Q. Now that T Lane Johnson is back, is the expectation for him to play, or do you think he’s going to need some time to get ready? (Eliot Shorr-Parks)
NICK SIRIANNI: We’re taking that day by day. Just really excited that he’s back in the building, back with his teammates, and just super excited to see his face every day.
Q. Is he practicing today? (Tim McManus)
NICK SIRIANNI: He’ll be limited.
Q. Follow up on Lane and his situation, your experience with mental health, how does your coaching staff prioritize those conversations? (Josh Tolentino)
NICK SIRIANNI: The first thing with all our conversations with players is we want to start with connecting. Connecting has to go beyond what you do on the field. It has to go into your personal lives, family, has to go into anything.
Because if you want to have that relationship with your players, you have to have something beyond the football field. So the connecting piece is so big for us, and so that’s with any tough thing that they have to deal with, whether it’s — I mean, I could give a ton of examples of what it could be, but mental health is no exception.
Anything our players deal with we want to be there for them. I feel like again, that’s what we’ve based everything on, is this first of our core values of connecting.
So, yeah, I feel good that we’ve been able to be there for our guys through ups and downs, and we’ll continue to be there.
Q. Has that situation created a larger conversation in the building about these topics? (Dave Zangaro)
NICK SIRIANNI: I think we’re always aware of definitely mental health and issues like that just with the doctors that we have, with the trainers we have, with the people in the building here associated with mental health, too.
Because we know that’s an issue in our society right now, and we want to make sure we have the resources needed for our players for everything, not just on the field, but off the field as well.
Q. I know you are trying to find ways to win games, and that is obviously your No. 1 priority, but how much through all of this have you felt for Lane and what he’s been going through? (Jeff Skversky)
NICK SIRIANNI: Yeah, of course. Again, any situation that our players have to go through, we’re going to be there for them and we’re going to feel for them in tough times.
I think it’s a family, right? Our football team, our building is like a family. When your family members go through something, you hurt for them, and you feel for them and you want to be there for them.
And so that’s with Lane and the situation that he’s going through, and then with everybody on our team that has to go through anything. Sometimes that’s a player being injured and them having a really hard time with getting through an injury or a death of a family member, whatever it is.
And so we just, again, want to be there for our guys to connect with our guys and be with them through the good times and the bad times.
Q. How important is it for someone like Lane to be able to come out and say, ‘Hey, I have this kind of mental health issue,’ as far as not only raising awareness for mental health issues, but among guys on the team? (Martin Frank)
NICK SIRIANNI: Yeah, I think, again, when you’re vocal about it and you come up about it, I think that’s good, because I think what it does is it helps other people going through it. I think probably when you through something like that you think you’re alone in that scenario.
I think when someone comes out like that with their issues, it kind of brings light to the situation. It helps other people that are going through a similar scenario.
Q. Lane is limited because of the layoff? (Les Bowen)
NICK SIRIANNI: Yeah, because of the layoff.
Q. Not because of anything else? (Les Bowen)
NICK SIRIANNI: No, no.
Q. He was on the injury report before the Chiefs game with the ankle. Do you have a sense of where the ankle is? Is that a concern? (Reuben Frank)
NICK SIRIANNI: No, we’re not concerned right there with that at this particular time.
Q. When you went back and self-scouted, specifically about the slow starts on offense in the first half, you mentioned after the last game making adjustments quicker, what did you see about making adjustments quicker specifically? (John Clark)
NICK SIRIANNI: Again, when you go through a game you don’t want to go through — you always script your first 10 to 15, but that doesn’t mean you always stick to that. You go through a drive, you say, ‘Hey, are they still playing us the way we with thought?’ Sometimes the answer is yes and sometimes it’s no after one drive.
But you don’t say, ‘Well, that’s automatically what they’re doing.’ That might just have been something they started with, and then you go through another drive and you’re trying to get these answers through the first 15.
So, again, to jump the gun and say, ‘Hey, they did this once, we got to switch to this,’ I think is a little bit — you don’t want to do that because they might just be switching it up for a second and going back to it.
So, what we do is throughout the game and throughout the first half we want to get some looks at different things and see how we think they’re going to play it. Then, especially after you’re through the first 10, 15, then you say, ‘All right, here is our list of plays; what do we need to go to now?’ because of the way they’re playing a certain thing. Maybe it’s not on your game plan, but they’re doing something completely off the radar, un-scouted looks that they haven’t done. Well, then you have to dip into your beaters of — whether it’s your zone read beaters or your — their answers off zone read or crack replace beaters in the run game or your linebackers downhill in the run game or the defensive end playing a little different in the run game, or it’s a different coverage they go to.
So, you’re constantly looking at that, but you want to get through the first 10 to 15 plays before you get that. So, if you’re not finishing — obviously I’m always going to be critical of myself. Very first I’m always going to be critical of myself.
And so that was my answer to you. Hey, we got to make adjustments faster, but when you’re getting first and second down and you’re starting slow, which I feel like we’ve done the last couple weeks, then you’re in the third down and then maybe punting or into a new set of downs.
You want to be more efficient on first and second down to feel how they’re going to play you. When we started slow it takes — if you’re three and out it takes a couple possessions for you to figure it out because you’re not getting enough plays. So, we just got to be better on first and second down, especially early in the game, so we can make the adjustments even quicker.
Q. Eagles offensive coordinator Shane Steichen mentioned that as well yesterday, of being more efficient on first and second down. With the extra time did you find any themes maybe you didn’t expect to find with the extra time? (John McMullen)
NICK SIRIANNI: When you’re evaluating, again, you always want to look at yourselves when you have a couple extra days, so that was definitely an obvious thing we did. We looked at ourselves, figure out what we are doing well, what we are not doing well. What we want to do more of, what we want to do less of, both in the run game and the passing game.
Then you have a little bit extra time to kind of evaluate other things in the league of what you’re seeing. I won’t tell you the studies I did of that, but we were able to look at some things of maybe where we felt we had a weakness and study what we’ve done in the past as a team, and some teams that we deem good at the things we had a weakness on.
So that was valuable, obviously the self-scout on that, but it was also valuable to be able to do some studies on some things when we looked at ourselves and said, ‘We’re not great at this. How are we getting this better? All right, let’s look at some things throughout the league.’
The other thing you always value on a pseudo bye week is the ability to watch games, other teams play games. I feel like I can’t be like a fan and just be watching it because I’m looking a different scenarios and situations.
So, I’m looking at it, and you go through the football IQ parts of it. Okay, ‘Hey, they’re in a two-minute; would you call a time out here? Would I do what Jacksonville did at the end of the game with five seconds left and get it to him and clock it? Oh, that’s good.’ That spurred some thought right there.
It’s interesting when you’re able to do that. You’re on the group text messages with all the offensive coaches or all the defensive coaches or all the special teams coaches and everyone is just talking like, ‘Hey, did you see what [Jaguars offensive coordinator Darrell] Bevell did in Jacksonville? Hey, did you see,’ — and I’m just trying to think of other things that came up. ‘Did you see what Cleveland did on this one?’
So that is a big process because we do that process in situational football every Saturday. We do that, we put ourselves through that to make sure we put ourselves in every situation. Well, we were just able to do that live and in the spur of the moment this weekend.
And that’s college games, too, because we’re football junkies. Very few of us — like I know I had different things to do with the family, soccer games, this and that, but I still found ways to watch games. But that’s a good process to put yourself through when you’re sitting there on the couch watching the game.
Q. With the pause, did you stand back and think that there would be as much of a learning process to being a head coach as there has been? (Jeff McLane)
NICK SIRIANNI: Yeah, you know, yeah. I thought about all that and just I definitely did. Just thought about all that and thought about when you go through — obviously we’re starting — we started 2-4. We all want to be better than that. I was just very aware and very clear to me as I sat — you know, when you lose a game you’re like, ‘Let’s go back out and play again. I don’t want to sit with this. I want to get game planning again.’
And so what was very aware to me is there are these waves in the season and there are these ups and downs, and the downs can feel so low and the highs can feel so high. It was very aware to me especially with this long week, is that as the head coach I got to be here, steady through, and I want the team to hear me steady and hear me consist through it all.
So that was the biggest thing. I can’t let myself — as bad as I feel after a loss, as good as I feel after a win, I can’t let myself get on the rollercoaster of what this league can potentially be.
I have to stay steady and focus on the process that we want to do. That’s just getting better every day, and getting better every single day to put yourself in a position on Sunday to go 1-0 that day.
So that’s been my biggest takeaway as a leader. Really that’s the biggest thing I took away this week as a leader, as the head coach.
Q. Speaking of ups and downs, QB Jalen Hurts has gone through that. One game you called the best you ever seen in practice, and other ones where the completion percentages have dipped. With the ability to step back, what do you see when it’s going well and what do you seen when it’s not, and what does he need to do to get that consistency? (Tim McManus)
NICK SIRIANNI: When it’s going well, I feel like, again, he’s taking his drop on rhythm, he is being able to it sit in the pocket and able to throw it on time. If something breaks down, he scrambles and gets out of it and makes a play.
I feel like when it’s not going well is when he’s quick to escape. That’s something that, again, we’ve talked about here. That’s something you’re always going to have to — you don’t want to take his super power away of escaping and making plays on the run, but we just do want to make sure we’re more — we lessen the gap of off-schedule plays and drop-back plays.
That’s really what I felt. When he’s playing well, he’s throwing on rhythm and then secondary going and getting out of pocket. When we feel like we want the play back or something, we feel like he might have left a little bit early and got into something he was comfortable with with the escape and his escapability.
Q. How do you get that to change? (Dave Zangaro)
NICK SIRIANNI: You got to do it with making him feel comfortable with the plays that you’re calling and what you’re doing. So, we’re talking about the drop-back pass game, the play action game, the screen game. We just got to do things, and that’s your evaluation after six weeks. What are we doing well, not doing well?
Because when he’s feeling comfortable with that — so at first, I’m putting it on me. It comes down to play calling, putting him in positions where he feels comfortable with the play to read it out versus different looks he’s going to get.
Naturally we’re seeing some unscouted looks because we’re slightly different than other teams with the way Jalen plays.
Q. How patient do you think everyone has to be with this football team? Obviously, there’s been a lot of criticism the last couple weeks with the way things have gone, but you have a young quarterback, you are a rookie head coach, you have a young coaching staff. (Jeff Skversky)
NICK SIRIANNI: I understand the impatience. We all want to win right now, and when you’re not winning you’re going to get impatient. Again, like I said, I can’t let myself ride the highs and lows. If I do, the rest of the team will ride the highs and the lows.
I have to stay steady and stick to what I know. In times of adversity, I always thought that you double down on what you know is true, right?
What I know is true is that if you continue to get better every single day, it will put you in position to go 1-0 each week. I’m doubling down on things I know will help us get better every day, and that’s where my focus is, and I don’t ride the waves of the season because I know it can get bumpy if you do.
Q. What’s one scenario that you saw this weekend that would change the way you operate? (Zach Berman)
NICK SIRIANNI: That Jacksonville one — I don’t want to give away — maybe I can tell you guys off the record on the side. That Jacksonville one was interesting. It spurred a lot of thought on both the offensive and defensive sides. That wasn’t one where I was just texting [Eagles offensive coordinator] Shane [Steichen] and [Eagles quarterbacks coach] Brian [Johnson] and [Eagles passing game coordinator] Kevin [Patullo] and the offensive coaches. I was texting [Eagles defensive coordinator Jonathan] Gannon and the defensive coaches, too.
It was like early on. It was a Sunday morning game. But that is the one that really spurred the most thought. Then there are some things that happened in college games, just a couple mistakes here and there we always talk through. But that’s the main one.