Q. You’ve taken some heat this week for play calling, especially with the run-pass ratio. How often did QB Jalen Hurts check out of the runs early in that first half? (Mike Kaye)
NICK SIRIANNI: There were some times there are going to be RPOs where we’re reading somebody. So, one time we’re expecting to hand it off, but the guy does something a little different than what we thought, and we pull the ball. That’s going to happen; I get that. But as far as checking out of plays, we had some things that we were at the line of scrimmage doing, and there wasn’t a lot of those, either.
Again, I do need to do a better job running the football. There’s no question about that. We need to be able to do that to help us be a balanced team and help us win football games.
But sometimes RPOs do play out that way, and what we do is we count RPOs – if they’re going to take a guy and replace – get him out of position for the pass, we actually count those as runs. But we’ve got to run the ball more.
Q. With those RPOs, obviously it can lend itself to an out of whack ratio. Does that bother you at all or are you okay living with that? (Dave Zangaro)
NICK SIRIANNI: I’m okay with living with that as far as the ratio, because, like I said, we’re reading a guy, right? We’re not blocking a guy, which it creates better angles for the entire offensive line when you do that, because you’re just reading, ‘What did you do? Oh, you did that? I hand it off. Oh, you did this? I pull it.’ I’m comfortable with that. We count those as runs.
Q. Are the lack of pre-snap motions and motions at the snap designed to help Jalen Hurts? (Jeff McLane)
NICK SIRIANNI: No, we motion for a very distinct reason. We’re going to motion if we can create an advantage, if we can figure out what defense they’re in, if we – yeah, majorly those two things. If we can get a guy in position to do his job better. We’re not a team that’s just going to motion to motion. We’re going to do it for those three main reasons.
Q. What are some ways Jalen Hurts gets pre-snap indicators? (Jeff McLane)
NICK SIRIANNI: Through different formations that we’re in. Where linebackers are set, where safeties are set, if corners are over, the communication in bunches and stacks, the way they – there’s just a lot of different ways you can do that. Communication, numbers over bunches and stacks without – I pretty much gave you a lot of those, but I probably shouldn’t knowing the other teams could listen.
We find different ways to give him the coverage indicators. We’re fighting like crazy to get that many different ways, and there’s different ways to get it. In fact, I think defenses have gotten a lot better, in general, taking away some of the motion. Like the one that you saw a lot, or that I’ve seen over and over again, is you’re in 3 by 1, you put the back out wide, create empty, you bring it home. Well, defenses are really – they know what you’re doing, and they’ve gotten better at disguising that. I’m not saying that’s why we’re not doing it, but they have gotten better at disguising it.
Q. One of the things Jalen Hurts was saying after the game, obviously, is he took the blame for the loss and everything like that. How would you assess the way he played, like the decisions he made? (Martin Frank)
NICK SIRIANNI: Yeah, I don’t think that’s fair for him to say, take the blame for a loss on his part. That’s what we have built our program on, right, is one of them the main thing is accountability. Everyone should feel that way. Everyone should feel after a game that you lose like, ‘What happened? Oh, man, if I would have just made this play or this play or this play, we would have won.’ And I think that’s natural for people to take accountability of what they do.
That’s what I do, that’s what our coaches do, that’s what our players do. ‘Hey, if I would have just made this play, this play and this play, it would have been better.’ So, I don’t think it’s fair that he puts it all on himself, but I do like the fact that he’s taking accountability for the things that he feels like he messed up.
I don’t think he played his best game. I don’t think he played a bad game. There’s improvement. We all need to improve. When you lose like we lost on Monday night, everybody needs to improve. Everybody needs to look in the mirror, starting with myself. And people are going to look up to Jalen and the things that he says and he does, and he leads by example, so I’m glad that he’s living that way and taking his responsibilities as he needs to. That doesn’t surprise me, though.
Q. WR DeVonta Smith was targeted 13 times over the last couple games, I believe, and Jalen Hurts and DeVonta are growing together. He only caught five of those balls. What needs to happen from all of you to build that production to get them growing together? (John Clark)
NICK SIRIANNI: Yeah, we can get him some other easy touches here and there just to help him get going, and I think that’s – when you’re kind of in a – I don’t want to say rut, because I don’t believe it’s that, but when you have that, like you said, 5-for-13, we’ve just got to get him a couple easy touches here and there, and that’s kind of like what you do with a quarterback, too, or a foul shooter or a good shooter. You’ve got to see the ball go through the hoop a couple times. So, just get him a couple easy touches here and there. I know we got the one; we threw a screen to him, we had a guy downfield, so that was what we were trying to do on that play. Just got to get him a couple easy touches. He’s a confident guy, so it’s not to get his confidence back but just to get him in a groove.
Q. Now that you’ve lost G Isaac Seumalo for the year, does that change your thinking at the guard positions because G Brandon Brooks is going to be back at some point. Do you start to think about maybe situating OL Landon Dickerson on the left side, or is that too many moving parts? (John McMullen)
NICK SIRIANNI: Yeah, we’ve thought through every different scenario. At this time, I think it’s a competitive advantage for us not to discuss who’s going to play where, especially for this week. People will figure out who we’re playing where obviously after this week. But as far as when Brandon gets back, we’ve got some time to think about that because we’ve got a little bit of time before Brandon – obviously losing Isaac hurts because he’s a good player, he’s a good teammate, and we’ll miss him out there.
Q. On the broadcast, they said that they believed that Jalen Hurts doesn’t hang in the pocket long enough to go through his progressions and he gets out too quickly. Have you seen that, and if so, do you work on that? (Howard Eskin)
NICK SIRIANNI: So from the beginning, we’ve been talking about, ‘Hey, how do we’ — because I heard something one time where his off-schedule throws on 1st and 2nd down were like 50 percent, or whatever it was, and then I heard that our old quarterback in Indy, Philip [Rivers], was like 14 percent, so they were at the vast difference of the spectrum; one was No. 1 in the league, one was 32. Whatever it was. My point was to him is, ‘Hey, we’ve got to bring that from 50 to 35. And by no means do I want you to get to 14 because you guys are different players. But get that to 35,’ and I think that’s what he’s — because he still has this unbelievable weapon of being able to extend plays and being able to make things happen out of the pocket.
Yes, we want him to throw in rhythm, but we don’t want to limit him to who he is and what he can do. Again, it’s a fine line there. I think he’s done a better job. Are there plays that I thought he got out of the pocket too quick? Sure, there’s going to be a couple of those, but those are things that we’re constantly talking about. Again, I’ve got to do my job as a coach of, yes, getting him at 35 but not limiting him to what his strengths are and who he is as a player.
Q. You mentioned accountability earlier; how are players being held to account? You obviously noticed DE Derek Barnett frequently has penalties. You guys are No. 1 in the league in penalties. You talked about holding yourself to account, but how are the players being held accountable? (Tim McManus)
NICK SIRIANNI: I think when you hold a player to a standard — I don’t want to say it that way. When you hold a player to a standard, you just point out the mistakes. It’s as simple as, ‘Hey, here’s what went wrong, here’s what the standard is,’ — and that’s what our job is to paint the picture. Obviously, the standard in penalties is don’t jump offsides. Both sides of the ball, right. But you paint the standard of what’s required on each play, and when the play is met, when the standard is met on the play, you congratulate, and you get excited about it. When it’s not, you correct it. It’s really as simple as that.
When we’re watching tape, if this was the tape right here and we’re watching the film right here [holding up a sheet of paper], the play is up at the top, the numbers of who made a mistake on the play are down here at the bottom left. So that’s every play that they watch, practice, game, it doesn’t matter. It’s down here at the bottom left. Every play they’re getting corrected visually and then they’ll hear us talk about it.
The way you handle it is different every time. Sometimes it’s, ‘Hey, we’ve got to do this here.’ Sometimes it’s, ‘HEY, WE’VE GOT TO DO THIS’ — the tone is different every time, and the tone and the way you do it every time is different. But what’s very clear is, ‘Here’s the standard. Here’s what’s expected.’ If we don’t live up to that standard, we correct it. If we do, we high five, we congratulate each other.
Q. Can you tell that Derek Barnett is getting it? (Tim McManus)
NICK SIRIANNI: Yeah, I do. I do. Obviously, the pre-snap penalties — we had too many pre-snap penalties on all of us. That’s just concentration. That’s just focus. That’s just being disciplined. Derek wasn’t the only one that had an encroachment or offsides. We’ve all got to get better at that. But yeah, I see improvement. I see improvement, and again, that’s our job as coaches to point it out and not let anything slide.
We owe it to our team to just every little detail, hammer home every detail, not let anything slide. That’s how you get better.
Q. In general if that standard isn’t met continually, what are the stakes for that player outside of messing up on the play? (Mike Kaye)
NICK SIRIANNI: Sure, it’s like a play. If we’re running a play to [RB] Kenny Gainwell – I’m just using him as an example – and we practiced that play and he doesn’t accomplish his goal in the play, well, we’re crazy to keep putting him in on that same play, right? It’s like that with everything. That’s how we’re going to put the guys in we trust, and we trust Derek. I know that’s where you’re going with that, and we trust our players. But it’s like that with everything. If a play is not working out the way it’s supposed to be because the guy continues to make mistakes, that guy can’t be in on that play, and it’s no different there with pre-snap penalties, as well.
Q. Do you have weekly meetings with Eagles Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Lurie and Executive Vice President/General Manager Howie Roseman, and if so, when? (Jeff McLane)
NICK SIRIANNI: Yeah, we talk all the time. This is an awesome organization in the sense that Mr. Lurie is at practice all the time, so I get to talk to him every day at practice. As far as a scheduled meeting, no, there’s no scheduled meeting.
Q. RB Miles Sanders, do you have to have a conversation with him just to let him know he’s still a big part of things, after just five touches? Part two of that is do you see him as the kind of guy that you have to find a way to get the ball in his hands X amount of times each game? (Reuben Frank)
NICK SIRIANNI: Yeah, I do. I don’t want to say — it is, it’s an X amount a game. Does he need more than five touches? Of course. The way the game went, he didn’t get that. And yes, when guys — I don’t want to just single out Miles, but when guys are down because of their role and we expect more out of their role, whether because they didn’t accomplish it on their own or I didn’t give them a chance to accomplish it on their own, we are, we’ve got to pick guys up. That’s what a team does, pick them up and let them know that you believe in them still.
As far as Miles getting touches, there’s no doubt, we’ve got to get our playmakers the ball. He’s a playmaker. He’s shown that he’s a playmaker, whether it’s in screen game, whether it’s out of the backfield or getting the ball.
Q. A follow-up on Jalen Hurts and the RPO stuff, are you happy with the decision-making he’s doing in those situations and going to the right place with the ball? (Ed Kracz)
NICK SIRIANNI: I am. Yeah, I am. You almost — he’s done a really good job of going through his reads in my opinion, too, of where — I think he’s going — when it’s drop-back pass game or it’s play-action pass game, I see him going to the right place with the ball often, more so — way more than the acceptable amount, if not more.
With the RPOs, you read one guy, so I think because he’s handling the volume of a lot of things well as far as his decision making, I think RPOs are even easier, and he’s handling that well, too.
Q. WR Quez Watkins, looks like he’s been very effective early, not getting as much playing time as WR DeVonta Smith and WR Jalen Reagor. Do you think at some point he’s going to earn — he’s pushing for that because he’s been the most productive? (John McMullen)
NICK SIRIANNI: I think that we have a very talented, young wide receiver corps that that will play itself out. This is just the way this business goes, right? You make plays, we’re going to find ways to get you more plays. You don’t make plays, you’re going to get weeded out of the equation. Quez has done a really good job of making plays. There’s no doubt about it. He’s done a great job. I think somebody asked me last week about that. He’s done a great job not just playing with his speed but also playing physical, playing mean, playing tough and going up and getting the ball on contested catches.
Q. In the spring and summer you were keeping your offense under wraps, at least publicly. Now after a few games, what would you say is the identity of your offense or what do you want it to be? (Zach Berman)
NICK SIRIANNI: Yeah, I want to be able to create explosive plays and protect the football. That’s always going to be our identity because those are just — you win the turnover margin and you win that explosive play battle, then you’re going to win a lot of games. So that’s always where it’s going to start on that, and it is multiple, it’s based off of what teams are giving you and what’s going to happen. So, we’re going to be able to be in our play actions and be able to push it down the field. We want to be able to dink and dunk when the defense gives you that. We want to be able to run RPOs. Obviously, you’ve seen us run Jalen; we want to be able to do that. Our screen game, our movements, those are just some different things. And we want to be able to run the football and take some off of a young quarterback and help out because when you run the football, too, it creates explosive plays with the play action game.