Nick Sirianni

Q. After watching the tape of the game what stuck out to you after watching? (Eliot Shorr-Parks)

NICK SIRIANNI: You know what, it was — sometimes you say what you say in a post-game press conference and then you come back and it’s something different. But it was pretty much similar to what I said. It was a crisp, crisp first half. Like the ones and twos in that first half, they were crisp, and it was a sloppy second half. I look forward to being able to correct all the mistakes with the guys today in film session and get better from it.

Q. How did G Sua Opeta play at the guard spot? Looked like he got a lot of reps. How is he coming along at that spot? (Ed Kracz)

NICK SIRIANNI: Just like any game, you have some good plays, and you have some bad plays that you want back. But I definitely think Sua had more good than bad, and he’s got some just natural power to be able to move guys. And we saw that in the game on Thursday.

Q. When it comes to negotiating the practice schedule for the joint practices with Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick, what was that like? What were those conversations like? (Mike Kaye)

NICK SIRIANNI: Yeah. Just like a normal conversation with how we get ready for a practice with our staff. Just because, you know, I think people would be shocked about how much detail goes into planning each and every practice. And you talk about each and every practice but then you have to set the stage right at the beginning of like, ‘Hey, here’s how we practice.’ So, it’s like you start from the beginning and you just have to talk about every detail. And so, it was just like normal talking to other guys, and we’re still having ongoing conversations to get ready for practice on Tuesday.

Q. Do you have home field advantage in those negotiations because you’re here? (Mike Kaye)

NICK SIRIANNI: I just think, you know, you just want your team to work and get better from the scenario. And you want his team to be able to work and get better from it, so you continue to build a relationship and work with each other. So, I wouldn’t say home field advantage. Just work so you’re both getting what you want.

Q. You said everything was crisp in the first half. With QB Jalen Hurts specifically, any different takeaways after watching the film versus before? (John McMullen)

NICK SIRIANNI: Gosh, you know, I thought he played better than I even thought when I got into the room on Thursday night. I just thought he was in complete command of the offense. Again, we’re talking about ten plays, but you’re still evaluating those like it’s 60. So great command of the offense, great checks. Perfect ball to [TE] Dallas [Goedert] on that check that he made that allowed — when you put the ball where he put that ball, that’s where you get yards after catch, and Dallas was strong with the run. But, yeah, was really pleased with the way he played. You know, there’s one or two that I’m like, ‘Ah, I wanted you to step up and rip it back to the back side.’ But, we’re learning from that.

Q. What could he have done differently on the long pass to WR Quez Watkins that didn’t quite connect? Was that pressure? (Martin Frank)

NICK SIRIANNI: No. I just think like there’s just that timing factor, too. The DB did a good job of posting his hand on Quez as he was going vertical. So, you kind of saw the DB post his hand. Quez was a little late to get the hand off. And it slowed him down just a tick, and this is a timing game and precision. It’s just getting the rep over and over again with Quez like, ‘What am I going to do when he gets a little bump and what am I going to do when this happens?’ So, I thought it was a ball that it would have been right on if Quez didn’t get bumped.

Q. Sharing the field with Bill Belichick for two days as a head coach, what kind of thoughts does that evoke for you? What kind of influence maybe has he been on you? (Tim McManus)

NICK SIRIANNI: Well, I think I’ve mentioned before that I really enjoy watching documentaries on great teams, great coaches, great players. Well, shoot, this is the best in the business ever, ever to coach. I mean, this is the best NFL coach ever. So really look forward to learning from him. Just like we watch tape of guys, just like we throw on the tape and say, ‘Hey, look how you watch this guy run this route, look how to read this play’ of players in the NFL. I’ll do the same thing here with Coach Belichick.

Q. Did you know him before? (Dave Zangaro)

NICK SIRIANNI: I didn’t. No. So I look forward to getting to know him.

Q. How is WR DeVonta Smith coming on his rehab and what are his chances on Thursday? (Rob Kuestner)

NICK SIRIANNI: Right now, he’s day to day. I don’t want to put a timetable as far as if he’ll be ready for Thursday. I don’t know yet. So, he’s working hard and working hard to get back, and our trainers and our strength staff is doing a great job of bringing him back. So, he’s day to day and look forward to seeing him out there in practice soon.

Q. A lot of first-year coaches don’t like to do joint practices because they’re just trying to put their thing in the first year. To do two of them what do you see the value as to do two different sets of them? (Reuben Frank)

NICK SIRIANNI: I just think the monotony of camp sometimes you get to go against other people and just work your game versus other people. And it’s game like, right? But it’s in a controlled setting. So you can’t get enough of those game-like situations, because you may have something scripted for practice, and this is just like a game goes. You’ll have something scripted. You’ll go through it and then something pops up and you have to adjust to it. The more we can put ourselves in that scenario as coaches and players, the better.

Q. What has been your messaging to Jalen Hurts in terms of protecting himself and knowing when to slide and when not to or when to throw the ball away and when not to? (Jeff McLane)

NICK SIRIANNI: That’s a good question. Yes, exactly that: Know when to protect yourself and know when to extend plays. One of the greatest abilities that he has though is to extend plays. But there’s also a time when you have to know, ‘Hey, this play is done, play the next play. Save yourself a hit.’ So, it really is play-by-play, and it’s like, ‘Did I think you should extend this one? No. Did I think you did a good job of extending this one? Yeah.’ And just trying to teach it just like you teach any other thing.

Q. Should he ever try to take on a tackler or should he always slide? (Jeff McLane)

NICK SIRIANNI: Again, sometimes when you slide, there’s times when if you slide you put yourself at risk, too, because the guys are coming in as well. And so, there’s times where a dive is better than a slide. And so, we always want to limit his hits. We always want to limit any quarterback’s hits. I think I’ve told you guys this before, my favorite stat to look at when you’re good at this stat is sacks, and it’s one of the most important. Like are we protecting our quarterback, because that’s a huge thing to protect the quarterback and take the hits off of him. And it’s no different in a scrambling situation.

Q. With T Andre Dillard hurt and the way T Jordan Mailata is playing, are you going into this now thinking that Jordan is your starting left tackle? (Zach Berman)

NICK SIRIANNI: Still got a lot of time. We still got a lot of time to work through everything and a lot more time before we play Atlanta. So not there yet. Just want to continue to see Jordan get better every single day.

Q. What’s the biggest thing you’ve learned from Mike McCoy when you served under him? (Mike Kaye)

NICK SIRIANNI: Yeah. It’s great to have him here. It’s really great to have him here and see him practice. I always respected how much Mike paid attention to situations. He just — there’s so many situations that pop up in a game, and I’m not just talking about third down. I’m not talking about red zone. Yes, I’m including those two-minute backed up, four-minute. I’m including those, but there’s so many situations within situations. There’s so many things that pop up. And he always, always, always, spent a ton of time talking about those things and practicing those things and walking through those things. And it made us a smarter football team. I do believe that we definitely became a smarter football team because of it, and so I always took that from him. And, you know, I always thought he was great with our families, too. My wife can’t wait to see him today to say hi to him, because he was just always great with the families and he made it a family atmosphere there at the Chargers.

Q. Getting back to your extending the play conversation, what’s the teaching point for climbing the pocket versus flushing out? (John McMullen)

NICK SIRIANNI: Again, it’s play-by-play. Jalen and I haven’t watched a game together yet. But, yeah, I’m going to tell him on the one where he scrambled, like, boom, step up in the pocket and take a look at where Dallas was on that play against cover two and rip it to him and then run. So, again, you don’t want to take away what one of his biggest values are. You want him to use that with all his other talents, right? Because he did a great job of stepping up in the pocket. And we’ll talk about that play today. But I don’t ever want to limit him to — with what he’s gifted at, but again, you’re just trying to make improvements of when to stay in the pocket as well.

Q. There were 11 running plays the other night. With the running back competition pretty tight, is there anything you take away from what you saw Thursday night from that position? (Ed Kracz)

NICK SIRIANNI: Again, we’re evaluating the running backs on everything. It’s not just the running plays. It’s the protections. It’s the routes. It’s all sorts of things. This is no secret. We really are going to use our running backs in the pass game. We’re going to. They create great mismatches in games. So, we were able to –I believe we had 45 offensive plays. So, every play is an evaluation. One play that really — a couple plays that really stick out, I’ll mention a couple guys by name. [RB] Jordan Howard had a pickup on a third down where he just drilled the guy. That was awesome to see. You love that intensity there. And I’m talking about pass plays. And then [RB] Kenny Gainwell had a chip on a defensive end. And as we watched it in the coaches’ meeting, they were, like, ‘Oooh, that one hurt. That slowed that guy down the next time.’ So. it was good to see the physical play of the back. Kenny also slipped a tackle. The guy had him wrapped up. You just saw how strong he is in the lower body. So, although it wasn’t as many running plays as we normally would do, it was still a great tool to evaluate.

Q. Obviously with Andre Dillard injured again in camp, last year you spoke about how much it weighed on him to have that injury. Obviously this one is not as serious. But what is your message to him, and have you had an opportunity to talk to him about keeping his mental state – (Jeff McLane)

NICK SIRIANNI: Yeah. We’ve talked to the entire team about adversity. And that was one of our talks to the team in a team meeting. And just that, ‘Guys, adversity is coming. Right?’ If you go 17 and 0, it may not come as much. But adversity is coming, even if you go 17 and 0. Guys are going to get dinged. It’s just how do you learn from the adversity and move on and move on and just play the next play. And there’s no difference between a loss, a bad play, an injury, et cetera. It’s just learning that, and that’s just the mentality we’re trying to have. And we feel like we get that, really, to be honest with you, the same way we get play. You know, you stress it, you talk about it. So, ‘Hey, on this play I want this, this, this and this.’ The job description is very clear. ‘Hey, when adversity hits, I want this, this, this and this.’ It’s the same kind of format of how we talk to the players about it.

Q. We are still learning about you as a game manager, did you approach the game on Thursday the way you would in the regular season, specifically, with fourth downs and field goals and to go-for-it situations? (Zach Berman)

NICK SIRIANNI: Yeah. We did. We did, actually, Zach. For me to go out and try to do that Game 1, I didn’t think that would make sense, so we wanted to follow the format the same way. And, again, you follow — you have a chart of what you think about, but there’s also a gut feeling to it. Right? You don’t — it’s a wise man avoids all extremes. You’re not extreme in anything. We have a chart. We have what it says, but you have to be ready to adjust. Just like a game. Here’s what red zone says to do. Oh, shoot, we got down in there in red zone and they did something different. You have to be ready to adjust.

Q. Are you expecting to be aggressive in fourth down situations this year? (Zach Berman)

NICK SIRIANNI: My experience — I guess you know what, I’m not going to go there. Not to not answer your question, but to the same reason of we have a competitive advantage right now on that. So, I’d like to keep that in-house.

Q. You’ve been around some really talented and speedy wide receivers. As it relates to speed, how does Quez Watkins stack up? (Rob Kuestner)

NICK SIRIANNI: You saw him pull away from those guys in the game. Yeah, there’s just been a couple of times where [WR] Quez [Watkins] has run a route, and I don’t want to give him an unfair comparison because he’s still got work — we all got work to do, right? But there was a couple of times that he’s ran a play and I’m like, ‘Gosh, that looked like Travis Benjamin,’ who we had and who led the NFL in yards per catch back in 2016. Or, ‘Man, did you see how he ran that post? That looked like T.Y Hilton.’ You always do that with players. Like, ‘Oh, did you see how [TE] Zach [Ertz] ran that pivot route, it looked like Antonio Gates.’ You compare guys to what you’ve had in the past, and Quez is no different than our other conversations.

Q. We’ve seen RB Miles Sanders really work on his hands out here, but we have seen some drops. What are the teaching points? How can you help him get over that? (Dave Zangaro)

NICK SIRIANNI: Yeah. He’s working at it, because he knows he has to continue to improve there. So I love the fact that he’s doing that. We’ve seen [RB] Miles [Sanders] drop a couple, off angle routes is really where we’ve really seen it, and that’s coming back in and looking at the quarterback and the angle that it’s coming through. So we’re just trying to simulate that as much as possible. We’ve had this issue — I don’t want to say it’s an issue because he’s dropped two balls in practice. But we’ve had this same thing happen with a wide receiver we’ve had in the past. So it’s nice the fact that you’re like you kind of have a blueprint. Right? You go through something. Like this is anything, right? You go through an adversity, this receiver dropping passes, and you can either learn from it or do everything you’re doing the exact same. So, you learn from it and you add a couple of catching drills to your routine. So, we feel like we’ve been through this, and we are going to do the same this with Miles.

Q. The decision to play G Brandon Brooks. It was his first time in a game since 2019. How did you think he looked and what kind of sign is that going forward? (Martin Frank)

NICK SIRIANNI: Quick, powerful, explosive. I mean he’s a really good football player. So just wanted to get him out there with the rest of the offensive line, and I was excited the way he played.

Q. Running backs/assistant head coach Jemal Singleton has talked about in the past, getting back to Miles, he’s talked about you need these traits. You need the runner, the pass receiver, the pass protector, so forth. As a play caller, does it make it more difficult if you have to piecemeal that or would you rather have it one guy so you don’t tip your hand? (John McMullen)

NICK SIRIANNI: I think I’ve always been — and especially in that room, piecemeal it together. And that’s our job as coaches to make sure you’re not tipping your hand. Right? So, it’s like, ‘Okay, if this guy fits this role, he can’t just do this role or the defense is going to know it.’ So it is — and you have to have guys that have rest, too. So I like that we do it by committee because — and that we’ve always done it by committee because it gives a guy rest. But guys are good — that’s just our job as coaches. Who does what well and let him do that. But without giving tips to the defense.

Q. When you have a mobile quarterback like Jalen Hurts, how much does it limit a defense’s ability to play a lot of man against you? (Paul Domowitch)

NICK SIRIANNI: Yeah. I think, you know what we’ve seen really is like two man is like the one you think about, like, ‘They aren’t playing two man against us.’ Now, there’s different ways defenses can do that because they can play two man and spot you, right, but they only have a three-man rush. So you’re taking risks there, too. This last year we were like, ‘We’re going to get two man this week.’ And we had [former Colts QB] Philip [Rivers] and he was able to deliver and he did so many other things really well. But we knew we were getting two-man. And this year we haven’t been into the game planning per se of a full game plan, but I’m expecting that to get as much of that to be 100 percent honest with you.