Q. Obviously, RB Miles Sanders is out for at least this week, possibly more. RB Jordan Howard is dealing with a stinger. How difficult is it to move forward without at least Miles? How much will you miss him? And what’s your confidence level in RB Boston Scott if he has to carry the load? (Reuben Frank)
SHANE STEICHEN: Obviously, [RB] Miles [Sanders] will be missed, but we feel good about those guys. Miles was out early in the season and those guys stepped up and ran the ball well.
They did a heck of a job for us, so we feel good about those guys. They’ve been doing a good job all year and we hope to continue that trend on Sunday versus Washington.
Q. Specifically on Boston, we’ve seen him in like a secondary role do well. If he’s got to be the number one guy, get 15 touches, 17 touches, what’s your confidence level in him? (Reuben Frank)
SHANE STEICHEN: Very confident in him. Like I said earlier in the season, he’s played a lot of football and every time he has to step in and play, I mean, he does a heck of a job. He hits the holes well, he sees the holes well. We’re very confident in his abilities.
Q. It seems like in the two games versus the Giants they were able to kind of do some stuff coverage-wise to counter you. Without giving away too much I’m sure, what were some of the things they’ve been able to kind of attack you with that kept you guys limited there in the first half? (Jeff McLane)
SHANE STEICHEN: Yeah, well credit to them. I mean, they do a really good job on defense schematically. They switch up their fronts. Their multiple with their coverages. As we go into the game plans, like I said, we have to expect the unexpected.
But hats off to them, they did a good job in the first half against us. We got to be better there, but we got it rolling there in the second half.
Q. The last couple weeks we’ve seen some trick plays. Obviously, T Lane Johnson last week. We saw CB Darius Slay going in on offense, WR DeVonta Smith play a little bit of a tight end, at least in a three-point stance. Is that a measure of you and Eagles Head Coach Nick Sirianni feeling more comfortable within being able to go to those plays? Or is that a measure of playing against NFC East opponents, guys that might know you a little better? (Rob Kuestner)
SHANE STEICHEN: I think those are talked about throughout the week. Those situations to put those guys in the game. Obviously, there are certain looks on tape that we see that can get us those, and obviously, there is a look on tape when you got down in there tight for [T] Lane [Johnson] to get that touchdown.
It was an awesome job by everyone, the execution. It was so great to see Lane get that touchdown. He’s been working tail off all year, and he deserved that touchdown, so we’re super excited for him.
Q. Eagles Head Coach Nick Sirianni had said earlier in the week that you guys were going to separate quarterbacks and do a lot of virtual stuff. In your experience over the last two years, what’s been the most difficult aspect of having virtual meetings? What do you think is lost, potentially, in those meetings? (Mike Kaye)
SHANE STEICHEN: I just think the human element, being right next to each other and having those conversations face to face. I think that goes a long way. But again, you got to adapt. You have to adapt to these new circumstances, and we got to be smart, and we have to be safe to keep these guys going and we’ll make it work, no doubt about it.
So, we got a process that we’re going through now on where to set guys up and we’ll go from there. And, obviously, when we get on to the practice field, we have those conversations ongoing on the practice field, so we get that human element when we get out there.
Q. I don’t know if you saw the video or the transcript for Nick’s press conference last Wednesday, but he gave us insight into the play calling responsibilities and how you guys do that. From your perspective, how has that been working? And what’s effective about it, if you do find it effective? (Zach Berman)
SHANE STEICHEN: Yeah, I think [Eagles Head Coach] Nick [Sirianni] does a heck of a job putting the game plan together. We talk about it throughout the week. The first, second down, the third down, the red zone, the four-minute, the backed up, on how we want the game to be called.
And like Nick said, we get into the games and throughout series, we have a couple plays, four or five plays that we go through that we want to call, and then I’ll roll off those calls right there. Could be in that order like, he said. It could be switched up and then if he wants to override it like, he said, he’ll override the call.
So, it’s been going well, and we are looking forward to [playing] Washington this week.
Q. When you’re putting together the opening script, how much of it is just like, ‘We want to score on this drive,’ versus setting things up for the rest of the game? Showing the defense looks that you want to be able to counter off of as the game goes on? (Bo Wulf)
SHANE STEICHEN: That’s a great question. I don’t want to get into too much detail without giving things away to our opponent, but we take all that stuff into consideration. Obviously, we do want to start fast every week. There are certain things we want to set up. So, to answer your question, it’s a little bit of both.
Obviously, we want to start fast, we want to go score touchdowns, we want to go set things up and show some different things early and go from there.
Q. Boston got limited touches earlier in the season. As it has progressed, he’s gotten more and more. What was he like in the running back room during that time? What is his demeanor during those meetings? (Chris Franklin)
SHANE STEICHEN: You know what, he’s the ultimate pro. He’s the ultimate team player. He was supportive early and just with anything, you got a running back room and those guys get hit a lot and guys get banged up. And so, when it’s his time to step in and do this thing, he shined. He’s continued to do that.
He is awesome in the meetings, awesome on the practice field, and he brings it every Sunday.
Q. Are you guys finding that the run game becomes more and more important as you get into December and January and the playoffs possibly? You look a couple weeks ago, I think the Patriots only tried three passes. I mean, not just with you guys, are you finding other teams are doing it? And why is it so beneficial, especially when the weather gets bad? (Martin Frank)
SHANE STEICHEN: Yeah, I think, obviously, when the weather is bad, depending on how bad the weather is – like that Buffalo game, you talk about those three passes. I mean, it was so windy, I understood why they did that.
I think it depends on how the weather is. If you’re able to be multiple and still run it and throw it, great. But if the weather is bad and you can’t throw it as much as you want to, you got to be able to run it.
I think that plays into effect when you go into every game late in December.
Q. We’ve really seen this offense evolve over the year. I remember early in the season, we were asking you why you’re not running it and now it’s really become the strength. What was that process like? Were there ever some high-level philosophical discussions about changing the direction of the offense? (Dave Zangaro)
SHANE STEICHEN: Yeah, I think we had those conversations late. After Tampa Bay, we had a mini bye, and we sat down and talked as a staff on what we need to be better at. And we sat down and we started looking at a whole bunch of different things.
It started to evolve from there and it started to take off. We just got to continue that moving forward this week.
Q. Nick talked a little bit about it yesterday, the NFL has changed its hiring policies for head coaches. He was talking about his coordinators, Eagles Defensive Coordinator Jonathan Gannon and you. You have been on certain lists. What kind of advice has he given you guys if that call comes and somebody wants to interview you? (John McMullen)
SHANE STEICHEN: I think right now, we’re focused – all our focus right now is on Washington. If those opportunities present itself, great. Right now, our focus is on Washington. I told the offense last week, you know, going into the game last week, ‘It isn’t about what you want, it’s about what you’re willing to do to go get it.’
We got something to go get as a football team right now, so our focus has got to be on the Washington Football Team.
Q. Just a follow up on an earlier question about these wrinkles in the offense. What is it about CB Darius Slay that led you guys to want to try him on the field in that situation? (Ed Kracz)
SHANE STEICHEN: You know what? That was a play we’ve ran throughout the year. It’s been a good play for us, so [CB Darius] Slay in that situation, he was just a little eye candy for us.
He actually drew a ton of attention. If you go back and watch the play, the guy was man to man. He ran with them and pulled another guy and it just opened up that huge lane that we hit on Miles [Sanders], so it was awesome to see.