Q. Going back to your first meeting with the team this offseason where you wanted them to use the Super Bowl loss as fuel, while also turning the page and focusing on the details to get you back there, how do you think that has gone in the weeks since? (Tim McManus)
NICK SIRIANNI: We’re to a point where we’re not really thinking about that. We’re using the details and everything that we’re going through each week to be ready.
So, I don’t know if there is much of a thought of it anymore. Everything will always stick in your mind, especially you guys ask that question about the Super Bowl a lot. So, we have to prep for it and we have to — [Senior Vice President, Communications] Bob [Lange] preps us for it — then we have to answer it for you guys.
But really at the end of the day, we’re worried about getting better today, and that’s what our mindset has been for the last two years and that’s what it continues to be today.
Q. While you’re not thinking about it, it was the last time you had an official game, so from a competitor’s standpoint how excited are you to have a game again Sunday after seven months? (Dave Uram)
NICK SIRIANNI: Always excited about that. Always excited about when you’re able to go out there and put your talents on display.
So, I’m excited to see these guys play. I’m excited for them to go out there and put on a good performance. But we have to be on our stuff because we’re playing a really talented and well-coached football team.
Q. I know even as a younger coach, when you’re going to face the Patriots you’re locked in on game prep. I get that. But at any time early in your career did you allow yourself when you were going up against them when it was Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick and Former Patriots QB Tom Brady, to kind of take in, ‘hey, this is the gold standard of the league’ so to speak, from that perspective as opposed to just the game… (Mike Sielski)
NICK SIRIANNI: I’m obsessed with studying good teams, good coaches, good players, so obviously I’ve done a lot of homework on those two in particular. Not that it ever becomes a, ‘oh, my goodness we’re going against…’
I don’t think you can let yourself go there. But you respect and admire the consistency that they’ve had there at New England. I obviously admire Coach Belichick with all that, and have used some of his stuff as a head coach.
Q. The depth chart shows that special teams and the personnel will be different this year. What’s your sense of that unit, and have you had enough practice time there to really ascertain what it’s going to be like? (Zach Berman)
NICK SIRIANNI: Excited about these guys that are going out to handle some new roles and know that I feel like the team just continues to get better. [Executive Vice President/ General Manager] Howie [Roseman] has done a good job bringing guys in, and excited about the challenge that these guys have to go out there and perform.
I guess the real thing is I’m excited that they go out there and perform. I have a lot of confidence that we will, led by [Special Teams Coordinator] Coach [Michael] Clay and then some of our special teams guys that we really want to count on, with [CB] Josh Jobe, with [LB] Christian Ellis, with [S] Terrell Edmonds, a lot of different guys that are going to have a lot of important roles. [S] Sydney Brown.
So, excited for them to go out there and perform.
Q. Does not having a punter and punt returner on the 53 indicative of how the team views special teams, or is it more just how the league views special teams in terms of not — it doesn’t matter or just the rule changes? (Jeff McLane)
NICK SIRIANNI: Obviously we think of it this way, where all 69 guys could be called upon at any time. So, you’re working with a roster, not of 53, but of 69, so we’re able to do things to get guys up that need to be up for this game.
So, we don’t look at it in that way. Obviously special teams are very important. That phase of the game is very important to us, very important to the game of football, because you can win and lose games being clean in the kicking game or not being clean in the kicking game.
Q. Back in camp, you mentioned the communication issue the one time when you moved practice across the street the one time. New coordinators. Eve of week one, how comfortable are you with that sort of operation? (John McMullen)
NICK SIRIANNI: Really, really comfortable, and that’s why we work hard at practice, not just for the players, but also for the coaches and the operation that we have.
I feel really good. You have the three preseason games that obviously go into that as well, and so, yeah, really feel good about that. We feel like we’re really well-prepared as coaches to go out there and be able to execute our jobs.