Q. I just want to ask you about Monday night’s game. RB D’Andre Swift had the hot hand through three quarters. You switched away to RB Kenny Gainwell in the fourth. What led to that decision? Why’d you do that? (Ed Kracz)
NICK SIRIANNI: We felt like in that scenario right there we were trying to pound it a little bit. We know Kenny’s good at that, being able to do that, protecting the football.
And D’Andre has done a good job of that as well, but in that particular case, we thought it was best for the team and that’s why we went that direction.
Q. Are you maybe preserving RB D’Andre Swift over the course… (Ed Kracz)
NICK SIRIANNI: Everything is in play. Everything is in play. Again, he had played well up to that point and we thought in that scenario we wanted Kenny in for that particular series.
Just went a really long time, right? Nine minutes we were able to bleed off the clock, so great job by the entire group of offense, play calling by [Offensive Coordinator] Brian [Johnson], the offensive line, what a tremendous — to have nine minutes run off the clock in a four-minute drill is pretty outstanding.
I believe [Executive Vice President/General Manager] Howie [Roseman] made me very aware that the last time that nine minutes was run off a clock like that was when I was other on the other sideline in 2017 when it was the Chargers versus the Eagles at the — I think it was a soccer stadium we were playing at.
But it was nice to be on the other side of that for sure. Great job by the O-line, by Kenny, by [QB] Jalen [Hurts], big third down conversion by [WR] A.J. [Brown] and Jalen. [TE] Dallas [Goedert] had a couple catches in that.
So, it was being able to run and pass in this scenario. Leaning more on the run, but good job by everybody.
Q. So you’re not immune to switching running backs in a series, right? (Jeff McLane)
NICK SIRIANNI: No.
Q. You just said the length of it played a factor. (Jeff McLane)
NICK SIRIANNI: We are not, no. Definitely we’ll have plays in and out of that where we’ll have — yeah, that third down might switch. A certain play you might switch.
But, again, in that scenario we thought that Kenny was the guy to go with right there and that’s why we decided to do that, and it was a really good drive.
Q. You guys implemented the tush push, and I know so much has been made of it. Did you guys have any doubts about its legality? (Mike Sielski)
NICK SIRIANNI: We knew the rules. Any time we put a play in that maybe not a lot of people run, and that there could be anything within the rules, we’ll always look into that.
So, we knew the rules that that was completely legal, and it’s been a good play for us. Really good play for us because the guys make it go and make it work.
Q. With DT Jalen Carter, his reps have been about 40% to 50% so far. How do you balance how productive he is with you have this rotation and sticking with it? (Reuben Frank)
NICK SIRIANNI: It is, it’s a long season. Especially at that position you want to rotate guys to keep coming at the offense with waves. We’re very fortunate that when you take one guy out, the other guy is a really good player, too.
Again, it is, it’s a long season. We want to come at them in waves. Obviously, Jalen is playing good football right now. We want him to get the snaps he’s getting. I don’t know exactly the percentages broken down, but I know he’s getting quite a bit for the defensive tackles.
So, they’re all rotating, right? But again, long season, and we want to come at them in waves, so that’s — maybe does that move up as we continue? Yeah, it could. But he’s playing good football right now.
Q. What stood out about the red zone offense when you were watching film? (Zach Berman)
NICK SIRIANNI: We had a penalty on one that bumped us back, and the other ones I felt like we just got to put the players in better positions.
That’s 100% me. I came out of that dragging myself through the mud there and some of the things that we tried to do. We just have to help them be in better positions there, both in the passing game and run game. We’ll spend extra time making sure we’re doing what we need to do to fix that. We’ve been really good in the red zone the last two years.
Obviously, credit to the defense. They did a good job. But it’s not up to our standard of where we want to be. I just felt like, again, just felt like that was my fault with just not putting them in great spots to succeed.
And that game there could have — obviously we left a lot of points out on the board. Again, Tampa has a really good defense, so credit to them.
But, yeah, I didn’t love my coaching in that area.
Q. How do you think G/C Cam Jurgens has played so far? (Jimmy Kempski)
NICK SIRIANNI: After every game we felt like he’s played well, so three good games in a row. Just want to continue with that. He’s fit in nicely. He’s in between two pretty good players. That helps that transition. [C] Jason [Kelce] is a great communicator. Being able to get him on the same page obviously being able to double team with [T] Lane [Johnson] is huge as well.
Cam has done a nice job of stepping into the starting role. He was a center in college and so even a little bit out of what he was used to. So obviously had a lot of time and he did a lot of work last year being the swing guy, being able to back up all spots on the interior.
But he’s done a good job with his first three opportunities, and we just have to keep it going.
Q. We have seen heavy 12 personnel usage the last couple weeks. What have you liked about that grouping and what’s working with it? (Dave Zangaro)
NICK SIRIANNI: Sometimes you go into a game, and like you said, you see an advantage that you can take advantage of when you go into a game. We’re really confident when it’s 11 personnel with the five skill guys on the field. We’re confident when it’s 12.
You may be taking a player off the field that you have a lot of confidence in, but you’re replacing him with another guy you’ve got a lot of confidence in.
So just with what the defense was giving us in those couple scenarios, or those couple games, was why we played a little bit more. And that will be forever changing, right? It’s not, ‘hey, we’re playing 12 because of this’ — again, confidence is built throughout every personnel group that we have. That’s why we put it on the board in the first place.
But it was just a certain — a couple scenarios with what the defense was playing these last couple games.
Q. Why do you think you’ve faced a high percentage of blitzes through three games? (Jeff McLane)
NICK SIRIANNI: First it starts with the DNA of the defense, right? What’s worked for them for many years with [Patriots Head] Coach [Bill] Belichick, [Vikings Defensive Coordinator Brian] Flores, and [Buccaneers Head] Coach [Todd] Bowles. Those are high pressure guys throughout the years.
So, to me, that’s a product of who you’re playing, at times, and that’s what I felt like for the first three weeks.
Q. Your philosophy on motion, we talked about it in the past. How much does that change with your personnel week to week, or do you have a general sense of that? (John McMullen)
NICK SIRIANNI: That’s a good question. I know you guys have asked that before, and my philosophy is we don’t want to just motion to motion. We want to motion to create advantages or pick something up or mesh something together, right?
All those things can all be true and are why we would motion, and so I always understand that we’re a little lower in the league. I think we’re like 20-something-percent, which to me is more than what we have done.
We’re not just going to do it just to do it. Some of that too is when you go no-huddle like we do at times, that takes away some of the motion that you’re going to do.
So, there are a lot of different reasons for it. I think I’ve said to you guys in the past, like I don’t want to be bottom half in the league in anything. Well, you know, when you think about a stat like that, I understand why we are there.
Again, it’s our philosophy not to motion to motion. We can come out this week and motion all over the place, and we’ll do that. I guess I think of it this way: If the best thing to do is to pass it 50 times to win, we’ll do that. If the best thing is to run it 50 times to win, we’ll do that. If the best thing is to motion on every single play — that is a little extreme – but we’ll do that as well.
Q. Beyond the obvious, what’s made RB D’Andre Swift such a good fit with this offensive line and this system through three weeks? (Tim McManus)
NICK SIRIANNI: Obviously he’s getting great push from the offensive line up front. Our offensive line, we know how good and talented they are. They’re just doing a phenomenal job, and he’s doing a great job seeing it and seeing where the holes are, seeing where the cutbacks are, seeing when it’s not there and being able to bounce.
I think he’s been able to do it. He can make you miss when you get out in the open field. He can jump over you, he can spin on you. So, there are a lot of different ways he can create once it gets past that initial push.
But, again, offensive line has got a good push and he’s been able to create. That’s a good recipe for your run game when you have both of those.
Q. You talk about connecting as a team. Curious about the impact of connecting with fans because we saw you postgame with fans up in the stands. How much have they played a role in the 20 wins in 21 tries in the regular season? (Rob Kuestner)
NICK SIRIANNI: I mean, what an advantage. We have the best fans in the NFL. When you’re playing a game in the NFL where the parity is so tight, that makes a huge difference. Everything makes a huge difference, especially the crowd noise. Especially the deflating of the opposing team when you come out and they’re getting booed going through starting lineups.
Trust me, I heard that, of what was going on there, and so that’s a huge advantage. It’s not a good feeling when you’re on the other side. Obviously, I wanted to tell them how much I appreciated them. I wish I — I tried to go — I mean, I climbed up the stairs to go into the stands and the gate was there so I couldn’t go up in there.
I would love to have high fived every one of them because they made a big difference in that game just right from the beginning.
We love our fans. We’ll be happy to be back to Lincoln Financial Field this week, but it’s a huge advantage as it is, and especially with the parity being what it is in the NFL.
Q. How excited were you to see WR Britain Covey have that kind of a game? (Merrill Reese)
NICK SIRIANNI: That was great. Reliable. Really explosive. He did what we’ve seen over and over again in practice since he’s got here. He’s been — I don’t know, [To Senior Vice President, Communications Bob Lange] Bob, you would know this. I don’t know where he’s been in the NFL. I think in the top 10 in punt return last year. I know he’s up there. Might be No. 1 this year I think someone said as far as punt return.
So, we know we have maybe a hidden gem that not everybody always fully appreciates. We sure do. He is a locker room favorite here. These guys love Britain Covey because he’s tough, he works his butt off, great personality.
So, yes, the 50-whatever-yard return got the sideline excited, but it’s the connection that our players have and our coaches have to Britain Covey the person, that even made that maybe look a little bit even more uptick.
He put one on the ground last week which he was upset about, so it was a great redemption there. I’m so glad he’s our punt returner. Man, he is a great, great punt returner. You saw that in college. And he’s a great teammate. Man, I can’t say enough good things about the player and about the person. I appreciate you asking me that question.
Q. QB Jalen Hurts had the two plays against the Vikings, the two sacks in a row. But then this last game, similar area of the field, he hung in the pocket for like five-six seconds and then threw to WR Olamide Zaccheaus for a touchdown, but he was hanging onto the ball for a while. What is the coaching point in that area? (Jimmy Kempski)
NICK SIRIANNI: Yeah, it depends on the rush to be honest with you. I respect your question and I don’t want to get into too much there. I just don’t want to give away too much there.
But I’ll just say that it depends on the rush. I thought [QB] Jalen [Hurts] did a nice job based off what he saw in the Tampa game of hanging in there and ripping it. What an unbelievable throw. It was a little wobbly but got right to where it needed to get to perfectly, and that’s all that matters.
Q. S Sydney Brown has played like eight snaps and Buccaneers WR Mike Evans is a Hall of Famer. What goes into a young kid like that not backing down, not being in awe, kind of the moment being too big for him? (Reuben Frank)
NICK SIRIANNI: Mike Evans is outstanding, you’re one hundred percent right. I would agree with what you said right there. He has done it for a long, long time consistently. I have a ton of respect for that dude. So, I agree with what you said there.
It shows you a little bit who Sydney is, that he’s not overwhelmed by the moment, not overwhelmed by the opponent, knowing the moment was big and so was the opponent. He just stuck to who he is and he’s confident in himself. We’re confident in him. It was a heck of a play that saved us. I think we ended up saying those are four-point plays. Great play by him.