Q. What’s the G Brandon Brooks update? (Zach Berman)
NICK SIRIANNI: There’s no change there, he’s continuing to progress. If his status changes, I’ll let you guys know.
Q. How about your other injured players, I have a list here, QB Jalen Hurts, RB Miles Sanders, RB Jordan Howard? (Dave Zangaro)
NICK SIRIANNI: All trending upwards and we’ll see how the week continues to go. Again, not going to make – we’re hopeful for all those guys and we’ll see how the week goes. Today is a walk-through like it has been every other Wednesday. We’re kind of settling into this schedule, so probably think we will have more on that definitely on Friday.
Q. Is it your expectation that Jalen Hurts will be able to take the practice reps this week? (Bo Wulf)
NICK SIRIANNI: Again, we’ll see. We’re going to do what we need to do in walk-through today with how we divvy up the reps. Like last walk-through, both [QB] Gardner [Minshew] and [QB] Jalen [Hurts] got reps and we’ll do the same thing today and we’ll see how everything goes tomorrow.
Q. You mentioned settling into the schedule. Is this the way it’s going to be the rest of the season, or is that still a fluid thing? (John McMullen)
NICK SIRIANNI: As far as what we’ve been doing, yeah, Thursday and Friday have been normal Thursdays and Fridays and then Wednesday has been that walk-through. While we’re in December – I know that was something we talked about with a later bye of what we were doing, and now that we’re in December we’re going to continue with that.
Q. With the spike in COVID cases around the league, what have you done, if anything, differently this week? (Tim McManus)
NICK SIRIANNI: We’re very aware obviously of everything that’s going on and we’re taking precaution of what we’re doing. I’m not going to get into everything that we’ve done that’s different, but we’re taking precaution to make sure that we have a competitive advantage over other teams.
Q. How does that apply to the quarterbacks? Do you keep them separate in case of an outbreak? (Tim McManus)
NICK SIRIANNI: Again, you try to keep everybody separate and we did a little shuffling of our meeting rooms, but you try to keep everybody separate and they’re no different. We didn’t send one of them home or anything like that. But we have space in our meetings that we feel comfortable with.
Q. Do you guys feel you kind of have an advantage because you’re coming off the bye week, so everybody who came back in the building was tested first, so there’s less of a chance of a spread? (Martin Frank)
NICK SIRIANNI: I’m just fortunate that we came back in and that we didn’t have a lot of guys that tested positive after being on a bye week and being out and about. So obviously, credit to the guys that they were safe when they were out. They were cautious about what they were doing.
I know we’ve got a couple guys on protocol right now, but credit to the guys how they handled the bye week and handled the precautions.
Q. As far as you, if something were to happen to you, coaching wise is there a plan for who would be taking your place? (Ed Kracz)
NICK SIRIANNI: Yeah, of course. Again, I don’t need to get into everybody. We have a plan for everybody. We have a plan if the quarterback goes down and our backup quarterback plays. Same thing with play caller, they’ll handle the duties there as the head coach. But yes, of course we have a plan for everything there.
Q. When you’re trying to assess the opponent, who they’re going to have available, do you know who’s vaccinated on Washington and things like that? (Les Bowen)
NICK SIRIANNI: I do not.
Q. Have you tried to find out? (Les Bowen)
NICK SIRIANNI: Obviously, we know if a guy is not vaccinated, then he’s got to wait longer than another guy. We just have to prepare for – again, you just don’t know when a guy is going to get back, so we’re going to prepare — it just puts you in a little more situation. Just like with [Washington WR Terry] McLaurin. You’ve got to prepare for McLaurin to play. I won’t get into the COVID stuff, but you have to prepare for McLaurin to play with him being in the protocol. And you’ve got to do the same thing with guys that have the COVID issues, as well, because you just don’t want to – again, I talk about not leaving any stone unturned. You don’t want to be like, ‘All right, McLaurin is not playing.’ You don’t do the homework on him and then you get bit by it.
So, I treat it the same way with the COVID stuff.
Q. Did you come out of the bye after watching some of these games with any kind of different revelation on head coaching and decision making? (Jeff McLane)
NICK SIRIANNI: Not anything new. We spend so much time in doing that each week. Now, I’m not able to sit on my couch and do it each week where I sit there and physically watch the games, but I have guys on the staff that bring me all the situations each week, and we put ourselves through the ringer every Friday, every Saturday. We do it Thursday and Friday as coaches, Saturday as a team where we put ourselves through all the different scenarios that come up throughout a week.
It’s just, again, it’s not me picking some of those — in this week I was able to be like, ‘Hey, put that on the coaches’ cut and then this one on the players’ cut for this week’ because I was able to watch it.
There’s not a lot new that’s surprising us this late in the year, and so there was nothing — just because of the hard work and preparation that we’ve done to this point.
But there were definitely a ton of teachable moments of what happened in the games, starting Thursday night, then going to the Army-Navy game and then going to the rest of it. Even some of the 1-AA stuff. I know it’s not called that anymore, but again — and I watched Mount Union. We were doing our family stuff, and I had the stroller right here and I had the Mount Union game on right here. Now, we lost, which is a bummer, but I was able to watch that, and things popped up there.
Any time you watch football — this is why I love the sport so much. Any time you watch it, there’s always something new to be learned.
Q. With the opportunity to move into a wildcard spot this weekend and playoffs right there, what is your message to the team? (John Clark)
NICK SIRIANNI: One game at a time, don’t think about the playoffs. One game at a time, and one day at a time. It’s what are we doing, again, to put ourselves in position to win this week. You can’t think about who we play after this. You can’t think about that we play them again in two weeks. You can’t think about the last game that we have. It’s only about this week.
It goes into when you watch games, you find yourself watching games, of course like when we were watching games this week, I was rooting for certain teams. I was rooting for more AFC teams than NFC teams when they played. But you can’t control that. You’re just sitting there and just watching. The only thing we can control is what we do each and every day. You can’t get too ahead of yourself. How are we going to win this game this week? It’s going to be by going out there and having a great detailed walk-through and detailed meetings today.
Q. You guys cleaned up a lot of your mistakes, penalties and things like that. You’re playing better football than you were early in the year. With this crucial stretch coming up where you can be in control, how much do you continue to stress those details and the margin for error is obviously slim? (Jeff Skversky)
NICK SIRIANNI: Yeah, you stay — does it always go this way? No. But whatever you emphasize, I feel like you get better at. That’s obviously something that we emphasize and we’re going to continue to emphasize and just every little detail, and the penalties is no different.
Q. You guys obviously don’t have a lot of COVID cases, you’ve been relatively healthy this season. What has it been about this medical staff coming from other environments that has impressed you or that is different than what you’ve seen prior? (Jeff McLane)
NICK SIRIANNI: I think it’s just a group effort by the trainers and the strength staff and the doctors, and just the knowledge of the doctors. Obviously, I’m getting to see it a lot more. In Indy or San Diego or Kansas City I’m not sitting in the medical meetings.
What’s cool to be able to see is just the amount of the collaboration of everything, the thought that goes into everything, and the detail that goes into everything. It’s almost like it’s the same as a draft process or it’s the same as getting ready for a week. I think we have really detailed doctors, trainers and strength staff.
That’s what’s been cool. I can’t completely compare it because I just wasn’t involved as much, but I just know how much detail and knowledge that this medical staff has.
Q. Back to Jalen Hurts for a second, what’s the rationale behind splitting reps today between he and QB Gardner Minshew? (Tim McManus)
NICK SIRIANNI: I don’t know exactly what’s going to happen, just like I didn’t know last week exactly what was going to happen. You want to make sure that you’re covered if one guy can’t play. So that’s it.
Q. With the extra time to review the offense, what have you seen out of WR DeVonta Smith, and what stood out to you in his performance the first 13 weeks? (Mike Kaye)
NICK SIRIANNI: Just him being a playmaker and the playmaker that we thought he was. He’s just done a great job when we’ve targeted him. Made plays in timely spots. Has been able to win one-on-one. We know the routes we feel really good about him winning one-on-one. We know routes where he needs to work at more. But yeah, just obviously excited that we have him on our team and that we have a go-to wide receiver like we have in DeVonta.
Q. Would you say you’re encouraged by where Jalen Hurts is today with the ankle compared to when he left last week? (Reuben Frank)
NICK SIRIANNI: Yeah, because just the time difference and everything like that. Again, I was hopeful two weeks ago at this time that he was going to play. Now, he didn’t end up playing obviously as we know, but time is healing it, and again, we go back to our doctors, our trainers and our strength staff, we have good people in there working on him and getting him a little bit better each day.
Q. If WR Quez Watkins can’t play, what’s the plan at receiver this week? (Dave Zangaro)
NICK SIRIANNI: Obviously, we have five receivers that we’ve had that we feel confident in getting them the football, so it’s just next man up, and we’ll see how practice goes this week of who we’re going to bring up from the practice squad.