Q. Was it nitpicking over the ineligible men downfield from the officials or is this something — you’ve had 11 of them now in two years? (Jeff McLane)
NICK SIRIANNI: We’ve had a lot, but we’ve also created a lot of explosive plays off of them as well. I thought they made the right calls this week. We went through a process with this last year as well and we had to coach it differently, so that coaching point is still in our thought process and still in our mode. For whatever reason, it got downfield a little bit. There was one on a screen as well, and that was one hundred percent my fault. I changed the timing of it just a little bit to try to do something to the defense and make it a bigger play, and the timing didn’t work and that’s a one hundred percent on me.
We’re going to keep working them and we’ll keep emphasizing the importance of what we emphasize on that play because it’s a good play for us.
It always starts with coaching and that’s where I thought the problem was. Was it nitpicky? I actually thought they made really good calls, the officials made good calls there in those situations.
Q. In RPOs, how does the lineman know whether the quarterback is throwing the ball? (Les Bowen)
NICK SIRIANNI: I think this might go probably more information than I want to give out, maybe off the record a little bit later. He’s not going to necessarily know, but there is still a coaching point to it that helps us out.
Q. What have you seen out of Washington Commanders QB Carson Wentz on tape? And do you have to touch on his history here with the players at all during the course of the week one way or another? (Tim McManus)
NICK SIRIANNI: I think what you touch on is that you don’t ever leave a stone unturned. I think somebody asked me about the Hard Knocks, did you watch Hard Knocks? Yeah, we were looking for information when we played them. Did you listen to [Vikings Head Coach] Kevin O’Connell’s press conference? Yeah, I was looking for information. Are you going to ask the people in the building that are familiar with [Washington Commanders QB] Carson [Wentz] about him? Yeah, I’m looking for information.
So that would be the same process. I think he’s doing a nice job over there. I’ve seen, obviously he’s thrown for a bunch of yards, and we know that he can get hot, and be really on. We know he’s powerful with the ball in his hands and he can make a play at any time.
So, we’re going through our process to get ready for him and we know he can make a lot of plays.
Q. When you talk about leaving no stone unturned, have you talked to Indianapolis Colts Head Coach Frank Reich about him, from last year and how he was on the team last year with the Colts? (Ed Kracz)
NICK SIRIANNI: Again, I talk to Frank all the time, but I haven’t necessarily talked to Frank about Carson. Obviously, I’ve talked to some other guys there I’m close with about it. Just some small talk and everything like that. But of course, anything I can get, we’re trying to get with information on him.
Like I said, do you need to reach out as much to the Colts in this scenario? The building is so familiar with Carson as well, that we have a lot of information at our hands inside the building.
Q. What have you seen from the relationship between Offensive Coordinator Shane Steichen and QB Jalen Hurts and how it’s grown since last year and how that’s enabled Shane to get Jalen into a rhythm and play at a high level? (Reuben Frank)
NICK SIRIANNI: We all spend so much time together and [Offensive Coordinator] Shane [Steichen] spends a lot of time with [QB] Jalen [Hurts] to understand what he likes. Shane and I are in every quarterback meeting and obviously talking through everything. What are we going to do against this look, what are we going to do against that look.
Obviously on a football level, they’re very close and they’ve worked on their connection as well of being close outside the building, with not just football, because that to us is not a coordinator, quarterback thing or a head coach, quarterback thing. That’s an organizational philosophy. Connect, compete, accountability, football IQ and fundamentals, and connect is right at the top of it. I think Shane does a good job with Jalen of connecting with him, not just in football and I think Shane has continued to do a very good job of connecting with all the offensive players.
I look over and he’s always saying something to [DT Fletcher] Fletch [Cox]. Shane is a really good coach, not just X’s and O’s, but also connecting with the guys.
Q. What stands out about the way QB Jalen Hurts takes to coaching, like coaching points you guys might have for him, just how he processes it and how he adapts and gets better? (Martin Frank)
NICK SIRIANNI: It’s almost as if he’s grown up with a dad who was a coach. He’s been getting coached his whole life. Again, I just can’t say enough about Jalen, the person, that like we talk about all his abilities as a player, but the thing that makes you reach your ceiling as a player is when you have the other things: the toughness, the love of football, the football IQ. That’s what helps you reach your ceiling.
Now everybody is blessed with a different ceiling to reach as we know, right. Everybody’s ceiling is different based off of what God gave them.
But those guys that reach that ceiling are what Jalen has inside, and that’s what’s so special and that’s why you’re continuing to see him develop in my opinion.
Q. When did you realize that he could take hard coaching and even being yelled at on the sidelines in front of everybody? (Jeff McLane)
NICK SIRIANNI: He definitely said something to me early on like, “You can coach me hard.” And I think I said, “Yeah, I plan on it.” But I don’t know if I actually had an ‘ah-ha’ moment with it. I know my coaching style and sometimes I need to get after him, and every time I’ve ever done that, he’s handled it really well. The time that I think about probably the most though is that Washington game at home last year, I think I got after him pretty good. He had a calm look on his face and calm demeanor and did what we needed to do and ended up having a really good game that game.
I think that’s just who he is, and I don’t know if there was a, ‘Oh, this was the moment’, but he definitely can handle hard coaching and handles coaching in general really well.
Q. WR Zach Pascal has a couple catches now in both games. It seems like he’s really gelling well with the other receivers. How do you think he’s handled his transition here with you? (Josh Tolentino)
NICK SIRIANNI: I think he’s done a good job. He’s doing what we anticipated him doing, playing really well on special teams and then being their enforcer and when you have an enforcer like that with some of the run stuff and some of the screen stuff, you’re able to reward that guy because the looks that you’re doing marries something else and you’re able to get them a touch that can turn into an explosive play.
He’s doing what we anticipated him doing. There wasn’t a lot of projection like, oh okay, we knew who [WR] Zach [Pascal] was and we knew exactly what we were getting when he stepped in the building. I think he’s fit in really well with all the guys. Every time I come in here for a team meeting – he’s a pretty good jump shooter – and he shoots jump shots and him and [S] Chauncey [Gardner-Johnson] are shooting jump shots every time I walk in here. He’s gelling well with the team and making plays which is great.
Q. In the team meeting this morning what was the theme, or the example used for the group? (Zach Berman)
NICK SIRIANNI: We just talked about competing and last week was a little bit about connecting and this week is a lot about competing. So, it was competing, and it was about — any time we start on Wednesday, I’m going to talk about the weekly process or the importance of practice or this or that and we talked about the weekly process and not skipping steps or anything like that.
I think when you focus on — so the compete, the not skipping steps and the attention to detail, I think when you focus on the process of the week and all those things, you don’t get affected by the outside noise. Obviously, people are telling us how good we are now. Whether it was last year at this time people are telling us how bad we were, right.
When you truly are in the moment of where you are and focusing on what you have to do for that day, people can tell you whatever they want. Your job today is to do this and not to skip any steps.
And okay, if we are as competitive as we say we are in this room and as we preach in this room, then I don’t care if you’re 2-0, 0-2, if you won 24-7 or if you lost 7 to 24, you’re going to come out and want to take the guy your playing’s heart away this next game. I don’t care if you’re playing a one-on-one basketball game — what did I get my balls busted about last year — rock, paper, scissors, I don’t care what it is, you are going to go and try to win that competition.
So, when you can stick true to your core values and what’s important for a week, all the outside noise and all the waves of the season, we play once a week, so I understand. You guys had a lot of stories to write about before we play again and so we understand what it is, but you have to stay true to what you’re doing in that particular day, and the core values that we have.
So that’s what we kind of talked about.
Q. How can you tell they are getting that message? (Reuben Frank)
NICK SIRIANNI: The same way I get when you guys do it, the head nod. I don’t know. The way they come out and work. But I don’t worry about that that much here because we have great team captains and great team leaders. Our captains are special, and they have been to the top of the mountain, most of our captains have been to the top of the mountain and know what it takes to get to the top of the mountain and plant that Eagle flag at the top of the mountain.
As opposed to other head coaches in the NFL, I feel like I have a very unique situation with four guys on the offensive and defensive line that have been in the battle and the trenches and got to the top.
So they know and they help preach every message and they are just great leaders.
Q. When you got this job there was still a little bit of uncertainty. Washington Commanders QB Carson Wentz was still part of the organization. What was your sort of thought process there? Obviously, you’re excited to get the job but did you start thinking about Carson? Did you start thinking about QB Jalen Hurts? (John McMullen)
NICK SIRIANNI: Sure. Obviously, I was thinking about all the guys on the team and what the team was going to look like, what we were going to build and how we were going to build with [Executive Vice President/General Manager] Howie [Roseman]. Obviously, he was on the roster when I first got here, so I reached out to a lot of different guys, but it was the same process at every position. Trying to get to know the guys first, the connection, and then trying to get to know what the guys could do when I was watching the tape. But then everything is going to come back to, all right, I have to get my hands on the guys and figure out what they can do in person.
[Joking/laughter] [Sports Radio 94WIP Reporter] Howard [Eskin], you asked me like six times in my opening press conference, “Is Carson Wentz going to be the starting quarterback?” I didn’t forget that.
Q. I saw after Monday’s night win when QB Jalen Hurts was addressing the locker room, he was amped up about the win but said there’s still something left on the table; that the team has not reached what they are capable of doing. What do you see that’s still left on the table that the team needs to do? (Taryn Hatcher)
NICK SIRIANNI: Sure. You see every year that a team starts 5-0 or 5-1, and they fall off, right. You see every year that a team starts slow and they build.
And so, we’re so early in this. There’s so much time to build. We are truly in the business of getting better every day, me included, coaches included. We are trying to elevate our play each day and we know in this league that there are so many teams that start fast and then they fizzle off.
So, our daily focus is truly — I know I sound like a broken record, I’m saying it over, and over and over again. Our process is trying to get better each day and you’re never going to come away from a game and say, ‘Well, that was good enough.’ That’s just not how we live, how we operate.
Like I said, just with the illegal men downfield, there are mistakes I’ve made there that I want to get better at. I’m always going through the process of looking myself in the mirror first so I’m living that philosophy. Then I’m going to challenge the coaches offensively, defensively and special teams in that same philosophy and then it will go down to the players.
There are so many things. We started fast, great. And the defense stayed fast the whole time and the offense, we didn’t score any points in the second half, right. And that’s partly me. I think I did — I took my foot off the gas and forced [Offensive Coordinator] Shane [Steichen] to take his foot off the gas and I know I did that and that’s not good enough on my part. There’s a lot of room for improvement. The penalties we need to clean up. The communication was better from Detroit. You’re just hoping to see that improvement each and every day, the things you’re working on and emphasizing.
Q. You mentioned QB Jalen Hurts’ ceiling earlier, did Monday night’s performance change your perception of his ceiling? (EJ Smith)
NICK SIRIANNI: I don’t think I know what his ceiling is yet. I just continue to see him get better.
I knew he had that in him and again I’m not surprised by anything that [QB] Jalen [Hurts] does on the football field because I’ve seen him doing this all off-season, all training camp, practices, the meeting room. I see his growth over just consistently all the time. Maybe to the outside world, it’s like, woah. I don’t think that surprises any of us in the building because we live with him every day, we see him every day and we see the growth every day, not only on the football field but on the practice field and in the meeting room.
Q. I know you say that pressure is the norm in this profession and this city, but how do you think Defensive Coordinator Jonathan Gannon responded last week and what specifically about his game plan impressed you? (Tim McManus)
NICK SIRIANNI: I think if you’re listening to outside noise and the waves of the season that you will be affected by it. You have to be where you are and that’s where I saw [Defensive Coordinator Jonathan] Gannon. Okay, fine, here’s how we are going to clean this up and here’s what we are going to do this week to put our guys in the best position that we think’s possible to help them win the game, and that’s exactly what he did. He didn’t allow anything to affect him on that. That’s a great quality to have. Not everybody has it and not everybody is built to coach, I get it, not everybody is built to coach in this city or play in this city. But that’s why we are trying to create this mindset. The common denominator of players that are really good have this mindset of, I am in the moment of where I am right now, and I’m not worried about anything else.
That’s dawg mentality, right. It’s dawg mentality to say, I am here right now. I don’t care what I did in the past. I don’t care if it was this good or that bad. I’m right here right now and working on how I’m getting better today because if I continue that trend, I’ll get better. That’s Gannon, too. Obviously, what I like about the game plan, he didn’t let their best player beat us. He did that in multiple ways, it wasn’t just all my eggs in the one basket with [CB Darius] Slay. Sometimes it was Slay and sometimes it was Slay and a different coverage guy in it and sometimes it was a pressure and Slay was the only guy on it. That’s good coaching to me.