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Nick Sirianni said the Eagles are ‘hopeful’ to have Lane Johnson back this year

Plus, the head coach talked the OL and Jalen Hurts performances against Carolina.

Nick Sirianni met with reporters on Monday afternoon to talk about the team in the aftermath of their Week 5 win over the Carolina Panthers.

Here’s what the head coach had to say:

On Lane Johnson

It was pointed out that Sirianni was wearing Johnson’s number on his visor on Sunday, and the head coach was asked whether that was indicative that the veteran would miss considerable time. He noted that he just wanted the guys — Brandon Graham, Isaac Seumalo, and Johnson — to know that they were a part of the team effort and were there with them in spirit.

“That’s not reflective that he’ll be out for the season. Still working through a personal matter, and we’re here for Lane for everything, and all our guys, through good times and bad times.”

Sirianni later said that they’re “hopeful” that Johnson will be back again this year because they know how important he is to the team, but the head coach wouldn’t go into any further details.

On the rest of the offensive line

Sirianni noted that rookie Landon Dickerson had to come out of the game Sunday because of a little tweak of his ankle. He didn’t go back in the game, but he looked good on Monday, and they expect him to be able to play moving forward.

But, the head coach pointed out that he thought Nate Herbig did a good job when he came in to replace Dickerson, and gave them some meaningful reps. He went on to explain that whenever you can end the game with the ball in your hand during the four minute drill, you’re doing your job, but that isn’t to say there isn’t a lot of things they need to clean up in that area of their game. But, Herbig was a part of that, and was a part of them being able to end the game with the ball in their hands.

Sirianni was also asked about Andre Dillard, and he emphasized that he always felt like Dillard had a great training camp, and unfortunately he got hurt and Jordan Mailata continued to play well, so Mailata got the left tackle starting spot. But, the head coach said he’s had complete confidence in Dillard since he got to Philly, and he showed his ability in the Jets preseason game and now three games in a row during the regular season. Dillard is playing good, consistent football, and Sirianni is happy to have to him on the roster.

The head coach later mentioned that if they don’t have Johnson back for Thursday night’s game, he would expect the OL to look similar to how it did on Sunday — with Jordan Mailata on the right and Andre Dillard on the left. He noted that Mailata gave up some plays against the Panthers, but he was able to brush it off and keep going. There are some things they’ll need to clean up — something Sirianni said was true of the whole team — but they were happy to get Mailata back on the field.

On Jalen Hurts’ performance

“It was perseverance and his ability to just forget what happened in the first half, because everything that we wanted out of that game, which is obviously to win the game, was right there in front of us, and he took advantage of it and played a really good game in the second half.

You’re just going to want some throws back, some reads back, and that kind of extended into the third quarter a little bit for all of us, not just Jalen, but the entire offensive unit and the coaching staff. Again, it was completely playing the next play, and knowing that the defense was keeping us in the game, and keeping us right there, and it’s just going to take one play to really turn the tide. And he made a heck of throw then to Quez [Watkins] to really turn the tide and help that comeback start.”

On being successful in a short week

“To make sure you’re keeping things simple and not getting too complicated, because you’re not going to have the live reps of doing what you’re going to do in a game. So, keep things simple, keep things the guys can learn and execute that you’ve been executing all year. But, then again, be able to attack them enough that you’re going after the style of defense they are, so there’s always a happy medium in that. But definitely do things we’re able to execute, knowing that we don’t have a lot of time to get ready for this game.”

Sirianni went on to say that this week will also be more mental reps and walk-throughs as they have to try and get their legs back under them and have ample time to rehab from Sunday’s game.

Other notables

  • Sirianni was asked how he’s evaluated his job as a play caller this season, and he pointed to wanting to improve in the red zone — where they currently rank No. 11 in the NFL. The head coach also said he wants to work on utilizing different aspects of their offensive game, and even though the defense dictates some of what they’re doing, he wants to spread the ball around more.
  • He also talked a bit about why he stuck with the screen and short-pass game for so long against Carolina, when it apparent early on that they weren’t working. Sirianni explained that the Panthers did a good job of changing up their scheme to take away some of the Eagles’ offense, and sometimes you you don’t get the answer right away because they were called in different situations with the defense showing different things.
  • Sirianni noted that Davion Taylor was really showing up in OTAs and was having a really good offseason before he was sidelined with an injury. They had always hoped to be able to play him early and often this season, and it just so happened that it took until Week 5 to get him that playing time.

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