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Nick Sirianni details added focus on developmental reps at practice

Plus, the Eagles head coach talks Doug Pederson and facing the guy who used to have his job.

Eagles’ head coach Nick Sirianni spoke to reporters on Friday, and talked a bit about their developmental program and how it helps not just young guys, but players who weren’t there for training camp, like Trey Sermon. He also talked about facing Doug Pederson, but wouldn’t comment on their plans for the 53rd roster spot with Britain Covey out of call-ups from the practice squad.

Here’s what the head coach had to say:

On player development and Trey Sermon

Sirianni announced that Boston Scott would miss Sunday’s game — although early hopes are he’ll be back in Week 5 —, so naturally the head coach was asked about Trey Sermon and how the RB was picking up the offense. He brought up some of the new things they are doing with practices to get more developmental time for players.

“One thing we’re doing this year, that’s really helped is there’s an additional period this year. We always know we have the developmental period at the end, I’ve told you guys about that.

Another attempt to develop young players and to develop guys that weren’t here with training camp, stuff like that, kind of like we did with Gardner Minshew. We’re doing a walk-through, a developmental walk-through before each walk-through to get those extra eight reps there.

Then we’re also doing a twos versus ones, ones versus twos in practice where we’re actually running our plays versus the defense and vice versa.

Those reps add up. Obviously, Trey [Sermon] has done a great job picking it up, Jemal has done a great job coaching it, and he has gotten a lot of the reps of doing it.”

On competing against Doug Pederson

Sirianni said that he’s always competitive with the opposing head coach, but he’s not approaching this game with Doug Pederson as facing the guy who used to have the Eagles job.

“He did a great job when he was here. Obviously brought this city a Super Bowl, which is unbelievable, and I know he’ll be remembered forever for that.”

Sirianni later said that he didn’t feel any added pressure filling Pederson’s shoes — as a coach who has a statue at the stadium and won the city a Championship — when he was hired. He pointed out that there have been great former Eagles coaches, Pederson among them, but he just has to do his job to the best of his ability.

“Any time I’ve ever taken a new job my goal is — whether it’s going to be the receiver coach, whether it’s going to be the offensive coordinator, whether it’s going to be the quality control, it doesn’t matter, I just try to do what I can do to be the best at the job that I am in and not worry about anything else.”

On individual accolades

Sirianni said that it’s cool to see Brandon Graham win NFC Defensive Player of the Week and Jalen Hurts win NFC Offensive Player of the Month, but their success is the result of a great team effort. Still, he said, it’s great to see those guys get recognized.

The head coach also talked about giving game balls to the entire defensive line this week. He explained that there have been times that’s happened on offense as well — if they rush for over 200 yards, the entire offensive line gets a game ball, so any time they have a nine-sack game, the entire defensive line will get a game ball.

On the turnover T-shirt

(As pictured above this article)

“We’ve spent a lot of time going over ways we can be better at creating turnovers and be better at taking care of the football. We know how important that stat is to winning and losing football games.

So, anything we can do to promote it and get better at it, we do. This was an idea by the defensive staff to have turnover t-shirts, and, I mean, who doesn’t like getting gear with their picture on it creating a big-time play in the game?”

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