Q. With them making a change in offensive coordinator, how much does that change for you guys in your preparation? (Dave Zangaro)
NICK SIRIANNI: You have to go back and look at some things that [Giants Senior Offensive Assistant] Coach [Freddie] Kitchens did at Cleveland and some of those things like that. Of course, you look for every advantage, every edge, some of the tendency things. You got to go back and look at what they had.
I’ve said this before in here, it’s a different play-caller. There’s going to be different looks. There’s going to be different things that he does, that [former Giants Offensive Coordinator] Coach [Jason] Garrett didn’t do or vice versa.
We just got to be ready for everything. So, when you don’t know exactly what you’re going to get, you got to play your rules and you got to play your rules on each individual defense that you get.
Q. How do you do it on a short week with a holiday mixed in? (Dave Zangaro)
NICK SIRIANNI: Again, it’s a change. If [Eagles Offensive Coordinator] Shane [Steichen] was calling plays as opposed to me or if [Eagles Passing Game Coordinator] Kevin [Patullo] was calling plays, [Eagles Quarterbacks Coach] Brian Johnson or anybody, it’s going to look different. We understand that – and same thing, if [Eagles Defensive Coordinator Jonathan] Gannon is not calling the defense, and [Eagles Defensive Backs Coach] Dennard Wilson was, there are going to be different things.
Again, when stuff like that happens, you have to go back to – I think I’ve talked about this before – in un-scouted looks. You got to go back and you have to play your rules. Every defense, every offense has rules written into it if you get different looks.
So, that’s where our preparation in the off-season, our preparation throughout each week is going to really pay dividends.
Q. We saw that LB Davion Taylor had surgery yesterday. What was the knee injury? Was it a tear? And do you expect him back this season? (Ed Kracz)
NICK SIRIANNI: He had surgery. Again, we could get him back, nothing’s ruled out yet. So, I don’t want to give a timetable on anything there.
But it was his knee. I don’t know exactly the terminology of what it was or anything like that. It’s his knee that he had the surgery on and that he could be back later in the season.
Q. What’s the update on G Brandon Brooks? (Zach Berman)
NICK SIRIANNI: I don’t have one yet.
Q. Will he be right back in the starting lineup? (Jimmy Kempski)
NICK SIRIANNI: Again, we don’t have to make any decisions right yet about anything because I don’t have any new updates for you. Yeah, I’ll stay tightlipped on that.
Q. Has he had a setback? (Reuben Frank)
NICK SIRIANNI: Again, not a lot of new information on that, so sorry.
Q. You’ve been the best team in the NFL on third downs over the last month. Why have you had that success? And how demoralizing is it to a defense when QB Jalen Hurts can make plays with his legs and run for first downs? (John Clark)
NICK SIRIANNI: That’s an extra added element that you have, is when your quarterback can get out of trouble and create with his legs, whether that’s a running play or a passing play that breaks down in some way, some shape, some form. So, that’s a big advantage to have.
If you look at teams that are high on third down in the past, the quarterback’s had the ability to create with his legs. So, that’s a huge advantage.
Obviously, to keep the chains moving – when the chains are moving and you’re converting third downs, right, that’s more opportunities for more plays, which means more points, which means more run attempts, which means more opportunities for guys on the field to get touches.
That’s a huge part of our preparation, obviously, which it is with everybody in the NFL, is that situational football, that third down and red zone.
So, I think when you’re running the ball the way we are and moving the sticks consistently the way we are, you always got to look at – and we’re scoring the points the way we are, it always is like, ‘Okay, they’re moving it well in different ways, but they’re staying in phase and they’re staying on the field because they’re converting third down, they’re scoring a lot more points because they’re doing well in the red zone.’ So, situational football is big.
Q. Eagles Defensive Coordinator Jonathan Gannon has been blitzing more since the Raiders game. John and both you said that you hoped the defense would challenge more. Is this a direct result of that? (Jeff McLane)
NICK SIRIANNI: Again, I think you start to find out what works for you, what’s working better and you kind of get on a roll.
Again, every game is going to be a little bit different of how you play it, as you guys well know. But yeah, of course, you adapt throughout the year. You double down on the things that you know are true and then you adapt your schemes and you adapt your schedules and you adapt different things. And yeah, that’s a result of that.
Q. Getting back to the change in New York. A couple weeks ago in Denver, they didn’t have Broncos Offensive Coordinator Pat Shurmur, different circumstance. But, in these times today, do you think about that more, like there might be a change at a particular time? (John McMullen)
NICK SIRIANNI: Because of COVID?
Q. Yes. (John McMullen)
NICK SIRIANNI: Yeah, I think you got to. You got to have, just like players, the next man’s got to be up over and over – with the defense, with special teams, with offense. That’s definitely been something we’ve talked through, is who is the next man up if something with COVID hits our coaching staff as well.
Q. You said after the game you got too conservative fourth quarter play calling. What is the process there? What would you do differently? And how do you balance wanting to move the clock but, maybe we need to put it up in the air? (Reuben Frank)
NICK SIRIANNI: I think, again, we got pretty run heavy. Again, that’s kind of been what we’ve been doing this last month of the season. But, that doesn’t mean you just don’t pass the football.
I don’t know. I called the screen that I didn’t like to [WR Jalen] Reagor. The way their defensive ends were playing, I didn’t love that call. So, I was being – I thought, ‘Hey, I passed it there and I was being a little conservative on the type of pass I used.’ That’s one play I really want back.
But again, we were running the ball well. It got a little bit sloppy, and I just felt like I started that with the way I was calling it.
Q. In terms of not making the same mistake twice, what was your reaction when RB Miles Sanders ran out of bounds on that four-minute drill? (Bo Wulf)
NICK SIRIANNI: We pulled him out of the game and just reminded him, again, to stay in bounds. He had two in Carolina.
Repeat offenders of things, we usually get mad about. He knows. Shoot, if he had that next carry and didn’t have to come out of the game to be reminded to stay inbounds, he would have had a hundred yards. He found that out and he knows that. We’re working on getting it fixed. I know [RB] Miles [Sanders] wants to get it fixed more than anybody.
Q. What role did Jalen Hurts play in keeping, whether it was morale up or the guys together, when you were in some rockier waters earlier? (Tim McManus)
NICK SIRIANNI: All the leaders on the team, [QB] Jalen [Hurts] in particular, were – again, just sticking to the process of going to work every single day, of putting your head down and working every single day. That’s who he is. He’s the same guy every single day.
That’s not only a challenge when everyone tells you, ‘You stink,’ but that’s a challenge when everyone tells you how good you are. That’s the message today. And Jalen did a good job of that throughout some of the hard times. That’s the challenge today, right?
Now everyone is telling you how good you are and your family members, probably, are here for Thanksgiving telling you how good you are. But the message remains the same: Put your head down, work, do the things we need to do to put ourselves in position to be 1-0 this week. We know what that process is, of what we need to do to put ourselves in position.
Jalen has just been consistent and steady. I think that’s what you want out of your quarterback and out of the leader on the football team.
Q. You’ve been by committee at running back. Is that the plan or is that just the way things are? And are you willing to go hot hand if, let’s say, Miles is – (Jeff McLane)
NICK SIRIANNI: Definitely willing to go hot hand. Definitely willing to do that. But, yeah, right now it’s just been by committee, and we think that’s working well. But if somebody gets hot, no doubt we’ll stick with it.
Q. Along those lines, the last four games when you were running the ball so well, RB Kenny Gainwell hasn’t really been a big part of that. What is your message to him? What does he need to do to get back into that rotation? (Martin Frank)
NICK SIRIANNI: Just stay ready. My message to him is just to stay ready in that we still – I know he was not active last game, but we still have high hopes for him and we still think very highly of him. He’s still here to have a niche on this team, especially with his receiving ability. We just haven’t used it a lot these last couple weeks.
I think [RB] Kenny [Gainwell] knows how much – it’s tough, but he knows how much we respect him and how much we need him on this football team. These things go like this sometimes in a season, where you’re quiet, you’re quiet, boom, you have a big game. That’s the way of this league.
So, we’re going to need him. Just keeping him into it, which he’s awesome, he’s an awesome kid. He’ll be into it and is ready to go when his number is called.
Q. In the meeting today what was the theme or message, what example did you use to reinforce it? (Zach Berman)
NICK SIRIANNI: Same thing I just said to you guys. ‘Hey, make sure that our intensity at practice is the way it needs to be. Make sure that our detail in the meetings and in walk-through is the way it needs to be and what it has been, because this week, there are a lot of distractions. It’s Thanksgiving. The schedule is a little bit different.’
But I said even though I’m going home to spend time with my parents and my family and my wife and kids, I’m still going to make sure that I get my meeting stuff done, everything I normally do in a week. It’s just different of how you’re handling it, right? There’s going to be extra meetings at lunch today, extra meetings tonight. We get them out a little bit earlier tomorrow so they can be with their families because that’s so important, that we want to be with our families on this holiday.
We still have to go through all the process that we go through each week. That just looks different of how it happens. Don’t leave any stone unturned, make sure we’re going hard. Again, Nick Saban had an awesome message. What was that, last year? 2 years ago of when people are telling you how good you are, what that is. You guys can look that up [smiling].
Just put your head down and work. As you guys can see, my message is pretty consistent, whether we won the three out of the last four or started off 2-5. Because it’s all about how you put yourself in position to win the game on Sunday. The only way you do that is by working yourself through the week and getting better every single day through the week.
Q. Are you going walk-through today? (Jeff McLane)
NICK SIRIANNI: We’re doing walk-through today, yeah. Again, with the late bye, we want to make sure our guys are healthy.
Q. You mentioned physicality a lot the past couple weeks, nastiness. Davion Taylor was a big part of that defensively. Are you confident you’re still going to have that presence on the defense? (John McMullen)
NICK SIRIANNI: Yeah, the guys that are stepping in for him, I’m super – [LB] Alex [Singleton] will take the brunt of that, or the most of that, and [LB] Shaun [Bradley] and [LB] Patrick [Johnson]. I’m very confident –
Q. Is LB Shaun Bradley going to be ready for this? (John McMullen)
NICK SIRIANNI: I do. I do. Again, that’s me wishful thinking. I kind of jumped the gun on that one. We’ll see. We’ll play that day by day.
Q. Do you anticipate that every Wednesday will be a walk-through? (Reuben Frank)
NICK SIRIANNI: We’ll play that by ear after the bye again. We’re doing it because we’re a little bit later in the year and our bye is later. We’ll play that by ear. I don’t want to cement anything down right yet.
What I felt like last week is that we had a great Thursday practice, we had a great – when you do a walk-through as opposed to when you do practice, you get a lot more reps. You get double the reps. That was good for us mentally. We were really sharp and crisp in that game Sunday. We know how to get it done both ways because again practice schedules and walk through, those are things that are constantly changing. That’s not something we double down on. We constantly change that to do what’s best for those players.
Happy Thanksgiving, everybody.