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Nick Sirianni defends DeVonta Smith’s snap count against the Jets

Plus, the head coach address C.J. Mosley’s post-game comments about disrespect.

Eagles’ head coach Nick Sirianni spoke to reporters on Monday and gave some injury updates heading into the bye week and also explained the lack of playing time for WR DeVonta Smith on Sunday. He talked a bit about Landon Dickerson’s development, the Eagles’ defense against the Jets, and also touched on the post-game comments made by C.J. Mosley.

Here’s what the head coach had to say:

Injury updates

  • Sirianni said they got some positive news with regards to Jason Kelce and his injury, so while he doesn’t want to put a timetable on his return, they are hopeful he’ll be ready to go after the bye.
  • Similarly with RB Jordan Howard, his rehab is progressing and he’s doing better each day, so while not written in stone, they’re hopeful he’ll be ready to play after the bye.
  • The head coach also said he’ll have more information about Brandon Brooks next week.
  • Additionally, Steven Nelson and Patrick Johnson should be good after the bye, and Jeff Stoutland was back in the office on Monday just like normal — although, Sirianni wouldn’t give any more details into what ailed Stoutland during pre-game on Sunday.

On DeVonta Smith’s lack of snaps vs. Jets

Sirianni was asked about Smith taking his lowest number of snaps on Sunday, and he didn’t hold back with his reasoning.

“You know, with a couple of the things we had in that game – we were in 13-personnel and we were running some good things out of 13-personnel and we were having some success in the run game and in the play-action game. And with who we wanted in there on 13-personnel with what we were asking them to do in 13-personnel, that was [Jalen] Reagor. That’s where Reagor got a lot of those snaps.

And so that’s just the way it went. Not going to apologize, we didn’t punt until the last series of the game and so that’s just the way it went that game and that’s the flow sometimes. So, that’s kind of why it went that way, though.”

He then went on to confirm that there were no injury concerns keeping Smith limited, but said it’ll be nice for him to be even more rested and even faster coming back from the bye.

On C.J. Mosley’s comment about disrespect

“As far as C.J. Mosley’s comments, obviously we always just want to be respectful to our opponents. I did like [Fletcher Cox]’s response to that they didn’t shake hands, well at least they hugged before the game. So, I thought that was clever by Fletch.

But we respect the Jets. I do believe we respect every opponent we play. I have a ton of respect for Coach Saleh and the job he’s doing. I want to continue to have that relationship with him. We know similar people. I want to continue to practice against them in training camp. I think that was good for both sides to be able to do that, and so just want to keep that relationship going.

But I understand that frustrations happen out there. No other comments than that right there.”

On Landon Dickerson’s development

Sirianni talked about how they are seeing the rookie getting better each week, and as a younger player, he’s capable of making big strides. Now, with almost 10 games experience, he’s shaking his rookie status a little and just continuing to improve.

He also said, while acknowledging it’s high praise, he sees some of the physical movements of Quenton Nelson — someone Sirianni thinks is a great football player and someone he has benefitted from having on some of his rosters.

“I just see Landon playing tough and playing physical and playing nasty, right? Which is what you want out of your offensive line. So, he’s getting more confident, more comfortable being on that offensive line, and he’s got one of the best centers to ever play this game next to him helping him through it. What an opportunity for him to play alongside Jason Kelce and help him through that first year and forward.

Then also being able to have combination blocks with Jordan Mailata. He’s huge, and so now you get those two huge bodes on the left side working combination blocks, whether that’s on the front side of a run, which you saw on the touchdown run by Kenny [Gainwell] working a combination block into the linebacker, or whether that’s on the backside of a run where they’re working that combination block.”

On the Eagles’ defense on Sunday

“I thought the defense did a really nice job. After that third possession where they went down and scored, I thought they did a really good job of adjusting what they needed to adjust to put our guys in position to succeed, and the guys did a good job handling the adjustments and going from there.

So, again, the first three series didn’t go at all how we wanted it to go, but they really had that dog mentality that, ‘Hey, brush it off and just play the next play.’ They really played awesome defense from there on out.”

Other notables

  • Sirianni talked about the Dallas Goedert’s performance against the Jets and how his speed was highlighted, especially in certain matchups. He also said the TE is a monster with the ball in his hands, and with him being big and strong, he’s hard to tackle.
  • As far as the schedule during the bye, players were in to work on Monday but then have the rest of the week off. Sirianni said with the late-season bye, he thinks it’s really important that the guys step away, take a break, and get their bodies right. Coaches will work on Tuesday and maybe Wednesday, but he wants them to get some time away as well, to come back fresh.

“But at the end of the day, we’re going to be away, but I know, like I said, we’re football guys. We’re going to think about football. We’re going to watch football when we’re away. I’m going to go to my son’s flag football game on Wednesday and watch some football there. I am going to watch the Thursday night game with the Steelers and the Vikings. I’m going to watch football all week. I am going to watch the Army-Navy game on Saturday. That’s who I am and that’s what I like to do.”

  • When asked about the team’s playoff potential, Sirianni admitted he wishes they had a few wins he think they could’ve gotten earlier in the season, but ultimately their message and plans don’t change. They are taking things one week at a time, with the head coach saying you can’t win all the games in one week, and their goal has to be to go 1-0 each game through the rest of the season.

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