Q. There have been a couple reports that surfaced on the injury statuses of T Lane Johnson and CB Avonte Maddox. Are you able to confirm the severity of those two guys? And also, could you provide an update on QB Jalen Hurts’ status? (Josh Tolentino)
NICK SIRIANNI: Sure. Obviously, [T] Lane [Johnson] and [CB] Avonte [Maddox] were injured in the game. Avonte didn’t come back in, neither did Lane. Still evaluating through everything.
We probably think they’ll miss a little bit of time, but we’ll never put a timetable on anybody. It’s early on in the process here, too, with these guys, so [we] want to get some more information back. But kind of looking that way, but we’ll see, and we’ll see the severity and how long it will be.
As far as [QB] Jalen [Hurts], we’ll see. One day at a time here. We know how much he wanted to play last week and how much he did to get his body ready. Again, with Jalen his body heals different than yours and mine, Josh, right? He’s going to do everything he can do to get himself healthy. If he’s healthy, he’ll play.
Q. S C.J. Gardner-Johnson is eligible to return for this next game. Do you expect him to practice? When he does come back, is that a possibility of him playing in the nickel corner spot? (Dave Zangaro)
NICK SIRIANNI: First of all, we have to see how everything is healing in there. That’s a little bit of a harder one to track because you can’t just — you have to go in there and see, right? You have to get the CAT scans and see how everything is healing in there. So, we’ll see where he is.
Again, with all the guys, as much as we want them to play, it’s always about their health first and long-term health for the player.
Same thing here, especially with something like Chauncey is going through. It will always be about where he is, because that’s something you don’t mess around with. So, when he’s healthy, he’ll go. We’ll find out more as he gets some of these tests done.
Just because he’s eligible to return doesn’t mean he will, even though I know he’ll want to. Again, all the guys will want to, so we’ll see. That will be something that we’re just waiting for some results back when he does get those tests.
[On the consideration of playing him at the nickel] Obviously he has a lot of versatility. I think the same thing, you guys kind of asked when he got here, was like well, he hasn’t played safety. Well, he showed that he could play safety. Well, he hasn’t played nickel in over a year. Well, he can do that as well.
We’ll take that one day at a time as well and we’ll cross that bridge when we get to that when we know he’s healthy and ready to go. Chauncey is very versatile and can do a lot of different things, and that’s obviously a really good thing for us.
Q. How has S Chauncey Gardner Johnson been involved with the team the last couple weeks? Has he been part of meetings? Has he been helping out with younger guys? What’s been his involvement with the team? (Chris Franklin)
NICK SIRIANNI: Yeah, he’s been around. I love having him around. He has great energy about himself. He’s always positive. I know the guys like being around him. I like being around him.
So, as he’s gotten healthier, as he’s been able to get up and move around, he’s been around the team more and been in meetings and out at walk-through at times as his body allows him to be.
So, yeah, I’m just glad he’s around and hanging around a lot and obviously connecting with his teammates. Like I said, he’s just a good guy to be around.
Q. In regard to T Lane Johnson, when you said he might be out for a little bit, because of that, would it be something where you would consider moving T Jordan Mailata to right tackle and playing T Andre Dillard at left tackle, or just go with T/G Jack Driscoll at right tackle? I know last year I think you tried Jordan at right and Driscoll on the left. Just curious. (Martin Frank)
NICK SIRIANNI: Obviously, everything will be on the table, whatever we feel like is best for us. I love the fact that Jordan has some versatility. I love the fact that Andre and Jack are really good backups.
We have a lot of faith in them to go out there and be able to do their job. We have versatility, just like with the Chauncey question. We have a lot of versatility there, and Stout [Run Game Coordinator/Offensive Line Coach Jeff Stoutland] does a great job getting the guys ready. Those guys do a great job of getting themselves ready. Obviously, we’re bummed about Lane in the sense of missing any time, but we also are confident in the guys that we have on the roster.
That is a big credit to [Executive Vice President/General Manager] Howie [Roseman] and his staff and the guys we have and Stout.
Q. Seemed like there were a number of blown coverages in the game. There were a large amount of passes completed against the zone coverages per certain outlets. In fact, suggesting that Cowboys QB Dak Prescott completed all 24 of his passes. How much of that had to do with personnel changes and communication, or how much of it was not adjusting to what the Cowboys were doing? (Jeff McLane)
NICK SIRIANNI: I think there is a little bit of everything there, right? It’s us not putting them in the call that we need to put them in to help them succeed. We’ll always look at ourselves first. I know there are calls that Coach Gannon [Defensive Coordinator Jonathan Gannon] would want back.
Then we are going to look at ourselves again as coaches and say, okay, all right, well, did they play the call the way we wanted them to? If they didn’t play the call the way we wanted them to, we have to look at ourselves in the mirror as coaches on that as well and say, well, we need to teach that fundamental and detail a little bit better, because obviously there was a disconnect.
Then it’s to the players of being able to go out there and execute. So, it was a little bit of everything. Some they had a good beater on against — when I said beater, it’s like, hey, they had this coverage beater on versus the coverage exactly that we had on, and they just called a good play and it was tough to cover it.
Some of it was we didn’t teach the detail well enough. Some of it was that we didn’t play it well enough. So, it’s always going to be on all three of those things and we try to put ourselves at the forefront first.
As far as the zone, I think all zones are a little different, right? I mean, some match zones are going to play out like man and be labeled as a zone as far as the way they — you know, cover three really you can play multiple different ways. You can play a zone; you can play a true zone; you can play a match zone; a match zone on one side; a zone on the other with the safety cheated to the other side; you can play it with zone all the way across with the corners playing man.
So, there are a lot of different variations of that zone that could be played, and then obviously that’s the same thing in cover two, same thing in cover four.
So, I think just looking at that stat in that world is, hey, we didn’t coach good enough and play good enough, and that’s why it was 24-24, not necessarily that it was zone, because, again, some zones play out like man anyway and all the zones are a little bit different.
And so, hey, we have to play better in that aspect. We have to coach better in that aspect, and I guess that’s my way of saying that. We have to coach better and play better.
Q. If I could bring you back to April when the trade with the Saints was made, what was your reaction as head coach thinking you had to wait a year for that first rounder or two years for the second rounder? And then is it for lack of a better term another motivation this week to try to improve that draft pick? (Zach Berman)
NICK SIRIANNI: Sure. I mean, obviously our motivation is to win the division and to get the first-round bye, which is all in our grasp now. You guys maybe would ask me this question in the middle of the year and you know exactly what I’m going to say. You can type it in and keep it in the ink you type it in. I’m just worried about this game.
Well, this game directly affects both of those things and the draft status. So sure, but we are focused on right now in the season. It will be sweet if we can go out there and get this win, and then once we’re making the draft pick later we can say to ourselves, well, that really did help us out.
That’s our goal though, is just to win this game.
As far as your question about my mindset or what I kind of was thinking right there, I don’t know. I mean, since I’ve been here and how much trust I have in Howie, it was like, hey, great trade. We will get our draft pick next year and pick up on extra one? Cool. I’m into that. Whatever we think we have to do to make this team better.
Q. The first couple months of the season everything went right for you guys. Every ball bounced your way. Somebody recovered it. Every tip ball went your way. Guys were healthy. Obviously, there is some adversity here, whether it’s turnovers or injuries or whatever. How equipped do you think these guys are to kind of navigate through that and stay positive and deal with what’s happening, whether it’s Jalen or Lane or Avonte, and keep winning football games? (Reuben Frank)
NICK SIRIANNI: I think the answer to that is very well equipped because of the types of guys we have on this football team and the leaders that we have on this football team.
If I felt we had a bunch of guys that didn’t love football or weren’t tough or didn’t have the right mental makeup, those are really hard to navigate as a coach. It is. It’s really hard.
But when have a group of guys that we have and the leaders we have with Lane Johnson and DE Brandon Graham and C Jason Kelce and K Jake Elliott and Jalen, and Fletch [DT Fletcher Cox] and Slay [CB Darius Slay], with those captains. Then even the guys on our leadership council and the guys beyond that. These guys, they aren’t going to be fazed by that. We’re going to move on and correct our mistakes and move on.
One of the earliest talks that we had in training camp is how — adversity is coming. I don’t know when it is, in what direction it will come. Could be in your personal life, could be in your football life, could be anything. How are we going to handle that?
That’s something that you just know about life, right, and football is no different. So, again, when you have to go through those things in life and go through those things in football, when you have the leaders that we have it makes those roads a little bit easier to navigate.
Are they still hard? Absolutely they’re still hard. Are we still mad about our loss? Absolutely we are. Sometimes that fuels you to dig a little bit deeper so you don’t let each other down.
That’s where we are right now. We are going to dig deeper, find more answers. We feel like we’re obviously on that track now of finding more answers. I know a lot of our coaches, myself, I probably watched that game eight times yesterday, and just talking back and forth with coaches. Obviously in between kids playing Madden or my son playing Madden or my wife and her mom making dinner or whatever it was, watching that game so we can say to ourselves, how are we going to get better from this?
Obviously, that’s the stage we’re in now.
Q. Wanted to talk about moving parts in general. A lot of coaches say they don’t like to affect two positions if they don’t have to, and there is always a domino effect. If you want to move somebody, that means somebody else may have to go in a position they’re not as comfortable with. Do you have a base philosophy of that and how do you handle that type of thing? (John McMullen)
NICK SIRIANNI: Not necessarily. I think every one of those is a little bit different. You try to have your base philosophies. I mean, that’s a good question, John, because you try to have your base philosophies on everything. Here is my base philosophy on this, here is my base philosophy on that and everything, and so you kind of get to that based off your prior experiences, things like that.
But with this, this is a game. It’s just such a physical game. It’s such a long season that these things happen and there are injuries throughout the year that you have to navigate, that you have to handle the adversity.
I don’t ever want to be extreme with it because you don’t want to be extreme in anything that you do. The answer is different all the time and it depends on the person, it depends on the position, it depends on the situation of who you may be playing, there are a lot of different things that go into it.
So, this is one there isn’t just a base, here is a rule book on it and you adjust off that based off what your philosophy says or anything like that. And so, I guess with every one of these injuries that we’ve had, it’s a little bit different each time, and every case will be treated so.
Q. After watching the tape, what did you make of QB Gardner Minshew’s performance? Any different than what you thought live? Did you like the spike at the end of the game? Would you do that again? (Bo Wulf)
NICK SIRIANNI: I thought that [QB] Gardner [Minshew] did a really nice job. I think he’ll want a couple plays back. We’re going to want a couple plays back as what we called, and a couple plays back of the positions we put guys in. Every player is going to want a couple plays they are going to want back.
I thought Gardner really handled himself with a lot of poise. I thought he made some really nice plays. We were texting back and forth yesterday, I’m just going through corrections with him as I am texting him, and then also just some of the plays I thought he was really good.
The plays that I was texting him that I thought were really good far outweighed the ones that I was giving him corrections on, so I thought he played well not having played in a year and coming in there. But we kind of expected that out of Gardner because we have so much confidence in him, and we know what type of player he is.
As far as the spike goes, yeah, I liked that. I would do that same thing again and save that timeout. 33 seconds when we spiked it, I think was still on the clock when we had that. I understand that you have one less down to get a first down, but it opens up the field to everything, to be able to complete it anywhere you want and be able to use that timeout.
Then let’s say you catch one on the sideline and you’re on the five-yard line. If you catch one on the sideline, well now you have this ability to run the football there, too, and make yourself multiple for being able to take it away.
At no point until really, obviously [Senior Vice President, Communications] Bob [Lange] always prepares me for questions that I might face, and really I didn’t even think about that until he prepared me for that question. As we talk about it and manage the game, and we always talk about how we can do better managing the game, to me that was a no-brainer to clock it right there. An absolute no-brainer, because now you can play the whole field.
I know that a couple of them went deep after that, but you still can play the whole field. Again, you can say to yourself, I’m going to throw it here or throw it there, but the defense dictates at times too where that ball is going.
Yeah, feel really good about that decision. Obviously, we didn’t end up winning the game, so I also understand that my job as a head coach is to take criticism on that, and that’s okay. I know what I signed up for, but I would do that same thing again if I was presented with that situation tomorrow.
Q. Well if it was instead of calling a timeout, how many more seconds do you need to just call a play there? (Bo Wulf)
NICK SIRIANNI: How many more seconds to call the play? It all depends on the play obviously. That could be anywhere from eight to ten seconds right there with that play. Obviously, you take the snap, you clock it, that takes a second, right? You run a play, I mean, obviously different things can happen right there.
That just always depends on the play. Anywhere from eight to ten seconds in my mind; even more so if something obviously happened there.
Q. Interesting way to spend Christmas there, but I guess that’s life as a football coach, right, watching the game eight times. WR A.J. Brown touched on this after the game as far as playing three straight road games. What were the challenges of that? And then obviously it’s going to be a big lift coming back. How important is it to have the final two games at home? (Ed Kracz)
NICK SIRIANNI: Always important to play at home, especially in Philadelphia. We know how electric that stadium is. We know how awesome our fans are, we know how intimidating our fans and that place can be to an opposing team. Any time you’re home you love that, because in this game where the parity of this league is so, so tight, we’ll take any advantage we can get.
That’s why you’re clawing and scratching for every little advantage you can get can when you’re game planning all week, and it’s the same thing here. Yeah, of course you want your fans to be going crazy and being loud when they’re trying to communicate and communications is at a key.
As far as the having three road games in a row, I don’t think we look at it that way in the sense of, and I know [WR] A.J. [Brown] mentioned it, but you’re so focused on the right now. You are so focused on, hey, us playing this particular game right now that when you start a three-game stretch on the road you’re not thinking about the next two games.
Or when you’re on the second game of the stretch, you’re not thinking about the next one being on the road. Obviously, there are advantages to being at home and disadvantages to being on the road, because, again, the parity we just talked about.
But what I’ll say to that is I am really excited to be in front of our crowd because I love our fans. I love our city and want to play in front of them. I’d love to be a big-time college program where you have, you know, like a Michigan has ten home games. Doesn’t it always seem like Michigan plays home games all the time?
We would love to be able to do that. Obviously, the NFL gave us nine home games this year and eight away games, but, yeah, looking forward to getting back out there in front of our fans and letting them affect the game.
Q. On three of the interceptions that have occurred over the past two weeks, they were targets with WR Quez Watkins involved. I’m asking in regard to the teach tape, are there any repetitive teaching points in that, or is it a mix of factors with those three interceptions? (Josh Tolentino)
NICK SIRIANNI: I’m trying to think of the one against Chicago. Help me out there. I’m trying to think what happened.
Q. Yeah, it looked like WR Quez Watkins ran a post; QB Jalen Hurts lofted it. (Josh Tolentino)
NICK SIRIANNI: Yeah, no, I think a little bit of that is just coincidence. The first interception of the game I just think that guy made a really good play, where the ball was over here on [WR] Quez [Watkins], he was trying to move to get to the ball and that guy beat him to the spot essentially because he made a really good play.
The second one I think, again, like I said earlier, everybody is going to want to have plays back. Sometimes the plays that you want back are looked at to the outside world as that’s the one that changed the game. Sometimes that quite possibly is true, but we had 72 plays of offense. Every one of them is critical. It’s never just one play.
So of course, Quez is going to want that second one back. But like I said, I have multiple plays in that game where I’m like, this was dumb. I want that play back. Everybody is going to have those. That’s this game of football, and you try to limit those as much as you possibly can.
As far as the question, as far as is there a common theme, I don’t believe so. Again, I’m still blanking on the Chicago one for whatever reason, but I don’t believe that there is a common theme. Sometimes it’s just a coincidence on those things, and we’re going to work like crazy to get mistakes that we made to be better.