SHANE STEICHEN: Great off-season so far. Excited about it. Excited where we’re at. Continuing to work through it right now, but it’s been good.
Q. What’s it like year two? How much do things change? Everybody is a little bit more comfortable. Do you guys do a little bit more or is it just sharpening up the offense? (John McMullen)
SHANE STEICHEN: I think it’s what you said. I think it’s really sharpening up what we have, and then obviously as coaches you’re always evolving, always looking at new things. But year two in the system, obviously the communication from the players, from the top down, everything has been really smooth so far and we’re just continuing to build on that right now.
Q. In QB Jalen Hurts’ case, how is he different than the last time you saw him? (Zach Berman)
SHANE STEICHEN: We talked about it before, he just has a relentless effort to be great. So, every approach he takes, right, the off-season, he doesn’t have an off-season. He’s always on it. He’s always thinking about football. We’re always talking football day in and day out and he’s continuing to grow as a player, as a leader, every single day. Obviously going into year two in the system, like I said, the communication has been great with him in meetings. We’re not starting from scratch anymore.
I feel really good where he’s at right now and we’re continuing to work on that.
Q. We talked a lot about him going into that second year in the same system, something he hasn’t had for quite a long time. What are some of the specific ways that helps him, and have you already noticed a difference? (Dave Zangaro)
SHANE STEICHEN: I think what you’ve said is right. I think he said it, he hasn’t been in the same system since high school, dating back to high school. So just the terminology part, talking through it, it’s easy to talk in meetings right now. We’re having great discussions out on the practice field, just calling plays, getting in and out of the huddle, communicating with the wide outs, all those things, timing, anticipation, working through all those things, it’s been good to see.
Q. Is it evident what he’s been working on this off-season? (Tim McManus)
SHANE STEICHEN: Yeah, you can see right now obviously his feet, we’re working on his feet right now, the drop, the quickness of it, the timing, and it’s starting to show. Every year just like any player, you’re a young player and you’re trying to get better every single year, every single day and that’s what he’s been doing, and it’s been really good to see.
Q. What will WR A.J. Brown bring to this offense? (Jeff McLane)
SHANE STEICHEN: He’s going to bring toughness. This guy is relentless. When you watch him on film, he’s hard to tackle. He’s a big-body receiver that’s very explosive, and when you see him on the practice field running routes, you can see the play strength, the explosive ability, in and out of breaks, and he just brings a great mindset to that room.
Q. There’s always talk about players making a big jump from year one to year two. When you look at RB Kenny Gainwell, especially given the fact he didn’t play his final year of college, what are the expectations for him? (Ed Kracz)
SHANE STEICHEN: Well, I think it’s the same with any young player. Obviously, you want to see a jump in year two. You want to see that growth as a runner, as a pass catcher out of the backfield. We use him out of the backfield as you guys know to run routes, so just to see different leverages, the coverages the defenders are playing on him, just to see that growth in that will be good.
Q. How does A.J. Brown’s arrival kind of help WR DeVonta Smith? (Martin Frank)
SHANE STEICHEN: Well, I think it’s great. Anytime you can add really good talent on your team it’s going to help everyone around you. You have A.J. Brown, you have DeVonta Smith, you have two elite receivers on the outside that defenses have to prepare for, so it’s going to help.
Q. Who’s first up at right guard? (Zach Berman)
SHANE STEICHEN: We’re working through all that stuff right now. [G] Isaac [Seumalo] is back obviously healthy, but he looks good right now and we’ll go from there.
Q. Is C/G Cam Jurgens part of the equation? (Josh Tolentino)
SHANE STEICHEN: Yeah, I think [C/G] Cam [Jurgens] is going to play some center and some guard. We’re going to cross train him there, so we’ll see where that goes.
Q. You guys haven’t been shy about the fact last year the offense went through DeVonta Smith and TE Dallas Goedert in the pass game. Having A.J. Brown, what kind of conversations are you guys having as a staff figuring out how the dynamic changes? (Dave Zangaro)
SHANE STEICHEN: I think that’s a great question you have. I think with anything you go into game plans you have three really good players that you have to get the ball to. Every game is going to be different. I always say this, there’s one football, and you have three really good players along with other additions that we have, so we’re working through that every single day, and that’ll take place through training camp and going into the season.
Q. Eagles Head Coach Nick Sirianni has talked a lot about how he expects to throw the ball more or be more efficient and more effective throwing the ball. What has to go into that to make that happen? (Reuben Frank)
SHANE STEICHEN: I think that starts as coaches. We have to look at some things, too, as well, as being more efficient in the pass game, how can we get easy completions, and then I think it’s just repetition, over and over again. How can we get our guys in the best position to make plays and put Jalen [Hurts] in the best position to do that.
Q. One thing Jalen Hurts had talked about was improving his flexibility. As a quarterback, how important is it to have that in terms of how you throw the ball, and as a former quarterback can you explain that a little bit? (Jeff McLane)
SHANE STEICHEN: I think maybe hip flexibility, all those different things, because when you throw, obviously you have the arm, but a lot of stuff takes place in the lower half. It’s all about your feet, it’s all about your base. So, improving that, the base, your lower half and the strength of loading off your back foot.
When you watch boxers, they’re loaded on their back foot and they’re punching, and that’s the same as a quarterback. You want to stay loaded on your back foot when you’re delivering the ball and getting your target line where it needs to be, and he’s been doing nice job of that so far.
Q. Where were you when the A.J. Brown trade went down? (Tim McManus)
SHANE STEICHEN: I was upstairs in the building right here. It was exciting to get that done. [Eagles executive vice president/general manager] Howie [Roseman] did a hell of a job getting that trade done, so we’re excited to have him.
Q. What’s the first thought that goes through your mind when that happens? (Tim McManus)
SHANE STEICHEN: We have a really good player, a really good player.
Q. How well is Jalen Hurts working in terms of film study and also working on chemistry with his receivers? (Chris Murray)
SHANE STEICHEN: That’s a great question. He’s always, always in the film room. That’s one of his assets. He’s relentless in that regard in the film room and studying our opponents, a little different coverage techniques and fronts, all those different things. Then obviously the chemistry with the wide outs, it’s taking place right now in OTAs and it’s probably going to continue over the summer. I’m sure he’ll get with those guys in the summer to do some things.
But that thing is always critical, the timing, the chemistry with those guys, that’s how it builds. The chemistry is huge, so we’re just working through that every day.
Q. Everyone talks about how hard Jalen Hurts works and there’s no off-season and all that. Do you ever ask him to just get away from it for a day or two? (Reuben Frank)
SHANE STEICHEN: You know what, I’m sure he does maybe for a day. But you never want to turn it off because I think the greatest players, regardless of what sport it is, they’re never fully turned off. They’re always thinking about it. If you’re always thinking about it, that’s what separates you from good and great.
Q. Last year you entered the season with former Eagles TE and current Cardinals TE Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert at the tight end position, now you have Dallas as the veteran guy in that room. What’s his transition been like to doing that and how has he performed in minicamp so far? (Chris Franklin)
SHANE STEICHEN: Dallas has been great. Obviously, like you’ve said, he’s a veteran player so it’s good to see him take the young guys under his wings on the practice field, in the meeting rooms. I love everything about Dallas. He’s what you want in a football player, and he brings that mindset every day to work.
Q. As far as the tight end group goes, you added TE Grant Calcaterra. What does he potentially bring, and can you update us on TE Tyree Jackson, where he stands? (Ed Kracz)
SHANE STEICHEN: Grant will be a good addition for us. He had a hell of a career at Oklahoma. I know he took a year off and then at SMU he came back and made some plays in the pass game again. So great addition that we got him.
Obviously, [TE] Jack Stoll is coming along. He’s continuing to improve every single day as a pass catcher. [TE] Noah [Togiai], he’s been a pleasure, too. He’s getting better. And then Tyree is coming along as well. It’s a good group. Our tight end coach Jason Michael does a really good job with those guys.
Q. You talked about in improving the passing offense, doing a little bit better with those easier passes. I asked Nick Sirianni this question a few weeks ago, I don’t know if you saw after the playoff loss, Troy Aikman publicly critical of teams and he mentioned the Eagles maybe trying to scheme too much guys open versus just running routes where guys can just get open on their own. Is that something you had heard and is that something that you guys kind of noticed on self-reflection after the season, and will A.J. Brown allow you to do more of that because he can beat guys one-on-one? (Jeff McLane)
SHANE STEICHEN: I didn’t hear that. I think it’s just more us. We were just looking at what we were doing, and we have to improve in that area. I believe we were 12th in the NFL at 6.9 yards attempt, which is — we want to be in the top 10, and we want to continue to improve, and however we need to do that as coaches and as players, we’re going to do that.
Q. Curious about the off-season. You have a limited time with the players and then everybody goes off and works with specialized coaches. What’s kind of the instruction from the coaching staff when guys are out there doing the work with whether it’s offensive line masterminds or Tight End University or Jalen Hurts working out in Southern California? What’s the mindset of the coaches? (John McMullen)
SHANE STEICHEN: Well, I think this: I think most coaches during this time, we talk to those players, ‘Hey, what’s your routine?’ Because a lot of veterans have routines in the off-season, and I think some of the young guys – same thing talking with DeVonta, he’s a second-year player, I talked to him yesterday about what’s your routine. And all these guys have a routine. Some guys are in different spots, but they all have a routine so they make sure they’re in tiptop shape when they come back to work to start training camp. I’m not worried about that. Those guys are professionals and they’ll be ready to go come training camp.
Q. This time of year is often a time for reps for down-the-depth-chart players. You guys have fewer practices than other teams. How do you compensate for those down-the-depth-chart guys? (Zach Berman)
SHANE STEICHEN: I think really right now we’re focused on the fundamentals and the details of everything we do right now, really working on the fundamentals. I think that starts in the meeting room and then it goes with the coaches on to the practice field. If we can be really good at those fundamentals and details, the reps will take care of itself into training camp and going into the season.
Q. Nick Sirianni said late last season one of the changes that benefitted the offense was having you call plays directly to Jalen Hurts. Obviously, you’re still involved with that. Can you explain how that was handled and how you think it’ll be – (Jeff McLane)
SHANE STEICHEN: I think last year we were a new staff, and we were evolving as an offense. So as the season got going on, I ended up taking over more of the play calling mid-season. Then again, Nick has a stamp on every single thing we do. So, in the meeting rooms he has a stamp on everything we do, every play that’s on that call sheet, he makes sure it’s justified, boom, and we’re good to go. So going forward, I’ll be calling the plays next year, and we’ll go from there.
Q. When Jalen Hurts talks about having the same play caller two years in a row, is that you? (Zach Berman)
SHANE STEICHEN: Like I said, I’ll be calling the plays, but it is a complete group effort. It’s a complete group effort from the top down. It starts with Nick as the head coach. He does a hell of a job game planning. Then we go from there. On game day, he’s the head coach, and if he wants something called, he’ll tell me, and I’ll get it called.
Q. Can you clarify the process a little bit because it feels a little convoluted to me. Is there a short menu of plays you’re picking from, kind of a multiple choice thing and you pick from that? Is that how it works? Or do you have the full menu? (Dave Zangaro)
SHANE STEICHEN: We have a system. We have an opener. We go through the 3rd downs. We go through everything we do, week in and week out, so we’re prepared for the game. So once the game starts, we’re kind of on the same page. Then in between series just like every team probably does around the league, you talk through the next series of plays, ‘Hey, here’s what we’re going to go with, boom, boom, boom, be ready for this in this situation,’ just so all the coaches are on the same page.
Q. Does Jalen Hurts being in the offense for a second year give him more input into what those plays are going to be? (Bo Wulf)
SHANE STEICHEN: Yeah, I think with anything, obviously when you’re a young player you’re growing. You’re growing and you’re seeing and you’re in the offense for a second year. Then, you’re going to have more say in what you like, what you don’t like. Then what he’s good at, we have to put him in those positions.
Q. How much would you say you and Nick Sirianni are in lockstep as far as your vision for the offense? I would think to be able to call plays almost like jointly you have to really be in lockstep (Reuben Frank)
SHANE STEICHEN: Oh, there’s no doubt about it. I think it goes back to when me and Nick worked in San Diego. We worked together for four years in San Diego, and then obviously we had the couple years away, but the system and the terminology was the same.
To be on the same page and think alike, it makes it really smooth.
Q. You guys proved to be pretty ground heavy last season. What’s sort of your vision for how the offense will look this year? (Tim McManus)
SHANE STEICHEN: I think that evolves every game. I think every game is different. Some games you might have to throw it a ton, some games you might have to run it, but if you can be balanced but be aggressive, it should be good for us.
Q. Is Jalen Hurts the type of quarterback you can do that with? (Zach Berman)
SHANE STEICHEN: Yeah, Jalen, absolutely. He’s making great strides and that’s what we’re working on every day. He’s going into his third year in the NFL. He made great strides last year. You saw it as the season went on, and we hope to continue to do that this year.
Q. We know about WR Jalen Reagor’s on-field struggles. He’s had some off-field issues, as well, with close family members and friends passing away. How has he looked this spring coming back? (Jeff McLane)
SHANE STEICHEN: He’s explosive. That’s one of his biggest assets. He’s an explosive player. He still has that ability to run routes and be fast and strong and physical, and again, we’re just continuing to improve on those things every single day.