The Eagles have a bye in Week 7, and head coach Nick Sirianni took some time on Monday to talk to reporters and talked about some of their plans for the week and how they handle self-scouting over the next few days. He also spoke about why they’ve been so successful winning the turnover battle this season, and explained why he isn’t concerned about special teams at the moment.
Here’s what the head coach had to say:
On their bye week plans
Despite an earlier bye week this season than last year, Sirianni said their process will remain the same — they’ll take time to watch tape and study a couple different issues they want to fix moving forward.
“We’re going to work like crazy this week. This is a great week. Today was all about the game review. This evening is about the coaches doing their self-scout projects and other projects I gave them. Tomorrow will be us reviewing those, and then we’ll get started on our next opponent on Wednesday and finish some of the self-scout on Wednesday as well.
Then we’ll see where we are at on Thursday, and if I’m feeling generous, maybe the guys will have the day off.”
The head coach further explained that as they do their self-scouting, areas of improvement will become evident. They look at where they’ve been successful, where they haven’t been successful, and see how the story unfolds. Sirianni noted that he feels that being 6-0 allows them to be even more demanding and critical, because they know what the standard is.
“It’s not to say you don’t do that when you’re 0-6 or 2-5, or whatever, but it’s just easier to really get after everything because I think there is no feelings are involved when you’re 6-0. It’s like, hey, let’s go. This isn’t good enough, and let’s get it better.”
Sirianni mentioned after the game that they still haven’t played a complete game yet this season, and he elaborated on that a little more on Monday. He noted that he doesn’t expect perfection, because they are playing tough opponents who are going to put up challenges, but he’s looking for his team to finish the game.
“I think there is no doubt, right, that if we have good first halves and that the second halves, whether the defense has held them and the offense hasn’t scored or whatever it is, we haven’t played a complete game in the sense of we haven’t really blown open a game when we have had two-score leads.
From what I understand, I believe we’ve had two-score leads in every game this season, and so you want to just be able to end a game and put a game away. I think that’s what we’re talking about, is to just really finish the game and put it away.”
He admitted that sometimes things change in the second half when you have a big lead, but they always want to be aggressive and put points on the board. Those are things they are evaluating this week, as well.
Sirianni was asked why the team has been so successful at both preventing turnovers on offense and creating turnovers on defense. He explained that Jalen Hurts has done a great job of knowing where to go with the football and not putting the ball at risk, which has been huge. And on defense, they’ve been forcing a lot of fumbles off strip sacks, particularly Haason Reddick and Brandon Graham.
“It’s truly a full team effort. It’s the emphasis of the fundamentals of ball security that we preach on a daily basis. Okay, so we preach it on a daily basis. We talk about it on a daily basis. If you’re carrying a ball around our facility, we don’t care who you are, we’ll tell you that it wasn’t good enough.”
The head coach went on to say that Miles Sanders has been phenomenal with protecting the ball so far this season, and has had great fundamentals. Sirianni noted that they’ve added a couple new drills to their practices, as well.
On special teams concerns
“My level of concern is low. I think when you look at the stats of our punt and kickoff units now, obviously no one is pleased about the 62-yard return that set up three-points for them. That can’t happen. We need to do a better job right there.
We had some guys in position. We had one guy that was out of position, and it ended up costing us there. That can happen when you’re — again, the ultimate team game. One guy gets out of position, and it affects everybody else.
Going into that game our coverage units were pretty good. I think we were 5th in punt return, right now — or pardon me, punt coverage. We were 5th in covering punts and now we’re 11th, so we had a little bit of a slip last game. I believe we were in the top 10 of covering kickoffs and now we’re 14th. So, we are 14 and 11th, middle of the pack right there on that.
But we want to be better on those and not give up the play. But you’ve got to look at the total body of work. It’s never just one play, ever.”
- Sirianni didn’t have any update on Lane Johnson (concussion) but said that they need him on the field because he’s the best in the league — if he’s ready to play, he’ll play.
- The head coach talked a bit about C.J. Gardner-Johnson acclimating to the team and how he’s been successful. Sirianni noted that the safety is obviously a great player and playmaker, but he fits in because he loves football and is highly competitive.
- He was asked about the team’s second quarter success this season, and Sirianni admitted he didn’t quite know why they’ve been so good for those 15 minutes — quipping, if he knew why, he’d do those things in the third and fourth quarter, too.
“There is no doubt, we’ll look at that this week and see what is up there. We’ll try to duplicate that as much as possible.”