Q. A couple injury things. How did C Jason Kelce come out, what do you know about his status? Are you confident RB Jordan Howard will be available? You didn’t put him on IR, are you confident you’ll have him when you get back? And the weekly anything new with G Brandon Brooks question, do you anticipate having him maybe when you get back? (Reuben Frank)
COACH SIRIANNI: [C] Jason [Kelce] — obviously, everybody holds their breath when something like that happens to Jason. Got good, positive news back on him today. So, I’m not going to put a timetable on anybody, as you guys know, but we’re hopeful after the bye, he’ll be ready to go.
Same thing with [RB] Jordan Howard. Again, not going to put a timetable on anything, but we’re hopeful. We know that his rehab is progressing and he’s doing better each day.
And, again, I’ll have more information after the bye week there with [G] Brandon Brooks.
Q. Couple other guys got nicked up, I guess, as well. CB Steven Nelson, LB Patrick Johnson; any updates on those guys? And also, Eagles Offensive Line Coach/Run Game Coordinator Jeff Stoutland, if you have anything you can add or where Stout is right now? (John McMullen)
COACH SIRIANNI: Yeah, [LB] Patrick [Johnson] and [CB] Steven [Nelson], they should be good after the bye. With [Eagles Offensive Line Coach/Run Game Coordinator Jeff Stoutland], yeah, he was in today. He was in just like normal today, so seems like completely back to himself.
I’ll let him answer those questions about anything, when you guys talk to him, you can ask him those. I don’t want to put his business out there.
But he was back on the sideline for the second half. I was sure glad to see him, and he was back at work today rearing and ready to go.
He’s really important to this coaching staff and this team. He’s the best offensive line coach I’ve ever been around and just excited that he’s here and he’s healthy and he’s on this staff.
Q. With all the QB Gardner Minshew questions yesterday, we didn’t get a chance to ask you about the defense. What kind of changed in the second half? Do you think a lot of it was a result of the fact that the offense just had the ball for so long and kept them off the field? I think it was like 22-to-8 as far as time of possession was concerned. (Martin Frank)
COACH SIRIANNI: Yeah, that time of possession thing goes both ways. Yeah, it’s one because of how the offense is playing, but also the defense is forcing three and outs – or forcing them to punt.
I thought the defense did a really nice job. After that third possession where they went down and scored, I thought they did a really good job of adjusting what they needed to adjust to put our guys in position to succeed, and the guys did a good job handling the adjustments and going from there.
So, again, the first three series didn’t go at all how we wanted it to go, but they really had that dog mentality that, ‘Hey, brush it off and just play the next play.’ They really played awesome defense from there on out.
Sometimes it’s like that, right? You never want to be like that, I get it, but sometimes it is, and you want to be able to win every different way in this league.
So, we were able to start slow on defense yesterday and finish fast. That was good to see.
Q. After watching the tape – we obviously saw that TE Dallas Goedert was super productive yesterday, but what do you think made him so effective? And how did he step up from a leadership standpoint with QB Jalen Hurts sidelined? (Mike Kaye)
COACH SIRIANNI: [TE] Dallas [Goedert] had the big, long play, you just saw his speed going through the middle. And sometimes, you get him matched up on those linebackers or safeties on the inside and he is fast. He can really, really run.
You saw what he did when he got matched up with [Jets LB C.J.] Mosley there yesterday on that vertical route. So, that was really good to see.
And then just be able to get the ball in his hands on some screens, some easy touches. This guy is a monster when he gets the ball in his hands. He’s big, he’s strong, he’s hard to tackle.
So, if we can get the ball – and I think our guys, our offensive linemen are good in the screen game, so if we can get those guys out in front of him and make these defensive backs tackle him in space, that’s what we wanted to do.
And so, any time you have a guy down, it’s like, ‘Who is going to step up?’ Obviously, [QB] Gardner [Minshew] did a great job of stepping up and in when [QB] Jalen [Hurts] was down
Especially at that quarterback spot, you want everybody to step up around it, too. You want the offensive line to play good, you want the defense to play good, you want special teams to play well, and that’s where I saw his leadership abilities.
Like, he stepped up and made plays for a guy that was starting his first game for the year.
Q. WR DeVonta Smith took his lowest percentage of snaps this season and he took the third most of wide receivers; why was that? (Zach Berman)
COACH SIRIANNI: You know, with a couple of the things we had in that game – we were in 13-personnel and we were running some good things out of 13-personnel and we were having some success in the run game and in the play-action game. And with who we wanted in there on 13-personnel with what we were asking them to do in 13-personnel, that was [WR Jalen] Reagor. That’s where Reagor got a lot of those snaps.
And so that’s just the way it went. Not going to apologize, we didn’t punt until the last series of the game and so that’s just the way it went that game and that’s the flow sometimes. So, that’s kind of why it went that way, though.
Q. So no injury with him? (Zach Berman)
COACH SIRIANNI: No. He’s good. He’s feeling good. Be good to get a bye week there to get him even more rested and see him be even faster coming back off the bye.
Q. What’s the schedule going to be like this week for your coaching staff and for the players and then next week when you guys reconvene? (Jeff McLane)
COACH SIRIANNI: Players, we work today, brought them in today. Going to let them be off the rest of the week. Again, we’re in a late bye here, so I think it’s really important that they step away, especially get their bodies right.
But I know a lot of their minds are going to be thinking about coming back and playing – all of us.
I’m going to do the same thing for the coaches. We’re going to work tomorrow as coaches and Wednesday will be up in the air about what we are going to do. But I want our coaches to get away so we’re fresh and ready to go and rearing to go when we get back in.
But at the end of the day, we’re going to be away, but I know, like I said, we’re football guys. We’re going to think about football. We’re going to watch football when we’re away. I’m going to go to my son’s flag football game on Wednesday and watch some football there. I am going to watch the Thursday night game with the Steelers and the Vikings. I’m going to watch football all week. I am going to watch the Army-Navy game on Saturday. That’s who I am and that’s what I like to do.
And so, we’ll be away and recharging, but I know our guys – I know we’ll be on the group text with the coaches or the players and talking about plays that are happening in the games that we’re watching that week. [Jokingly] I don’t know how many coaching points I’ll have from my six-year old’s flag football game, but if there is something to learn, we’ll learn from it.
Q. You have a bunch of rookies contributing this year. How real is the rookie wall, and how do you try to prevent that and make sure they’re productive down the stretch? (Dave Zangaro)
COACH SIRIANNI: Yeah, that’s a good question. I think the rookie wall is usually happening a little bit earlier if it would’ve happened, so I don’t put much into it.
I know things like that if you talk about more, I think you kind of bring it to fruition a little bit more, so we don’t really do a lot of talking about it.
But I feel like the way we are handling our guys, not just the rookies but everybody, as we are handling guys throughout the year, we’ve went to walk-throughs on Wednesday, right, that way we can have our Thursday and Friday practice the same way.
And so, I know that helps us in a long season. So, it’s not just about the rookies. It’s about helping all of them. But we know we’re getting really good contribution from our rookies, so we want to continue that.
We’re always thinking about the players’ health first and foremost and how we can keep them fast and physical and aggressive throughout the entire year. Obviously, that’s a group effort with myself, the strength and conditioning staff, and our training staff and doctors and [Eagles Executive Vice President/General Manager] Howie [Roseman].
Q. In 2018 when you were with the Indianapolis Colts you guys started off really slow and then you went on that run and be able to make the playoffs. You guys are in a similar situation now. Do you take anything away from that scenario to use for this year? How similar are the teams, not just like personnel, but on and off the field? (Chris Franklin)
COACH SIRIANNI: Yeah, you know what you take from it is that you can’t win all your games in one week. We had that 1-0 mentality in Indy, and I’m going to think the same way here. What are we going to do to beat the Washington Football Team? That’s our first and foremost goal.
Obviously get your bodies right here, but what are you going to do to be 1-0? That’s kind of the mentality we have about our process, about how we go through the week, how we put ourselves in position to go 1-0 each week. Not thinking too far ahead. Learning from your past mistakes, past successes, but not thinking about those but being completely in the moment.
That’s been the similarity I believe is just staying in the moment of one game at a time, one game at a time, one play at a time over and over and over again.
So that’s the major similarities. I felt like we were a team that was tough in Indianapolis. I felt like that was kind of like we became tough in Indianapolis. That’s how I felt in that 2018 season. We became tough.
I believe this team was tough from the beginning because of leaders we have on this team and the guys that have been here in the past. I just think that’s showing up over and over again that we’re a tough, hard-nosed football team that is winning games up front on the offensive and defensive line.
Q. You’re going to come back from the bye no worse than a game out of a wildcard spot and possibly even tied for the sixth seed in the NFC. How far ahead of schedule are you guys from when you came in here and essentially took over a team that was rebuilding? I know you like to use the word retooling, but how far ahead of schedule are you? (Rob Maaddi)
COACH SIRIANNI: I think obviously I would like to be in better shape. There are some games out there that we feel like we could have got earlier in the year that we didn’t.
But our job is to try to win every single game, so my mind is in a mindset of whatever we got to do to win each and every game, that’s what we’re going to do. And so, I don’t want to look at it as ahead of schedule. All I really care about is getting a little bit better each day.
I know you’re not going to go like this [motioning hand straight upwards] each day where you’re just shooting up the charts, but can we just do this [motioning hand upwards diagonally] each day.
I think the teams that do just get a little bit better every day, and we have a formula of how we want to do that. It’s not just a blind statement of, ‘Hey, get a little bit better every day,’ and we leave it at that.
We have a formula of how we want to do this, and for the teams that do that, that puts you on schedule of being the best team that you can be that year with the guys and the coaches and the players that you have on that team.
And so, I like the progression we’re on, because I do believe that that’s what we’ve done each day, is just getting a little bit better.
That’s been the message, and we got some great leaders on this team that enforce that message.
Q. What did you think of Jets LB C.J. Mosley’s comments that you guys disrespected them to some capacity, and did you see the video of Gardner celebrating with his dad? What was your reaction to that? (Bo Wulf)
COACH SIRIANNI: Obviously, I’m really close with my dad, and so to see Gardner be able to celebrate with his dad like that after a game, that hit me. That was kind of special to me just because I know how close I am with my dad. That was a really cool video.
I really like seeing stuff like that. Sometimes you feel like you see too much of the negative stuff and you don’t see stuff like that. To be able to see that and see him have that moment with his dad, that’s pretty cool. That’s pretty special.
And as far as C.J. Mosley’s comments, obviously we always just want to be respectful to our opponents. I did like Fletch’s [DT Fletcher Cox] response to that they didn’t shake hands, well at least they hugged before the game. So, I thought that was clever by Fletch.
But we respect the Jets. I do believe we respect every opponent we play. I have a ton of respect for Coach Saleh [Jets head coach Robert Saleh] and the job he’s doing. I want to continue to have that relationship with him. We know similar people. I want to continue to practice against them in training camp. I think that was good for both sides to be able to do that, and so just want to keep that relationship going.
But I understand that frustrations happen out there. No other comments than that right there.
Q. Seems like OL Landon Dickerson has been playing at a pretty high level. Curious what you’ve seen out of him of late, and if there is any kind of comparison from an offensive lineman you’ve watched or been around for Landon? (Tim McManus)
COACH SIRIANNI: Landon, I think you see him kind of getting a little bit better each week. That happens. When you’re a young player particularly you can make some big strides there. You kind of look at it like he’s not really a rookie anymore because we’re almost past ten games that he’s played. And so, he’s just continuing to get better.
I think there are some — I know this is high praise, but I do see some of the physical movements that kind of like [Colts C/G] Quenton Nelson had. There are some things that I see and I’m like, ‘That looked like Quenton right there.’ Obviously, I think Quenton is a great football player, so that’s a high praise, because Quenton has done a lot for me in my career in the teams that I’ve been on.
But I do see that every once in a while where I’m like, ‘Hey, that movement looked like Quenton right there,’ as comp goes. I just see Landon playing tough and playing physical and playing nasty, right? Which is what you want out of your offensive line. So, he’s getting more confident, more comfortable being on that offensive line, and he’s got one of the best centers to ever play this game next to him helping him through it. What an opportunity for him to play alongside [C] Jason Kelce and help him through that first year and forward.
Then also being able to have combination blocks with [T] Jordan Mailata. He’s huge, and so now you get those two huge bodes on the left side working combination blocks, whether that’s on the front side of a run, which you saw on the touchdown run by [RB] Kenny [Gainwell] working a combination block into the linebacker, or whether that’s on the backside of a run where they’re working that combination block.
So, he’s got two good guys to work with alongside him, too, and obviously Coach Stout is a great coach that is continuing to develop him along.