Nick Sirianni

Q. After the game, you were asked about having QB Jalen Hurts out there the last couple minutes, down 23. I want to ask in retrospect if you thought about that or still feel the same way? (Reuben Frank)

NICK SIRIANNI: I feel the same way, but I understand that there’s never a completely right answer there. I think I answered this on the radio yesterday? Basically, what I said, I’ll just repeat what I said, we scored with 5:33 left in the game, and we were still rolling there trying to — we were down 20, whatever, 21, and we scored with 5:33. They scored at 5:16, so I didn’t feel it was that much of a difference of scoring.

Now, when it got down to three minutes, it was different. If they would have scored with three minutes left, maybe I would have thought differently of it. But I felt like, if we could get another one, we’d be in the same scenario. We still had timeouts.

Yeah, that’s why I did what I did. I understand there will be criticism of that and questions about that, but that’s okay. But that’s essentially why I did what I did.

Q. QB Jalen Hurts’ rushing numbers are down kind of across the board with the exception of touchdowns at this point in the season. What are the different factors that go into it? (Tim McManus)

NICK SIRIANNI: Just different styles of the way teams are playing. Sometimes the teams aren’t going to let him carry it if it’s some sort of read. Now, it doesn’t always have to be a read. Sometimes, it can be a designed run. But like I said, we always look for his protection at first and protecting him.

There was a stretch of time, if you look at the body of work, there was a stretch of time where we weren’t running him much at all. So that factors into a number when it’s 12 weeks into the season. Against Buffalo, he had a game where he really ran the ball well. Just the ebbs and flows of the season and the way some teams are playing you.

Q. The Cowboys are obviously good, but they’ve been otherworldly at home. Is there anything you can see, 14 in a row, a lot of them not close, that they’re doing there that is different? (Bob Brookover)

NICK SIRIANNI: Obviously they’re a really good football team, like you said. Well coached, great players. Any time in this league, every little thing matters, right? Playing at home matters. That can give you an advantage.

Obviously, they’ve done a really nice job of taking advantage of that. Them being on their turf, them being with their home crowd. To say they’re playing a different style, I wouldn’t say that I notice anything like that, but they sure as heck have been really good at home. So, it will be a challenge for us.

Q. It’s probably a little more obvious what TE Dallas Goedert means in the passing game to everyone, but in the run game, how much have you missed his contribution? (Dave Zangaro)

NICK SIRIANNI: Any time you lose a player like Dallas like we’ve been without for a little bit here, you’re going to be affected. Especially with Dallas, he’s such a good player. Why is he one of the better tight ends in the NFL? Because he’s really good in the run game and he’s really good in the pass game.

Now the guys have done a good job of filling in for him with [TE] Jack [Stoll] and [TE] Albert [Okwuegbunam] and [TE] Grant [Calcaterra] and [TE] Noah [Togiai]. They’ve done a good job of filling in for him, but Dallas is who he is because he’s a really good player. We’ll see how this week goes if we get him back.

Q. DE Josh Sweat is playing 18 percent more snaps this year versus last year at this time. His production is down the last five games, one sack, not many hits or pressures. Is there correlation there, or is it that he is just facing pretty good left tackles during that span as well? (Jeff McLane)

NICK SIRIANNI: Obviously we didn’t win the game last week, but he’s been a pretty good closer. He had a pretty good close against Kansas City. He had a pretty good close against Dallas the week before that.

I think sometimes, too, when you look at that number without context — and I’m not saying you are, I’m just saying, when I look at that I’m like, ‘well, guy’s snaps are up a little bit more this year. Why? Games have been closer this year, right?’

There were a lot of times last year when guys were out in the fourth quarter. We’re obviously trying to manage all our guys’ reps for the long haul here and keep them healthy, and I think that’s a little bit of a product of that. I still think Josh is a real big force to be reckoned with.

[LB] Haason [Reddick] closed the game against the Rams with a big sack, and then Josh closed the game against Kansas City and Dallas.

We’re always constantly managing our guys to make sure they’re feeling the best that they possibly can, not only with the trainers, the doctors, our schedule, our strength staff, not only with that, but also their reps. We’re aware, but sometimes that is the course of the game. When you’re in those final moments of a game, like the Kansas City game, like the Dallas game, you’re going to put your best guys in and try to help close them out.

Q. In addition to Dallas’ 14-game winning streak at home, you guys have also lost 5 in a row there dating back — the last time this organization won there was 2017. I know you have only been here for two of them, but as a competitor, how enticing is it to have an opportunity to break both of those streaks? (Dave Uram)

NICK SIRIANNI: I don’t think you can get wrapped up in all that because, again, like you said, a lot of the guys haven’t even been there for that. So, we try not to get wrapped up in that because when you’re wrapped up in that, you’re not as focused, dialed in on the things you’ve got to be focused on.

As a competitor — good question to try to twist that in there, and I respect that question. I just don’t see it any different that we have a big game against a division rival that’s the Cowboys. It’s a huge game for us.

Every game is big, but we’re really excited about going out there and playing. I know we’ll have a challenge because we know how good they are.

Q. You’re last in the league in third down defense, 29th in red zone defense. How do you fix it at this point? (Zach Berman)

NICK SIRIANNI: We’ll be doing some different things this week, and we’re continuing to try to find ways. Obviously, that’s unacceptable on our end. That’s everybody, right? That’s coaching. That’s playing. We have to fix that. To say, ‘we’re going to do this, this, and this,’ obviously I won’t say that.

Third down is still being finalized today. Red zone, we’ll start to dip into it today and into tomorrow. When you’re doing that, it’s not just looking at what you’re going to do against the opponent. It’s about doing different things and looking at your own stuff of what’s been working, what hasn’t been working. Obviously more hasn’t been working than working.

So, it’s still at the beginning stages of that, but I know it’s going to be a long two days of us grinding through it and trying to get it right.

Q. I wanted to ask you about two different plays in that game, the first being the first play of the game on offense, where the safety bit on the play action. TE Jack Stoll ran right by him, seemed to be wide open. Another play a little later, you had WR A.J. Brown running deep, TE Albert Okwuegbunam on the 15 yard out, I think Jack Stoll on a little flat route, Albert O. was wide open– (Jimmy Kempski)

NICK SIRIANNI: I know what plays you’re talking about.

Q. On those two plays, should QB Jalen Hurts have pulled the trigger on both of those? Is there anything to him maybe not because it’s players that he isn’t often throwing to in practice? (Jimmy Kempski)

NICK SIRIANNI: Obviously we go through each play and talk about how to read it and things like that. On that particular play, on the first play, speaking of, our design was to go, without getting too much into it, was Jack was part of the play to clear out. If you ask the quarterback to read everything on the field, you’re going to affect his ability to read some things on the field.

And that’s just how I’ve always believed to coach the quarterback and just get him just focused on this one part. Again, I don’t know how many times I’ve heard, when I go work a guy out or something like that, they’re like, ‘well, I had to look from here, here, here, here, here.’

When you have to look at so much, again, your processing speed is going to slow down, and you’re going to hold the ball a little bit longer and the rush is going to get there. You have to define reads a little different. I’m telling you that Jack wasn’t part of that read. When something like that happens and a guy pops, I’ll always take that. Jack popped. I got it. But he wasn’t part of the read, and that’s how I told Jalen to read it that day.

As far as your second question, it’s really hard, like the snap, the quarterback-center exchange wasn’t clean there, right? He’s picking that ball off the ground. That’s tough, right? That’s tough. Any time you’re grading more about the snap in the center-QB exchange than you are about, ‘hey, Jalen should have thrown the ball right here because,’ you’re not in a rhythm. It’s boom, I have to pick the ball off the ground. I’ve got to get here. That’s really hard.

In my eyes, when we put our numbers on the film of, ‘hey, what happened here,’ Jalen’s number is not on there for that one because it was more about that exchange than it was the read of the play.

Q. To follow up on the accountability of it, you’re big on that when you put the numbers up. When you have a quarterback that’s so good at extending the play, what’s the balancing act for you? When you’re like, ‘bang, maybe this football should be out’ versus this guy makes a lot of plays. (John McMullen)

NICK SIRIANNI: That’s a really good question because there is. You don’t want to be too extreme in anything. You want to be able to throw on time, but you don’t want to limit people’s ability to make plays. So that is a fine line of that, and that’s a good observation there because no two quarterbacks are going to play exactly alike. Again, you don’t — I go back to just being extreme. You don’t want to be extreme of just trying to extend everything. You don’t want to be extreme of throwing on time on everything when it’s not there.

I continue to think Jalen continues to get better at that, and he’s made so much improvement there, as he has in so many other aspects of his game. But it is a good observation because it is a tough act to balance.

Q. With S Justin Evans’ practice window closing, can you share any information on that subject? (Josh Tolentino)

NICK SIRIANNI: Yeah, obviously he won’t be back. The window has closed. Sometimes that’s the case. You open it back up, and you’re hopeful that somebody is going to get back. In this particular case, he didn’t.

Obviously, we’ll miss him. We’ve missed him because I think he’s a really good player that was contributing on defense and on special teams. We’ll miss him. Obviously, we were all hopeful to get him back and bummed that we don’t.

Q. I know it’s still a bit early with LB Shaq Leonard coming in this week. What are some of the interactions you’ve seen so far? I know from your time with him in Indy, he could be energetic during practices. What do you expect from him? (Brooks Kubena)

NICK SIRIANNI: That. I expect that. He was with the coaches all day yesterday with the players being off trying to get caught up onto the defense. Only time I saw him really today was in the team meeting. I didn’t really see where he was sitting.

I know who he is as a person, and I know he’ll fit in great in this locker room with the guys and excited about that.

Q. There were a couple of fans out here this morning holding signs saying ‘run the ball’. Given the way you guys are built and given the way the league has changed over time, is there any part of you that’s still surprised that people want to default to that? (Mike Sielski)

NICK SIRIANNI: We gave them coffee. [Laughter].

Hey, I love our fans. I love their passion and their energy. That’s not the first time I’ve heard ‘run the ball.’ You know what, we do need to continue to try to run the ball. No, I’m not surprised by that, and I appreciate their energy because I know that same energy of those guys sitting out there this morning when I drove in, they’re going to have that same energy when they’re cheering us on in the stadium and I’m thankful and grateful for that.

Q. It’s been a long time since you had a week like this, coming off that type of game. What’s the messaging to the team? (Zach Berman)

NICK SIRIANNI: We’ll keep the messaging this week just in house, but any time after you lose, it’s always about getting back up. One thing I think is so awesome about this game that’s unlike any other — to me it’s unlike any other profession, but I’ve really only done this profession, so I don’t quite know 100 percent. It teaches you so many good life lessons of being up, being down. How many times is it like that in life?

Being able to manage yourself when you’re up and then really being able to pick yourself up off the ground when you’re down. That’s another reason I love this game so much is that it just teaches you that.

Shoot, we’ve all been here before. Everybody in our room has been here before where you have to pick yourself back up. Nobody’s going to care if you’re down except for the guys in this room, and we pick ourselves back up and go again.

That’s a lesson you can always learn after a loss. At some point, you’ve got to — you’ve heard me say this before.

You have to drag yourself through the mud in order to grow. It’s not comfortable, but it’s necessary. But then it’s about understanding why you’re here in the first place and having that confidence going into the next game.

Q. I’m sure you saw that Dallas Cowboys Head Coach Mike McCarthy is having surgery today for appendicitis. I wonder if you ever had that situation where as an assistant you have to make up for the absence of a coach and kind of put yourself in Mike McCarthy’s shoes this week. (Tim McManus)

NICK SIRIANNI: Obviously prayers to him and his family that he recovers well from this. I know that’s a scary thing.

I think what I remember, as far as this — I’m thinking about this particular — this is the first thing that came to mind. [Former NFL QB] Matt Cassel had appendicitis one year where he missed a game and was back the next week. I was just talking about that with [Eagles Quarterbacks Coach] Alex Tanney and [QB] Jalen [Hurts] and [QB] Marcus [Mariota]. Two of the three guys right there had been with Matt. So, three of us, Alex was his teammate and so was Marcus. Just reliving that a little bit, that was in 2010, I believe.

He came back and played a really good game at St. Louis the following week. That was my only experience with that.

But I think there’s probably something, I’m remembering appendicitis, and there’s probably something I’m not —

Q. How about COVID year? (Dave Zangaro)

NICK SIRIANNI: There was probably something in COVID year that I’m just not remembering now. That was the norm at that time. [Former Indianapolis Colts Head Coach] Frank [Reich] never missed a game, but I know he had protocols of, ‘all right, if I miss, here’s what’s happening, boom, boom, boom.’ So, we were all ready in those scenarios.

Q. Yesterday, Eagles Defensive Coordinator Sean Desai took kind of fault and full responsibility for the defensive performance on Sunday. We know you come from an offensive background, but what kind of involvement, if any, do you have on the defensive side of the ball this week to kind of get them ready for Sunday? (Gabriella Galati)

NICK SIRIANNI: Same as normal. They’re watching all the tape. I’m watching portions of the tape because I’m watching all the offensive tape. Basically, I’m always giving my expectation. What I mean by that is there’s some things that are like, ‘okay we want to do this.’ That’s not a lot because that’s not my expertise.

But what I like to give them is the offensive point of view. I feel that’s how I help the defensive coaches out to give them that offensive point of view while they’re trying to do this with this. Now, I know it hurts us if this happens, and we’ve got to figure out what that is going to be for us, and that’s the same way I try to coach the defensive players.

I just feel like sometimes, if I’m teaching a defensive back how to take a pedal and then break, I can correlate that sometimes to a wide receiver and I will, but that’s what I want [Eagles Defensive Backs Coach] D.K. [McDonald] doing. That’s why we paid D.K. to be that coach. So, I always try to really tie it into the offense and what they’re thinking and how they’re trying to attack.

So, my involvement will be very similar to that because I have a lot of faith in these guys.