding the backside with a fake out the back door or if he’s the primary runner, he creates a lot of attention down there. To me, the teams that I’ve been on that have been really good in the red zone have that ability to run with their quarterback and to be able to at least have a threat to run with the quarterback.
Then again, going back to our tight ends, they blocked their butts off down there, as well. So, it’s just a full team effort down there in the red zone.
Q. The start of the second half was uncharacteristic for T Jordan Mailata. What stood out on film when you watched that sequence? (Zach Berman)
NICK SIRIANNI: I’m going to take full responsibility for both of those in the sense of we weren’t synced up with our protection and our route concepts, and that’s 100 percent on me and nobody else. There was a concept we were running, and one side was quick game and the other side was more rhythm game. I didn’t teach the read well enough to Jalen and we kind of got into a pure progression instead of a split field read. What ended up happening is we got caught with the ball in our hand and we had to hold it a little bit, and [T] Jordan [Mailata] was just taking the set we told him to, and that’s going to happen, and I screwed him up on both of those.
Jordan is beating himself up about it, but I should be beating myself up about it more, and I am. Full responsibility on both of those sacks is on me. When we put our tape up on Monday when the guys get back in, every time we put our tape up, people’s numbers are up there if they did the wrong thing. On both of those, it’s going to say loss and it’s going to say dash and it’s going to say Nick and nobody else, because I screwed that up.
Q. On QB Jalen Hurts’ running ability, he hasn’t run as much the last three games, and I was wondering if that’s like a conscious decision on your part or does that show more of an evolution of the way he’s been passing the ball? (Martin Frank)
NICK SIRIANNI: I just think that’s what we’ve done to win the game the last couple weeks. Jalen’s running ability is going to be a big part to our success and the way we — again, if we need to run him 20 times, we’ll run him 20 times. If we need to run Miles 20 times in a row, we’ll run him 20 times in a row. If we need pass it 20 times in a row, we’ll do that. Whatever we need to do and whatever we feel is best to win the football game, we’ll do, and just it’ll happen; that’s what we’ve done and we want to be multiple with it. Just so happens that that’s what we did this last game, because I’ve said it before, Jalen knows how to protect himself. He knows how to not take a hit while running with the football, and we trust him with that.
Q. Your defense has allowed three conversions out of 24 in the last attempts on 3rd down. What have been some of the main reasons why you guys have been able to get offenses off the field? (Chris Franklin)
NICK SIRIANNI: Defensive line getting after the quarterback, it always starts there. Just like with the offensive line and the red zone question somebody asked me earlier. Starts with how the defensive line is coming after the quarterback, and obviously that’s on full display. Then it goes down to we have guys in the secondary that those guys are playing sticky in the secondary and sticking close to the wide outs and making it difficult for those quarterbacks. It’s pretty impressive.
You said three? I didn’t realize that. Yeah, I guess they were 1 of 12 last week, and what were they yesterday, 2 of —
Q. 2 of 9. (Chris Franklin)
NICK SIRIANNI: Yeah, that’s obviously, again, a full team effort. But our defensive line has done a great job of creating some pressure right there. [Jokingly] I see that nobody – [LB] Haason [Reddick] has been awesome getting after the quarterback, and nobody has asked me today why we dropped him into pass coverage on that one where he had the pass breakup that was a freaking sweet pass breakup, and nobody said, hey, why did you drop Haason, because we broke up the pass! Come on!
Alright guys, y’all have a great weekend.