Eagles’ head coach Nick Sirianni spoke to reporters on Monday following the team’s big win over the Giants in Week 16, and gave some injury updates as well as talked about Jalen Hurts’ performance and why it wasn’t quite as bad as it looked in real time. Plus, he gave his thoughts on Jonathan Gannon as a head coach, and some updates on what they team is doing to try and stave off a Covid outbreak during the surge.
Here’s what the head coach had to say:
- Miles Sanders did indeed break his hand, so he’ll be out in Week 17, but they’re hopeful to get him back at some point this season — he will not be going on IR.
- Jordan Howard’s MRI came back good and they’re hopeful for him to be able to play on Sunday.
- Nate Herbig he had a knee sprain and could have returned on Sunday if they needed him too, but they kept him out as a precaution.
- K’Von Wallace had a hip pointer and he should be fine.
- There’s also no new update on Brandon Brooks or Davion Taylor. Sirianni was later asked if Brooks was still dealing with the pec strain or if it was something else keeping him out, but the head coach would only say there was no new update and he’s still working through the injury. As for whether Brooks could still return this season, Sirianni said there’s still no timetable and they’re taking thinks week-by-week to figure it out.
On Jalen Hurts’ performance
It was pointed out that Hurts only ran the ball twice in Sunday’s win over the Giants, and Sirianni said it was similar to his performance the week prior against Washington. Having two games in a row with quarterback ratings over 100 without having to use his legs much says a lot about his development this season.
“But, no surprise there. Jalen works like crazy to get better and he’s just getting better each week. And so, you’re always going to have some down games here and there. I know he’ll always want that first Giants game back, but these last two games have been really good for him.”
The head coach also admitted that their game plan has been a little bit tailored to help avoid re-injuring Hurts’ ankle, but some of it was based on what the defense was giving them. He thinks that they’re past the point of having to worry about Hurts’ ankle, though, and he’s able to do whatever is needed for them to win, so that won’t be a consideration moving forward.
Sirianni was asked about some of the throws Hurts would want back from the first half of Sunday’s game, but he noted that a few of the passes that looked like misses, actually had extenuating circumstances. He explained that on the stop route to Jalen Reagor, Hurts kind of skipped the ball to him, but upon review you can see the defender actually tip the ball as it was coming out of his hands. The head coach gave another example of a throw to Miles Sanders that looked like Hurts threw it at a bad angle, but upon further review, Sanders actually wasn’t where Hurts expected him to be based on the route.
So, the only two plays he would want back from Hurts are the ball security mistakes — the fumble that was recovered by Dallas Goedert and then the interception that was overturned.
“He’s a resilient guy. He’s able to fight through and stay in the moment, and I think that’s what you want out of all your players — I know that’s what you want out of all your players.”
On NFL coaching cycle
“I think Jonathan [Gannon] would be an awesome head coach.”
Sirianni went on to quip that he’d like to make a joke about how terrible he is so that he could keep him on his staff, but he does think he’d be a great head coach for all the reasons he took into account when hiring him as the Eagles’ defensive coordinator.
As for how he’ll handle some of his staff being looked at for other positions and potentially leaving, Sirianni said that ultimately it’s a good sign for what he’s done as a head coach and what they’ve done as a team if the assistants are getting offers elsewhere.
- Sirianni was asked about T.J. Edwards and what he brings to the team, and the head coach emphasized what he has all season, which is the linebackers’ physicality and relentlessness toward going after the ball. He also said Edwards is that he’s a really smart player, and from an offensive perspective he’s someone that you have to prepare for thumping you over the middle and you better protect the ball.
- The head coach confirmed that he both tested negative for Covid and did a CT test for a value over 35 before returning to the team. He also said that they’ve done some different things to protect the team even before they were mandated, and he’s been talking to other coaches around the league to see what they’re doing. Sirianni said that he knows they need to win this weekend and they’ll need all hands on deck to do so, which means they will be implementing some new precautions and will also have the QBs in separate rooms.
- He also talked a bit about Boston Scott and how every time he’s been called upon, he’s rose to the occasion, and they have no doubt he’ll be able to do the same thing this week — with Sanders out and Howard questionable. Sirianni credit Howie Roseman and his staff with having the kind of depth that they do, especially at the running back position. He also admitted that Scott wants more opportunities, and he deserves more opportunities, they are just a really deep group at the moment.