Q. Seemed like QB Jalen Hurts had a really good day throwing the ball yesterday. Do you agree with that assessment after re-watching practice? (Eliot Shorr-Parks)
NICK SIRIANNI: Yeah, I do. I thought he knew where to go with the football. Made good quick decisions. You always want a couple that will go a little quicker with the decision but yeah, I thought he had a good day throwing it around yesterday.
Q. Wanted to ask about practice yesterday. Did you have a chance to tally up the score? Who do you think won the day, both defense and offense? (Ed Kracz)
NICK SIRIANNI: We like to keep those competitions when we’re going score for score against our own team, but when we look at it, it’s hard to tell when a guy gets tackled or when a guy has a sack because they are pulling off and it’s not going to the ground. It was great work. It was great work against a really good team and a really well-coached team.
Q. How much of an emphasis has it been with Jalen Hurts getting rid of the ball quickly on time and how is he doing with that? (Reuben Frank)
NICK SIRIANNI: You know, again I think I’ve mentioned this before that you don’t want to completely change something that is a strength of his, but you want to get it a little bit more balanced throwing the ball on time. It’s definitely been an emphasis. Don’t want to be extreme with it. Again, wise man avoids all extremes. You don’t want to be extreme and say, ‘Hey, you have to turn into this passer,’ but he’s getting better at it.
The things you focus on, you tend to think you get better at them and that’s definitely an improvement he’s made.
Q. I know he has just been in individual drills so far, but what have you seen from WR DeVonta Smith in the one day he’s been back? Would you like to see him play in the preseason? (Dave Zangaro)
NICK SIRIANNI: Yeah, I always think it’s necessary for guys to play in preseason and go through that. Matter of fact, I’ll let you guys in on this, you’ll see it in a little bit, DeVonta is going to do some team reps today, so excited about that.
[In regard to Thursday] We are still evaluating. We’ve got to see how today comes out. We have a preliminary plan of what we want Thursday to be like, but we got a lot of good work yesterday and we will have a lot of good work today so that’s going to be constantly changing with every player.
Q. With the guys that are completely healthy, how much do you want the ones to go? (John McMullen)
NICK SIRIANNI: Again, we had a plan of what we thought we wanted to do but again we have to just get through today and get great work today and see where we are and re-evaluate because yesterday, these two practices yesterday and today are game like, as much game like as you can possibly get. That’s why I value these practices so much. So just something that we’re in the process of evaluating and like I said, we have a plan but that could change, and I don’t want to disappoint.
Q. I’m sure you did your homework on Patriots QB Mac Jones during the pre-draft process; curious your evaluation of him? (Tim McManus)
NICK SIRIANNI: When we watched [Patriots QB] Mac [Jones] and all the quarterbacks, I just thought he was really accurate, a really accurate quarterback that knew where he was going with the football. Obviously, we got to see Mac even more because we watched [WR] DeVonta [Smith] a lot, and when you’re watching DeVonta’s highlights it’s easy to be like, ‘Whoa, that guy can make some great throws.’ He’s a great player, great college football player and looking forward to watching his career as it goes.
Q. What are your impressions of RB Kenny Gainwell two and a half weeks into camp? (Paul Domowitch)
NICK SIRIANNI: He is very strong, and he catches the ball very well and he’s got really good quickness and he’s going to be able to do some of the things that we want him to do and why we drafted him.
Q. What have you seen from the entire defensive line, in particular DT Javon Hargrave? (EJ Smith)
NICK SIRIANNI: I just think that we have got a pretty experienced group up there and we have good coaches that are helping them to continue to develop and a lot of experience and again, you win games with good O-Line and good D-Line and it really starts there and I see that as one of the strengths of our team.
Q. What do you think of LB Shaun Bradley so far in camp and what he has done in preseason? (Donald Hunt)
NICK SIRIANNI: Yeah, [LB] Shaun’s [Bradley] energy is contagious, he’s just a guy you want to be around at all times and the guys feel that around him. Obviously, he’s got talent and just continuing to learn the system and getting himself in position to be in the right spot at the right time and using his instincts. The thing that really sticks out about him, again besides the fact that we are counting on him to do good things this year, is that he’s a good leader, personality is contagious, guys want to be around him.
Q. From the other night when you said that Jalen Hurts had checked the pass to TE Dallas Goedert and QB Joe Flacco had checked to the touchdown to WR Quez Watkins, is it the kind of thing where you call a couple plays and they pick what they want based on the look or is it totally audibled out? (Bo Wulf)
NICK SIRIANNI: It’s a little different each time. Sometimes it’s a play that it’s, ‘Hey, we are running this, and if we get this, we are running this. Sometimes we are running this and if we get this, we’re doing this and if we get this it’s a three-way check’. And sometimes it’s just built into, ‘Hey, this team likes to do this, this sort of pressure, be ready to check to these couple things that they do.’
So it’s a little different each time, but that’s why it’s so important that the quarterback and myself as the play caller and Shane [Steichen] as the offensive coordinator and Brian [Johnson] as the quarterback coach are all on the same page and seeing things alike like, ‘Hey, we love this play versus this, we hate this play versus this, we have to be ready to adjust.’
We are not going to bat a thousand as coaches, right. Defense coaches get paid, too. It’s, ‘Hey, here is what we like it against, be ready to get out of those plays if we don’t like it against something.’
Q. You talked last week about preserving the mystery in the preseason games with your scheme – does that apply to these practices as well, and getting ahead of myself next week with the Jets because you play them, do you treat those practices differently than this week? (Zach Berman)
NICK SIRIANNI: This is a little different. There’s only two teams that see this, ourselves and the Patriots or ourselves and the Jets. We are very professional with them and they are very professional with us knowing we want to continue this relationship with both the Jets and the Patriots, so whatever happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, right.
So whatever happens on these practice fields stays here. We’re able to do a little bit more than what we do in a preseason game at this particular point because not all 32 teams get to see it.
Q. What’s your philosophy on hurry-up and tempo? Is that something that you would like to favor a fair amount? And also how do you think that plays to Jalen Hurts’ skill set when I guess you’re giving him a couple plays on each down; is that correct? (Jeff McLane)
NICK SIRIANNI: At times, yeah. You know, we’ve always had that, again, it is to our advantage that nobody really knows what we’re doing, all right, when we go in there and step into Atlanta game one.
But it’s no secret that the teams that I’ve been on, teams Shane’s [Offensive Coordinator Shane Steichen] been on, we’ve used tempo and it helps. I think it just helps the simplicity of what’s happening out there for the quarterback because they have got to get lined up. It pushes stress on them while you run their base plays. That’s always been a part of what we do but again, you know, we’ll see how much we use it.
Q. Does it play to Jalen Hurts’ strengths? (Jeff McLane)
NICK SIRIANNI: I think it plays to any quarterbacks strengths because what it does instead of the defense being able to get their perfect scheme on or whatever, they have to stay pretty base because they have to get lined up. When we are going to the line of scrimmage, the defensive coordinator has to get a call in quick and it forces them to be pretty simplistic.
Q. WR Jalen Reagor and WR Quez Watkins had productive sessions it looked like to us yesterday. When you see improvement every day, how much improvement have you seen from those young receivers? (John McMullen)
NICK SIRIANNI: Yeah, I really like the development that’s happened. The thing with [WR] Jalen [Reagor] yesterday, what I was real impressed with was particularly his one-on-ones. I thought he had a good day all together.
But his one-on-ones now were special, and he was starting to use some techniques that we want him to see because we all know that he has phenomenal athleticism, right and so it was like, can we put — and this is with every player, you made it this far because you’re a heck of a football player. Can you put that football ability and your athleticism and can you combine fundamentals and technique with it and that’s when you reach your ceiling.
So what I saw Jalen [Reagor] do yesterday in those one-on-ones, he was great off the line of scrimmage of how he was moving a guy, he was good at the top of the route. He finished with the catch. He just had a good feel how to attack guys yesterday and so I really see him growing, really a credit to [Wide Receivers Coach] Aaron Moorehead and [Passing Game Coordinator] Kevin Patullo who have really helped work there and it’s great to have Eddie Royal here working with our guys.
Eddie is doing an internship with us. He was a great football player for our Charger teams, and you know, had a lot of success, and I always thought he was really savvy as a football player and I know he’s able to add his knowledge there as well.
Q. You play the Jets in the regular season and you don’t with the Patriots, how different are these practices from that standpoint? (Mike Kaye)
NICK SIRIANNI: Well, the difference is that they are going to have 13 games on us before we go play them, so that was a discussion and we talked about that. Coach Saleh [Jets head coach Robert Saleh] and I talked about that and said, ‘Hey, we want to do this, but if we play too early in the season, it doesn’t make sense.’
When the schedule came out and it was week 13, for us to go back — maybe we will go back and watch the tape and maybe they will go back and watch the tape, but you’re kind of who you are at that time and they have a lot of other film to watch. That’s why we are not as concerned about that. Hopefully I answered your question.
Q. What have you found out about yourself in terms of being a head coach and asserting your authority? Are you the type that you’ll listen to others before making a decision or are there certain things that you feel strongly about? Do you think that your personality makes you open to being accepting of other people? (Jeff McLane)
NICK SIRIANNI: I think there’s no clear-cut answer there. Always to me, it’s always a group decision initially, but my job as the head coach is it’s always a group decision but my job as the head coach is to hear all the different parties that play and be able to make the decision that I think is best for the team and our football team.
I think some of the offensive staff would argue with you. Sometimes, they would say, ‘Well, Nick is set on this play and how we are doing this play, and I can’t turn them there.’ So there’s some, that’s some things with coaching. There’s philosophies that I have, I don’t want to say they are deal breakers, but that I feel strong conviction on, and when I have a strong conviction on something, it’s going to be hard to change my mind, both as a leader and as an offensive coach.
Q. In terms of other departments, you’ve mentioned in terms of dealing with medical you just allow them to make decisions, personnel same thing? (Jeff McLane)
NICK SIRIANNI: I think that’s taken a little out of context, what you’re saying of just let them do it. Again, they are the experts at it, and I listen to them, and I listen to everybody’s ability to tell me and give me their expertise but at the end of the day, I still have to make the decision what I feel is best for the football team.
Q. In holding Miles Sanders back the other night is that because running backs, the position he plays is a high contact position and are you learning more about him than you knew going into camp? (Zach Berman)
NICK SIRIANNI: It was the decision we felt was best for the team before the game. We didn’t feel like he needed to get — a little bit the position and that’s just been the experience with me at that position that we didn’t feel — that’s a high-volume position that takes a lot of hits and we just felt like he didn’t need to do that last week. Again, we are re-evaluating this week to see if we should do that but he’s getting a lot of good work here today and yesterday and we’re pleased with him and everything he’s done so far here in camp.
Q. You’ve spoke about your admiration for Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick. Are there any lessons you are hoping to gain or take from him after these two days? (Dave Zangaro)
NICK SIRIANNI: Just being able to be around people that are really good at their job. I think you learn just from being around them. I’m not looking for something in particular, but I’m always observing, right. I’m always observing guys that are good at those things. So I just admire the way he prepares. I admire the way he gets his guys ready, how he motivates his guys. Those are things — you see little things like that, so it’s good to be around him. Most of my attention, obviously, it better be, right, is around our football team, but you still get to learn from guys that you’re around.
Q. You have three or four more cuts to make by four o’clock today. How challenging at this early stage in camp is it to do that and have any decisions been made? (Ed Kracz)
NICK SIRIANNI: Yeah, again, we are using today to help us because it’s hard, right. These guys that we are going to have to end up cutting which we don’t know exactly who they are yet, we’re going to go through practice again today. It’s hard because they have bled and sweated and they have done all these things as a team, and then it’s the bad part of the business, you’ve got to let the guys go.
Like we’ve got to let four guys go today, and in a couple weeks we’ve got to let, I don’t know exactly a number, 20 and again it keeps going down. It’s hard. It’s hard because you get close to guys and that’s — our very first core value is connecting. That’s just not with players one, two, three and four and that’s just not with your quarterback and that’s just not with your safety; that’s getting everybody lined up. That’s with everybody.
So that’s what makes it hard. But everybody that we do end up letting go, I make sure that they understand that to stay in shape, they know the system and that they have contributed to the culture that we have and the practice habits that we have and where we are at this point.
Q. Will you meet with every player when you release them? (Jeff McLane)
NICK SIRIANNI: I think that’s my job as the head coach — and I owe that to every guy to talk to them and be able to give them feedback to help them develop their career.