Q. Who stood out to you today at practice? (Eliot Shorr-Parks)
NICK SIRIANNI: I’m just happy that we’re all in there together working again. I’m not going to get into who I thought stood out. We’re excited about every guy that’s here. No matter if it’s a first-round draft pick, second-round draft pick, third-round draft pick, free agent, tryout guys. We are excited to get our eyes on these guys and watch them. That’s the first day and they have another day coming up tomorrow and we just look forward to continuing to evaluate them.
Q. You mentioned LB Nakobe Dean’s enthusiasm on the phone after you guys drafted him. Did you feel that from him today? (Josh Tolentino)
NICK SIRIANNI: Yeah, I can sense he’s all ball all the time, whether we are in a meeting or on the field, he’s locked in. You definitely felt that from him, and we knew that about him before we even drafted him. He definitely showed that today, and he showed that yesterday in our meetings.
Q. You mentioned during the scouting process when it comes to defensive players, your role is to give the offensive perspective. When it comes to DT Jordan Davis and LB Nakobe Dean, what was your perspective on what it’s like as an offensive coach to deal with guys like that? (Dave Zangaro)
NICK SIRIANNI: Good luck blocking Jordan, he’s pretty big. He can push the pocket. He can eat up double teams where they can’t get back to the linebackers. With Nakobe, he has great instinct and he’s all over the field. He’s where he’s supposed to be when he’s supposed to be there, and you have to account for that as an offense.
Q. What did you like about QB Carson Strong to add him to the group? (Tim McManus)
NICK SIRIANNI: I thought he did a good job today. It’s a lot. He’s reading plays differently and running different plays, to have to go back there and manage everything. One thing I’m not impressed by is when a guy can come out and just call a play because there are a lot of guys that don’t call plays, right, and they are looking to the sideline. We call plays in the huddle. He was pretty smooth at that. That means he studied hard. He got ready for this day today. He was really sharp, and he knew what to do and he knew where to go with the football. He has a big arm, and you definitely can see that. Those are tools to work with. His size and arm strength is noticeable when he’s out there.
Q. I know you are going to show a lot of different looks defensively, but is your base defense going to be a 4-3 or 3-4? (Jimmy Kempski)
NICK SIRIANNI: There are a lot of other teams that are probably going to want that answer, too. I will put this out now, I’ll never answer that. You’ll figure it out when we play the first game.
Q. What do you want to accomplish in these two days with the young players? (John McMullen)
NICK SIRIANNI: The main thing is that they show us what they can do. I’ve instructed the coaches to be very basic in their installs, to not do a lot so they can go out there and show us what they can do. That’s what we want to see. Obviously, I want these guys talking to each other and connecting and getting in tune with what we believe in and our core values. All those things off the field and learning our systems. Really these two days are about what they can do and finding out who sticks out. Eliot [Shorr-Parks] asked me the question earlier, who sticks out, what they can do and that’s really what it is. The main thing on our end as coaches is to not do too much, ‘Hey we don’t want to see this guy in this or this guy in this’. Just see what they can do in some individual drills and team drills and see what they can do in some one-on-one drills so we can continue to evaluate these guys in person.
Q. What made you move on from former Eagles C/G Nate Herbig when you did? (Zach Berman)
NICK SIRIANNI: We have a pretty deep room right there, and Nate did an unbelievable job as far as being able to step in and play in some very important moments. He gave us some really good reps and really good play in some meaningful games. But we have a deep room right there. Won’t get into any personnel decisions at this particular time, but I can’t thank Nate enough for all the things that he contributed to this program in the first year and the years that he’s been here. Again, like I said, he’s a great teammate. The Jets are going to be glad to have him, and I’m happy for him that he landed on his feet because like I said, he gave us a lot of good minutes last year.
Q. If I can take you back a little bit, at the conclusion or during the Bucs loss, Troy Aikman had some criticisms, about not just you in particular, but later on, coaching, over-scheming things when they have players of WR DeVonta Smith’s abilities, just win one-on-one and obviously with the addition of WR A.J. Brown you have another guy who can win one-on-one. Is that something that got back to you or something you’re cognizant of as you’re building your playbook and drawing up game plans about relying too much on scheme? (Jeff McLane)
NICK SIRIANNI: There’s definitely a happy medium there. You can’t just lay the ball out there and say, ‘Roll, go, you guys just go get open,’ and there’s no structure. But again, you don’t want to do too much. There’s definitely — we do our best to put our players in the position to make plays, and that doesn’t always mean we are trying to scheme him up to be wide open, and sometimes it’s like how do we scheme it up where he’s one-on-one in this these scenarios. That’s what we are constantly trying to do.
Like I said, put our players in position to make plays. Sometimes that is getting them wide open and sometimes it is, ‘Hey, you have to beat this guy one-on-one.’ That’s just what we try to do on a consistent basis.
Q. The fact that Jordan Davis and Nakobe Dean played together for so long at Georgia, were you able to see the familiarity they have with each other, and do you think that will ease their transition in the NFL? (Martin Frank)
NICK SIRIANNI: Most definitely. I think that’s just one less thing, with Nakobe behind Jordan, helping him get lined up and making the call in the huddle, there are so many new things that they are trying to get used to right now. That’s definitely one less thing. He’s heard so many calls of Nakobe making the call in the huddle and him executing the call.
Of course, any familiarity like that is going to help. It’s rare that you get two guys from the same team on a team just because there are 32 teams picking and everything like that. We are definitely excited in many different ways. You go to a new place, and you have a familiar face to be able to talk to. It’s not just on the football side, but off the field as well.
Q. There are a lot of DBs you brought in this weekend, does that speak to the unsettled nature of that CB 2 position? (Ed Kracz)
NICK SIRIANNI: What we are trying to do, we are wanting to run 7-on-7 reps and you have to have volume there for the guys. We know these guys right now are not in football shape. This is really a little bit rare. When you bring in a rookie — it’s always our experience in rookie camp, you bring them in and they have been training for the draft, the combine, to run a 40 and for the positions drills a little bit. They are not truly in football shape right now. We have to be very careful about how we manage these guys in practice right now.
So, you’re not going to see everything you want to see in a guy right now because again they are not in football shape. When we do our 7-on-7 reps we want to have enough for a two-deep to be able to rotate the guys so they are not running too many plays in a row and they can go out there – and again, you asked me earlier, what’s the main goal? To see what they can do. That’s the volume a little bit speaks to, hey, we have to have enough numbers to be able to execute and to be able to see what guys can do. So that’s a little bit. Of course, we feel good about the guys in the room that we have right now and some of the guys that are coming in that we’ve invited into this camp, drafted, free agents, everybody that we brought into the rookie mini-camp. I feel good about that room and the position battles that are going to take place and are taking place right now in our meetings and weight room. I am excited to see how that plays out.
Q. As a follow up on the offseason program, if memory serves, last year’s arrangement included no 7-on-7 and no 11-on-11? Are you going to be doing that this year? (Zach Berman)
NICK SIRIANNI: We are definitely doing 7-on-7s. We are transitioning away a little bit more from 11-on-11s this year. We are not going to see those this year. I think you guys know we have two weeks of OTAs and look forward to getting a lot of good work done with our individual, get a lot of induvial where we can work on our fundamentals. Then we’ll be doing 7-on-7 because it helps our skill guys and quarterback in making the read and different looks he’s going to get.
Q. Have you had full attendance here for workouts? (Jeff McLane)
NICK SIRIANNI: We’ve had really good attendance. I don’t know that it’s been perfect every single day, but we’ve had really good attendance through the first two weeks.
Q. We talked to QB Jalen Hurts earlier in the week. You mentioned he was going out to southern California, he said that as well. Interested in how you guys work that out. Are you a part of that process? Is that him doing that on his own? How do you guys connect when it comes to that? (John McMullen)
NICK SIRIANNI: Again, I’ve had quarterbacks go out there that I’ve had nothing to do with it, and then quarterbacks go out there that I have. In this case, Jalen and I work together and [Eagles quarterbacks coach] Brian [Johnson] and [Eagles offensive coordinator] Shane [Steichen] work together to set this up, because that was something that he was interested in doing and something that we were interested in doing. So, it was a group effort like a lot of the things that we do here. When we game plan, it’s a group effort. This was a group effort. So, it was fun to organize that together and to be able to work to get him out to southern California to throw.
Q. When you guys do start OTAs, depending on the veterans who are here, how important is that going to be for a guy like DT Fletcher Cox for example, to mentor Jordan Davis, and C Jason Kelce with C Cam Jurgens? Will it be more important this year for the veterans to help bring these guys along? (Martin Frank)
NICK SIRIANNI: I think it’s important for the team in general to be around each other. I’ve watched these guys and just seeing them from afar — I’m not in the weight room right now because that’s their time with the strength coach right now, but seeing from afar and hearing how they are interacting with each other. It’s just important they are around their teammates right now. This is a time for them to build connection. Sometimes it’s hard in the season to build connections. You’re so focused on the game and the next thing — now we work like crazy to do it, but it seems like there’s a little bit more time now. They work out, they go to meetings and then they have time the rest of the day to connect with each other. That’s definitely something we notice that these guys are really working to connect at this time and help each other out. I think we have a great group of guys that truly genuinely like being around each other and truly want to help each other out. I see that every day.
Q. What was Colts head coach Frank Reich’s reaction when you got WR A.J. Brown? (Bo Wulf)
NICK SIRIANNI: I always like to keep Frank and I’s conversations private. I don’t know what he said. I’m sure he was happy he’s not in the division anymore, though. I know if that would have happened if I was in the division, I would have texted the coach and said thanks for getting them out of the division or sent them a keg of beer or something [laughter].
Q. DE Brandon Graham said DE Derek Barnett had talked to him about how when he returns, Derek wants to show the fans that he can play. What have your conversations been like with him and what has his mentality been like? (Ed Kracz)
NICK SIRIANNI: Ever since I got here, I see the same guy every single day that’s determined every day to get better at his craft. Derek is obsessed with football and trying to become the best player that he can. I really appreciate that with him. He works hard in the classroom, the weight room and works extremely hard on the field. I just see the same guy every single day. I’m excited that we have him back on this football team to continue to add depth to that defensive line. I really think we are in a good spot with the defensive line and really excited about that group. I’m really excited to have Derek Barnett back on this football team.