Q. In the ’21 draft you had a top 10 pick that year. What type of work did you do on Bears QB Justin Fields going into the draft? (Zach Berman)
NICK SIRIANNI: We did work on all the guys that we thought were capable of being in that top tier pick. Really you do your work on everybody just in case something happens, as we did. I think we ended up moving back, right? So, [we] did a lot of work on a lot of different guys.
That’s a cool part of being head coach. You get to do the offensive guys and defensive guys, and saw a lot of good players there and got to have an opinion on a lot of guys, and definitely we watched [Bears QB] Justin [Fields]. He had a big-time college career and you saw his ability to make throws and play with a lot of the athleticism.
He’s doing a good job of developing in the NFL. His coaches are doing a good job developing him and he’s doing a good job of developing himself, as he’s having a pretty good year this year.
Q. Are trap games real? Would this one qualify? And if so, how do you guard against it? (Tim McManus)
NICK SIRIANNI: No, I don’t really believe that, because if your preparation is the same each and every week, it doesn’t really matter. We all understand this, is that everybody in this league can play. Everybody in this league, if you’re not on your game, can beat you.
We know about this team that we’re playing, whether their record is what it is, but they have been in every single game. I was watching the four-minute tape yesterday. We’re game planning four minute. It was just game after game after game after game, like there is another one-score game. Because sometimes when you watch it, sometimes you don’t watch games until the end of the week; you watch cut-ups.
So, when I’m watching these cut-ups you don’t realize how close all these games have been. You see it on tape. You see, hey, this is a good team. They have players at every level. They have offense, they have defense, I know they’re well coached, so they’ve been in every game.
But as far as a trap game, that doesn’t exist in the NFL. You have to be on your game every single week or it doesn’t matter. You can lay an egg if you’re not on top of your stuff.
Q. Some of the back and forth that’s gone on between some of the Eagles and Cowboys in headlines the last week, has there been any need for you to reiterate some of those messages at all? (Jeff Neiburg)
NICK SIRIANNI: I think the back and forth more has been, from what I’ve seen is like — I mean, no offense, you guys are asking them about it and they’re saying, well a lot of the times I’m hearing what they are saying is we’re focused on the Bears.
So, we don’t take much stock into that. Listen, our job is to get ready for the Bears and that alone. So, we’re solely focused on that. We’re solely focused on what we need to do to win this game. We’re solely focused on doing the things that we can control.
All we can control right now is our meeting just got done; we can control that. Now we can control after this is us going out on the field and having a good practice and put ourselves in position to go 1-0.
So that’s all we’re focused on.
Q. Is that message from you, Nick, because they are on point, and they are saying it’s about Chicago. Does that start with you? (John McMullen)
NICK SIRIANNI: I think it starts with the entire organization, our captains, myself, our coaches, our leaders on this football team. We are solely focused on how we get better today. Again, it’s a control the things you can control, so I think that’s just coming from all angles.
Of course, I’m preaching it every day and I hear our players talking about it every day, so it’s from all of us.
Q. With TE Dallas Goedert back on the practice field yesterday, what are his chances of being activated at this point, and any concern with T Lane Johnson? (Rob Kuestner)
NICK SIRIANNI: We’ll see with [TE] Dallas [Goedert]. I don’t usually give you guys any information there because I don’t want to put a timetable on it and I don’t want to say yes and he doesn’t go or no and he does.
So that doesn’t serve us any purpose for myself to do that right now. I know you guys want the information, but it doesn’t serve me any purpose to do that right now. He’ll go out there and practice today and see what happens. We’ll see.
Lane is feeling pretty good. You’ll see the injury report today. He practiced yesterday. Felt pretty good. He’ll practice today.
Q. What have you seen behind the scenes from the backup quarterbacks this year, and have you had a chance to do any kind of evaluation of QB Ian Book? (Bo Wulf)
NICK SIRIANNI: I think we do a lot of developmental periods, a lot of developmental periods. This year we’ve done a little bit something different as far as one of our periods each day at practice is our twos versus ones, kind of like we did in camp. So, we’re doing that throughout the year.
What’s been really beneficial about that, so you have your normal periods, O and D versus scout team, O and D, right? And then you have these periods where you’re doing your plays on offense, the twos versus ones.
You’re doing that because not everything is scripted up the way you think it’s going to be scripted up in a game. You have to be ready to handle unknowns, and so we’re running our plays as an offense against our defense with the twos, and so that’s a great opportunity for us also to correct those guys.
Sometimes with scout team reps you don’t always get to show them the day of and be like, ‘All right, here is what we have to correct.’ But we do with these reps, and so that’s been huge.
Then we also do a developmental 7-on-7 at the end of each practice where I’ll always forever refer to that as the [QB] Gardner Minshew drill, and here is why. Gardner got to us at the end of camp last year, and same with [QB] Ian [Book]. Gardner obviously put the work in that he needed to do to get himself ready to play in that Jets game, but we also gave him reps to have meaningful — our reps out there on the practice field where we could correct him.
By the time — Gardner probably would’ve been ready no matter what, but I know it helped him a little bit that he had at least gotten some of our plays run and not just done scout team out there, and we were able to correct it.
So, we’re doing those same types of things and we have a good feel of those guys. They’re developing. We’ve seen Gardner play. We all know how Gardner is, and I’m really excited about Ian and how he’s been developing. He works hard, he’s smart, and he’s doing some nice things out there on the practice field.