Q. Can you provide an update on RB Miles Sanders, RB Jordan Howard, C/G Nate Herbig, S K’Von Wallace and G Brandon Brooks? (Mike Kaye)
NICK SIRIANNI: Yeah, I’ll go through them one at a time. So, [C/G] Nate [Herbig] had a knee sprain. He could have returned if we needed him to.
[RB] Jordan Howard, MRI came back good and we’re hopeful. I’m not going to put any timetables on anybody, but we’re hopeful for Jordan.
[RB] Miles [Sanders] did break his hand and, obviously, he’ll be out this week and then we will re-evaluate after a week. We are hopeful we can get him back at some point this season, so he will not be going to IR.
[S] K’Von Wallace had a hip pointer, he should be fine.
And the last one with [G Brandon] Brooks, no new update.
Q. QB Jalen Hurts only had two carries yesterday. Wonder if that was just the game plan? Was that just kind of protecting his ankle? And what does it say about his development as a passer that he’s able to win a game like he did with just two runs? (Ed Kracz)
NICK SIRIANNI: Yeah, and that was actually similar to the game last week, right, with how he played having two quarterback ratings over 100 and not doing it a lot with his legs.
So, I think it says a lot about his development and what he’s done. But no surprise there. [QB] Jalen [Hurts] works like crazy to get better and he’s just getting better each week.
And so, you’re going to have some down games here and there. I know he’ll always want that first Giants game back, but these last two games have been really good for him.
As far as our plan, yeah, a little bit is what the defense was giving us and a little bit was just being extra careful with his ankle, but I think we’re past that point. I think we’re able to be able to do anything he needs to do for us to win the football game, so that means just playing how we need to play to win.
So, I don’t see there being any restrictions moving forward.
Q. With the NFL hiring cycle about to get started here again, it seems like Eagles Defensive Coordinator Jonathan Gannon’s name is already starting to come up. First off, how do you think he would be as a head coach? And secondly, have you given much thought to how you want to handle these situations as a head coach, as some of your staff might get interest elsewhere? (Dave Zangaro)
NICK SIRIANNI: Yeah, that’s a good question. I think [Eagles Defensive Coordinator] Jonathan [Gannon] would be an awesome head coach. I really wouldn’t want to make a joke right there and be like, ‘He’d be terrible,’ because I really want to keep him here because I think so highly of him.
But I think he would be awesome, again, for the same reasons that I hired him to be the defensive coordinator would be the same reasons I think he would be a really good head coach.
So, obviously, when people on your staff and people in the building are getting opportunities like that or get mentioned like that, that means you’re doing some good things.
And so that’s the plan. That’s what you always want as a coach, for your coaches to get the opportunities because you’ve been doing well.
The way I would handle it is similar to kind of – I guess I go back to those situations I went through. I always wanted to make sure, obviously, that I got my work done for the team that I was currently working for before I did anything to get ready for any head coaching opportunities.
And so, I was really only presented with that chance one time in particular back in 2018 and there was a conflict between an interview and a game, and I just thought that that game, to our team, was more important than anything else.
So, my suggestion to our coaches has always been to make sure you’re ready before the season even starts for your head coaching opportunities. Again, because this is an experience that I was able to go through. That way when you’re in the season, your sole focus is on winning that football game and doing what we need to do to help the organization we’re in now. So, that’s my message to these guys.
Q. Can you give me your thoughts on LB TJ Edwards from an offensive perspective, what he’s added to your defense? It seems you guys really took off when he got placed in the middle there. Kind of wondering what your thoughts are and what he’s added to your team. (John McMullen)
NICK SIRIANNI: He plays with great physicality. He’s constantly ripping at the football. Very smart player. And so, the couple things that really stand out for me, again, as an as offensive coach looking at the defense is, hey, you’re going to get thumped when you go across the middle, you’re going to get thumped when you come through the backfield, and you better protect that football.
Again, I know the strip attempt – we’re not getting a ton of fumbles out, but they’re coming. And [LB] TJ [Edwards] is at the head of that because he’s constantly ripping at that football. So, those are the main things that stand out and I just think he’s playing really good football right now and he’s doing a great job leading the defense.
Q. Two really quick COVID-related questions if I can. No. 1, with your return, did you test negative upon return or do the new CT value of 35 or greater? (Tim McManus)
NICK SIRIANNI: Yes, both.
Q. Okay. So, the second one is, obviously, there is a pretty good surge going on right now. Are you doing anything further with your protocols, and have you rethought separating the quarterbacks at this point? (Tim McManus)
NICK SIRIANNI: We definitely did some different things that weren’t mandated a couple weeks ago and we’re going to continue with that. We are talking through it even more so as a staff today.
I talked to a couple other head coaches and tried to figure out what they’re doing because we all know – to win this game this week, we’re going to need all hands-on deck. And so, what is the best course of action? And, obviously, we’re talking to our doctors and our trainers to figure out the best course of attack.
And we’re going to make some adjustments. I’m not there 100% yet because I don’t have to be quite yet with the players not being back yet, but we’re going to definitely make even more adjustments than what we need to just to keep everybody safe.
And the quarterbacks, yes, the quarterbacks will be in separate rooms. We’re going to be even more safe with them being in separate rooms.
Q. Having watched the film, what were the plays that you and Jalen Hurts might want to have back in the first half? And very quickly, is there a LB Davion Taylor update to add to the list of injured guys? (Bo Wulf)
NICK SIRIANNI: Davion Taylor, no, I have no new update on him. But with Jalen and myself, yeah, there are going to be – there were a couple throws that I thought I was like, man, he missed that one. I think to the naked eye you could be like, man, he missed that one.
But there was a stop route on the boundary to [WR] Jalen Reagor, and he kind of skipped it to him. Well, when you look at it, the guy gets close to hitting his arm and he tips the ball, so that’s where that died.
And then there is a missed throw that to me in the game looked like he missed it on the flat route to [RB] Miles [Sanders]. If you guys know which one I’m talking about, it was early in the game, we were backed up, it was first quarter. It looked like he missed it to Miles.
On the second look at it, Miles’ angle was at eight yards and Jalen is throwing it to a spot at five yards because that’s exactly where Jalen is expecting him to be.
And so those were the two in the game. I’m like gosh, let’s go, let’s hit that right there. We need that. And neither of them were his fault.
So really my point of saying all that is the only two I really want back, because I thought he played – thought he was great with his decisions and doing things that he needed to do to help us win the game.
Only two I want back is the ball security that came out that [TE] Dallas Goedert was right there to recover, and then the one where he threw an interception that got overturned. So just those two of being careless with the football that I want back for him.
Otherwise, again, things that may have looked the like were Jalen’s fault were not Jalen’s fault. I think that’s important. Obviously [in the] outside world you’re not always going to know that and you’re not always going to know the other way either, when it was Jalen’s faults when it didn’t look like it was Jalen’s fault.
Those are the two. The ball security things are what we want back, and I’ll talk to him a little bit more later today.
Q. Is G Brandon Brooks’ absence related to injury or something else? (Jeff McLane)
NICK SIRIANNI: No new update right there. Still working through that pec strain.
Q. Does he have a chance to be back this season? (Jeff McLane)
NICK SIRIANNI: Again, no timetable. We’re playing each week, week by week and trying to figure it out.
Q. Whether it’s coincidence or not, you guys and the Colts have had similar in-season turnarounds here, and you were a part of this in Indy in past years as well. Is there anything to that, and how do you get it so your team is playing its best ball in December and January? (Zach Berman)
NICK SIRIANNI: Yeah, I think there is a lot to that in the sense that what [Colts head coach] Frank [Reich] was so good at preaching was how do we get – and I know you guys have heard me say this a million times – how do you get a little bit better each day.
That is our intensity at practice. It is our detail in walk-through and our full speed to the snap in walk-through, and our detail in meetings, starting with the coaches and then to the players.
And if you can be in this trajectory, or if you will, let your roots grow, your flower roots grow, right? But if you can be in that trajectory [motioning hand diagonally upwards] where you’re doing this a little bit more each day and you can truly live by that and just know that I’m not thinking about – right, I’m not thinking when the outside world might be thinking about playoffs, I’m thinking about how I’m going to get better today to get better tomorrow, the next day, the next day, so we can go 1-0 this week. It’s just staying in the moment and going a little bit at a time.
When you’re in this trajectory, I don’t think every team thinks that way. I know it doesn’t. I’ve been on different teams. And so, if you can get a little bit better and people level out at the end of the year, you’re going to pass teams up.
And so, I saw it work firsthand with Frank leading it that way, and, again, I always thought that was an unbelievable message regardless of the situation you’re in. Whether you start 2-5, or when we were in Indy and we started 1-5. I believe Indy this year might have been 1-4. I can’t remember exactly.
You just stay the course and chip away at it. Just like you can’t score if you’re down 17 points or – you can’t score a 17-point touchdown. Or in Frank’s case, right, I got the best guy to ever learn from there, if you’re down 30 – this 30 for 30 was just on – if you’re down 31 to 3 in the second half of the AFC Divisional round against Houston Oilers, you can’t score it all in one shot.
So, it’s just staying in the moment and going a little bit each time. I learned that a lot from Frank, and I know our guys believe in that and I know our coaches believe in that, and we just talk about it every day. What are we going to do to get a little bit better today to put us in a position to go 1-0 this week.
Q. Wanted to ask about RB Boston Scott. Here is a guy obviously didn’t play at all first six games on offense, and it seems like every time you need him to come in, he does the job for you. Obviously with Miles going to be out this Sunday, you know, RB Jordan Howard’s situation up in the air, how important does a guy like Boston Scott become to have on the team? And also, the running game in general, how important do you see that, especially in December and January, when playoff stuff is on the line? (Martin Frank)
NICK SIRIANNI: Yeah, for sure. Boston is a guy that has kind of just – every time he’s called upon, exactly what you’re saying, he has come through. We have no doubt that he’ll be able to do the same thing this week when called upon. He did it yesterday.
So, it’s great to be able to have that type of depth. I think when you really look at it, we got a good group of backs. We got four backs that I think a lot of teams would like to have.
I think there are a lot of teams out there are looking and being like, man, how do we get Boston Scott on our team? How do we get this type of group of backs that if there is an injury, we seamlessly don’t miss a beat when the next guy comes in.
Great credit to [Eagles Executive Vice President/General Manager] Howie [Roseman] and his staff of building that depth, and then just great credit to Boston knowing that he can make those plays and just being there and stepping in when he’s called upon.
And I know Boston wants even more opportunities and he deserves more opportunities. We are just a really deep group at back. When his number is called, which it will be more and more this week, I got no doubt he’s going to come through.
Then as far as running the ball, being able to run the football particularly in December, especially here in the Northeast, you got to be able to, right, because you just never – what a beautiful day we had yesterday, right? December 26, and to be able to have the sun shining like it was and everything, the temperature like it was.
We know that’s a – I grew up in the Northeast over there in Jamestown, New York. I know that’s a rarity at this time of the year.
And so, less bad things can happen when you hand the ball off, so we definitely need – especially when the weather is not the way you want it to be, so we definitely rely on that run game particularly this time of the year.
Q. The end result yesterday for Jalen Hurts was a passer rating over 100 and a pretty good game all-around. How much more do you learn about him though that he had to overcome that first half to get there as opposed to if it was consistent start to finish? Do you get more out of or learn more about his resiliency that way? (Rob Maaddi)
NICK SIRIANNI: Yeah, I don’t ever want to test it though with the starting slow or anything like that.
Again, he is a resilient guy. He’s able to fight through and stay in the moment. I think that’s what you want out of all your players. I know that’s what you want out of all your players. I kind of explained it earlier, too. To be able to put the ball – it was all about the ball and not – you know, having those things that happened early on in the game with the football where we were a little careless with the football, and then put that out and being able to move on, and he did the same thing in the Washington game.
Again, we can’t have that situation, but he has rebounded nicely. And then it goes back to his last game before these two games, these two 100 quarterback ratings plus, the last two games were his worst games, right? We all know that. The game he played against the Giants was his worst game of the year and see how he’s rebounded from that. So, it speaks so much. The guy has great character, great football character. Just what you want out your quarterback and one of your leaders.
Again, I didn’t think the first half was as bad as I initially thought, and I really wasn’t all – it was more about really the first quarter. I thought it was a little bit more than I thought, and then when you watch the tape – and it was as an offense – but when you watch the tape for the quarterback, it wasn’t as bad as I thought. It was just those two things that we talked about with the ball.
But, yeah, great resiliency from our quarterback, and that’s what you need because the rest of the guys will follow.