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Nick Sirianni explains use of checks in the Eagles’ offense

Plus, the head coach talks Jalen Hurts, Jalen Reagor, and the Eagles’ defense.

Pittsburgh Steelers v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni spoke with reporters on Tuesday in his last media appearance prior to Thursday’s second preseason game, and spoke about the development of Jalen Hurts and Jalen Reagor, the use of checks in their offense, and how he’s handling roster cuts.

Here’s what the head coach had to say:

On Jalen Hurts

Sirianni was asked about Hurts’ performance during the first joint practice with the Patriots, and the head coach noted that the QB knew where to go with the football and made quick decisions. He admitted there are always a few times he wishes the ball came out quicker, but overall Hurts had a good day throwing.

The head coach was asked how Hurts has been developing getting the ball out more timely.

“You know, again I think I’ve mentioned this before that you don’t want to completely change something that is a strength of his, but you want to get it a little bit more balanced throwing the ball on time. It’s definitely been an emphasis. Don’t want to be extreme with it. Again, wise man avoids all extremes. You don’t want to be extreme and say, ‘Hey, you have to turn into this passer,’ but he’s getting better at it.

The things you focus on, you tend to think you get better at them and that’s definitely an improvement he’s made.”

On Jalen Reagor

Sirianni talked about being really impressed with Reagor lately, and particularly in his one-on-one drills in Monday’s practice. He noted that Reagor had started using some techniques that they’ve been emphasizing — by taking his ability and athleticism, and combining those with fundamentals and technique, he’s really able to reach his ceiling.

“So what I saw Jalen [Reagor] do yesterday in those one-on-ones, he was great off the line of scrimmage of how he was moving a guy, he was good at the top of the route. He finished with the catch. He just had a good feel how to attack guys yesterday and so I really see him growing, really a credit to Aaron Moorehead and Kevin Patullo who have really helped work there and it’s great to have Eddie Royal here working with our guys.”

On the use of checks in the offense

“It’s a little different each time. Sometimes it’s a play that it’s, ‘Hey, we are running this, and if we get this, we are running this. Sometimes we are running this and if we get this, we’re doing this and if we get this it’s a three-way check’. And sometimes it’s just built into, ‘Hey, this team likes to do this, this sort of pressure, be ready to check to these couple things that they do.’

So it’s a little different each time, but that’s why it’s so important that the quarterback and myself as the play caller and Shane [Steichen] as the offensive coordinator and Brian [Johnson] as the quarterback coach are all on the same page and seeing things alike like, ‘Hey, we love this play versus this, we hate this play versus this, we have to be ready to adjust.’

We are not going to bat a thousand as coaches, right. Defense coaches get paid, too. It’s, ‘Hey, here is what we like it against, be ready to get out of those plays if we don’t like it against something.’”

On the Eagles defense

Sirianni talked about how they have a pretty experienced defensive line group and they have good coaches that continue to help them develop. He emphasized that you win games with good offensive and defensive lines, and those are both strengths of the team.

“Shaun’s [Bradley] energy is contagious, he’s just a guy you want to be around at all times and the guys feel that around him. Obviously, he’s got talent and just continuing to learn the system and getting himself in position to be in the right spot at the right time and using his instincts. The thing that really sticks out about him, again besides the fact that we are counting on him to do good things this year, is that he’s a good leader, personality is contagious, guys want to be around him.”

Other notables

  • DeVonta Smith was able to get in some team reps in practice on Tuesday, but they are still evaluating whether or not he’ll see playing time on Thursday. Sirianni also wouldn’t say how many snaps the starters would get in the second preseason game, just noting that the joint practices have been pretty game-like and they’re still adjusting their plan.
  • The head coach was asked about holding Miles Sanders out of the first preseason game and he admitted some of that was his experience with the position, but also it being the best decision for the team. The team is talking about whether or not the running back should play in Thursday’s game, but overall Sirianni is happy with what Sanders has done so far in camp.
  • Sirianni was asked about roster cuts and he admitted that with one of their core values being connecting, it makes it tough to let guys go. But, he makes it a point to talk to each guy as that decision is made.

“I think that’s my job as the head coach — and I owe that to every guy to talk to them and be able to give them feedback to help them develop their career.”

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