Eagles’ head coach Nick Sirianni spoke to reporters on Monday and gave some (unfortunate) injury updates, as well as talked about their passing game as a whole, what he thinks of Jalen Reagor’s development, and the current mindset of the team.
Here’s what the head coach had to say:
- Jack Driscoll is headed to IR with a high-ankle sprain, which means he is done for the year since it’s his second time on the list.
- They’re still evaluating Brandon Brooks and won’t have any updates on him ahead of the bye in Week 14.
- They’re still seeing how everything goes with Jordan Howard (knee), and are hoping to have more of an update on Wednesday, but he’s progressing the right way.
- Miles Sanders is sore after Sunday’s game, so they will see how he progresses during the week and should have more information on Wednesday, but he’s heading in the right direction.
- Jason Kelce showed his grit and drive by coming back on Sunday, but he’s another one they will know more about on Wednesday.
- Another guy they are looking at is QB Jalen Hurts, who they’ll know more about on Wednesday, but he’s got a sore ankle. Both Sirianni and Hurts are hopeful he’ll be ready to go for their Week 13 game, but will know more later in the week.
On the passing game
“My message to the pass-group guys today in film was, ‘Hey, it wasn’t good enough in his group yesterday.’ That starts with me, putting them in positions to succeed, then obviously, the guy who touches the ball every time is the quarterback, him executing at a high level, and then to the receivers, tight ends, and running backs. So, not good enough. We’re not where we want to be in that part of our game. We’re working like crazy to get better at it.
I think what you’ve seen is our play action game has been able to be successful, but when teams know we’re dropping back, and when we’re dropping back to pass, that’s where we’ve struggled on the 3rd-and-longer scenarios. That’s an emphasis that we know we need to get better at, because we know if we want to win the games we need to win — and that really just starts here with the next game here against the Jets. When we need to pass the ball, we need to succeed at doing so. So, that starts with the drop-back passing game where we need to get better.”
Sirianni was later asked about the lack of targets for DeVonta Smith and Dallas Goedert against the Giants, and he mentioned that those two are their priority on a pass play, but the QB can’t force feed them the ball if the looks aren’t there. He acknowledged that they do still try and get some touches for Jalen Reagor, Quez Watkins, and Kenny Gainwell, because they need to have a balanced offense, but Sirianni took responsibility for not getting Smith and Goedert enough touches on Sunday.
On the offensive line
When Kelce left the game on Sunday, Sirianni said that he felt Nate Herbig had an above-average performance, but obviously when there are penalties that does affect how the coaches grade. If Herbig didn’t have the two holding calls, the head coach would have graded him as having a good game, so they are confident in him being the back-up center.
Sirianni went on to explain that a lot goes into the backup rotation and decisions, as far as whether they considered moving Landon Dickerson over to center. He mentioned they have to consider who they have as backups at each position. The head coach was sure to say it’s not that they don’t have confidence in Dickerson at center, but if he’s focusing on preparing as the backup center, it diverts his attention from learning how to be the starting guard — which Sirianni said the rookie is playing really well right now.
On Jalen Reagor’s development
Sirianni said that he believes Reagor is working on improving every day, and he did have some plays he’d like back on Sunday, but he also did some nice things throughout the game. He noted that what they want out of Reagor, and really every player, is consistency, and that was really lacking from the WR against the Giants.
The head coach was asked if he’d considered bench Reagor, even for just one game, and Sirianni was very quick to say, “No.” He explained that doing so wouldn’t be in the best interest of the football team.
On the final play against the Giants
Immediately after the game on Sunday, Sirianni talked about DeVonta Smith wanting the ball, but also mentioned that he wasn’t initially open on the play despite getting a bit of space as Hurts started to scramble.
The head coach elaborated on Monday, explaining that they ran a shallow-cross play and Smith was the first read — noting Smith is the 1a and Dallas Goedert is 1b on that play, but the defense took away Goedert leaving Smith as the first read. Sirianni said they didn’t do a great job executing the route discipline on that play with Smith and Quez Watkins, but it turned into a scramble and they got an open look to Reagor, Hurts made a good throw, and they just need to be able to complete that play.
On the team’s motivation
“I think we have a fire lit under us. There is no doubt. I think this is a hungry team that wants to do well, that craves to do well, and works their tail off to play well every week. So, you never want to have a loss, but our mindset is no matter what the circumstance was the week before, work your tail off this week to put yourself in position to win this week.
And I really believe that the guys here have won a lot — a lot of veteran guys have won a lot of football games, and they know the best teams they have been on have practiced well. I believe that we practice well. We practice hard, we practice physical, we practice at great tempo with great detail.
That’s a tribute to the guys we have on this team and the way we want this thing led. So that is our only mindset is how do we win this game? I think when you get into the mode where you’re doing the math of, all right, well if this team wins — who plays tonight, Washington and Seattle? I could care less who wins that game.
All I care about is how we get ourselves ready to win this game. I think when you’re in that mindset, if you get into the mindset of what are the things we have to do to make the playoffs, it doesn’t matter unless you take care of your own business.
That loss hurt yesterday. We don’t need any extra motivation because I think this team, like I said, is motivated enough through its own internal determination. We’re going to do everything we can to get back on track and win this football game against the Jets this week.”