Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni spoke to reporters on Wednesday and had a handful of injury updates heading into Week 10. He also talked a bit about Jalen Hurts and his athleticism, why moving QB coach Brian Johnson down to the sideline has helped the past few weeks, and why they made the move to sign RB Jordan Howard to the 53-man roster.
Here’s what the head coach had to say:
Both Darius Slay and Avonte Maddox are day-to-day, and they’ll see what happens as the week goes on.
Brandon Brooks is still working his way back, and while there’s no update or timeline for when he’ll be ready to return to the field, Sirianni said that he’s still in the training room and in meetings, and has still been contributing.
Josh Sweat is in the concussion protocol.
Landon Dickerson was banged up a little on Sunday but is doing fine and will be ready to go on Sunday.
On Jalen Hurts and the passing game
Sirianni had previously mentioned that Hurts made some plays against the Chargers that he didn’t think many other QBs could make, and elaborated on Wednesday about some of the third downs plays and when he would escape the pocket. The head coach specifically pointed out the play where Hurts flipped over Drue Tranquill and made a really nice play, and then when he was able to make Joey Bosa miss him.
“You think about the one where they went blitz zero on us and this was one he scrambled. Bosa came free off the edge, just because we couldn’t block everybody, they brought one more than you could block. Bosa came free off the edge, he spun around and got a big play off the sideline.
I mean, those are things that are — it’s tough. They had every gap filled and you had an all-pro guy coming off the edge free, that he made him miss.
And so, those are the two that really stick out in my mind. Again, I thought he did a good job delivering the football.”
When asked how Sirianni evaluates Hurts’ performance comparing the plays he makes with his legs and his ability to pass the ball, the head coach noted that it’s not always going to look normal. He said that the QB has been very efficient with the football, and there has to be a happy median between making plays out of the pocket and standing in there and throwing the ball.
“You always look at their skill and what they have. And instincts is a big, big piece of this, right? I think we’ve been around players — in my past, I’ve been around players that have all the skill in the world, but they lack a little bit of instinct. And that instinct is a big-time separator in making plays.”
On QB coach Brian Johnson
The head coach pointed out that Johnson has been on the sideline the past two games to really communicate with Hurts while Sirianni and OC Shane Steichen talk about the next series and other things. Johnson has been a great influence on Hurts from the sideline, and he brings a ton of experience in other areas like blitz protection, quarterback play, different styles of quarterbacks, so he’s someone Sirianni really likes having around.
He also went on to explain the decision to move Johnson down to the field, because they weren’t able to go through everything they needed to and have Steichen be able to work through things with Hurts if they had a quick 3-and-out or other things they needed to address. It was an adjustment they made to free up Sirianni and Steichen, but also to have someone able to give extra attention to Hurts in between drives.
On promoting Jordan Howard
“He’s done his job when he’s went in there. He’s hit the holes nice and downhill. And he’s a big man. And to have to tackle him — what did he have, 19, 17 carries? To have to tackle him 17 times in a game, that will wear a defense down. And so, he’s just given us a good spark there in the run game and the way that he runs hard and he’s just being himself.”
On facing a Vic Fangio defense in Week 10
Sirianni has been on a few teams that have played Fangio a handful of times and so that’s tape and notes he’s able to go back and review.
“I always think with him, you see where they are ranked in run defense, they’re always going to try to stop the run first. And he does a good job of that, of taking away the run game or trying to take away the run game and do the things he needs to do to do that. There’s a lot of different ways to do that.
And so, you always see his guys play hard. So, the team probably really follows him. I haven’t been around him, but probably a good leader.
They play hard. They’re technically sound. Again, any time I kind of think about, ‘What do I want another coach to think about my team,’ I always want them to think we’re fundamentally sound because I just think that’s the biggest compliment you can give somebody. So, I always see his teams being fundamentally sound, stopping the run, and playing hard.”
- Tyree Jackson was able to get a few snaps last week, and Sirianni said that it’s good for the QB-turned-TE to get some reps. He’s someone other team don’t know a lot about in terms of what he’s capable of, so that’s something they’ll keep close to the vest.
- Hurts mentioned that the communication between he and the coaches has really improved lately, and Sirianni echoed that, saying as time goes on you get more comfortable with each other and also on Friday’s after practice and meetings, the two meet and just talk non-football stuff for a bit.