Nick Sirianni

On if the mistakes made in Sunday’s game were a reflection of the moment being too big:

“We know that you can’t make mistakes like that in the playoffs against a really good football team, and we did. I don’t want to say the moment got too big for them, I just think we made some mistakes. Coaching – it always starts with me as a coach – there were some coaching mistakes and there is going to be guys who will want some plays back out there. I didn’t sense for a moment that the moment was too big for them, it was a great atmosphere here, but I never felt that out there. We just didn’t make some plays and we didn’t coach well enough at the end of the day.”


On making adjustments in the run game vs. Tampa Bay’s rush defense:

“Well again, anytime they score 17 points early on and the offense has zero points, you’re not putting your guys in a position make plays. We had to do a better job at that. I thought the defensive gameplan for Tampa was pretty good, with some of the run blitzes they had on. We would have liked to have some more runs early on, but you have to adjust to the way they’re blitzing off the edge, and some of the answers sometimes is just spit a look out off to the side. I think there were probably four or five runs that we spit it out to the perimeter because of their run blitz and then they did a good job of rallying to it. I take that responsibility – we weren’t good enough with our answers against some of the run blitzes.”


On the performance of QB Jalen Hurts:

“Obviously, I need to go back and watch the tape. We weren’t as crisp as we needed to be on offense. I think there were some good zone-read things that he did and read it pretty well. A couple of the early things that happened – like the early third downs – weren’t necessarily his fault of what happened. Again, I’ll have to watch the tape through it. It’s not going to come out as his best-graded game, and it’s not going to come out as a lot of our guys’ best-graded game, so I’ll have to watch the tape to get further answers. Again, just not a crisp game, and that always starts with me as the head coach and on the quarterback – we’re always going to take responsibility for that.”


On the feeling in the locker room after the game:

“It definitely hurts because the goal is never just to get to the playoffs. The goal is to get in and do some damage in there. That was everybody’s mindset. We were confident coming in, and that was our mindset that we were going to do that. And whenever it doesn’t go as planned and the season ends in playoffs, it’s even harder because then it’s just over. It’s going to hurt. I have always appreciated about the football season that it’s a journey and you have to appreciate the journey you went through together as a football team – the meetings, the practices, the training camp practices, the training camp up in New York against the Jets – just all the things that built us into the 2021 Eagles. You get sad and start to feel sad because it’s over. You’re so happy that the journey happened, and the relationships that were built, but it hurts, and it stings because that journey of the 2021 Eagles is over, and that team will never be the same again. There will be changes. Never does a team look exactly the same as it did the year before. I just think it’s a special group of guys and you’re sad because the journey is over and hopefully you get as many of those special guys back as you can, because the whole group is special. I said to the guys, the foundation – when we stepped in here, the foundation was very solid to begin with and we just continued to grow it. I’m grateful for that, and it’ll just be hard that we’re not game-planning for next week with our offensive and defensive game plans and we’re not with the guys. So, that’s what hurts and stings about it.”


On what Tampa did defensively to limit Philadelphia’s offensive production, specifically WR DeVonta Smith:

“Early on, you always want to get your playmakers going as early as you can, but again the defense dictates some of that and the amount of plays we had dictates some of that. We really didn’t have a good drive until our third or fourth drive, where it was a sustained drive. But no doubt, that’s my job to get DeVonta [Smith] going earlier because he’s a heck of a football player. And of course we want to get him going, but there’s different things that play into that, but I’ll accept that. That starts with me, regardless of how the drives are going. We definitely have to get him going earlier and he wasn’t a part of it early. There were some things called to him and the defense early on forced the ball to go somewhere else. You want to get him going, but you also don’t want to force to him with what they’re doing.”


On the muffed punt by WR Jalen Reagor in the third quarter:

“Well, the muffed punt right there, the wind messed with him a little earlier in the game, and it looked like he came up. Again, I’ll have to look at the tape to see exactly what happened and I’m going to the defense to try and help get that thing going, so I didn’t have a chance to talk to [Michael] Clay about it, but obviously I saw it. It looked like he misjudged it and it came back. Whenever you have a mistake or something like that, that’s a big mistake, you always are going to be like ‘Hey, what’s the next approach? Does Greg Ward go back there?’ Well Greg Ward had back spasms and he was out, so we would’ve explored that option. He got another opportunity and made a good play, but then he made a mistake again on that. He’s going to want those plays back, and we’ll get back to the drawing board and fix those things, but as far as why we stuck with Jalen, I’m glad he made a play after that. Again, not happy with the one he made after the play, but it was more so about Greg being out.”


On the offensive approach to continue running the ball, despite trailing early in the game:

“I know what you’re getting at there as far as being a run-first team, it’s hard to be down 17 points, but I think what you’ve seen from our offense the entire year is that we’re an explosive offense, even though we are a run-first offense. I didn’t feel the stress until we went down maybe 24. I felt like we could play our game still, where we were mixing it — maybe passing it just a little bit more, but the explosive plays weren’t there today. Again, anytime the explosive plays aren’t there, I’m always going to put myself in that situation first. I’ll have to see the numbers of what we were, but some of our explosive plays came when we were down, and they were playing a little bit softer. I didn’t feel that press until we were down maybe 24-0.”


On his final thoughts on QB Jalen Hurts’ performance in today’s game and over the course of the season:

“Again, we’re all going to say for today’s game he didn’t play his best game, as we all know. But you don’t take the body of work that he had for 17 weeks – and I know he didn’t play two games, so 15 weeks – and put everything on this game. I know we’re all judged on the last game that we play, I understand that and fully get that, but I felt like Jalen grew throughout the year and he got better as a passer, and he got better reading the defenses, getting the ball to the right place. He developed so much in his ability to extend plays of not only making plays with his feet, but also making plays downfield on the scramble. I know the one today, he scrambled and threw the interception. He had some other scrambles that were good throws. So, I feel really good with what we have in place right here at the quarterback position. I thought he had a great year and he came a long way, and that’s what I expect from Jalen because of the type of football character he has, the type of character he has, the toughness that he has, the love for football that he has. I can’t say enough good things about Jalen the person and the player, so I feel good about him. I know again, this wasn’t the game that any of us are going to be satisfied with – me, him, multiple guys on that football team, but I’m really pleased with how he came along this year, and the leader he is on this football team.”


On the slow start in a crucial game:

“You never want to start slow, regardless of who you’re playing because in this league,  anybody can beat you at any time. You know there’s less margin of error in the playoffs. That is something that we definitely talked about. The assignment and the technique that happened, those are important no matter what game – game one through seventeen. The assignment and techniques are super important, but it becomes even more important when the playoffs come. The mistakes get amplified. You can’t turn the ball over three times like we did today and beat a quarterback like Tom Brady or a team like the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, or a coach like Bruce Arians or a coach like Todd Bowles. You can’t do that, and so those mistakes just get amplified as you get into this style of football.”


On why the defense had trouble stopping opposing quarterbacks this season:

“Well, I think that we definitely got better as far as going through challenging a little bit more, getting our rush home a little bit more, pressuring a little bit more. I think the defensive coaches made good adjustments as the year went on, so it wasn’t the same… It may have been quarterback completion percentage-wise as the year went on, but it’s not like it was the same bullets that were flying at those quarterbacks. We, Coach [Jonathan] Gannon and I talked through it, being where we were in completion percentage – that doesn’t sit well with us. We played some good quarterbacks too, but again, it should never be that high. It’s not our standard of what we want it to look like, but credit to Tom Brady. He has seen everything that you could imagine, and he was on it today.”