Q. You were down two safeties at practice yesterday, you have two healthy safeties. What’s the plan at that position? (Zach Berman)
NICK SIRIANNI: We’re ready to go. We have good depth here, guys that are multi-purpose throughout the secondary, so we feel like we have a good plan that we’ve been getting ready for all week with practice.
We’ll see what happens when we make that final injury report today.
Q. You have DB Tristin McCollum on the practice squad. What have you seen from him throughout camp and preseason? (Jimmy Kempski)
NICK SIRIANNI: We look at this as a 69-man roster not a 53-man roster, so he’s done a really good job. We keep guys around that we can develop and that can also be ready to step in and play if their number is called.
We’re confident in him if his number is called that he can come in and do an effective job.
Q. What have you noticed about QB Jalen Hurts as he’s gone up against three defenses that have provided exotic looks, how he’s handled that process? (Tim McManus)
NICK SIRIANNI: Like I said, I think he’s played well. I think he’s done a good job. We’re 3-0 and he’s the leader of the ship, so he’s done a good job.
Again, some of the stats might not look pretty just because of how much we’ve run the football based off how the games have gone, but completing 78% of his passes against Minnesota was impressive.
Thought he played a solid game last game. I see him continuing to improve.
Again, we’re where we need to be now at 3-0, and we just want to continue to improve off that.
Q. I asked Offensive Coordinator Brian Johnson this question yesterday, but I want to hear your answer about the zone read. Is QB Jalen Hurts involved in that? Are you guys using him as much as previously? (Jeff McLane)
NICK SIRIANNI: Yeah, we’re still running that. Again, zone reads, sometimes you guys are going to see zone read as did we run that or not when he hands it off.
Sometimes you’re going to read that as maybe they’re not — so part of it, you don’t keep a zone read unless the defense tells you to keep the zone read, right?
Same thing with an RPO. You don’t pull an RPO to throw it unless the defense dictates that. The RPO and zone read are really good if this, then that, right?
So still big part of our game, big part of our game plan. Just haven’t had to pull many of them throughout the first couple weeks.
Q. You mentioned his stats not looking great. I assume you’re referencing the passing game. The running numbers are definitely down. Are defenses doing something different to stop QB Jalen Hurts in the run game? (Jeff McLane)
NICK SIRIANNI: He hasn’t got as many pulls that have turned into explosive plays. That doesn’t mean that it’s not being effective. We ran the ball really well. Partly why is because of the effect that Jalen has on the back side. O-line has done a great job, tight ends have done a great job, running backs have done a great job running the football.
But when you have a quarterback like Jalen [Hurts], when you hand it, the whole back side is affected which allows your back side of your line to get the cut offs to have these explosive runs.
So, are Jalen’s numbers up in the run game? No, but our numbers are up in the run game, and he greatly affects what happens in the run game because of who he is and his threat to be able to keep it around the edge.
Again, some teams are going to say, hand it off, Jalen. Some teams are going to make him pull it. It’s just a matter of every week is going to be a little bit different.
Make no mistake about it, when he hands the ball off and bursts off the back side, he affects the defense, and that is as good as a block sometimes, right, because you hold it and set up blocks for other things.
Again, the numbers in a small sample size, I just think it’s too early to tell on some of that with the small sample size of three games.
Q. LB Haason Reddick mentioned yesterday that offenses are chipping him and DE Brandon Graham and DE Josh Sweat at an alarming rate. Are you noticing that as well, that there is more attention being paid to the edge? (Ed Kracz)
NICK SIRIANNI: Yeah, it’s kind of the same question on the defensive side with what we just talked about with the run game. You get a little, you lose a little, right? So, if I’m putting my emphasis on stopping the ends, well, then I have one-on-ones on the inside at times. If I go inside, I have an effect outside.
So, you feel fortunate on this team because you have weapons everywhere. That’s the same thing with receivers. You try to stop [WR] A.J. [Brown], then you have [WR] DeVonta [Smith] and [TE] Dallas [Goedert], and vice versa.
And so that’s the benefit of having all these studs on our team, is that when the emphasis goes to one guy, the other guy can take over. Not every team has that luxury.
So great job by [Eagles Executive Vice President/General Manager] Howie [Roseman] to create this depth and bring these players in.
Great job by our coaches to develop the players that have been brought in.
Then great job obviously first and foremost by the players to go out and be good players to put the pressure on these guys.
And so there is no doubt, and that goes I think in the defensive line room that goes in kind of flows, right? Like a team could see it as well, Haason hasn’t had a sack in three weeks. Cool, put all your resources to stop Sweat or [DT] Jalen [Carter] or [DT] Jordan [Davis] or [DT Fletcher Cox] Fletch or should I go on? Brandon, [DE] Derrick [Barnett], [LB] Nolan [Smith].
So that goes in ebbs and flows as you go because you’re going to have to pick your poison there. But yeah, definitely. I mean, your job as a coach is always to look at the other team and say, how do I not let these guys beat us.
You’re going to see teams do that against our defensive line, but fortunately we have a bunch of guys that can get after it.
Q. In the passing game, talking to TE Dallas Goedert this week, and you mentioned it coming into the season, you’re expecting a lot of unscouted looks early, especially with the coordinators. Dallas said he thought it was going to change. Is that your philosophy, or do you think you have to get people out of that umbrella coverage? (John McMullen)
NICK SIRIANNI: We’ll see. If it’s part of who you are, it’s part of who you are. If it’s not, then you’re doing something that maybe you don’t know a lot — I know that’s one of our philosophies. If we’re going to put a new scheme in, I’m going to really study it hard and spend time studying it, make sure it fits us and know all the coaching points that go into allowing us to do it.
Oh, yeah. Looks good against this, but what if they do this? That’s the dangers of just saying I’m going to throw one in, throw a play in on my end.
So, I think that happens a little bit the same thing with defenses. Like, yeah, we can put this in, but do we know every coaching point there is to it? As soon as you hit a play on that, it could pull them out of it.
When you’re good on offense and when you’ve had the success on offense we’ve had and for the past two games, the 400-plus yards on offense that we’ve had, we’re going to see things that are unscouted looks. That’s just the way it’s going to be. Some more exotic than others.
So yes, we’ll have to be ready for it. Do I know? I don’t know. I’m not in their meetings so I don’t know what their thought process is. I know our thought process is we have to be able to handle the unknowns, because that’s just the nature of this when you’re successful on offense.