Q. What are your takeaways from this game? (Tim McManus)
COACH SIRIANNI: I think it was a good, physical game. That’s something that we really wanted to do is be physical in this game. I thought our guys really showed that. You guys have asked me a little bit about identity, and I can share with you what we talked about with our team — and I don’t think it’s about plays you call, or defenses you call, or special teams calls you call, it was about our team is close. It’s a close-knit group of guys that connect. It’s a physical group of guys and its guys that leave everything out there on the field.
That’s what we really talked about last night. You guys have asked me a couple times about identity, and what I just wanted to say to them is, hey, our identity is these three things that I just mentioned right there. That was really on display today.
Q. When you put the gameplan together against the No. 1 ranked run defense, did you have to decide whether you wanted to try to run through them or do something different and why was it that you thought you guys could run on them? (Bo Wulf)
COACH SIRIANNI: I think [QB] Jalen [Hurts] is a special player that forces defenses to play different. You look at the tape and again I think I told you guys early in the week, you look at the stat sheet, you look at where they are, you look at their defense, but you also want to do what you do well. We know we have been running the ball well and it’s a little different when Jalen is in there.
You try to look at some teams that they’ve played that are similar to that, but you want to make them stop what you do well first and that’s definitely what our goal was going out there.
Q. Being physical, obviously that was something you wanted to do. Does the run game lend itself to that when you are able to establish it? (Dave Zangaro)
COACH SIRIANNI: There are different ways to be physical. I don’t want to make it sound like you can only be physical running the ball, because there’s different ways to do that. Because receivers can be physical. And the tight ends can be physical. And the backs can be physical when you’re passing it.
So, it’s just the style of play. I just think we have tough guys on this team. And that’s important. I think again I’ve talked about this before with you guys that when you get on the bus to come to the game — I know I’m speaking in terms of a bus, we didn’t take a bus here. But when you get on a bus to go to the game, you never want to go to that game without your guys that are tough. I feel that’s a common denominator of a lot of guys on this football team. We’ve got tough, gritty guys. That’s going to help you win a lot of football games throughout.
That’s just something when you’re physical and when you’re tough, that’s just something throughout the history of football that has shown to help you win games. And that’s in my experience with players. It’s like this is one of my favorite guys I’ve ever coached, the common denominator is they’re tough and they’re nasty and physical.
Q. RB Miles Sanders caused that costly fumble inside the 5 there and another fumble was the one that was forward progress, but what do you say to him and what is your approach when a running back has that? (Ed Kracz)
COACH SIRIANNI: Dog mentality like you say to a corner if they get beat or you say to a wide receiver if they drop a pass or you say to a player if he jumps offsides. Dog mentality. Move on. Next play. Next play. Next play.
If you dwell on — we wanted to show him confidence, too. I think Miles had a good game, what did he end up with, 94 [yards]? Miles had a good game. He ran the ball hard. He ran the ball well and he ran the ball well in a time where we really needed it.
And so, it is. It was just, ‘Hey, forget that play. Next play. Next play.’ And I think that means a lot to guys when you show the confidence in them. And then you correct what’s going on. And you say, ‘Hey, when you get in the traffic,’ — what we talk about, we call this a clasp hand, you put that clasp hand on it. That’s what we talked about and showed trust in him and belief in him. And I know that will be rewarding going forward with Miles.
Q. Three of the last four games you have had strong defensive performances, LB T.J. Edwards being asserted in that spot, is that coincidence or something to do with – (Jeff McLane)
COACH SIRIANNI: He’s really playing well. I think our defense as a whole is playing well. I don’t want to single anybody out because I think they’re all playing well. Starts up front. T.J. brings a physicality that really is contagious. And he continues to come after the ball.
You saw the one play on the swing pass out there where the guy felt T.J. coming. And then he ended up getting — I think he dropped the ball. But T.J. just has that physicality and he’s just really playing good football right now.
And he’s a good communicator with the defense and talking to everybody. And so, he’s playing really good football. And sure, those guys from Wisconsin, that played as a Badger, my experience with those guys is they’re tough and they’re nasty and they can play physical ball.
I’m sure glad he’s playing the role he’s playing right now.
Q. When QB Jalen Hurts had the 24-yard touchdown run and made the move on the guy, how demoralizing do you think it is to a defense when they think they have him bottled up and he breaks free? (Martin Frank)
COACH SIRIANNI: I think in that scenario, too, with what the score was and the way it was going, I got too conservative. I’ll say that right now. I’ll say it out loud. I got a bit conservative with the play calling that allowed them to work their way back into the game. So that’s on me. But Jalen made a huge play. And the guy read the play pretty well and made a great move. It was awesome. It was a great individual play by Jalen.
I’d also like to recognize [WR] J.J.’s [Arcega-Whiteside] play that he made in a critical time. Because I think everybody in the stadium felt, and you guys probably felt, it kind of slipping a little bit. They were coming back into the game. We needed it. Was it a 23, 26-yard gain? I don’t know what it was. But a big-time play by a guy that’s had a tough week. And I don’t want to give his personal information out so I’m not going to, but he’s had a tough week. And for him to go out and make the type of play that he made right there, I love J.J.
I think he embodies the toughness of this city and this football team. He’s been asked to do things that he hasn’t been asked to do before. He’s been asked to be a special teams guy that really is gritty and tough because he has that in his body.
He’s been asked to be our blocking type of receiver in critical times. So, it was great to reward him with a catch in that scenario.
And I’m just so happy for him that he made that type of play and helped kind of stop the bleeding in that drive and make a big play to help us kind of put that game away.
We always vote for player of the game. We always vote for play of the game. That for sure, I guess I got the trump card because I’m the head coach, that will be the play of the game. I’ll tell [Eagles offensive coordinator] Shane [Steichen] that on the way home.
Q. The way you’re describing your team today as far as the toughness, the physicality, is that the way you would have described them after seven games? And if not, what made that change, do you think? (Zach Berman)
COACH SIRIANNI: I think these guys have always had that physicality and toughness. And, yeah, I’d like to say that I’ve seen that from them the entire time through. Whether that was the joint practices with different teams that we had joint practices with, or the training camp practices or the practices we’ve had or games we’ve had. I know we’ve had tough guys.
I’ve known that. I think I’ve known that all the way through, to answer your question.
Q. What was your vantage point of TE Dallas Goedert’s fingertip catch? And although you didn’t have to pass it that much, how effective was he in the passing game? (Josh Tolentino)
COACH SIRIANNI: Are you talking about the third down catch where the guy kind of got his hand in, before the one-yard touchdown?
Q. Before his touchdown that got called back. (Josh Tolentino)
COACH SIRIANNI: Yeah, that was third down. I thought that was a phenomenal strong-hand catch. And a lot of tribute to Dallas that he works on that catch every day. [Eagles tight ends coach] Jason Michael, our tight end coach, throws him that ball where he’s got to catch that ball like this.
And [TE] Richard Rodgers is always with him pulling that ball out. It’s a catch we work every day, because if you try to catch that ball right here with strong hands with them ripping through there and it’s your first time trying to catch that is on Sunday, it’s going to come out.
So that’s a catch we do with the receivers and the tight ends and the running backs every single day in what we call our catch circuit. It’s 85 catches. I’ll fill you guys in on it at some point. 85 catches, different catches that don’t happen a lot.
And so, Dallas does that religiously. He does that not only in walk-through, but he gets 85 times two, because he also gets that in practice as well.
So, he’s getting 20 of those catches a day for that ripping through. So that’s what I love about this game. Those things you do just religiously over and over again and when they come up in that scenario, you’re like, ‘Thank God we’ve done that and we’ve repped that,’ and all the credit goes to Dallas in the first place because he’s got strong hands in the first place.
But they work relentlessly at that, and they just keep working it over and over again. And that’s who Dallas is. He’s a hard worker. So, it was good to be able to see that happen and that just is a good example to show every other receiver and tight end like, ‘Hey, I don’t know when this play is going to come up, but when it does, it might be for a big third down.’
And he made another play like that where we had an illegal man down field on that play. He made another play like that in the game. Dallas is, you saw how strong he was with the football today. I thought he played a very solid game.
Q. Going back to WR J.J. Arcega-Whiteside real quick that play. You go all the way back to week one in Atlanta, I remember you saying at some point we’re going to have to do the trend buster or reward him with a catch. Was that play-action called by you in the huddle or was that Jalen Hurts progressing? (John McMullen)
COACH SIRIANNI: It’s part of the read of what happened. I don’t want to divulge too much information on that play because it’s been a good play for us. But it can happen on that play. And it did in that scenario.
Jalen made a great play with what the defense gave us. J.J. got his hands on the ball and it went from there.
Q. We saw T Jordan Mailata mixing it up a little bit out there. Do you enjoy that, watching that? (Dave Zangaro)
COACH SIRIANNI: Within the rules, obviously. I think when you see that play, it’s just two guys going really hard. 92 [Saints DE Marcus Davenport] and him were going hard on the play. And that’s football. And that happens in football. Emotions run high in football and that was emotions by both guys.
You want your guys to play within the rules with what the rules are. And so obviously no flag was thrown right there. It was good physical play. Both guys were working hard and just excited the way he played in this game because you don’t run for the amount of yards you do without good play from your left tackle.