The Eagles players were in good spirits following their big win over the Falcons in Week 1, with several guys talking to the media after doing a little celebrating in the locker room. They talked about what a win to open the season meant, how it was a team effort, and a bit about some of the specific highlights.
Here’s what they had to say:
“I think it’s good to win opening day, opening week for us. All the hard work we’ve put in, all the different changes we’ve endured and had to overcome and persevere through — new coaching, new values as a football team, and buying into it. And, coming out here Week 1 and starting off the right way, I think that’s good. Started off well.”
He emphasized that he always talks about the rent being due, but he wants to take it a step further and just be sure that they are being consistent and understanding their plan of attack.
The QB was asked to detail the drive at the end of the first half, and Hurts explained that it’s a situation they consider hidden yards and hidden points. They could’ve double dipped there, but they didn’t score points coming out of halftime, but it was good that they found a way at the end of the first half to get that touchdown.
Hurts talked about what Sirianni’s dog mentality meant to him and how it was about “so and not would,” meaning that each play has to be handled independently of all others. Never get too high, never get too low, and just keep going to attack the next play.
Fresh off the field Sanders said that he loves the vibes of this team and the chemistry, and that they feel like a real family in the locker room. The running back said he was really happy for the two rookies who scored on Sunday — DeVonta Smith and Kenny Gainwell — calling it a blessing for those two guys to get in the endzone in their first career game.
He acknowledged that every play starts out as a run, and they lean heavy on the RPOs, with Sirianni’s message being to run the ball down their opponents throat. When asked about Jalen Hurts, Sanders pointed out the QBs will to win and he’s real locked in, and also noted that his ability to read Atlanta’s defense is what opened the run game for them.
As far as his first NFL touchdown, Smith said it was a play they repped a lot in practice, so when it was called he felt comfortable making the catch. He admitted that it hasn’t really sunk in yet, but emphasized several times that they saw the coverage they wanted and the play was something they repped a lot in practice.
Smith also talked a little bit about Jalen Hurts, saying that he’s a leader and when things are going wrong he’s there to pick guys up, and when things are going right he’s there to keep the guys pushing. He noted that Hurts spent the offseason attacking the things he need to work on, and ultimately, that’s what he did and Smith is proud of his QB.
The defensive tackle acknowledged that they’re confident with everyone they have in their room to be able to get to the quarterback, so when Matt Ryan dropped back to pass, it just so happened that Hargrave beat others there. He also talked about how it was a big thing that despite allowing a long drive, the Eagles’ defense was able to hold the Falcons to three points, and it was a turning point for them.
Hargrave also admitted that different people were making mistakes in the first half which led to some missed tackles, but they corrected those issues and had a better second half.
The veteran said that it was a great start for the team and he felt like the energy was right in the locker room. He felt like everybody, even when things were close early on, they were on the same page and wanted to go out and have fun together.
Graham was asked about Zach Ertz saying this was the most fun he’s had at work in awhile — to which BG joked that he’s glad Ertz is still with the team because things were ugly there for awhile. The DE went on to say that they just have to stay together as a group, and that they know how to handle wins, hopefully don’t have to handle too many losses, but the way they played as a group is something they can build on.
While Sirianni wouldn’t talk about exactly what story he told during the team’s Saturday night meeting, Graham let it slip that it had to do with the head coach’s first media availability and how everyone gave him a hard time about it. Sirianni said that he was mad about it, but knew that he had to get back out there and keep doing his job — that dog mentality.
The tackle said that it was an incredible feat to earn his new contract extension, and he’s incredibly happy to keep representing the City of Philadelphia and the Eagles organization. He said that his teammates started calling him “Big Money” but he asked them to stop because he’s still got a grinding mentality and there’s still more work to be done. He didn’t get a chance to talk to OL coach Jeff Stoutland much about his new contract because they both just wanted to stay focused on prepping for Atlanta.