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Nick Sirianni hasn’t decided whether the Eagles will rest starters in Week 18

Plus, the head coach talked about making the playoffs, the criticism he faced earlier in the season, and gave some injury updates.

Eagles’ head coach Nick Sirianni spoke to reporters on Monday afternoon, and spoke about how they’re preparing for the Cowboys and what they plan to do personnel-wise for a game with little implications now that they’ve clinched a playoff spot. He also talked about what it meant to make it to the postseason, and was asked if he feels vindicated given all the criticism he faced earlier in the season.

Here’s what the head coach had to say:

On preparing for the Cowboys

Sirianni talked about how they are still working through their plan for the starters in Week 18, and nothing has been decided yet. They are going to prepare like they normally do for now.

“I know there is a thing about resting and there is a thing about staying sharp. No doubt we’re taking everything into account, and we’ll discuss that later on today.”

As for whether they’ll look ahead and start preparing for their expected opponent in Round 1, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and he emphasized that his philosophy is to take things one day at a time, one game at a time, and they have to go out and play well on Saturday against the Cowboys.

Later on, the head coach said that they had heard rumblings about the game possibly being flexed to Saturday night from Sunday afternoon, but they learned for sure about five minutes before the league broke the news.

Sirianni also talked a bit about the different playoff situations he’s been in, and only recalls one time that they had clinched before the end of the season, so he’s going to draw on the experience some, and reach out to different coaches to get their insight on possibly resting some players this week.

“Again, we’ll keep everything on the table. Not sure what we’re going to do quite yet.”

On making the playoffs

“Exciting. I mean, you come home from a game and you’re always exhausted, even though I’m not playing, obviously. But coaching, just emotionally, takes a lot out of you and so you’re exhausted when you get home. So, by the time it was actually clinched – I don’t let myself get too excited, even though it was 37 to 10 at one point. You wait until the whole thing – I was ready to go to bed by the end of it.

Obviously, we’re really excited to be in the tournament, but like I said, we got to focus on beating Dallas and the plan that goes into that. Got to focus on getting better from the game we played yesterday. But obviously, we’re all excited to be in this situation, and the goal is obviously to run it out and go as far as we can in this thing.”

Sirianni also said that while the playoffs are the goal every year, it wasn’t something that was explicitly stated by him or the organization heading into the season.

On feeling vindicated

It was brought up that he faced quite a bit of criticism early on in the season, and was asked if he feels vindicated now that the team has made it to the playoffs. Sirianni noted that he tried to tune out the noise as best he can, but obviously he’s aware of it.

“Everyone has a job to do and when we were not playing good, there was criticism. When we’re playing good, you get praise. I think when it’s the quarterback and the head coach, they get – I think when you’re winning, you probably get more praise than you deserve and when you’re losing, you’re getting more criticism than you deserve.

I know everybody has a job to do. My job is to block out the outside noise, whether it’s telling me that I’m really good – and this is how I want our players to think as well – or whether it’s telling me that I stink, and that my catchphrases about growing roots stinks [laughing].”

Injury updates

  • Davion Taylor is officially out for the year. Sirianni said something about him being ineligible to return by going on IR twice but he was mistaking Taylor for Jack Driscoll, according to Eagles PR. Still, Taylor’s injury is severe enough that he won’t physically be able to return this season.
  • Still no updates on Brandon Brooks.
  • Sirianni doesn’t expect Miles Sanders to play on Saturday. He’s not ruling it out entirely, but doesn’t anticipate him returning before their first playoff game — he does expect him to return for that, however.

“That’s why with Miles, it’s easy to talk about the playoffs, because you didn’t put him on IR because you wanted to get him back in this three-week span. So hopefully – I know that he’s progressing well. Not putting a timetable on him, but you guys know, we’re hopeful we can get him back for the opening round of the playoffs.”

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