Q. I want to ask you how much you’re not going to play your starters on Friday night? (Howard Eskin)
NICK SIRIANNI: Still sorting through all that. We don’t have to make that decision until Friday. We’ll probably make it a little bit sooner than that, but still sorting through that.
Last year we played them, I want to say two series each. We felt like that was a good formula. I’m not committing to that yet.
But we’re still thinking it through at this time.
Q. What’s to think about? (Howard Eskin)
NICK SIRIANNI: Well, how they feel today or where we are as a team today is going to change in the next three days, right?
We’re constantly in the business of getting better, and we will see how things change in the next three days. There are so many things that can change in those days; I’m trying to take it one day at a time.
Q. Now that you’ve had a few practices in pads, what’s stood out about DT Jordan Davis? (Dave Zangaro)
NICK SIRIANNI: Size, strength, right? Just a big man who is still figuring out the NFL. That’s an ongoing process.
What you see more than anything is just the sheer size of the man and then just his strength. The guys that we went against that have that enormous size in the middle right there, they pose problems.
So that’s what’s stood out the most to me so far.
Q. T Lane Johnson told us how strong he feels at this point of his career. What are your observations from last year in that category in regards to him, and I guess just a general question, how important is he to that offensive line? (Josh Tolentino)
NICK SIRIANNI: Lane to me is one of the best tackles in the world. He’s the best right tackle in the world. To be able to say that about guys on your roster, that’s a cool thing to have, right?
Lane, you are the best right tackle in the world. That’s how my eyes see it, that’s how people in our building see it, that’s how our offensive coaches see it; the defensive staff sees it the same way.
Everyone recognizes what type of player he is. To be able to have that with your tackle is just a huge advantage for an offense, that you know that Lane Johnson has it taken care of over on the right side. You don’t have to help him out, you don’t have to give him extra help. He’s one the best tackles in the NFL. The best right tackle in my eyes in the NFL. So that’s a huge thing.
I just see him confident in himself and playing at a very high level with his confidence and his skill, and he should be confident in himself because he’s a heck of a football player.
Q. WR Britain Covey got some reps with the first team; I know you have had some injuries, which may be a part of it. What have you seen out of him and is that a result of what he has shown you in the first part of camp? (Jeff McLane)
NICK SIRIANNI: When we were in rookie minicamp, he made a move early on in rookie minicamp with some major quickness, and you saw his quickness.
That’s what you see with him. He’s really quick. He catches the ball well. And he has great feel of what to do out there and he’s smart. He knows all the positions.
So, he’s had a good camp, but I think what really sticks out with him, and I don’t think it’s going to be a secret to the rest of the NFL, is how quick he is. Everyone is going to see how quick he is, and everyone is going to remember the plays he made at Utah with his quickness.
Q. TE Dallas Goedert was talking yesterday or the day before about how much time he’s spent with QB Jalen Hurts kind of off the field during the off-season just getting to know each other better. Do you see that translating to on-the-field chemistry, and what do you see from the two of them? (Reuben Frank)
NICK SIRIANNI: That’s one of the first things we talk about with our core values of connecting. When you know a guy, you’re going to go a little extra harder for him. Even though there will be times where you’re like, I’m going as hard as I physically can. I can’t go any harder, right? But when you know a guy there is a little something more that you have. When you connect with a guy, there is a little something more that you have. And so that’s a really important piece.
Then add to it that they have to be on the same page, right, with where they are on the breaks and how they’re running things and where Jalen is placing the ball and where he wants him to put the ball on this look or that look.
So, they need to have that chemistry even more. We look for that for our entire team to have just because we know how important a piece that is. Obviously at that position catching and throwing the ball they have to be in, and I’ve seen it. Dallas, I think with — based off all our numbers, Dallas is one of our leading target guys. So, he’s one of our main guys, right? I don’t think that’s any secret. The chemistry between the two looks great, and you can tell they’ve worked not just in the OTAs or not just in the training camp, but they’ve worked other places on this chemistry together.
Q. Regarding targets, to the naked eye, it looks like to us, WR A.J. Brown and TE Dallas Goedert get the ball a lot in practice, which makes sense because they’re good players. Do you ever have to take a step back and say, okay, we need to look at so and so, we need to get them more involved just to evaluate them? (John McMullen)
NICK SIRIANNI: Sure, yeah. I think you’re constantly trying to make the plays for your playmakers. [WR] DeVonta [Smith] has been out for a little bit, but he’d be in the high target mix as well.
We know that’s how we like to play offense, too. That’s who the offense runs through. That’s no secret. We run the offense through — now we have three guys to really run the offense through, and we’re excited about that.
Of course, you want to manufacture touches for all your guys so they build confidence, and you can see them run plays, but does the coverage allow you to do that always? No. So we know how vital [WR] Quez Watkins is to this offense and the speed that he brings to this offense.
That’s been an emphasis last couple days in practices, making sure we are getting Quez going and seeing him with the ball in his hands. I think you saw that the other day in practice. So that’s just the way the offense is run.
But the coverage can take the ball to where it needs to go. I think [QB] Jalen [Hurts] is doing an awesome job at that, of going where he needs to go with the ball based off the defense.
Q. When you look at the right side of the offensive line, what have you noticed about the way G Isaac Seumalo has adapted to right guard and the way he has been able to overcome his injury? (Martin Frank)
NICK SIRIANNI: Isaac broke down the team the other day, and we just all recognize it as coaches, and I know the players recognize it as well, that Isaac has worked extremely hard to get himself back in position to play football again.
He’s always had that mentality. For the year I’ve been here, or the year and a half I have been here, you can always tell with Isaac of how hard he works. He works extremely hard. Isaac has high football IQ and he can see things happen before they happen.
He has that center mentality. He’s able to play center, too. So, he has that mentality of knowing what to do and seeing everything. He’s been with [C] Jason [Kelce] his whole career. He’s just so high football IQ. He works so hard, and then you add on top [of that] his immense talent. That’s something great to have, him and [T] Lane [Johnson] working together over there on the right side.
Isaac has played all over the interior parts of the line in his career here. Him and Lane have been together, seven years of working together in the same room. So, they’re on the same page, and that’s really important on the offensive line.
[I have been] really been over there on the right side.
Q. You were asked last season about QB Jalen Hurts not throwing the ball over the middle a ton, and we’ve seen that a lot this camp. A lot to WR A.J. Brown, and it seems like that is where A.J. has won in the past. Is that just the ideal match for him to add that to his game, or is there a reason in the offense that we didn’t see that a ton last year? (Bo Wulf)
NICK SIRIANNI: You try to do what your players do best, right? There are some things that A.J. does well. Of course, there are things A.J. does well on the outside, he’s a great player.
I think somebody asked me this about motion. You don’t ever want to be on the bottom part of the NFL on anything, so we’re very conscious on what our numbers say. Never want to be at the bottom of the NFL on anything.
It’s been good. I don’t want give any secrets away. I want the teams to have to watch our tape and figure out what we’re doing. We’re just focused on getting our guys the ball. Whether it’s the outside or the inside, just getting our playmakers the ball.
Q. In your experience, the explosive plays that you want, are they coming more frequently with air yards in the vertical passing game or yards after the catch? (Zach Berman)
NICK SIRIANNI: Both. Both and. I think there was a year that we had two guys that led the NFL in plus 40-yard catches. Sometimes they were way over — it was in San Diego, it was [former Chargers WRs] Tyrell Williams and Travis Benjamin. I think they were one, two. You guys can check me on that.
As I remember there very vividly, some of them were post, but a lot of them were on some of the crossing routes and the intermediate game. So, some were on the third level, some were in the intermediate level, and a lot of them were on our shallow cross level.
We know that’s important to create explosive plays. If you’re one dimensional on how you create explosive plays, the defense is going to be able to stop that.
We hope to be the same — I know we were pretty good in explosive plays last year, and they didn’t always look the same, right? To answer your question, you want to be good at all three levels. I think that we have been.
There is a particular one that I want to get a little bit better. I’m not going to share that at this time, but there is a certain part of the game I want to get even more explosive, and we’re working to do that.
Q. We’ve seen a lot of guys from the USFL get signed. Obviously, you guys signed WR Lance Lenoir with the no stone unturned mentality. How much did you pay attention to that league during the spring, and why do you think there are so many guys getting signed off that spring league? (Mike Kaye)
NICK SIRIANNI: Lance has done a good job when he has gotten in here. I had a couple of friends that was — Todd Haley is a head coach for the Tampa Bay [Bandits], so I wanted to follow him. It’s spring and college basketball is over. I had to watch something, right?
No, it’s cool to see that.
We have an intern that just got here the other day, [former Chargers WR] Dontrelle Inman, who was a big-time playmaker for us with the Chargers and one of my favorites guys I coached. He’s looking to transition into coaching now that his career is over.
He was one of the smarter guys I’ve been around, so I wanted to bring him in and give him a chance, very similar to what we did with [former Chargers WR] Eddie Royal last year.
The reason I bring up Dontrelle is because he was a guy that, like I said, made plenty of plays for us. One year think I had 816 yards for us. I don’t know why I remember that. 816 yards for us in 2016, and he ran so many good routes that we still show today.
Like I said, reason I bring it up is we got him from Canada, right? There was a connection there, and he ended up signing with the Chargers. His first pre-season game and he’s in a battle. It’s his third year as a pro and he’s in a battle for a roster spot. He catches a long go-ball for a touchdown against the Cowboys and we’re like, ‘Whoa, we got something here, right?’
We’ll take a look at good players from anywhere, right? So excited to have Lance, and I’m excited for the guys from the USFL that have landed on teams. That’s good for the NFL.