Nick Sirianni

Q. You guys changed some of your run looks this past game, especially using a bit more pistol. What went behind that decision to use that more? Do you foresee using it in the future? How do you think QB Jalen Hurts and the rest of the running backs adjusted to that? (Chris Franklin)

NICK SIRIANNI: I thought they did a good job. We’ve been working that all year. We’ve had different sets we have been in the pistol with. We did some different things under the center as well. Again, not a huge portion of what we’ve done, but it worked yesterday, and every game is a little bit different.

Our guys do a great job of preparing themselves with the ball handling, no matter what scenario we ask them to put themselves into, whether that’s same ball handling, across ball handling, under center ball handling, pistol ball handling, RPOs, RPRs. Our guys work so hard. Jalen and [QB] Marcus [Mariota] and [QB] Tanner [McKee] and the running backs work so hard to get that timing down.

And [Running Backs/Assistant Head] Coach [Jemal] Singleton does a great job and [Quarterbacks] Coach [Alex] Tanney do a great job — we work ball handling all the time. Everybody is on those details. Because it’s not as easy as just saying, ‘hey, go to this or go to that.’ You’ve got to do a lot of work of the fundamentals to get it right. The players have done a phenomenal job of really working out all the details it requires to be in all those different sets.

So, obviously, hats off to our guys for working their butts off.

Q. QB Jalen Hurts said something interesting after the game and I wanted to get your thoughts on it. He was talking about winning versus the standard you guys have set up. He said it’s very manipulative to the mind at certain points, and the expectations as a whole in this season. How much do you address that, or do you not address it? Because it seems like you talked about the guys not having fun losing obviously, but sometimes it looks like they’re not having fun winning. (John McMullen)

NICK SIRIANNI: I can promise you we’re having fun when we win. I know that 1000%. There is a difference between having fun and not being satisfied with what the product was on the field, the standard, not meeting the standard.

So, when you don’t meet the standard, you’re always constantly going through your mind of, ‘hey, here is what we could have done better, what I could have done better?’ It always starts with you looking yourself in the mirror.

What is interesting is I think that’s always going to be a dilemma. Once you set a standard, your goal is not to stay at the standard, but to get a little bit better from that, so it’s always going to be interesting like that. There were definitely some things that – there were some sloppy things that happened,  coaching, playing yesterday, that need to be better. So, you think about that to yourself, ‘man, what could have been here?’ But make no mistake about it, I know our guys are excited to win and we’re excited to win a football game.

But, again, it’s that hunger of wanting to be great and be perfect. But there has to be a balance. There’s got to be a balance of having that, ‘hey, getting the win was the most important thing,’ and then also that drive to get better after every time you step on the football field, whether that’s practice field or the game field.

Q. I was wondering if I could look ahead a little bit. You’re obviously going up against the Cardinals and Head Coach Jonathan Gannon, a guy you know pretty well. Knowing him and knowing his defense as well as you do, do you think that helps you prepare for facing the Cardinals, and what kind of challenges do they present? (Martin Frank)

NICK SIRIANNI: Remember, he knows us, too, right? I would say they’re doing a good job as far as their schemes and different things like that. I’m very early in my studies there. Obviously, you come here, and you work on the kinks that you have to work out from last game, and now we’re early in our studies of Arizona.

They’re doing some good things scheme-wise. They’ve got some good guys in place there. [Cardinals S] Budda Baker is a really, really good player. So, there is a, ‘hey, we know this in this scenario.’ Jonathan knows some of the things we know, and we know some of the things he knows about us. There is going to be a little bit about that. You can’t think too much into that. You’ve got to account for it, but not let it completely dictate what you’re doing offensively.

But there is familiarity on both sides, and I think it’s almost like — the familiarity of the players is different, but it’s almost like a division game in the sense of there is a lot of familiarity on both sides of what’s happening.

Q. DT Jalen Carter played one of his lowest percentages of snaps, and seemed like down the stretch he wasn’t out there much. Was that a form of discipline that he wasn’t playing as much after the penalty? (Jeff McLane)

NICK SIRIANNI: No, no, no, not at all with that. That was – BG [DE Brandon Graham] was playing a little bit inside there, right? Fletch [DT Fletcher Cox] was having a really good game. In some of their two-minute drives we weren’t in some of those five-down packages, so that was more a product of the style of game and who we were playing at that particular time with getting BG on the field with [LB] Haason [Reddick] and with [DE] Josh [Sweat].

So that was what the product was of that, not a result of the penalty. We have total faith in Jalen [Carter]. He’s had a lot of great moments and great plays throughout this year and we’re going to continue to need him to do those things to be the type of defense we want to be.

Q. I’ve got a tendency question. You guys have been fairly balanced run/pass on first down, especially out of your 11 personnel packages. Once you guys get to the second and medium range — I qualify that as 4 to 7, maybe that’s different for you — out of 11 personnel particularly, you guys go to the pass. Do you guys go to that in terms of what you want to attack defenses, or is that more what defenses have been giving you? Is there a philosophy attached to that? I’m just curious from that. (Brooks Kubena)

NICK SIRIANNI: Yeah, you always want to be aware of your tendencies, obviously. And I don’t know what the tendency on 4 to 7 says because we treat it a little different – like everybody’s a little different in how you treat a tendency. Sometimes your tendency that you look at is, what are we on second-and-1 to 2, what are we on second-and-3 to 6, what are we on second-and-7 plus, what are we on second-and-7 to 10, what are we on second-and-11 plus, right?

That’s sometimes how you think about it. But then you have to think about, too, in the sense of a defense, what is the defense on a second-and-one to 2. Where are their breaks? Where do they draw the line and say it’s second and pass to the — so all those things are taken into account.

We never want to be real — I don’t want to say a number. I have numbers in my mind. I don’t want to say them to you. But we have numbers in our mind where we think to ourselves — and I’ll just keep the numbers to myself – but we think to ourselves that tendency is too high.

I’ll let you guys think about what that number can be. Then you try to do something about it. So those are constant things you’re looking at throughout the week of where you are, where the defense is on that. And like I said, there are times and place for both. There is a time and place obviously to run the ball, and a time and place to pass it there.

You can only do one or the other, run or pass. But always looking at that and trying to always account for our tendencies, fully understanding that you’re going to have tendencies. Everybody has tendencies that we go against. Every offense, every defense has tendencies. You’re just trying to make sure they’re not damning to you, right? Or that you’re giving the pulse to the defense of exactly what’s going to happen on the play.

Q. I know you mentioned that the players are definitely having fun after a win, but it wasn’t a typical postgame locker room. I think that’s fair to say after a win. How do you make sure things aren’t too tense as you go to make the corrections this week? (Dave Zangaro)

NICK SIRIANNI: Again, I think it’s a balance of having that opportunity to have fun when you win. When we get back in here, we’ll put the game to bed and then it’s back to business as usual. And then also, wanting to play and to play to a standard we know we’re capable of playing. Because of the guys we have on this team, nobody is going to be satisfied when you don’t play to that standard.

That is quite frankly, what I think makes these guys special. Why is [WR] DeVonta [Smith] continuing to get better and better and better? Because he has this inner drive amongst himself that is never satisfied. I said something to him yesterday. I’m like, ‘hey, congrats on 1000 yards. I know I took you out early in that Dallas game in 2021. Looking back at it, I wish I hadn’t.’ He just wants more, and he wants more, and he wants more. That’s just one guy as an example, I’m just using him as one example.

There is that balance, because you do have to enjoy — the wins in the NFL are hard to come by, and you have to enjoy it and have to have that balance: joy and determination to get better. You can have both.

I think that definitely starts with me quite frankly. There were moments in that game yesterday where I felt like I was too tense on the sideline, and I need to be better about that. I have to do a better job. If I’m going to ask the players to do a better job themselves, then I have to do a better job myself, and I definitely felt that yesterday out of myself.

Q. As a follow up to that, what value or emphasis do you place on body language, and what are you seeing from the team that, understanding its subjective, from their body language and from your body language during a game as well? (Zach Berman)

NICK SIRIANNI: I need to be better in those scenarios when there is some high-pressure areas, they’ve got to see me calm and not tense there. There is a time and place to be tense and there’s a time and place not to be.

I know that’s something that I always have to work on as a head coach, and so that’s something I’m constantly working on. Body language, I think body language, I don’t know, I look more at actions than the body language. If that makes sense. I know body language is a type of action, but I look more at the action of the players and the coaches and myself there, as opposed to the body language.

Q. In respect to Cardinals Head Coach Jonathan Gannon, in what ways did the way it ended here in Philly with him test your guys’ relationship? What are your early thoughts on having a chance to compete against him this upcoming week? (Tim McManus)

NICK SIRIANNI: Obviously all those questions have been asked and answered. I have a great deal of respect for Jonathan and the coach that he is and the person that he is. I’m looking forward to going against him this weekend.

I know the players — you’ll have to ask them — but I know the players that I’ve talked to feel the same way. Obviously, we didn’t finish the job last year, which all of us have the taste in our mouth of like, ‘dang, wish we had finished the job,’ but there were still some special moments, a lot of special moments. I think we can all agree there were a lot of special moments last year, and also in 2021, and Jonathan Gannon was a big part of that.

Any time he thanks me for the opportunity for being here, I always in return thank him because his service to this team and the special things we did while he was the defensive coordinator here was enough payback for me tenfold.

I value that relationship that I have with him. I’m always rooting for Coach Gannon, very similar to how I root for [Colts Head] Coach [Shane] Steichen. But, this will be the week that I will not be rooting for him, obviously.

Q. It feels a little like QB Jalen Hurts’ first instinct against the blitz is to extend the plays as opposed to getting the ball out quickly. I guess I’m curious A) if you agree with that, and B) if that’s the design of the offense at times? And, C) if adjustments are needed in giving him more opportunities to hit hot routes when there is a threat of a blitz? (Jimmy Kempski)

NICK SIRIANNI: Obviously there are different ways to attack the blitz. Sometimes the blitz, they bring more than you can protect. Sometimes the blitz tests your rules. I thought Jalen, going back and re-watching the game, did a nice job against the blitz. You’re not going to be perfect against the blitz. But I thought he did a good job against the blitz, and we faced a lot of the blitz yesterday. To me, Jalen played one of his better games of the season last night. I was super excited how Jalen played against a team that challenges you quite a bit like the Giants.

But there’s obviously going to be plays that he is going to want back and there’s going to be schemes that we want back, right? I won’t get into all the different options we have against the blitz, but there are definitely times where we want a different scheme on in that particular case.

Again, you’re trying to call the best play against the defense you’re expecting and have answers for the different things they can do, and most of the time I thought we did. I thought the offensive line did a phenomenal job of handling the junk. I say junk. They do so much. It’s not junk because it’s good football, but they do so much. I thought the offensive line did a great job. Were we perfect against the blitz? No, but it’s football. You’re never going to be perfect against a certain thing.

But I do think that we handled things well. I thought Jalen played a really outstanding game yesterday, a really outstanding game, and I really was excited how he played yesterday.

Q. Kind of a follow up I guess to the tendency question, but as it pertains to a particular sequence. In the third quarter you fought to a third and one from your guy’s own 34… (Josh Tolentino)

NICK SIRIANNI: Yeah, I know where you’re going with that. I’ll get to your second part of that question. But after a second look we’re like, ‘man, shoot, get under center, run quarterback sneak, no doubt.’ We didn’t in that particular case.

Obviously, we talked about that and in that particular case, let’s get under center and do it. I know you’ll hold me to that because there is a time and place to do both. But on second thought off of that, when it doesn’t work, you’re always going to think to yourself, just get under center and do the sneak play.

Q. If I could follow up, on the subsequent drive, I think you guys were pushed back even earlier in distance around the 20 or so; third-and-one, ran the play. Was that just a quick conversation or self-correction from the drive that just happened with Offensive Coordinator Brian Johnson? What was that conversation like, or was that pretty quick? (Josh Tolentino)

NICK SIRIANNI: Are you saying the time we didn’t sneak it?

Q. No, so the following drive when you guys had the ball back. You were pushed back further, somewhere in your 20. (Josh Tolentino)

NICK SIRIANNI: We did sneak it.

Q. Yeah. Third and one you snuck it. (Josh Tolentino)

NICK SIRIANNI: Like I said, when it didn’t go the way we wanted it to go the time before, we thought to ourselves, ‘hey, probably could have done that here.’ That’s why we did it on that second one.

Q. You were asked last night about some of the mistakes that the team made throughout the game. You said that you felt like they’re easily corrected or can be easily corrected. But at the same time, obviously different situations in previous games that we’ve talked to you a lot about, just mistakes that have been made throughout games this season. What gives you the confidence that these are mistakes that are easily corrected, especially going into week 17 when you’ve got a couple games left in the season? (Olivia Reiner)

NICK SIRIANNI: No matter where you are in football, there are going to be mistakes in that game. It’s the ultimate team sport. The other team is working their butts off too, and you’re fighting against each other with the physicalness of the game, and everything like that. There are going to be mistakes. I think what’s encouraging is some of the mistakes, like I think in that first half, I was so concerned about not leaving any clock for the Giants, that I screwed up the clock, right? So that’s a mistake that I think to myself — there is a time and place to do that, and that particular time and place was not the time to do that.

I think if you look — Jalen not stepping out of bounds there and having to kick a field goal after that, again, that’s a combination of — I said it last night — Jalen and I both are going to want that back. I think we’ve had spurts of playing good football and obviously the last three games weren’t up to our standard.

There were a lot of good things in this game. Yes, we had some mistakes, but there were a ton of good things. For the defense to do what they did on third down or hold [Giants RB] Saquon Barkley to 2.8 yards per carry or for the offense to be as good as they were on third down, or the amount of yards we rushed for, the amount of yards we passed for, to have two guys over 1000 yards — I think what can happen is you can get so weighed in and zoned in on the negative things that you forget to look at the so many good things that are happening.

That’s the time we’re in right now, like ‘you’re coming off three losses and you want everything to be perfect right now.’ Football is never going to be a perfect game. It’s never going to be a perfect game. You show me a perfect game by someone, I’ll point out a couple mistakes that happened for that.

Again, there were so many good things — I talk about the two receivers having 1000 yards. I talked about [RB] D’Andre Swift, first time 1000 yards, I talked about how good the offensive line played. We’ll continue to clean up the mistakes, and guess what? The next game there are going be mistakes in that game. You just are trying to limit them and just trying to pull back on them and, quite frankly, you’re trying not to make the same ones twice.

Those are the mistakes that hurt you and haunt you, when you make the same mistake twice. It doesn’t mean that’s not going to happen either, but that’s what you’re always trying to constantly fix. I think there was so much good yesterday, so much good, that it’s hard unless you sit there and look at it of — again you have to correct the mistakes. That’s something we always do, win, lose, or draw. We’re always going to work on correcting our mistakes.

There was so much good in that game yesterday. We’ve got to fix mistakes and then focus on building off the great things we did yesterday and then some of the great things we’ve done throughout the year.