Q. With RB Miles Sanders going on IR today, what’s the trickle down of that? (Ed Kracz)
NICK SIRIANNI: Well, he’s just going to be out for right now. We still have some decisions to make there. With him being out, it just means that the other guys that we have coming up and stepping up and making plays, with [RB] Kenny [Gainwell] and [RB] Boston [Scott] and with [RB] Jordan [Howard].
Q. Jordan Howard will be up then? (Ed Kracz)
NICK SIRIANNI: Well, again, still talking through some things, but naturally he’s practiced with the starters this week and we have a lot of confidence in him.
Q. With Jordan Howard, it’s pretty rare to have a former Pro Bowler on your practice squad. What have you learned about him over the last couple months and his professionalism and work ethic behind the scenes? (Mike Kaye)
NICK SIRIANNI: I just see a guy that comes to work every day and does his job every day and prepares our defense. The last month or so he’s been preparing our defense to get ready to play and working on his craft as a running back.
And that’s what pros do. They come to work every day and they do what’s required of them and even more, because he’s continuing to work even more out there. They’re ready when their number is called.
Q. Every team wants to win obviously, but this Detroit team is playing like a desperate team in terms of fake punts, onside kicks, stuff you don’t see in your standard game. Do you feel like you have to match that in any way? Is there any different preparation that goes on with a team that is willing to do things differently? (Rob Kuestner)
NICK SIRIANNI: No. You just have to be ready for the things they’ve shown on tape, and also unscouted looks and be ready to adjust.
As a coaching staff, you’re always going to look at the things that teams do on tape, right? But in actuality, when you run a trick play on offense, you’re probably not going to run that play again because the defense saw it. That’s something that doesn’t pop up, but you got to go ready for it still as an offense, defense, and special teams.
And then when things kind of pop up throughout a game, we call it as coaches unscouted looks come up, you just got to be ready to play your rules on each individual play and be able to adjust when you get to the sideline on that play.
And so that’s just pretty standard. Again, just got to be ready for those unscouted looks. And we know how to handle that, because, again, when you’re an offense or defense, naturally there will be things that come at you that you’re not — I don’t want to say ready for, but you haven’t seen on tape.
That’s where your rules on each individual play come into place, and, again, getting back to the sideline and adjusting.
Q. When you’re putting together the offensive game plan, do you have an idea of how many unscouted looks you want to be able to present? (Bo Wulf)
NICK SIRIANNI: Yeah, for the most part you do want to — you look at plays and you’re like, ‘Well, we haven’t run this –’ It’s not a certain number, again, because you’re trying to rep and do plays that give you a chance to win and give you an opportunity to win.
So, it’s not a particular number, but you’re always saying, ‘Well, they haven’t seen this yet.’ Another thing you’re constantly saying to yourself is, ‘They’ve seen this out of this look; let’s show them this.’ It’s your counter punch, right?
So, again, not a particular number, but obviously something we think about a lot.
Q. Three starters were limited yesterday, DT Javon Hargrave, OL Landon Dickerson, and S Anthony Harris. How are they? (Zach Berman)
NICK SIRIANNI: Right now, there is no status on [DT Javon] Hargrave and [OL] Landon [Dickerson]. They’ll be up. And then on [S] Anthony [Harris], right now we’re saying doubtful right now.
So, again, obviously we still got time to see how he’s reacting to treatment and everything, but right now Anthony is going to be doubtful.
Q. How about DE Ryan Kerrigan? (Jeff McLane)
NICK SIRIANNI: Kerrigan is up.
Q. Is there an update on S K’Von Wallace and TE Tyree Jackson? (Mike Kaye)
NICK SIRIANNI: [S] K’Von [Wallace], and [TE] Tyree [Jackson], so we still have 24 hours to see how this next 24 hours go, so still sorting through that.
Q. Question of the Lions offensive line. It’s young, particularly on the left side. There is a guy 73, Lions G Jonah Jackson, I don’t know if you are familiar with him. He’s over there. He’s a local guy. What’s your impression of him and that line? (Bob Grotz)
NICK SIRIANNI: Again, I just see a team that is fighting, an offense that’s fighting and is capable of making plays. The quarterback has made a lot of plays in his career and the offensive line is fighting. I know they’ve got some young guys on there, but you don’t see them playing like young guys where they’re just getting guys run through them at all times.
So, they’re playing like they’re coached well, and I know they are. I was around — the head coach in San Diego when I was there for a year was [Lions offensive coordinator] Anthony Lynn, and I know he’s a great football coach, great coordinator, and I know they got great coaches over there to get the guys ready to go.
I’ve seen them play solid football.
Q. They are banged up. In the secondary they’ve had to play some rookies, some undrafted guys. Do you find yourself having to be disciplined and say, all right, I can’t overemphasize the fact that they’re playing with inexperience as a play caller? (John McMullen)
NICK SIRIANNI: Yeah, there are times you want to go after a guy, there are times where you don’t want to go to a guy a certain way.
Again, my experience with that is — and I don’t want to point anybody out, but if there is a guy on one side that you just know is a shut-down guy, sometimes you do, you tend to go away from them.
But that guy has to be super elite. Okay, I’m going to say it about a guy that’s not in the league anymore. That was something people would do with [former NFL CB Darrelle] Revis a lot. ‘Okay, well Revis is over there, so we are going to devise our game plan to throw away from Revis.’
My experience on the other side of the coin is, ‘Well, this guy has got — he’s not very good. He’s got a lot of inexperience right there. We got to attack him.’
Those are extremes, right? So, I don’t see those guys as the extreme here. I see them playing solid football. So, unless it’s an extreme in those areas, with the corner spot you don’t really just say, ‘I’m going to just attack him or go away from him,’ unless it’s super extreme.
I guess right now with this team I just don’t see that on that side with these DBs. I see DBs that are fighting, that may not have been drafted high. Again, my experience with that is like, okay, you weren’t drafted high. We’re playing the guys that are best available for us and the guys that give us the best chance to win.
I don’t care if you were drafted in the first round, the sixth round, weren’t drafted at all, best guys are going to play. That’s obviously what this coaching staff is doing in Detroit.
Got a lot of respect for the guys playing on that side of the ball, and they fight and they play hard. That’s a tribute to their head coach that they have them fighting and playing hard.
Q. Speaking of young guys, young players, how do you think the growth has been for your three wide receivers, WR Jalen Reagor, WR DeVonta Smith, and WR Quez Watkins? (Ed Kracz)
NICK SIRIANNI: I’ve seen them grow and they continue to make plays. I know there is that philosophy that there is only one football and there are three guys to get the ball to in one room, but we’re doing everything we can do to get them the football. We have other good playmakers as well.
But definitely it’s a rarity — again, I don’t want to say rarity because I don’t want to put anybody down, but it’s a rarity that you have three guys that you’re like, ‘We got to try to game plan for and get them the football.’
Because sometimes in a room you’re like, ‘Well, we’re going to game plan for this guy and the other guys are going to get their touches as they come.’ We want to get these guys touches because they’re all explosive playmakers. You don’t do that, and you don’t think that way as a coach unless they give you a reason to do that.
So obviously the talent of these three guys have given us the reason to want to give them the football, but also their development. [Eagles wide receivers coach] Aaron Moorehead has done a great job with the room of continuing to develop them through the individual drills, through his coaching philosophies, and they’ve done a great job of doing that themselves. They’re mature players, meaning their mature mentality because they’re just working on getting better every day.
That’s been my experience with all three of those guys, that they’re coming to work every day to get better and that’s what I see and that’s where I see growth.