Q. QB Jalen Hurts has been over 73 percent accuracy three straight games, no Eagles quarterback has ever done that. His accuracy each year of his career has gone up as you know. What’s gone into specifically that aspect of his game, the accuracy that he’s shown this year and especially over the last few games? (Reuben Frank)
NICK SIRIANNI: Accuracy is not only where you place the ball and the ball being complete, but also you going to the right place with the football, right. You could have an accurate throw and not go to the right place with the football and that be an incompletion and not do it in a timely fashion and that be a tipped ball or a sack. So, I think it’s twofold, it’s just him getting more and more comfortable with the plays that he’s running and that he likes, and knowing where to go with the football accurate and going there in a timely fashion and doing so with good fundamentals and delivering the ball with accuracy. So, it’s just those two components, and he’s doing a nice job of that.
Q. With TE Dallas Goedert’s injury right now, what’s your thoughts on this current crop of tight ends on the roster and is there any consideration to going outside the organization to adding more? (Chris Franklin)
NICK SIRIANNI: We’ll always look for the best ways to make this team better and see what — obviously you’re limited as far as any trades or anything like that. We are hopeful Dallas [Goedert] will make a good, clean recovery, and be back soon, when he’s ready to be back. [Executive Vice President/General Manager] Howie [Roseman] always does a great job looking to improve the football team. So, we like the guys that we have on this roster. We are excited about them. We’re excited about them to get an opportunity. There are different ways that you can supplement not having Dallas, also. It doesn’t just fall on [TE] Jack [Stoll], [TE] Grant [Calcaterra], [TE] Albert [Okwuegbunam]. It just doesn’t fall on those three guys, right. You can supplement it sometimes with different personnel groupings as well. We feel like we have some good options. We are obviously not into game planning yet. We did a big review of our game today and then tomorrow will be self-scout stuff. We’ll work into game plan later in the week where we’ll think more about that. But we know we have options not only with the guys in the room but also guys that are not in the room out of different personnel groupings.
Q. After reviewing the string of three-and-outs near the end of the game, what was your takeaways? (Tim McManus)
NICK SIRIANNI: One, when you’re backed up, you’re backed up on the minus, minus one-yard line. You’re limited, obviously, in the things that you can do. So the backed up one, we gave ourselves some breathing room on the first play with a sneak. We were a little off on the next play. Then just didn’t convert on the screen that we threw on the last play. We felt good about all those. Gave ourselves some breathing room to give [P] Braden [Mann] an opportunity to punt the ball back to them.
The other one is a situation, we’re in four-minute. We’re trying to get them to burn their time-outs, so we are being pretty conservative. I think as that drive started, as we look at it, I’m good if we give them the ball back with under 50 seconds inside the 20 with no time-outs. You’re playing that how the situation calls for. I’d say one true three-and-out. When you just look at the stats and don’t look at the context of the way that the plays happen, it’s easy to say, hey, three three-and-outs. We’d like to keep those drives going. Of course, we would. We would like to convert backed up and of course we would like to keep a drive going in a four-minute but those are played the way they are played because of the situation of the game that we are in and where the ball is on the field. I would say, really, on that one, the one three-and-out, we’ve just got to do a better job putting the guys in positions to succeed and we have to do a better job executing. That’s always going to be that when we have a three-and-out any time in the game, which is the one that we had an incomplete pass to [WR] A.J. [Brown] on the last play. It looked like AJ had a hard time seeing that ball for whatever reason on that one but I like the aggressive play call by [Offensive Coordinator] Brian [Johnson] and aggressiveness of Jalen on that. That’s been a high completion percentage play for us on that. We’ve been pretty successful on those go balls. Just didn’t work out on that particular one. But a one-on-one with A.J. Brown and the tear that he’s been on on a vertical route, I’ll take that. I’ll take that any day of the week. We didn’t execute on that particular one, for a flukey reason.
Q. I don’t know if you mentioned it, what happened on WR A.J. Brown running into RB D’Andre Swift and the fumble? (Jeff McLane)
NICK SIRIANNI: I didn’t mention it. Yeah, just a little bit of an execution error. I’ll leave it at that. We have to coach it better, and we just had a little bit of an execution error on that particular one. We ran that play a couple times in the game. Didn’t have an execution error on those earlier but we’ve just got to make sure in different scenarios that we do a good job of reminding them on those things. And so again, that can’t happen in that particular case. We’ve got to coach it better. We’ve got to execute it better.
Q. CB Darius Slay at the end of the game kind of said that he wanted to take Cowboys WR CeeDee Lamb, no matter what. How do you take that when you have veteran players that want to take ownership of the game, and how do you obviously filter that, because you can’t just let people do whatever they want. So how does that work? (John McMullen)
NICK SIRIANNI: Yeah, I mean, there are different things. You can’t just play one coverage. You can’t just put one guy on somebody. You’ll be figured out fast there. Obviously admire the fact that Slay wants to go against the best, because he’s one of the best. So, you admire that.
But you’ve got to think about the team and what’s best for the team in different sets because again if it was just a man and you just played man the entire time, then maybe you could do that.
But obviously there’s a lot of different coverages that go into it, and it takes a lot of different reps. It’s going to take a lot of reps to execute different types of coverages.
So, admire his willingness and want-to to do that. We know we’re on the drawing board trying to figure out better ways to take away a guy like CeeDee, and we’ll get better at that as we continue on through this year.
Q. On that, where do you see the nickel position going forward? You get CB Bradley Roby back, maybe in a couple weeks, and where is your confidence in CB Eli Ricks in that position and how do you evaluate that going forward right now? (Brooks Kubena)
NICK SIRIANNI: Yeah, we feel like we have options. Again, we have to put the guys in position to succeed, and then the guys have to go out and execute. And so that’s a team thing of how we do that.
We have confidence. The reason [CB] Eli [Ricks] and [S] Sydney [Brown] were out there yesterday is because we had confidence in them to do the job. Again, did the stat sheet look pretty with 375 yards passing? No. But did the scoreboard look pretty? Yeah. To hold a team like that to six points in the second half is pretty darn good, and to 23 points in the game is pretty good.
And then we are excited when [CB] Bradley [Roby] gets back and we know he’s a big-time player and we’re excited that he’s on this team and excited that we have a chance to get him back this year.
So got confidence in the group, and we feel like we have options at the group. Again, [Executive Vice President/General Manager] Howie [Roseman] has done a great job of bringing in depth through the midst of some things where we’ve had some injuries at this defensive back position.
We’ll continue to get guys ready. Guys will continue to get themselves ready, and I’m comfortable with the group moving forward in the season.
Q. Any idea why the run game has not been clicking like we are accustomed to seeing, and how big of a part will that be of the self-scout this week? (Dave Zangaro)
NICK SIRIANNI: I think the run game is executing differently than what you’ve seen. Again, when you just look at a stat book, you’re not going to get that information exactly the way it is, right. So, I mean, we run a jet sweep to [RB] D’Andre [Swift] that goes for 22 yards; that counted as a pass. That’s a run, right. That’s a run. It’s just the way we gave them the football. Some teams are under center and turn it around and hand it to the guy. Some teams that are gun teams catch it and pitch it forward. For the teams that catch it and pitch it forward, they get pass yards. For the teams that turn around and hand it, they get run yards. It’s a style of what you are in your offense as far as if you’re a gun team or an under team.
You look at the other plays, the explosive play to Dallas Goedert, well, it counts as a pass. Well, I’ve got it but it’s an RPO. It’s an RPR. When you do that, you’re reading an end and then some teams play — some teams read it, and I don’t want to get too much into the scheme of it, but some teams read it and they play option football and some teams read it and play pass-forward football. Those are runs.
I know you’re just asking the question. I don’t agree with it, and because there’s more to the run game, like those numbers, than just what the stats say. And so that’s how I’m kind of answering that. You guys can take that, I think I’ve done a good job explaining that and I don’t want to get too far into that, the scheme things, but yeah, that’s how we see it.
Q. I just want to clarify. So, you’re okay with the way the running game is going right now? (Dave Zangaro)
NICK SIRIANNI: Yeah.
Q. I was wondering what you thought of the way G/T Tyler Steen played and assuming that G/C Cam Jurgens is back when you guys return against the Chiefs, how much do you think this experience will help him going forward? (Martin Frank)
NICK SIRIANNI: Yeah, good question. I think he [G/T Tyler Steen] played pretty good. Obviously, he’s going to want plays back. A couple times he got matched up with some different guys, and you’ve got to go through some of those adversities to continue to grow as a player. I thought he played a good game, though, being his first start, being a rookie, going against a really good defense, I thought he played a good game.
Obviously, any time you get reps, that’s beneficial for you. And he did a good job. He’s in between [C] Jason [Kelce] and [T] Lane [Johnson], so that obviously helps. But that was a good front that we went against, and I thought he did a lot of good things, and I thought he got more and more comfortable as the game progressed.
We are going to need all hands-on deck continuing on going into this next game versus Kansas City. So, we’ll need [G/C] Cam [Jurgens]. We’ll need Tyler [Steen]. We’ll need [G] Sua [Opeta]. Glad we have the depth that we have and look forward to them continuing to grow as players.
Q. I know earlier in the season we talked quite a bit about the red zone struggles that the team has had but over the last four games or so, the offense has scored on over 70 percent of your trips down there. Why is the offense executing so much better in that area? How much of it is execution and how much of it is play calling or something else? (Olivia Reiner)
NICK SIRIANNI: Yeah, we’ve worked hard at that. Any time you’re in the lower portion of the league in anything, it kind of pisses us off, right. We know that we have to make strides to be the offense that we need to be and that’s in any scenario. Like we don’t want to be in the bottom parts of the league in anything, especially something as important as the red zone football in that situation because we know that means points. A couple weeks ago we were 27th and today we were 13th. That’s a hell of strides that we’ve made as a team to make sure we are putting the ball in the end zone, and we needed every one of those points yesterday. So, a great job by our guys yesterday to execute.
And so any time we’re that — it always starts with, are we putting the guys in position to make plays? We made a few, without getting too much into it, we made a few philosophical changes of what we were doing down there which seem to have helped and our guys are doing a great job of executing when we get down there. We have good players down there and they are making really good plays. [WR] A.J. [Brown] made some plays and [WR] Julio [Jones], made an unbelievable play.
Again, we have all these weapons that we have to make sure we are putting in positions to succeed. Like I said, the guys have done a great job the past couple of weeks of making this big jump in our red zone offense getting better. Because like I said, we needed all those points, so good job to the guys.
Q. In the 4th quarter you had that big stop on the one-inch line, and the very next series you had to run the sneak like you talked about and it went seamlessly, but you didn’t have TE Dallas Goedert, you brought in T/G Jack Driscoll. That play went seamless, it seemed like, you got your two yards and a little bit of room. Can you talk about a player’s preparation that they can come in cold and execute it, and will Jack Driscoll stay in that role until Dallas Goedert gets back?(Al Thompson)
NICK SIRIANNI: I love that question. These guys work so hard. These backup players work so hard to be ready for their opportunity, so hard. Yesterday was a great example of that, and that’s such great examples that you can show how important practice is, how important walkthrough is, how important individual preparation is, how important position meetings are, all of those different things. Everybody’s locked in, at the end of the day, [T/G] Jack [Driscoll] wasn’t getting those reps in practice, [TE] Dallas [Goedert] was. So, that takes a commitment and mental toughness to make sure you’re ready to go when your number is called and why you’re ready to go, you’re ready to go because you’ve put in the work to prep yourself, even though you may not have had the reps.
As far as your question about maybe Jack [Driscoll] being there, we do that play out of so many different personnels. That particular play, the one you saw and referenced, it was a 13 personnel play, we only had two tight ends up, so we needed an extra offensive lineman to go in there and execute at that part of the field, and he did.
So, I guess I would say if we needed him [Jack Driscoll] to do it again, yes we can use him. But if were not in that personnel grouping, we might not need him to do so.
But I know this, like you said, Jack Driscoll will be ready because of the person and the player and the teammate he is.
Q. With those last three drives of the game, was some of that offensive stagnancy partially Dallas-related to this game plan, or are there other things that you learn from this going forward? (Brooks Kubena)
NICK SIRIANNI: We have been so good in our four-minute drives for the past three years. There are a couple we would want back, obviously. This particular one, they did a good job of — all four-minute drives are not exactly the same. Sometimes you are trying to make sure that no matter what, you are getting a first down. And by all means, we were trying to do that yesterday. Obviously, you want to end it with the ball in your hands. Sometimes, you are trying to make sure that when you are doing that, you didn’t use your time outs. Sometimes, that is not the point, and the yards are more important to flip the field. There are all these different scenarios.
That was a unique scenario. Probably a little more similar to our Minnesota one when we punted it back to them. I think they got the ball back with 20 seconds left in a similar position. We just had a little bit more time.
So, again there were some execution things and some coaching things and some detail things that needed to be better. Did I feel like it was Dallas’ absence? No, I don’t. Dallas is a phenomenal player, and any time that he is not in the game, you are excited for the opportunity for the other guys, but we know, it’s Dallas Goedert. He’s one of the best players at his position in the NFL and you’re going to miss him. But did I feel like in that particular case, it was not having Dallas? I did not because I do think the guys stepped in and did a nice job in his absence. There are other reasons why plays fail. It’s always going to start with did we put the players in position to succeed and was the execution well? We’ll take that with putting them in position to succeed on that drive and good defense by the Cowboys.