Q. QB Jalen Hurts, what impressed you the most about how he played on Sunday? Was it the decision making, the running, the passing, all of it? How do you assess his performance? (Martin Frank)
SHANE STEICHEN: Yeah, I think it was a little bit of everything. Just his calmness and his readiness. The way he prepared throughout the week, I had no doubt he was prepared to play, but to go out and see it on Sunday was very impressive.
I think any time you’re completing 77 percent of your passes, you’re putting your team in a position to win football games. The way he created plays outside the pocket, scrambling – I mean, we saw it in training camp, but to see it live on Sunday was very impressive. Hats off to him for his preparation and his execution.
Q. Sticking on Jalen, I don’t know how much you pay attention to this sort of thing, but his average air yards per throw on Sunday were the lowest in the league. Was that the game plan going in or was that a result of the way the Falcons were playing you guys? And were there any shots that you guys called downfield that just weren’t open for whatever reason? (Bo Wulf)
SHANE STEICHEN: Yeah, that’s a good question.
We did. We had shots that were called and they took them away, so we had to check it down. We’re always going to have those, right? We’re going to have our scheme shots where we’re trying to take our shot and if they take it away, we got to check it down. That’s the philosophy.
If they’re not going to give us the big chunk, check it down to the tailback and he will get 10 and keep completing footballs.
Like I said, if you’re completing 77% of your passes, you have a chance to win a football game. As long as we’re completing balls, being efficient on third down and scoring in the red zone, we’re going to put ourselves in position to win games.
Q. You guys have the youngest coaching staff, I believe, in the NFL, or one of them, and it seemed like the team brought a ton of energy on Sunday, they all wanted to win for Eagles Head Coach Nick Sirianni. How much does that youth play into that energy and the way you play on the field? (Jamie Apody)
SHANE STEICHEN: That’s a good question.
Yeah, I think any time you have good energy, positive vibes, right – I like to say, ‘Feed the positive, weed the negative.’ When it’s positive and you’re constantly pushing that energy day in and day out throughout the meetings, throughout practice, the preparation, the team meetings, the offensive unit meetings and you just keep bringing that juice, I think it feeds into the players and everyone’s on the same page. You go out and play and you execute at a high level when you’re prepared and you got good energy.
Q. I wanted to ask you about WR DeVonta Smith’s blocking, his perimeter blocking on runs. What did you see in that when you drafted him, and then OTAs, up until training camp and Sunday? (Geoff Mosher)
SHANE STEICHEN: I thought he did a phenomenal job. He’s really a tough football player and the way he gets in position to make those blocks and create space for the backs to run was impressive. [Eagles Wide Receivers] Coach [Aaron] Moorehead, our receiver coach, he works with him on that every day in practice. Then you can see it showed up in the game and we got to continue to get better every day at blocking and he’s doing a nice job so far.
Q. For a guy that size to be able to do that well, everybody questions the size, when did you really notice he was good in that? (Geoff Mosher)
SHANE STEICHEN: I think it started to go in training camp a little bit. He has great technique and great fundamentals and for a guy that’s right there – his frame, just to get in position to make plays, he’s doing a nice job.
Q. Sticking with the rookies here, I wanted to ask you about RB Kenneth Gainwell. What did you see from him? How did you think he handled the blitz pickups and stuff like that and how important is it for him to handle those things well to stay the on the field? (EJ Smith)
SHANE STEICHEN: I thought he did a really nice job. Obviously, in the two-minute situation, he did some really good things. He had some good pickups. But you saw he ran with some good toughness, right? He saw the holes, and he hit it. That touchdown there when we went fast on the ball, he hit it right there, is a great job by [C Jason] Kelce and [G] Isaac [Seumalo] on the double-team and he just knifed it there. You saw the explosiveness from him. It was really good to see him on Sunday and we got to continue to build off that.
Q. Obviously, you prepare for all of these plays in practice. How difficult is it on a timing play, like the pick play for the touchdown to DeVonta, how hard is it to get all 11 guys on the same page to pull off a play like that with success? (Mike Kaye)
SHANE STEICHEN: Yeah, no, I think obviously like that play that we scored on, that was a play that we repped multiple times this week and gave multiple different looks to that situation. [TE Zach] Ertz was a huge part of that play. He made it go. We got the look and he did a nice job setting that up. DeVonta just had to win at the line of scrimmage and Jalen [Hurts] threw a nice ball over the top, and, obviously, the line had to protect, did a really good job. Well-executed play and it was really the repetition throughout the week that we got in practice on it.
Q. I heard you reference Jalen Hurts’ completion percentage. I’ve heard other offensive coordinators – the number one stat for them, obviously aside from points and turnover differential, is yards per attempt. Do you feel the same way when it comes to the quarterback play as well? (Jeff McLane)
SHANE STEICHEN: Yeah, I think yards per attempt plays in, but I look at the completion percentage because when guys are completing balls, like I said, you’re moving the sticks, right? It could be a five-yard completion that puts you at second-and-five. You complete another ball, you’re in first down. When you’re completing balls, you’re moving the ball.
Q. Could you speak to the 49ers front seven, specifically 49ers DL Nick Bosa and 49ers LB Fred Warner? (Dave Spadaro)
SHANE STEICHEN: That’s a great question.
Obviously, [49ers DL Nick] Bosa is a very explosive player. I was with his brother for a while, so I’ve seen the Bosa up front and personal. I know his brother is a really good football player. He’s explosive off the line of scrimmage. He plays the run well.
And then inside, [49ers LB Fred] Warner, he can fly around. He can cover, right? He can cover, he make tackles, he can do it all. Two really good football players that we have to know where they’re at on the field Sunday at all times.
Q. RB Miles Sanders said something interesting in the postgame, that how every play is a run play. I’m not sure what he meant by that exactly. How much flexibility do you give Jalen Hurts at the line to audible or change the play before it starts? (Ed Kracz)
SHANE STEICHEN: Yeah, there’s certain things that we do, right? Every game plan we go in with certain checks and stuff. He handled some. We had some of those in on Sunday and he handled them well, executed at a high level with the stuff we gave him. It was good to see.
Q. Completion percentage, you said it’s important to you. Is there a benchmark you have for where the quarterback needs to hit or exceed for you to be satisfied with where he is? (Zach Berman)
SHANE STEICHEN: Yeah, we do have that. I’ll keep that in-house.
That’s something that we look at. Obviously, you want to be at a certain — we have a goal each week that we want to be at. But he definitely exceeded that goal on Sunday.
Q. Short of saying what that goal is, is it fair to say it’s a point of emphasis for you guys, completion percentage? (Zach Berman)
SHANE STEICHEN: Yeah, we do like to have a good completion percentage, no doubt about it.
Q. You spoke a little bit about DeVonta’s blocking. At one point it looked like he called out a corner blitz. You’ve been around a lot of good receivers. He’s obviously a rookie. What do you think about his football IQ this early into his career? (John McMullen)
SHANE STEICHEN: It’s impressive. Really impressive. Even when he came in, the way he just talked football, saw football, talked about coverages, was really impressive.
For him to see certain things on the field, just talking to him on the sidelines about certain things, there’s guys, right, that have played in this league for a long time. When they see an adjustment, or something on the field, they come tell you like, ‘I think I can get them on this route.’ There were some conversations on the sideline that we had with him about certain things. He sees the field really well.
Impressed with his football knowledge, where he’s at.
Q. How would you assess the way that Miles Sanders played on Sunday against the Falcons, particularly when it came to his vision, and also how he did in the passing game? (Chris Franklin)
SHANE STEICHEN: I thought he did a nice job in both. Obviously, he had the big play around the sideline where [C Jason] Kelce pulled really good, then the screen that we hit him on was really nice. I mean, it was good landmark by him, then he got up inside. It was a great job by [G Brandon] Brooks, as well, taking that guy off. He hit it inside down there. Was really good.
Then the pass protection, he had a huge third down pickup, the one we hit to DeVonta when the safety blitzed. He came up and allowed Jalen to step up in the pocket, make that big third down conversion. I believe it was third-and-nine there. It was a big play. He did a nice job all around. It was a good job.
Q. Part of a mobile quarterback or quarterback that can keep plays alive with his feet is decision making on getting out-of-bounds and sliding. It does appear Jalen Hurts does a better job of that than perhaps some of the other quarterbacks we have seen around here with that. Is that a coaching point from you guys or something he has done before you even got here? (Rob Kuestner)
SHANE STEICHEN: I think some of those guys have a natural ability. I think it carried over. He did a nice job in college. You can see it in the NFL, he knows when to get down and slide. He knows when he can get out of bounds. I think he has a natural feel for that. Obviously, we do talk about it in the quarterback room. But he does have a really good feel for it.