Q. Are you still rotating at left tackle? (Jeff McLane)
NICK SIRIANNI: Well, [T] Andre [Dillard] just got back. How many days has he been back, two? Yeah, so right now with him just getting back, he’s working with the twos and [T] Jordan [Mailata] is working with the ones.
Q. So you’re not decided on that position? (Jeff McLane)
NICK SIRIANNI: Not decided, no.
Q. What’s your philosophy on scripting the openers in your game play, and how did you formulate a plan or who did you talk to to figure out how you wanted to do that? (Sheil Kapadia)
NICK SIRIANNI: As far as the openers go — you’re saying the first 15, talking through that? Yeah, there is a checklist of things we like to hit. Obviously, I’m going to keep that in-house, but I’ve done a ton of studying on that. Every place I’ve been, whether it’s been last year obviously as the coordinator last three years as the coordinator, or even as a quarterback coach or a receiver coach, and always with [former Eagles offensive coordinator and current Colts head coach] Frank [Reich] when Frank was coordinator even back in our days in San Diego, we did those openers together.
A lot of things that — you want to get to a fast start. A lot of things that you like and you think are going to work out well, and that’s kind of how we think through it. There is a lot of different things we look at of how we want to start a game, how we want to marry things together, et cetera.
Q. When during the week do you finalize that? (Bo Wulf)
NICK SIRIANNI: Well, you want to see all the practices. You want to see Wednesday, Thursday, Friday practices. So, it’s usually Friday and Saturday morning, Friday afternoon, Saturday morning when you’re doing that. If you’re feeling — I mean, there are some plays you go on Thursday night, yeah, this one is going to be in because you practiced it twice on Wednesday and Thursday, so anywhere between Thursday and Saturday.
Q. Based on what you’ve seen this summer, what kind of season do you think RB Miles Sanders is in store for, and what’s your philosophy when it comes to rotating running backs? Are you a heavy rotation guy, ride the lead back? (Tim McManus)
NICK SIRIANNI: I’ve obviously been impressed with [RB] Miles’ [Sanders] ability to play. I think he’s a very talented back. Excited about the things he’s going to be able to do this year for our team.
As far as that goes, we just like to keep guys fresh. If Miles needs a break, we’ll have a guy in there to sub him. Then also, too, with our passing game, there are definitely things Miles can do, but we also have some other backs, like with Kenny [RB Kenneth Gainwell], rotate in, and [RB] Boston [Scott] is doing a good job of that as well.
Q. In your experience in the evaluation process, how much can you really get from this last week of joint practices and preseason when you are trying making decisions on the roster? (Mike Kaye)
NICK SIRIANNI: Oh, I think a lot. You get a lot of — the joint practices, again, I’ve said it multiple times, it’s game like and the guys are juiced up to go and roll, so you’re seeing what they would be like in a game.
So very important part of the process of how we evaluate and who we keep on this team.
Q. At some point soon, with Andre Dillard just getting back, it seems like you would want to know who your left tackle is going into the season. Are you kind of getting to that point? (Martin Frank)
NICK SIRIANNI: I mean, you’ve seen who has been working with the ones at every position. The guys have been working with the ones, I mean, that’s who we’re seeing as our starters at this point.
That doesn’t mean we’ve made a decision there. Again, Andre just got back — I thought Andre was having a great camp. I think Jordan [Mailata] is having a great camp. It is just Jordan has been able to go the whole camp, where Andre had a setback.
That’s one that still needs to play itself out. But with where they are now, it’s just because of the injury situation, and Jordan will stay with the ones for today.
Q. Do you expect that starters to play on Friday? (Eliot Shorr-Parks)
NICK SIRIANNI: That’s still the same thing. We’re still talking through that. Still evaluating. Yesterday was great work. Got really good work. Guys are sore. We know that.
Today is going to be good work. We are expecting to come out here today and have really good work, and then just every guy is a case-by-case scenario.
Q. QB Jalen Hurts mentioned the speed at the wide receiver position, specifically WR Quez Watkins, WR Jalen Reagor, and WR DeVonta Smith. How does their speed sort of help the run game in that they can keep the back end of the defense honest? (Jimmy Kempski)
NICK SIRIANNI: Yeah, I think any time you’re like, ‘Hey, I got two players right here, who do I want, this guy or this guy? They’re similar skillsets but this guy is way faster.’ You are always going to pick the faster guy.
The game in general speed helps you, so it’s nice to have those three guys that can really run. They help it in every aspect. They blow the top off the coverage in the pass game, and they can run their guys out of there in the run game, and they can not only run guys out of there, but if you have major speed, teams will play different defenses and keep a lighter box to help out in the run game as well.
So, we’re hoping that’s the case here with these guys, that defenses look at us like that and we get lighter boxes because they are afraid of the deep ball and the big play.
Q. On the first day of camp you mentioned that TE Zach Ertz’s presence doesn’t box you into 12 personnel. With both Zach Ertz and TE Dallas Goedert, how do you get enough snaps for them without leading into 12 personnel? (Zach Berman)
NICK SIRIANNI: It’s a good problem to have, right? Really good problem to have because you got two really good players right there. They are really efficient. You look at all our catch charts throughout the entire preseason practices, they’re both right up there with the most catches in team periods and they’re up there with the most targets and up there with the highest percentage.
So, you always want to get your best players on the field, and so that doesn’t mean — just because we want to be a little bit more 11 than 12, it doesn’t mean you don’t mix it in and work through it.
Again, we’re looking at all our different packages to give the defense different looks to look at. When we have two tight ends like that, that 12 personnel will cause people some fits.
Q. When you finally got to sit down with QB Jalen Hurts and learn what he knew about scheme playing the quarterback based on his previous year in the NFL, what did you find and how did you approach that in terms of you teaching him how you wanted to teach him? (Jeff McLane)
NICK SIRIANNI: You know what? It was more about, ‘Hey, here is how we teach you to read stuff, here is what this is good against. Here is what that is good against.’ It wasn’t — there were some questions like, ‘Hey, what have you hit this against in the past?’ But it was really just, ‘Hey, here is this play concept or concept of plays and here is how we’re reading this and here is the looks of when we like it and here is the looks when we don’t like this.’ It wasn’t a ton of talk about his past scenarios.
He understood what we were talking about and how we wanted to read it, so I assume he had reps in the past going over those things.
Q. To follow up on a previous question about how you decide on your starters, 16 days between Friday and the season opener. I know there are a lot of factors going into that, but is there any concern along those lines that that’s such an unprecedented time between the end of the preseason and season opener, and does that factor into the decision? (Ed Kracz)
NICK SIRIANNI: Of playing guys? Again, same thing. This is a brand-new territory we’re in. We don’t plan on taking two weeks off before Atlanta. We plan on working our tails off that week. We know what the week is going to look like before Atlanta. Very similar to a week that’s going to look like in week four or week seven. That week is spelled out.
We’re going to work our tails off that two weeks before. So, we are going to work hard in that time frame. So, again, it’s all case by case of what we are going to do. Again, this is great. I love this work that we’re getting, and with these two joint practices and the three preseason games, to me, that’s what, seven preseason games in my mind of how we’ve been working.
Q. We have seen recently WR Jalen Reagor have a lot of success in one-on-ones. What does it take for a receiver, specifically him in this case, to translate that into team situations and game situations? (Dave Zangaro)
NICK SIRIANNI: Yeah, I guess in team situations, you’re up. Hey, there is a 40 second clock and you’re up again, there is a 40 second clock and you’re up again. You know, we’re not really snapping it at one every time, so it’s really like 20 to 25 seconds. So just to sustain that conditioning throughout the whole thing.
What the one-on-ones are there to do is really perfect your technique and fundamentals and see if the talent that you have and the fundamentals that you learned is going to win your one-on-one matchups. That’s what this league is about, the one-on-one matchups that you have to win.
So, those are great experiences for him, and he’s doing a really good job winning those one-on-one battles there, and now it’s just, hey, can you sustain that play to play to play?
Q. How do you get to that level? (Dave Zangaro)
NICK SIRIANNI: That’s what practice is for, right? To go those — that’s why we’re going six, seven plays in a row, to simulate the drive. So, it’s a combination of the one-on-ones and then the practice reps they do.
Q. When you sit down to figure out whether Jalen Hurts will play Friday, do you factor in what Jalen wants and if he thinks he has to work? How much does he and his voice come into the equation? (Reuben Frank)
NICK SIRIANNI: Everybody’s opinion is taken into consideration. We listen to everybody. The player, we got to listen to the player and hear what they’re thinking, too. Again, at the end of the day it’s my job to do what’s best for the football team. Group effort in everything, but at the end of the day, I know my name is on it and I got to do what I think is best for the football team.
Q. You talked about how important you think it is to talk to the players and the importance of connection. How heavily are the looming roster cuts weighing on you? (Bo Wulf)
NICK SIRIANNI: Yeah, that’s a hard part of the profession. Like I didn’t just start doing — I met with these players as a coordinator. I always wanted to meet with the offensive guys in Indy, and then as a position coach, same thing. It’s never fun, because these guys have built the culture that we have today and have worked so hard and it’s always tough.
But there are a lot of things about my job that are tough, so the focus, I don’t let it weigh on me. When they come in, I want to have a good thought of what I want to say, what they need to work on to help them stick somewhere else, what we need to perfect in their craft.
But I try not to let it weigh on me at this time because we got so many other things to do of getting guys ready to play in that first game and in practice today.
Q. The receivers have talked about the versatility of where they lineup, outside versus slot. Do you have a preference for who you think is better suited to the slot of those top three guys that we’ve seen? (Jeff McLane)
NICK SIRIANNI: To me, I wouldn’t say that, because to me everything is based off of — it’s play by play of who does this best. So, in the slot, who has the best yards after catch that we want to throw a screen to, for instance, or whatever, had a reverse to? Who is the fastest guy that we want to run and the most creative guy on the crossing route that we want to run that to? Who’s the guy with the best field that we want to run an option route to?
So, there are all these questions you have of who does what best, and that’s why it’s not — I never really like to look at it like this guy plays X, this guy plays Z, this guy plays slot. They’re very interchangeable to me, and they’ve always been in my career.
So, the other thing that does is when you’re willing to switch guys around it makes it very difficult for the defense to see what you’re doing. What are they doing now? Why is this guy here? Every defensive coordinator I’ve talked to that shares, that’s what they always say, ‘It’s a nightmare preparing for you guys because you’re constantly mixing guys around.’
What was your other question?
Q. How much, I don’t think there is a percentage, but how much can the outside guy go inside and inside go outside? (Jeff McLane)
NICK SIRIANNI: I think a lot. To me, there is a time that — and I’ve had guys like this in my career. Outside guys I always think can find things they can do inside because there are a lot of routes that are the same. There are some inside slot receivers that don’t have the ability to move outside because it’s just a little bit bigger of a game.
Guys that are outside guys I always think can move in and do certain things. I am not saying they can do everything, but do certain things.
The only thing where I limit a guy ever is saying, ‘Hey, this guy is a slot, and he is a slot only.’ I don’t see that out of our guys. I think they all have flexibility.
Q. You haven’t put a timetable on S Rodney McLeod and OL Landon Dickerson yet, but their roster status depends on a timetable. Do you expect either one back within the first six weeks? (Zach Berman)
NICK SIRIANNI: Again, that’s — yeah, right now we’re saying, what, that those guys are week to week? Again, no timetable. We’re hoping the sooner the better, but no timetable.
Q. If McLeod is not on PUP, he has to be on the 53-man roster, so do you have to know what that timeline is specifically by next week? (Zach Berman)
NICK SIRIANNI: Right. Yeah, and that’s what we’re talking through with the doctors and the medical staff and the training staff. So, yes, those are important discussions that we have to have and that we have been having.