NICK SIRIANNI: Sorry we’re late here. Obviously, we had some moves that we made. I know we delayed this press conference a little bit, but want to be able to answer your questions about those moves. This wasn’t going to go through until later. That’s why we’re late here.
Q. About those moves, what can you tell us about how this all came down? How ready is QB Gardner Minshew to be the number two? What can you tell us about the kid you got from Miami, QB Reid Sinnett? (Reuben Frank)
NICK SIRIANNI: We feel really good about Gardner being our number two. Reid had a lot of good plays in pre-season this year. We thought we added a good prospect to our roster.
As far as [QB] Joe [Flacco] goes, Joe is just a great person to be around, great pro to be around. Had a phenomenal pre-season and was really good for our room. The opportunity arose for him to go and be able to contribute somewhere else. Then also obviously us get a pick for that.
But our time with Joe Flacco was really good. We really appreciated him and everything that he did. He’s a great pro. You can see why he won so many games when he was in Baltimore and all the other places he’s been.
Q. Obviously you’ve had discussions with the staff, and will have words with the players, but outside of speaking to the team, how can you send a message that games like yesterday are unacceptable? What accountability do you plan to put in place at 2-5? (Mike Kaye)
NICK SIRIANNI: The same accountability we’ve had throughout. Obviously losing a game is never acceptable. We always are going to go through and we’re going to correct a game the same way regardless of if we’re 5-2 or 2-5. That’s the message of, ‘Hey, let’s get this thing right, get these corrections made.’ That’s all it’s ever about, is getting better as a team.
The accountability — we’ve talked about accountability a lot. Accountability is not only making corrections, right? It’s also pointing out when things are right as well. It goes both ways there.
You want a standard set. When the standard’s met, you get excited about it. When the standard’s not met, you make the corrections. We’re just business as usual right there.
Again, things can change as far as your scheme. Things can change as far as different things. But what the standard is, the accountability is always the same over and over again.
Q. Where are you getting better? Where are you seeing yourself getting better? (Mike Kaye)
NICK SIRIANNI: We always want to improve our fundamentals. We feel like we are getting better fundamentally, just knowing the scheme, knowing the system.
Again, when you’re 2-5, you’re going to question a lot of things. But getting better, too, is not these drastic jumps. It’s just little by little each day. So, we feel like we’re getting better in a lot of different areas, figuring out who we are, what we do well. Those are some of the areas we’re getting better at.
Q. Can you give us an update on RB Miles Sanders. Is he going to be out for a little while? If so, what would you plan to do at running back? Obviously, you have RB Kenneth Gainwell and RB Boston Scott, but would you bring in somebody else? (Martin Frank)
NICK SIRIANNI: We have [RB] Jordan [Howard] on the practice squad as well. We feel really good about him. Miles will probably be down. Actually, we are week-to-week with him, pardon me. It’s a stretch for him to be up this week, but we’re not ruling anything out yet.
Q. What was your reaction to DT Fletcher Cox’s critical comments of Eagles defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon’s scheme and will you do something about it? (Jeff McLane)
NICK SIRIANNI: You know what, frustration, everyone has frustration after you lose. As players, coaches, everybody is going to have frustration. We’ll talk about everything. We’ll talk through it. We’re going to address anything that we need to address as a team. But I’ll keep those conversations private that we’ll have there.
I understand Fletch’s frustration. I’m frustrated. He’s frustrated. We just got to do everything we can do to get the ship righted.
Q. You referenced yesterday how you spend most of your time during the week with the offense. How much time do you spend with the defense knowing the defensive game plan on a day-to-day basis? (Zach Berman)
NICK SIRIANNI: Obviously, I’m out there at practice with them, out there every single day watching practice. As the defense goes, the offense is on break, so I’m sitting there watching, talking through the game plan there.
[Eagles defensive coordinator] Jonathan] Gannon always likes to ask me questions as far as an offensive coach what would present this play problems or this play problems. That’s something we go through each week, we talk about each week. So that’s something that happens each and every week with us, that we’re going to go through those things, those questions.
Yeah, really involved.
Q. Does Jonathan Gannon have autonomy with the game plan? (Zach Berman)
NICK SIRIANNI: Well, when you say that, everything that goes onto that field is my responsibility. My name is on it. If I want something done, then we’re going to do it that way because my name is on that.
Now, I trust Jonathan completely in the sense that he’s doing most of the studying on it. I’m going to be there, just like I said, to support and also answer questions as an offensive style.
If I see right for us to pressure on a play, then we’re going to do it that way. But again, I trust our staff completely. That’s kind of our process.
Q. I know you said that Fletcher was frustrated. How valid is the criticism, what he’s saying the issues are with the defensive scheme? How valid is that criticism? Will you address that with Jonathan and potentially make some changes? (Rob Maaddi)
NICK SIRIANNI: Well, we address everything. When we went in there today to evaluate the tape and evaluate the looks on the tape, we talked about everything in the sense of how are we going to improve the performance that we had yesterday? That’s always going to be discussed whether a player says something about it or not.
We’re constantly working to get better and to make our scheme better and to put our players in a better spot no matter if a player says something or not.
Q. Could you provide an update on your two banged-up safeties, S K’ Von Wallace and S Anthony Harris, if there’s any indication on their status for this week? (Josh Tolentino)
NICK SIRIANNI: Yeah, K’ Von, he’s been working himself back. He’ll be even more involved this week as far as working himself back. We’ll have to see how the week goes to where he is later in the week.
Anthony, again, he’s a little bit day to day as well. Obviously, he’s recovering from his thumbs. But the groin injury he had. Again, we’re going to have to wait to see him here in these next couple days to see where we’re at there, so I have no new update.
Q. After looking back at the tape on the back end of the defense, specifically with S Marcus Epps, what were your thoughts on his performance? (Josh Tolentino)
NICK SIRIANNI: I really thought Marcus played a pretty good game. You want that play back. I don’t want to say you want the play back where the guy made the back shoulder catch. That was a really good catch. I thought Marcus was in a good spot. [Raiders QB Derek] Carr put that ball a little bit inside, the guy made a really good play through traffic.
All in all, I thought Marcus played a good game.
Q. Back in the summer you told us the story about Colts Head Coach Frank Reich. When you guys got to Indy, you didn’t get off to the start you would have liked to. You mentioned everybody was looking at Frank, what is he going to do. He said, ‘Double down.’ Have you gotten that feeling yet, that you haven’t gotten off to that start? Have you gotten that feeling yet outside or inside the building? Obviously, you learned from Frank. Do you have that same philosophy? (John McMullen)
NICK SIRIANNI: I do. We actually talked about that with the team even before adversity hit, right? Even in pre-season, like, ‘Hey, when adversity hits, here is what we’re going to double down on.’
Everything was the connection, the compete, accountability, football IQ, fundamentals. Then we have some other things that we really hang our hat on, like dog mentality. There are a couple other things I’ll keep as far as our team, where we really double down on.
I definitely feel like when you have a slow start – with 2-5 – people are going to look to me of what my leadership is and they’re going to look at me and kind of see what my direction is.
That’s my direction as far as that goes, is just to double down on all the things I believe is true. Again, scheme can change. Practice schedules can change. Schedules can change. But the things I know to be true, we have to double down on. That’s definitely where I’m at at this particular time.
Q. In an interview with John Clark, you said you felt like it was a lack of possessions and that you need to get the ball back from the defense to help the offense and it felt a little bit out of rhythm because of the lack of possessions. Can you unpack that a little bit and where you’re going with that statement? And why would more possessions lead to a better rhythm as opposed to just producing whenever you do get the ball? (Jimmy Kempski)
NICK SIRIANNI: When you’re off the field as an offense and you’re sitting there and waiting for a possession and the defense is on the field for a while, you can kind of get yourself off rhythm. You have that good first drive then you don’t feel in rhythm because it took you a little bit of time to get back on the field. That’s kind of where that is.
As far as the defense, again – like what I talked about yesterday is, I talked through the defense tightening up and going through all that. I want to make it very clear, when I say the defense needs to tighten up, I’m looking at myself first. Every product that’s on that field, special teams, defense, offense, has my name on it. I’m not just the offensive coordinator, I’m the head coach of this football team. So, everything that’s out there on that field is first my responsibility.
When I say the defense needs to tighten up and needs to get the ball back to the offense, I’m saying that that’s my responsibility, right? That’s my responsibility to say, ‘Hey, on this one, I want to tighten up and play man coverage on this one.’
In no way, shape or form was I putting any blame on the defense or [Eagles defensive coordinator] Jonathan Gannon at all. I have utmost faith in Jonathan Gannon. I have utmost faith in our defense. I’m putting that responsibility on me and nobody else.
Anytime I’m going to criticize, just so you guys know, I’m criticizing myself first. That’s how I’ll always handle it. You guys are going to ask me a question of, ‘What needs to happen here after a win or after a loss?’ I’m always going to say, ‘It’s me first.’ You may not like that answer, but that’s how I’m going to answer it every time, that it’s my responsibility because everything that’s out on that field is my responsibility, period.
Q. You said QB Joe Flacco was very instrumental in the quarterback room. Can you give a specific instance where Joe told QB Jalen Hurts something and Jalen used it on the field? (Chris Franklin)
NICK SIRIANNI: Yes, just with the coverage. Like, ‘Hey, I remember hitting this play versus this look back in 2015. I think your eyes should be this way.’ That happened all the time and there’s a ton of examples of that.
A lot of times it was with reading the plays or orchestrating the offense. How he would kill a play, how he would check a play, things like that. Jalen really respects Joe and respects the career that Joe has had.
Again, we’ll miss that, there’s no doubt. Again, I just wish Joe a ton of success and the best of luck and I really appreciate getting to know him as a person, as a player.
Q. The past few games, opposing quarterbacks are completing passes at a record level against you, it’s pretty much unprecedented. You talked yesterday about needing to be more aggressive defensively. What specifically have you and Jonathan talked about and why is this happening? Why is this defense in such a fix at this point? The personnel doesn’t seem to be that bad. (Les Bowen)
NICK SIRIANNI: Well, with our conversations, Jonathan and I’s conversations, it is just mixing up the coverages. He did that a little bit more yesterday. Still, it didn’t, obviously, work in the sense that [Raiders QB Derek] Carr was 31-of-34.
We just talked a lot – we know we can get home with our four defensive linemen when they’re there. We just talked a lot about tightening it up as far as the way we’re mixing in some man-to-man, the way we’re mixing in some of the zones with the man-to-man. Just different ways to challenge on the perimeter and get our hands on balls and get in the throwing lane. That’s been the main discussion. It’s been more about to be able to mix a little bit more man-to-man in there.
Again, I don’t want to give up too much information with our opponents coming up, the Lions. The challenge is more about getting hands in on balls and getting a little bit more aggressive with our man because we know we got some guys that are able to do that.
Agreed, I love this roster. I love our defensive roster. I got a lot of faith in them. Again, we’re working like crazy to get it fixed.
Q. Since they changed the kickoff rules in 2018, the success rate of on-side kicks is about 8% or 10%. You said you’d do it again, you liked the call. (Marcus Hayes)
NICK SIRIANNI: When teams are expecting it, right.
Q. Again, most teams have a guy expecting it. All seven guys of theirs stepped forward before they stepped backwards. So, did you know that? And if so, you mentioned your defense. You said your defense wasn’t getting stops. What does it say about your defense when you’re down 10 and you try an on-side kick in the second half? (Marcus Hayes)
NICK SIRIANNI: You know what, we really felt good about the on-side kick, and the look they give because they didn’t step forward before they went backwards. They were stepping backwards and leaving a big gap. So, yes, I would do it again.
Again, we go through so much preparation all week to put ourselves in positions to try to make the right calls. So, we got to trust that preparation that we do and pull the trigger and be aggressive when we have that.
I felt good about the call. I felt good about the kick. Took a little bit of a bounce that sometimes that ball does that. Obviously, that’s football. That’s the way it goes.
We felt good about the opportunity to steal a possession right there, and we did. We wanted to steal a possession because we knew their offense was playing pretty good. [Derek] Carr was playing good at that time, played good the whole game.
I don’t think that’s a slight on our defense as much as it is the sense that we saw something on tape. We’re not counting the stats – I’m not sure what you said there with the stats – but we’re not counting the stats there because that’s more of a, ‘Hey, they know it’s coming on this one.’ We just felt good about the opportunity to pooch it right into that little area, that dead area. There was a little gap there.
Didn’t work this time, but I got to stay true to what we watched on tape, and I felt good about the call at the time.
Q. What are the stats when they don’t expect it? (Marcus Hayes)
NICK SIRIANNI: I can’t tell you that.
Q. Have you considered making a change at starting quarterback? (Bo Wulf)
NICK SIRIANNI: No.
Q. Is there a point in which you would like to see Gardner at all? (Bo Wulf)
NICK SIRIANNI: No, I got a ton of faith in — obviously, I really like [QB] Gardner [Minshew] and I think he’s a good backup. But I got a ton of faith in Jalen [Hurts]. He will be our starting quarterback.