Q. What is it about CB Darius Slay that, if you will, provides such a good heartbeat for that defensive back room? (Josh Tolentino)
NICK SIRIANNI: He just has a great energy about him. He comes in every day ready to work. That’s important, that energy that you bring every day. Because not every day you’re going to want to – there are going to be days that I come in here and I’m like [takes a deep breath], and you have to come in and get ready to go.
He brings it, and that’s contagious. I really believe that. When you bring energy, constantly every day and that’s just who you are, that’s contagious. Then he has a really high football IQ. Slay is a really smart football player, extremely smart football player, that can identify things and just seems to make timely plays because of it, all over the field.
Then it’s just his mode to be able to want to help people. He wants to help his teammates. He loves his teammates. He wants to help his teammates. That’s just something I’ve noticed every day since I’ve been here, is that love for his teammates.
When I talked to the Detroit media yesterday, I made sure they knew that as well because I know that he used to be in that organization. I’m just so happy he’s on this team. He’s a great player, great teammate, great leader.
Q. How different do you find a week one game plan from a middle of the season game plan in terms of what you want to disguise and what you’re worried about them unveiling? (Bo Wulf)
NICK SIRIANNI: There are definitely differences. There’s no doubt. I don’t want to get into too much of that, but there are definitely differences of a game one game plan, and then when you get some tape out there.
Again, there are things that, we’re never have going to have seen from them that they’re going to show and there will be things we show them that they’ve never seen.
So that’s exciting, to be able to go in and see how those things will work out. Obviously, we’re putting them in the plan because we think they’re going to work well.
But it’s a little different. That’s how 32 other teams are this week, too.
Q. Do you find yourself more excited about showing something you haven’t or worried about what you’re going to see that you haven’t? (Bo Wulf)
NICK SIRIANNI: I don’t go into it with a worry ever because the reps are there. The practice time is there. The detail has been there. We’ve been working so hard on some of these things for the last year, or six months.
We feel like we don’t just throw something in just to throw it in. We do a lot of research on it. We figure out what it’s supposed to look like. We talk to the coaches that maybe were the originators of it or whatnot. The worry is never there, just excitement.
Q. How has S C.J. Gardner-Johnson done picking up the scheme this week, and is he at a point where you’re comfortable with him being out there for most of the game? (E.J. Smith)
NICK SIRIANNI: He’s done a good job. He’s done a good job of learning it, coaches have done a good job teaching it. [Defensive Passing Game Coordinator/Defensive Backs Coach] Dennard [Wilson] and [Assistant Defensive Backs Coach] D.K. [McDonald] have done a good job teaching it and he’s done a good job of learning it.
We’ll see what happens as far as going out there. I think that’s something that is a competitive advantage that Detroit doesn’t know how much he’s going to be out there, who’s going to be out there, so I’ll keep that to myself for right now.
Q. How is S C.J. Gardner-Johnson fitting in aside from that? (Dave Zangaro)
NICK SIRIANNI: Great. Competitive. High football IQ. Speaks to a lot of our core values that we have. Getting to know guys and always seeing him talking to guys, connecting.
Yeah, he’s fitting in well. What I know of him so far is he hits all five of those cover values that are so important to our culture.
Q. Earlier this week you spoke about having practices at faster tempo and watching the play clock. Do you want to play at a faster pace? (Zach Berman)
NICK SIRIANNI: You know I’m not going to tell that you, [The Athletic Reporter] Zach [Berman]. You’ll see. Right? You’ll see.
Sometimes it’s, yeah, you want to push the tempo, but also sometimes it’s for conditioning. Obviously, I’ll keep that one in. But it’s always good to push that tempo in practice for sure.
Q. Last year the offense went through WR DeVonta Smith and TE Dallas Goedert; this year you add WR A.J. Brown to that mix. How challenging is it to make sure those three guys get their share of targets? Do you ride the hot hand during the course of a game? (Ed Kracz)
NICK SIRIANNI: I definitely won’t ever look at that as a challenge. Hopefully you have the trust of the guys and you’ve connected with the guys enough that they understand the game plan. You tell them the why behind the game plan. You tell them what’s going on.
Of course, all those guys are going to want ball, because they’re all competitors, all really good players, and all know if they touch the ball, they can help us win.
I never look at that as a challenge. I just look at it as a great opportunity to say, ‘If they’re taking this away, we can go to this’ or vice versa.
So, not a challenge, but excited to have all three of them on our team obviously. Look forward to seeing them play on Sunday.
Q. When you look at Detroit Lions QB Jared Goff, a lot has been made about QB Jalen Hurts being in year two and knowing the system. Do you think the same applies to him? I mean, looking at last year’s game and… (Martin Frank)
NICK SIRIANNI: Yeah, most definitely. The more you’re with certain coaches and certain players, the more you’re going to get better.
I know I have a lot of respect for [Detroit Lions QB] Jared Goff and the things that he’s done in this league. I don’t know him personally. I heard he’s a great teammate, though.
So, a lot of respect for him, and most definitely he’s going to grow and be better every day probably. I don’t know that for sure — I’m not trying to put him into the mode of like get better every day. But I’m imagining that, yeah, he’s improved, right, because I think highly of him as a player.