Q. What happened with QB Jalen Hurts? (Dave Zangaro)
NICK SIRIANNI: He came in and wasn’t feeling great. We put him through pregame warmups. He wanted to go out there and go through pregame warmups. He came back in and still wasn’t feeling good. We evaluated him and we just decided it wasn’t in his best interest to play with what he was feeling. We evaluated him. He is fine now. He is doing okay now, but that is why we held him out.
Q. Did you send him home? (Sal Paolantonio)
NICK SIRIANNI: He actually went to the hospital to get evaluated for his stomach. Like I said, came back, everything is good, and he is going to be okay.
Q. What kind of symptoms did he have? (Sal Paolantonio)
NICK SIRIANNI: He just had pain in his abdomen, which for a guy like that to tell us, he’s a tough guy, so it must have been hurting him pretty good for him to let us know about that.
Q. Was the plan on offensive line just to start G Isaac Seumalo and T Jordan Mailata with Jalen Hurts at quarterback? (Jeff McLane)
NICK SIRIANNI: Well, no. What we were going to do – we were playing all that by ear. That was kind of up in the air of what we wanted to do. We have some guys with a lot of experience on that offensive line. So we talked to those guys on the right side there yesterday. They were sore, they wanted to go, but we just thought, again, in the best interest of them, they played two games essentially this week, and we just felt they got a lot of good work and they didn’t need to go this third day in a row.
Q. After Jalen Hurts was examined in the hospital, did he go home? (Sal Paolantonio)
NICK SIRIANNI: After he was examined at the hospital, I don’t know. I didn’t get that.
Q. I think it caught some of us by surprise because we saw him pregame and he was dancing, spinning, looked like he was feeling great. You’re saying he came into the building today before the pre-game warmups and wasn’t feeling good? (Jeff Skversky)
NICK SIRIANNI: Yes, correct.
Q. I don’t know what your plans are for the Jets game, but have you seen enough from Hurts where you would be comfortable going into Atlanta, that regular season opener, without him playing in that final game? (Jeff Skversky)
NICK SIRIANNI: Next week we have two practices against the Jets and two other practices, so, again, we’ll evaluate how he’s feeling the next couple days. Again, we get two practices against the Jets. I’ve said before, those are like games. Those intersquad practices are like games, so he is going to be able to get two more there. I’m pretty confident that we’ll get a lot of good work against the Jets.
Q. What did you think of WR DeVonta Smith’s debut tonight? (Martin Frank)
NICK SIRIANNI: Yeah, you know, looked like he was a little antsy at first. Dropped a couple balls, and he was a little late with his eyes on the deep ball that [QB] Joe [Flacco] threw him. He made a couple plays there. That’s what happens with young wideouts. They have to play and go through the ups and downs a little bit, and the preseason is for that to happen.
He ran a good route on that return route on a third down. Thought he ran a couple other good routes, too. Again, we will look at the tape to see totally how he played, but I’m glad he got in there and was able to play a good, meaningful first half and take a couple hits and have to go against some of those tight coverage looks he had to get.
Q. What’s the rationale behind playing RB Miles Sanders tonight after sitting him last week? (Ed Kracz)
NICK SIRIANNI: Yeah, we wanted to make sure that he got a couple carries in the preseason. Last week with how he felt last week and how he felt this week, we felt like — last week it was our decision as a team not to play him, and this week we were like, ‘He needs to get a couple carries,’ and he did. He looked good on those couple carries.
Q. Getting back to Jalen Hurts for a second, at the hospital I assume they ruled out anything serious. What did they leave you with? What did they tell you now he’s dealing with? (Mike Garafolo)
NICK SIRIANNI: Yeah, just a stomach infection, stomach bug that was going on, that was causing some pressure in his stomach.
Q. Did he stay at the hospital? You’re not sure if he went home? (Sal Paolantonio)
NICK SIRIANNI: He’s not still at the hospital. I do know that. I just don’t know if he came back to the stadium. I’m assuming he did to get the car. I didn’t see him after in the locker room.
So, yeah, that’s about all the information I have on that.
Q. Would he have played if it was a regular season game, Nick? (Bo Wulf)
NICK SIRIANNI: You know, I think that’s hard to say. He really wanted to play. He really wanted to play, and we decided that that just wasn’t in the best interest of the team and of him.
So, I think that’s just a hypothetical. It’s hard to say. He was trying to — he was fighting me in playing tonight. I know he would’ve wanted to, but that’s where you have to lean on the doctors, too, and make a decision, and that’s what we did.
Q. Just to clarify on the offensive line, going into the game, after you said you decided this yesterday, it was going to be just the two starters? (Jeff McLane)
NICK SIRIANNI: I didn’t say that. I just said we were still thinking through all that. We were going to — we were thinking they were going to probably play, and then with Jalen’s thing we decided to give them a rest as well.
Q. So when you knew Jalen wasn’t going to play, that’s when you decided? (Jeff McLane)
NICK SIRIANNI: That’s right.
Q. First series today, you came out, second snap with 21 personnel. You’ve said several times that the running backs are going to be a big part of this passing game. Once the regular season starts, are we going to see a lot more of that than you’ve shown in the preseason so far? (Paul Domowitch)
NICK SIRIANNI: Yeah, again, one of our biggest advantages is that people don’t know exactly what we’re going to do. We look at all the personnel groupings. We definitely want to be 11, 12, and we want to be in 21, and 13. The more things you can do and more times you can run your base plays out of different personnel sets the harder you are on a defense.
But I think we have those personnel sets to be able to do that, most importantly. You don’t want to do those things unless you have the guys able to do them. I think all those personnels I just mentioned, we have players in those roles that we think we can use in those scenarios.
Q. Have you been impressed with RB Kenneth Gainwell and what he’s shown as a pass catcher? (Paul Domowitch)
NICK SIRIANNI: I have. Yeah, I have. I have a lot.
Q. I recognize you’re not playing your top guys and you’re not showing much, but in the past six quarters you’ve been outscored 52-nothing. How do you view the big picture? (Zach Berman)
NICK SIRIANNI: Yeah, obviously you want to go out and win every time you take the field, and just because we’re not playing our starters or showing some of our looks doesn’t mean — that’s not an excuse. We have to execute better, play with better fundamentals, coach better, and put them in better position to make plays.
Q. You kind of emphasize competition, and then we see the emphasis on the joint practices and maybe not as much on this game. How do you reconcile that? (Dave Zangaro)
NICK SIRIANNI: You know, again, just every time you step out there it’s not like just because of who we played or what we ran, doesn’t mean we’re not competing. Every time we step on the field, we want to compete our tails off, and today’s game was no exception.
Q. What’s your message to the team after this type of game? (Ed Kracz)
NICK SIRIANNI: It was that in the NFL, right, you look at our practice this week, we had a good day on Monday. Tuesday, we competed pretty hard against the Patriots, and today wasn’t good enough. The message was this is like a season, right. You have to stack practices on top of each other, stack quarters on top of each other, stack plays on top of each other, stack games on top of each other. So, it’s not good enough to come out, play a good game one day, compete the next day and play a little bit better than okay and play bad the third day. That’s just not going to work in this league, and that was a good example for our guys to see that’s just not what we do.
We have to come out and play every day and compete every day.