Nick Sirianni

Q. Why do you think things didn’t work out with WR Jalen Reagor here? (Ed Kracz)

NICK SIRIANNI: We do wish him the best. You get emotionally attached to everybody you have here as players, and so I’m not going to — he’s not on our team anymore. He’s a Minnesota Viking now. I’m not even going to go into that or anything there. He gave some good plays while he was here. He had a good training camp, like I said yesterday, and I wish him the best.

Q. How do you get S C.J. Gardner-Johnson ramped up? Is it possible in that sort of time frame to get him ready to play for Week 1? (John McMullen)

NICK SIRIANNI: We pay [Defensive coordinator] Coach [Jonathan] Gannon and [Defensive passing game coordinator/Defensive backs coach] Coach [Dennard] Wilson a lot of money to do their jobs, and [S] C.J. [Gardner-Johnson] is a smart guy. So, we’ll get him ramped up and get him ready to go. I know the guys have been working really hard, he’s been working really hard, and the coaches have been working really hard to get him caught up. We did some things yesterday, we even got into a part of the field yesterday in the red zone that they didn’t have a chance to install. They were doing it a little bit on the field even because you don’t start with the install with the red zone, but they caught him up, and he had a good practice yesterday.

Q. With WR Jalen Reagor, he was drafted by previous regimes in terms of the coaching staff. Was there a discrepancy there in terms of scheme? (Jeff McLane)

NICK SIRIANNI: No, I didn’t feel that way at all. Again, as coaches you’re always trying to use the players to the best of their abilities, and our job as coaches — I know I’m from the high school family of coaches, that the kids that grow up in your town, you find the scheme that fits that group of kids. Our job as coaches is to find the scheme that fits the guys that you have in the building. So, I never feel that way about a player.

Q. What’s the latest with RB Miles Sanders? (Tim McManus)

NICK SIRIANNI: You’ll get an injury update from [Senior Vice President of Communications] Bob [Lange] as we come through, but he’s getting better every day. You know I never put a timetable on a guy, but we’re hopeful and we’ll see what happens.

Q. Last year WR Jalen Reagor was your primary punt returner. What are you guys planning on doing in that position now and do you feel comfortable with the guys you have on the roster or do you feel like you have to make another move? (Chris Franklin)

NICK SIRIANNI: Remember, the roster is not just 53 guys, right? We have 70 guys at our disposal. We feel like we have good options. We still have a player left to be able to pick up on our team, so there are options there. We’re not playing tomorrow, so we don’t have to make that decision quite yet.

When you work a guy, just like at any position, you get multiple guys ready throughout not just the week of the game but throughout an entire training camp, throughout OTAs. We feel like we have some good options there.

Q. What do you like about QB Ian Book and why was he the choice there? (Dave Zangaro)

NICK SIRIANNI: We did a lot of work on him in the pre-draft process, obviously. Naturally when you don’t get a guy sometimes that you might want, there’s a little bit of, like, ‘Oh, man, I kind of wanted him; oh, shoot, they took him,’ or whatever it is. But you do the work in preparation of a day when you have an opportunity to potentially get him.

We did a lot of work on him. We liked him in the pre-draft process. I have a close relationship with the offensive coordinator at Notre Dame, Tommy Rees, who was my assistant wideout coach at the San Diego Chargers. I really trust Tommy’s opinion, as well, and obviously we trust our own eyes, we trust our own scouts, but a lot of work went into that. One thing Tommy always said about him, and now this is a guy that won a ton of football games for him and his program at Notre Dame, is how good of a leader he is. How there would be weeks or days that went by that the ball didn’t touch the ground because of how accurate he is. So, we’re excited to work with the tools that he has. We know he’ll fit in well with the room and fit in well with the locker room.

Q. What happened with QB Carson Strong? (Reuben Frank)

NICK SIRIANNI: We have to make tough decisions as far as who gets the reps. When you have four quarterbacks on the roster, when you have OTAs and when you have training camp, every other position essentially has three deep. So you go in and there are three sets of reps. We started off early on in camp and OTAs and in training camp where they were splitting the reps, [QB] Carson [Strong] and [QB] Reid [Sinnett]. Reid was having a really nice camp. Reid was having a really nice camp and the reps went that way. That’s just basically what happened with the way Reid was having his practices, he earned more reps, and that’s why he played more in the preseason.

Q. On Monday WR A.J. Brown shared with us that he had a little mini-speech that was centered around accountability. I guess from your perspective as his coach, how do you appreciate that, him stepping up in ways like that? (Josh Tolentino)

NICK SIRIANNI: You always want the leaders on your football team to deliver the message that they believe in and deliver the message that we believe in as coaches, that we believe in as a team, players and coaches.

When you have good leaders like that, they set the tone of how practice is. As coaches we might want to be out there and we say it to them all the time, you get better by the intensity of practice, but ultimately, they’re out there practicing, and they have to get the guys going. I think [WR] A.J. [Brown] speaks to that.

Q. What was the explanation behind when LB Davion Taylor was cut? (Jeff McLane)

NICK SIRIANNI: It was a numbers thing. That’s really what it comes down to.

Q. You still have a spot, though? (Jeff McLane)

NICK SIRIANNI: We still have a spot. We’re still working on completing the roster, but a numbers thing as far as — and there are things obviously that are being worked on right now that you guys don’t know about, and we’re obviously going to keep that low. But it was just a numbers thing where we were, and we still want Davion to be a part of this organization. We’ll see what happens.

He’s done some good things and made some good plays for us. Hopefully that’s not the last time we work with him.

Q. In December you spoke about why some of the teams you’ve been a part of have peaked late in the year. The inverse of that is you’ve been a part of some teams that have started slowly. What goes into those slow starts? What contributes to those? (Zach Berman)

NICK SIRIANNI: As far as going into slow starts, I think just sometimes you just don’t — whether it’s maybe who you’re playing, maybe your team is not ready to win yet. I think there have been times where I’ve felt like on teams I’ve been on in the past, we weren’t ready to win yet, and what goes into that? Well, the culture had to be set – and I’m speaking of past places I’ve been at. The culture had to be set. The guys had to keep developing and getting ready. A lot of different things go into that. Are the players ready? Then also, does everyone know the expectations of what’s going on?

That’s what happens sometimes when you don’t start fast. We feel like we’re ready to go. We feel like we’re getting closer to ready to go every single day with what we’re doing and with how we’re preparing, and that we’ll be ready for Detroit.

Q. The illegal man downfield penalties on RPOs sometimes, I know we talked about it last year and it happened in the Cleveland game. Why is that so difficult and why does that one in particular seem to rile you up so much? (Bo Wulf)

NICK SIRIANNI: Well, there’s a fine line between it. The referees have a hard job. It’s really hard. Is the guy two yards down the field when the ball was thrown, all these different things. Then there are some times where the defense takes that play away and you have to extend the play and then you can’t throw the ball downfield. So, you don’t ever want silly penalties, and you don’t — silly penalties might not be the right thing. You don’t want repeat penalties, either. You always want to be working on fixing the mistakes and correcting the mistakes that you make.

So, I said to the guys really early on, ‘Okay, let’s really dive down to why I yell,’ and one of the reasons — because I want them to know, ‘Here’s why I yell,’ and maybe I’m off base sometimes when I say that. I don’t tell them every reason I yell, but one reason why I will yell is because of repeat mistakes.

It might not be a mistake that you made before, but someone in your position group made before.

But that’s just in the process of how you get better every single day, that you don’t ever want to make repeat mistakes. Will we do it sometimes? Obviously, you’re going to have multiple false starts, but we’re trying like heck to eliminate repeat offenders and repeat mistakes.

Q. Did you have to change the way you talked – (Bo Wulf)

NICK SIRIANNI: We did. And our coaching staff did a really nice job of — everything we do as far as when we coach a play, we want the job description to be very clear and very obvious to the guys. Like, ‘Here’s the job description, here’s what you do versus all these different looks, and here’s how we keep ourselves out of this.’ We have great rules guys, guys that help us with the rules, as well, and we work crazy, and there was about two or three main coaching points – obviously I’ll keep those to myself – but two or three — with the other teams that are still struggling with that, but two or three main coaching points that really helped us get better at it and make some strides.

Q. We noticed that C Jason Kelce was back at practice yesterday. Number one, how good is it to have him back? Obviously, it speaks for his chances for week one. Also, how much has his absence helped C/G Cam Jurgens’ development? (Martin Frank)

NICK SIRIANNI: Yeah, always happy when [C] Jason Kelce is on the football field. Obviously, I’ve told him this many times. When I’m the head coach here, I want to be on the football team. There’s no secrets in that. I don’t know how many kegs I’ll have to send next year or the year after that or the year after that, but we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it.

But we love having him out on the field, and it just always makes a big difference, and then of course when you get to work with first-team reps, when you have first-team reps to go and you’re a young player developing, that’s super important to any player.

[C/G] Cam [Jurgens] was able to develop from that, and Jason helped him along the way with that, as well.

One last thing, just so you guys know, captains for this offensively are [C] Jason Kelce, [QB] Jalen Hurts, [T] Lane Johnson; defensively [DE] Brandon Graham, [CB] Darius Slay, and [DT] Fletcher Cox, and special teams [K] Jake Elliott.

Q. Voted by teammates? (Zach Berman)

NICK SIRIANNI: Voted by teammates.

Q. Is Kelce still on target for week one? (Jeff McLane)

NICK SIRIANNI: We’ll get you that injury report.