Q. Why didn’t LB Eric Wilson work out here? (Dave Zangaro)
NICK SIRIANNI: Again, we had some guys that with [LB] Davion [Taylor] developing and doing some good things, that we wanted to get him more playing time.
And then on special teams, obviously, when it comes to the backup linebackers, they’re such an important part in special teams. Not that [LB] Eric [Wilson] didn’t play well on special teams or didn’t do his job when he was practicing with special teams, but the others – [LB] Shaun [Bradley] has really flourished on special teams and [LB] Alex [Singleton] is their special teams captain.
So obviously, we’re sad that it didn’t work out here with Eric, but he did come in. He filled a role for us for the time being. Like I told him last night, I’ll always being grateful for what he contributed to the organization, to the culture that we’re trying to build. He’s a relentless worker and he works so hard and he loves football. I love that about him.
Any time have to say bye to a player for whatever reason, you’re always sad about it. Obviously, I’m sad it didn’t work out, but those are the reasons why.
Q. You have nine corners on this roster now. What did you like about DB Kary Vincent, and what’s the plan for all those young players? (Mike Kaye)
NICK SIRIANNI: The premium position like that, corners, there are so many teams that don’t have corner depth.
So, just like we think about with the offense and defensive line, that’s another position right there at cornerback that we want to build depth on and want to get the young players in that we feel good about.
He’s got great speed and we’re excited to get him. And he had a great pre-season and there were a lot of things we liked about him in the pre-draft work. So, excited just to build on that. I know our numbers are where they are, but I just think that’s such a premium position that you want that depth. You want options right there to be able to develop into it.
And so, we’re excited to have him. Really, really excited. The DB coaches, the defensive staff, myself, [Eagles Executive Vice President/General Manager] Howie [Roseman] and his staff, we’re just really excited to have him.
Q. How valuable is that to have veterans like CB Darius Slay and CB Steven Nelson to kind of teach these young guys and bring them along? (Ed Kracz)
NICK SIRIANNI: That’s huge to be able to have those guys that have made plays in this league and that have done it for a long time, to be able to help develop those guys.
So, we all play a role in developing our players here. We all play a role in it, right. Everybody within the building. And then the coaches and then the players, just the good players there, they have a big-time opportunity to help him, too. Because when you teach a player things – you always want to teach a player how to do different techniques and how something works within the defense.
So, what do you do as a coach? You show them tape and you show them things and you try to teach them the ins and outs of the offense or the defense. But what a valuable asset it is for the guy that you’re trying to teach, to actually go and ask the guy that’s been lining up in that position. It’s such a big asset to have.
When you made a lot of plays in this league and you’ve done it for a long time, your words carry more weight. That’s definitely the case with [CB Darius] Slay and with [CB] Steven [Nelson].
Q. Was DT Fletcher Cox a part of trade discussions yesterday? (Zach Berman)
NICK SIRIANNI: Again, I know there were a lot of rumors there with that. I’m just really happy that Fletch [DT Fletcher Cox] is still on this football team and we’re going to be able to build upon the big-time performance that the defensive line had the other day.
They’ve had some really good games here. We know that’s a strength of our team and Fletch is huge, huge part of that. He’s been a huge part of that for a long time.
So again, rumors will be – I can’t comment on rumors. I’m just happy that he’s here and I’m happy that he’s continuing to be part of this organization.
Q. Did you have to talk to him at all during the day? (Martin Frank)
NICK SIRIANNI: Any time stuff like that happens, you just always want to – my biggest thing is try to communicate with everybody about everything, and that’s Howie [Roseman]’s approach at it as well, to be able to communicate through all those things. Whether it’s a trade, whether it’s something personal that somebody is going through, anything, we just want to be there for our players to make sure they know we’re there for them and be honest with them with everything that’s going on.
Q. If you look at QB Jalen Hurt’s passes this year, like the dispersion of where they are, they are overwhelmingly to the right side. He doesn’t throw to his left very often. Is that something that you would like to correct? Is that something that you worry about? If so, how do you go about doing that? (Bo Wulf)
NICK SIRIANNI: Again, there are different scenarios of where the reads take you, right? Sure, we’re going to have things designed for different parts of the football field. Without getting too much into it, we want to always do where he excels the most.
Again, you don’t want to do too much so you have a tell to the defense. Again, different reasons bring him to places with the football. There could be something that broke down in the pass play. There could be something with the read that took it away from the middle or the left side. It could be something we’re setting up that we don’t want to let a good rush happen. We’re playing [Chargers OLB Joey] Bosa this week, so the play might be designed to one way because Bosa is right there.
Again, I say all that to say – we don’t want to show our cards in anything we do, so we’re constantly trying to make sure we’re balanced and fit out.
There are different reasons why the ball goes to different places.
Q. Is that something you’ve seen before and had experience with? (Bo Wulf)
NICK SIRIANNI: Yeah, I think sometime when you get into a – again, I don’t pay a ton of the attention to a lot of the those stats. If it’s going to help us in a certain way, I will. So, I can’t say I’ve paid a lot of attention to that in the past. Or maybe I haven’t paid attention to it in the past because it wasn’t an issue in the past, right? Or no one has brought up the stat.
But again, in anything we do, run, pass, where the ball is getting completed, who it’s getting completed to – again, we want to get the ball to our playmakers. Again, if you’re only throwing to [WR] DeVonta [Smith], right, or if you’re only throwing to [WR] Quez [Watkins] or if you’re only throwing to [TE] Dallas [Goedert], teams can get a beat on you.
We know how smart defensive coordinators are in this league. We know how smart linebackers are in this league. We know how smart defense backs are, defensive lineman, et cetera. And so, we have to do our best to make sure we’re balanced in everything we do.
Q. You have three wins on the road but you’re winless at home, 0-3. Have you spoken to the team this week about getting it going at home and getting a home field advantage going? (John Clark)
NICK SIRIANNI: I just think that’s a convince right now obviously. When we won on the road, we played good. When we didn’t win at home, we didn’t play good, or when we lost on the road.
We know how important that home field advantage is. Again, everything in this league matters. The parity in this league is so tight. We see it every week. We see teams that you don’t think should win against a certain team and it’s a close game, or it goes the opposite way.
The parity in the players and coaches in this league is so tight. That’s why I think it has the following it does. So, everything matters. Home field advantage matters, right. Where you stay on the road, where you sleep in hotels matter. How you take care of your body. What you put in your body matters. All these little things matter.
So as coaches and as players, you’re trying to utilize all that. Home field advantage matters, right. The home crowd cheering you on and being loud when the offense on other team is trying to get a play snap, that matters.
We know that’s an advantage for us and that’s the message — we had a message before our first home game: Embrace the home field advantage. Take the home field advantage, and I know we will.
Again, I think it’s just a coincidence, but when we have an advantage in something, we got to utilize it.
Q. I would be remiss if I didn’t ask what illustration you used in your team meeting since you created such energy last week with the revelation of what the illustration was. (Howard Eskin)
NICK SIRIANNI: Today it was really more so we just talked about last week and the practice that we had, the practice intensity that we had last week, the attention to detail last week.
So just a reminder with the attention to detail, pay attention to the detail and also the practice intensity, and just a reminder of what worked for us last week.
We have a couple guys on this staff — Jim Bob Cooter worked with Peyton Manning for a long time. [Eagles wide receivers coach] Aaron Moorehead played wide receiver for Peyton, and then I coached for Mike McCoy, and Mike McCoy was Peyton Manning’s offensive coordinator. Mike would always say, and these guys confirmed it, that Peyton was always like, ‘I’m full speed to the snap.’
I don’t know if that is exactly the words he used, so we talked a little bit about that just so we had the attention to detail and the crispness when we walk in here for this walk-through today.
Q. When you self-scouted yourself in your decision making on fourth down and two-point conversions, where have you found yourself falling on the spectrum? (Jeff McLane)
NICK SIRIANNI: As far as how aggressive I’m being or play selection?
Q. Aggressiveness. (Jeff McLane)
NICK SIRIANNI: Any time when I think about — I’m really — again, I’m using every avenue for me, for myself and the staff and the team, to help make decisions, just like you do when you watch tape. You’re watching the tape, you’re studying the players, the scheme, you’re working your scheme, you’re looking at what the analytics might say.
You take all those things to develop a plan. Well, you do the same thing when you’re going with fourth down or you’re going in two-point conversions.
You hear it, but you have to have a feel for the chart — you have to have a feel for what the game says. So, I would say as aggressiveness, I like to follow it because we’ve paid attention to it in the beginning of the week and we talk about it during the week. Like, ‘Okay, in these scenarios here is where you would go for it potentially.’ We go through different scenarios that happen through the week.
So, when I call a game, that’s what we do in third down, too. We go through, put the third downs in, rank them, we practice, we rank them again, we have another practice, [QB] Jalen [Hurts] helps us rank them, and they’re ranked in a certain order. And you like to stick to that order unless something changes.
Well, it’s the same thing here. So, I don’t want to say I’ve veered from it at times, like, ‘Man, we should kick it here, let’s go.’ There have been a couple times — I know a couple times there has been like the ball is going to be on the one yard line. We could go for two. I feel better about kicking it right here.
And so there is, it’s just a balance. I think I’ve said this in here before, that a wise man avoids all extremes. If I go in and I’m always following the chart, that’s all I’m doing, well then that’s not how the game is played. There is a feel to it. That’s the same thing when you rank third down. I’m following this chart no matter what it says. Things happen in the game and things adjust.
Again, I want to lean on it, I want to lean on it heavily, but I also know there is a feel to this game, and I’ve definitely not followed it every single time and went with my gut at times as well.
Q. I asked Eagles defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon yesterday for a story about you from the season so far. He referenced a week three conversation that you guys had. You called him up on a Friday night where you usually leave him alone, and he felt like you were calling more as like a friend. I don’t know if you happen to remember that and why that would stick out to him? (Tim McManus)
NICK SIRIANNI: I think that there is a time to get after somebody and there is a time to build people up, right. So, I think that’s a feel, too. There is no written agenda of, hey, here is how this is supposed to work.
So, when you feel like someone needs to be picked up, you do that. Sometimes the person that’s doing the picking up might not even think about that. I’m glad to hear that, because I know my words meant something to Jonathan at that particular time. At the end of the day, whether it’s a player or a coach, everybody needs to know — my college coach said — when I became an NFL coach, not a head coach, NFL coach, my college coach texted me and said, ‘Everybody needs to know they’re loved and appreciated. Everybody.’
So that’s always really stuck with me, and so there are times when I need that. I need someone to pick me up at times, right. [Colts head coach] Frank [Reich] was great with that with me. The head coaches I’ve had have been great with that with me.
Q. The Henry Ruggs incident, obviously tragic all around. Has that prompted you to have conversations with your players, especially because you have such a young team? (Breland Moore)
NICK SIRIANNI: I think another thing I’ve learned along the way is you should never be passive about anything. If there is something that could be troubling some of your players or something that needs to be addressed, you need to address that.
Without saying too much about our team meeting this morning, I addressed it in our team meeting. Really more about the knowledge of it. Again, all I care about is that these guys are safe, and that’s all our organization cares about, is that these guys are safe and they know the resources that they have.
Any time something like that happens we are going to address it as a team and not be passive about it and talk through the issues that are out there, whether it’s with this team or the NFL in general.