Eagles’ head coach Nick Sirianni spoke to reporters following the team’s big win over the Saints on Sunday, and talked about his big takeaway from the game, his message to Miles Sanders following the two fumbles, and why JJ Arcega-Whiteside’s 23-yard catch will be the team’s play of the game. He also admitted that he got too conservative once they had a big lead, letting New Orleans make their way back into the matchup.
“With what the score was and the way it was going, I got too conservative. I’ll say that right now. I’ll say it out loud. I got a bit conservative with the play calling that allowed them to work their way back into the game. So that’s on me.”
Here’s what the head coach had to say:
On his takeaway from the game
“I think it was a good, physical game. That’s something that we really wanted to do is be physical in this game. I thought our guys really showed that. You guys have asked me a little bit about identity, and I can share with you what we talked about with our team — and I don’t think it’s about plays you call, or defenses you call, or special teams calls you call, it was about our team is close. It’s a close-knit group of guys that connect. It’s a physical group of guys and its guys that leave everything out there on the field.
That’s what we really talked about last night. You guys have asked me a couple times about identity, and what I just wanted to say to them is, hey, our identity is these three things that I just mentioned right there. That was really on display today.”
On Miles Sanders’ fumbles
As for Sirianni’s message to Sanders after his two fumbles on Sunday, the head coach emphasized the dog mentality, and that it’s always looking ahead to the next play and not dwelling on those mistakes. He noted that they also wanted to show Sanders that they have confidence in him, and the RB finished the day with over 90 yards and overall had a good game and ran the ball hard.
“And so, it is. It was just, ‘Hey, forget that play. Next play. Next play.’ And I think that means a lot to guys when you show the confidence in them. And then you correct what’s going on. And you say, ‘Hey, when you get in the traffic,’ — what we talk about, we call this a clasp hand, you put that clasp hand on it. That’s what we talked about and showed trust in him and belief in him. And I know that will be rewarding going forward with Miles.”
On JJ Arcega-Whiteside
The head coach wanted to take a moment to recognize JJ Arcega-Whiteside’s big play in a critical time, when things started to feel like they were slipping away. The Saints were coming back into the game and they really needed that big spark that JJAW provided with his 20-plus yard gain.
Sirianni didn’t want to give away too many details, but noted that that WR had a tough week personally, and so for him to go out and make that type of play, was big.
“I think he embodies the toughness of this city and this football team. He’s been asked to do things that he hasn’t been asked to do before. He’s been asked to be a special teams guy that really is gritty and tough because he has that in his body. He’s been asked to be our blocking type of receiver in critical times. So, it was great to reward him with a catch in that scenario.
And I’m just so happy for him that he made that type of play and helped kind of stop the bleeding in that drive and make a big play to help us kind of put that game away.”
He went on to say that they always vote for a play of the game, and he’s the head coach so ultimately it’s his decision, and he already decided that JJAW’s catch will be it.
On Dallas Goedert and his receiving ability
Sirianni was asked about the tight end’s finger-tip catch on third down, and he said that Goedert works on it every day and it was a phenomenal strong-hand catch.
“So that’s a catch we do with the receivers and the tight ends and the running backs every single day in what we call our catch circuit. It’s 85 catches. I’ll fill you guys in on it at some point. 85 catches, different catches that don’t happen a lot.
And so, Dallas does that religiously. He does that not only in walk-through, but he gets 85 times two, because he also gets that in practice as well.
So, he’s getting 20 of those catches a day for that ripping through. So that’s what I love about this game. Those things you do just religiously over and over again and when they come up in that scenario, you’re like, ‘Thank God we’ve done that and we’ve repped that,’ and all the credit goes to Dallas in the first place because he’s got strong hands in the first place.”
On T.J. Edwards and the defense
Sirianni was asked about Edwards and his strong defensive performances the past few games, but the head coach noted he thinks the defense is playing well as a whole, and didn’t want to single anybody out. He said it all starts up front, but that Edwards brings a physicality that is contagious, and continues to go after the ball.
“You saw the one play on the swing pass out there where the guy felt T.J. coming. And then he ended up getting — I think he dropped the ball. But T.J. just has that physicality and he’s just really playing good football right now.
And he’s a good communicator with the defense and talking to everybody. And so, he’s playing really good football. And sure, those guys from Wisconsin, that played as a Badger, my experience with those guys is they’re tough and they’re nasty and they can play physical ball.
I’m sure glad he’s playing the role he’s playing right now.”