Q. Have you gotten any indication from C Jason Kelce on what his plans are for next season? (Eliot Shorr-Parks)
NICK SIRIANNI: We have been in communication, we’re hopeful. There has been no final decision made. The keg has been sent to his house, and I think it got delivered today courtesy of Lower Merion Beverages, so appreciate them helping out with that.
Q. With your offensive line, if Jason Kelce does decide to come back, at left guard and right guard you’ll have G Isaac Seumalo coming back, you’ll have T/G Jack Driscoll, you’ll have OL Landon Dickerson, obviously. I’m sure you’re going to say that’s a good problem to figure out, but do you have an idea of how those pieces might fall? (Geoff Mosher)
NICK SIRIANNI: Yeah, I mean, there are a lot of the things that are dependent on that, right? You have to go through the off-season, you have to go through all the things and everybody has to get back from injuries, get back into the swing of things, we’ll see where – we don’t have to make that decision for quite some time.
So it is, it’s – I was fortunate to come to a team that had great offense and defensive line depth and we had some bumps and bruises this year that we really needed to rely on that.
And so, it is a great problem to have, the depth that we have there. And I know a lot of guys are going to be able to play, ready to play and want to play and we’ll have to make a decision on who those guys are and what the right lineups are as we go through it.
Q. If Jason Kelce retires, is Landon kind of the lead guy to be the center? (Geoff Mosher)
NICK SIRIANNI: That’s a hypothetical scenario. Obviously, we think through everything, and we have some good options there. Again, we’re exploring even more options through free agency and through the draft. So, not something we have to decide right away, but feel like we have good options.
Q. Last time we talked to you was right after the season. As you’ve had some more time to look back at QB Jalen Hurts, the totality of his season as a starter, what did you make of it? (Dave Zangaro)
NICK SIRIANNI: We’re still going through that process of evaluating our season. It starts early on, and you go through the things of the write-ups of the players, what the needs are of the team, this and that. Then you start watching each individual cut-up of all your different concepts and different things that you did.
And as you watch more and more and as you think about it more and more, you’re just pleased with the progression that [QB] Jalen [Hurts] has made.
I think that’s common of who Jalen Hurts is as a player and as a quarterback, that he just continues to get better. Whether that’s from Alabama to Oklahoma or Oklahoma to his first year in the NFL or first year to second year. We just know that progression is going to continue.
It’s not just because we’ve seen the progression go like that, it’s because of the person that he is. He loves football. This guy loves football and he’s just willing to do the things that he needs to do to get better and that’s why he does continue to get better.
And guys like – he’s tough, he’s competitive, he has high football IQ, he has high general character in himself. And that’s what we’re looking for in the draft prospects that we are going through right now. Do these guys have these things this in their body or in their DNA? Because in our experience, those are the guys that reach their ceiling.
So, Jalen Hurts has all those things and he’s only going to continue to get better. When we looked at all our tape and we evaluated our tape – again, we’re still going through it – you can see the progression of him getting better throughout the year in different things.
He led us to the playoffs, and obviously, we want to go further than that and we’re really confident that Jalen is a guy that can help us do that.
Q. Has the rest of the playoffs, and the Super Bowl, and the passing offenses and the throwers changed or make you evaluate Jalen Hurts and the position any differently? (Jeff McLane)
NICK SIRIANNI: No. As you watch any high-level football at the end of the year, whether it’s the Super Bowl, the AFC or the NFC championship game, whether it’s the final four in the bowl series, or if it’s the state championship games, what you see is great offensive and defensive lines, and you see great quarterback play. I don’t think that’s a secret, and that’s what we see at all levels. We have a lot to improve on as an entire team, but like I said with the question earlier, I just see him continuing to grow.
And so, what you want him to do is you want to make good, accurate throws and good, quick decisions. I think [what] you see throughout the NFL is a common theme that is becoming even more common of quarterbacks playing long and continuing to play well. You saw that with Tom Brady, obviously, throughout his entire career. Had an unbelievable career and just continued to get better.
I was able to see that firsthand with Phillip Rivers. To come into the middle of his career and then just see him get better as I was there with him, and just see how is a guy that’s getting older getting better, and at that position it’s because he’s seen everything and they’ve went through everything. They’ve seen every different coverage they could see against this particular concept.
That’s what we’re hopeful that Jalen continues his progression upwards with the amount of reps that he gets. You try to do as many things you can in the offseason to simulate that.
We’re not by any means a finished product. I know how the quarterbacks played and got their teams to the championship games and then to the Super Bowl. We know that that’s what we have to do to get ourselves there. I think Jalen is the type of guy that’s going to maximize his potential, again, because of who he is as a football player.
Q. When looking at the offense schematically and doing those things over the course of the offseason, how much is it fixing the offense itself versus finding things with Jalen Hurts in mind? Are you looking back at other run-based quarterback offenses? (Bo Wulf)
NICK SIRIANNI: First, it’s evaluating yourself and evaluating your scheme and how do you make your scheme better. And then it’s, ‘Hey, maybe we’re a little deficient in this area.’ We all have to be honest with ourselves of what we’re deficient in.
Whether that’s me as a head coach in the messaging to the team or anything, what am I deficient in and how do I make us better in that area? As an offensive coordinator and as an offensive staff, what are we deficient in and how do we get ourselves better at that?
And so that’s kind of the process of like, ‘Hey, let’s evaluate our stuff, how can we do our stuff better, and then what can we take from different areas and get better at that particular thing.’
That’s kind of the progression right now of what we’re going through. Our message in that is, and our message to the players, too in my end-of-the-year meetings with them is, ‘Hey, if we can all identify one issue that we have or one thing that we have and make that better, imagine how much better our team will be as a whole if all of us, coaches, players, people in the front office, can take one of our inefficiencies and get a little bit better at it.’
That’s the messaging we have throughout the entire year. How do we get a little bit better each day? That’s what we’re trying to live by right now in the offseason.
Q. What’s the idea of having a basketball hoop brought in here? How did that come about and what is the point of it? (Ed Kracz)
NICK SIRIANNI: I’ve become a Villanova fan as I’ve been living over there, so it has a Villanova backboard on it.
[Jokingly] So last year I don’t think everyone liked my rock, paper, scissors stuff last year. No, but in all seriousness, if we can figure out when we get in there a little bit of their competitiveness, if we can get a little sense of that, that’s a plus, right? We’ll do anything to figure out some of the answers to the test, right?
Whether it’s, ‘Hey, can we figure out a little bit more about the players’ toughness? Can we figure out a little bit more about the players’ competitiveness? Can we figure out a little bit more about the players’ love for football?’
We’ll do what we need to do to do that. Do you always get that answer by shooting five baskets before they start off? No.
But in my past, I think I’ve told the story about my experience with [Eagles QB] Gardner Minshew when he came into Indianapolis and the shooting that we did. Now, it was on a 10-foot hoop and we were in our indoor facility shooting baskets, and I got to know a lot about him from that.
And look, it benefited us this year just me knowing a little bit about him and what makes him tick a little bit.
But, again, you might come away from that and say, ‘I didn’t get anything from that.’ One thing we do realize is that it’s a good ice breaker. It does lower the guard of the player a little bit to know that we like to have fun, we like to compete, and now let’s get into the interview and get more of that information of what we want about your love for the game, your knowledge of the game, et cetera.
Q. Have you thought about replacing Jim Bob Cooter? (Jeff McLane)
NICK SIRIANNI: We have not yet. I’m not in a rush to do that. Jim Bob did a lot for us and I valued the things that he did, and I know the entire offensive staff valued the things that Jim Bob did. That’s not an easy person to replace, but we’ll do what we need to do to replace Jim Bob.
Obviously, I’m happy for him that he’s back into a pass game coordinator role, because no doubt in my mind he’ll be a coordinator again soon, and hopefully a head coach soon after that.
Q. Now that you know Eagles defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon is back, what’s the next step for this defense? (Dave Zangaro)
NICK SIRIANNI: Yeah, same thing. We’re going through the process of where we’re efficient, where we’re inefficient, and try to improve those things.
So, in this particular case, it’s identifying players. Again, obviously the guys we’re looking at have talent, but then identifying the things that you might not see always on tape, the toughness, the competitiveness, the love of football, the football IQ and the character to be able to go through the ups and downs of the season.
So that’s not just a defensive thing. That’s with everybody. And it’s the same thing that I challenge our players to do, right? What’s our weakness? How are we getting it better? If we can do that as a whole as a team, we know how much strides we can make as an entire team.
Q. In your evaluation of Jalen Hurts, potential going forward, how much do you weigh the possible additions you can make, like receiver or running back, tight end, whatever, as far as how much better he can get? (Martin Frank)
NICK SIRIANNI: Yeah, you know that as you go through you’re going to lose — the team is never going to look the same, and so obviously you’re always on this mission to make your team as good as you possibly can and with as much talent as you can with the right type of guys as you can to be able to handle the up and downs of the season.
And so naturally, as the team gets better around them, he’s just going to continue to excel in our opinion. I think that’s just natural. If you have good players around you, you’re going to continue to excel. So why was Jalen able to do some of the things he did this year? Because we had a strong nucleus around him with the offensive line.
That really helped. That’s huge when you can have a center like Jason Kelce be able to help identify defenses and you can have a very — be very confident in your right side and your left side because of tackles like [RT] Lane Johnson and [LT] Jordan Mailata and then have a guy like [WR] DeVonta Smith to throw the ball to, and the speed with [WR] Quez Watkins and have the running game with the four backs that we had there and [TE] Dallas Goedert who’s sure-handed.
So, you’re always looking to improve that, but we know that we have a good, strong base of our team that we’re really confident in, and we just look to get that better, because everybody succeeds. As the talent gets better around him, he gets better. And that’s just not Jalen, that’s the entire team.
Q. How has the Combine been for you as a head coach and some head coaches aren’t coming. Why it important for you to be here? (Zach Berman)
NICK SIRIANNI: I just value this time to be able to look the player in the eye. It’s not like you get that with every player. You have a certain number of formal interviews that I’m able to sit in there for.
You’re able to sit there, look them in the eye, see his body language, see how he answers different questions, and then to see him workout in person. Again, this is a piece of the puzzle. There are many pieces to the puzzle that go into it. We have 30 visits coming up and we have pro days and private workouts and Zoom interviews. There are so many different opportunities to meet the player.
I guess I’m not going to be able to go to every pro day, to go to every private workout or anything like that, so it’s good to be able to get my eyes on them here. It’s good to be able to see — I’m 6’3″. It’s good to be able to stand next to them or look at his legs and be like, ‘Oh, this guy is 6’3”,” or, ‘He’s got thick legs.’ Whatever it is. It’s good to be around the guys and see them workout and get to put a face to who you’ve been watching on tape.
Q. You and Eagles Executive Vice President/General Manager Howie Roseman both talked about Jalen Hurts, how you feel like he’s going to continue to progress because of who he is on and off the field, et cetera. What do you want to see specifically next year as that continued progression for him? (Reporter)
NICK SIRIANNI: When you look at a quarterback, there are many different things you’re looking at, but the four main things you’re looking at is: the accuracy, decision making, the ability to create, and seeing if he’s above the line in arm strength.
I think there is no question that Jalen Hurts has the arm strength to make all the throws. He’s well above the line to be able to make the throws, whether it’s Atlanta in the first game of the year or in Philly the last game of the year with some different type of weather. So, we’re confident in that.
He has amazing ability to create, whether things break down and the receiver might not get open or there is a breakdown in the offensive line. What we saw throughout the year is not only can he create with his legs and make big plays with his legs, as the year went on you saw him become a weapon when he would move in the pocket, create in the pocket, and find his receivers down the field. You saw him create some explosive plays that way.
So those two things are a nonissue, and there are just things he’s going to continue to excel at. Just want to see him continue to get better with his accuracy and with his decision making. I mentioned it earlier. Decision making, it’s about your mind recalling the things that have happened in the past and knowing, ‘Okay, last time I saw this, I went here with the ball. Here we go. Oh, shoot, last time I saw this I went here with the ball, but this happened.’
So, he just has to continue to get more and more and more reps, right? He’s had a full season and a couple other games, so it’s, what, 17, 21 games that he’s had of this, and so he just has to continue to see that and to be able to speed up his processing over and over and over again.
I have no doubt because of who Jalen is that he’ll continue to do that.
And then as far as his accuracy, I know he’ll continue to get better at that, again, because he works at it. Ans so by no means am I saying that is — those are the things that we know he needs to work on, he knows he needs to work on, and I have no doubt he’ll continue to get better at.
Q. Can you talk about losing former Eagles Director of Player Personnel Brandon Brown in the front office to a division rival in the Giants? (Reporter)
NICK SIRIANNI: Yeah, you’re upset any time somebody leaves that is valuable to the organization. He’s in the front office, I’m with the coaching staff, but obviously there is a lot of communication back and forth.
So, you’re upset any time you lose anybody good, whether that’s a player, a coach, somebody in the front office, but obviously very happy for him in his development and advancement in his career. I wish him nothing but the best.
Wish it would’ve been with the Jets but it’s with the Giants, so I wish him the best of luck.