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Nick Sirianni talks Eagles vs. Falcons Week 1 prep and more

Plus, the Eagles head coach explains Jim Bob Cooter’s role.

Eagles’ head coach Nick Sirianni spoke to reporters on Monday, Labor Day, heading into the first regular season game week of the 2021 NFL season. He spoke about prepping for Atlanta and Dean Pees’ defense, as well as how he’s feeling about his first career game as head coach and why it’s such a big deal to him and his family. Sirianni also talked a bit about Jim Bob Cooter’s role with the team and how the six new captains were named.

Here’s what the head coach had to say:


On prepping for the Falcons

Sirianni admitted that Atlanta is in a similar situation with regard to competitive advantage due to new coaches and a lack of tape. Preparing for a new defensive coordinator, Sirianni talked about having to watch some of Dean Pees’ old film to try and get some insight into what they might expect from the Falcons’ defense in Week 1.

The head coach was later asked about Pees’ past defenses typically blitzing from several spots on the field and how he prepares his offense for that. Sirianni talked about how during their first blitz meeting, they always set a standard for how they’ll handle different packages, and so there’s an emphasis on recognizing the package and then also being ready for anything that might be thrown at them.

On his first regular season game as head coach

“I come from a coaching family, and it definitely is special to me that it’s going to be my first game as a head coach this Sunday.

And I know that’s special for my entire family, so I’m really excited about that. Excited for my parents to watch it on TV. I’m excited for my brothers to watch it on TV. One of my brothers will be getting ready for his next week’s game while in the office as he watches it or updates on his phone or whatever it’s going to be.

Yeah, I’m excited because it’s such a family affair. Football has always been a family affair for us. Shoot, this Saturday I spent about three hours of my Saturday listening to my brother’s game, Washington and Jefferson College vs. John Carroll, and Washington and Jefferson got a big win.

So, that’s going to be special because I just know the family interactions that we have. My dad was at the game, so I would call him and be like, ‘Hey, what’s happening on this play, what is happening on this play?’ I’m assuming that’s going to be very similar here, except it’s going to be on national television.

So that’s where I think it’s really special, just a special thing with my family. But I’m not going to let that moment distract me from what’s important. That’s just being ready, doing everything I need to do to be ready this week.”

On Jim Bob Cooter’s role with the team

Following the Eagles’ final preseason game, Sirianni casually mentioned that Jim Bob Cooter was helping the team research different two-minute situations. The head coach was asked more about that on Monday and he confirmed that they brought him in as a consultant and he’s doing special projects for Sirianni.

“If I see a play or if we talk about a play that — I just think this is really important. When you put a new play into your system that you maybe saw on tape, I think it’s very easy for a coach to do that and be like, ‘Oh, I saw that on tape. This looks great. I’m just going to through it my offense.’

Well, do you know everything there is to know about that play? I’m not saying Jim Bob knows everything there is to know about every play, but what he is able to do is while we’re doing something else, he’s able to go research that play. I’ve already seen the benefit of that with a couple new wrinkles we have in this offense.”

Other notables

  • When asked about his role in keeping Zach Ertz in Philly, Sirianni mentioned that it’s their job to have the best football players they can on the roster, and ultimately Ertz is a great player and person and is someone they are glad is still with the team. The head coach later mentioned that having great players like Ertz allows them to do a lot of different things personnel-wise.
  • Sirianni confirmed that Jack Driscoll is dealing with a pec strain, which is why the offensive guard landed on IR. They don’t have a timetable for his return, but it’ll be at least a couple weeks.
  • The coach talked about how he’s in favor of having players vote on the captains — the six of which were announced on Monday — because they’re the ones who have the pulse on the locker room. Sirianni pointed out that there were other guys who got votes, but those six got the highest number of votes.