The Eagles were back at camp on Saturday for an evening practice, and we got to hear from head coach Nick Sirianni before the players took the field. He spoke to reporters about Jalen Hurts’ fundamentals, the offensive line, and a bit about Jalen Reagor’s situation and how they are helping support him through a tough time.
Here’s what the head coach had to say:
On Jalen Hurts
Sirianni noted that on Friday, Hurts had some really big throws in the red zone, and it’s been great to see his playmaking ability.
As far as the QB’s fundamentals, the head coach mentioned on Day 1 of camp that they don’t want to mess too much with Hurts’ throwing motion, because that’s something he’s comfortable with, but they are working on him protecting the ball with two hands in motion. Sirianni said that he and the coaches are always emphasizing his feet, and everything they do is to get his feet set for each play.
“It’s a work in progress. You’re just trying to get a little bit better each day, but again that just starts with doing the right thing with your drop. And, then it goes, just like any fundamental you want to get better at, you gotta drill — you gotta walk it, you gotta drill it, and you then you’ve got to carry it over to the team, and it takes time for exactly what we want him to do on each play. So, the process is going well, but we’re far from where we need to be.”
On the offensive line
“Oh man, this offensive line, just excited to be around this offensive line. Again, you’ve got a lot of guys who have won a lot of football games here — particularly on that right side with Brandon [Brooks] and with Lane [Johnson] and with Jason [Kelce] in the middle, and Isaac [Seumalo] for that matter. So, we’re waiting for Isaac and Brandon to get back at it after a couple things that they’re going through with their bodies, but yes, just very excited about the offensive line that we have. You win football games because you’re good on the o-line, d-line — I mean, that’s no secret.”
Sirianni was asked about Andre Dillard who has shown some signs of irritation with his play through the first few days, but the head coach said that he’s been pleased with how the second-year player has played through some bumps and bruises. He also noted that Jordan Mailata came back to camp in “phenomenal shape” and hit his target weight, and both the player and training camp acknowledged Mailata is in the best shape of his life.
On the wide receivers
Sirianni was asked about Jalen Reagor failing his conditioning tests, and the head coach noted that they obviously want all their players available every single day. He acknowledged, however, that Reagor has gone through some things personally that he can’t imagine dealing with, so he understands that the receiver needs to get back to himself mentally, and he’s not concerned long term. They’ve been holding him back because he’s had some tightness, but they expected him to take some reps on Saturday.
“If we’re going to say the very first core value is connecting, and then aren’t there for our players in their time of need, then we’re full of it. And, so, it’s just being there for him and having the people in place in the building to help him deal with anything he’s going through. So, you have professionals that are doing that, right, that can talk to him if need be, and then you just have coaches that care for him and that are there to talk to him to.”
The Eagles recently signed receiver Andre Patton, and Sirianni said that they needed some more legs out with the WR group and he has familiarity with Patton from his rookie year. That rookie season Patton spent on the practice squad, but Sirianni said it was because they believed in his ability to be a big-time player — he has a great ability to bend, he’s long, he was solid catching the ball, and he has a lot of talent.
“I give so much credit to DeVonta and his fundamentals. He’s worked at his game. He’s worked at his craft. Give so much credit to the coaches over there at Alabama that — his wide receiver coach, Coach Saban, his offensive coordinator — like, they’ve worked at his game and improving his fundamentals. And, that’s how a player gets better is — we’ve got these guys out here that are World-class athletes, and then if you can combine athleticism with fundamentals, the sky’s the limit for a lot of these guys. That’s where I see DeVonta, his fundamentals are really polished for a young player.”
- The defense has won a majority of the early camp practices, but Sirianni said that’s typical and he isn’t concerned about the offense stepping up. He also said that he loves the energy the defense is bringing, and they are relentless out on the field.
- Some of the veterans had a rest day on Friday and Sirianni said that they are constantly trying to make decisions based on how to keep the guys healthy. They’ve got several day ear-marked for those rest days throughout camp, and he’s not worried about the new system and these older guys missing time on the field — they’re still in the meeting rooms and walk-throughs, but their bodies benefitted from that break.
- Sirianni noted the Eagles will hold their first padded practice on Tuesday.