The Eagles are now 4-0 to start the 2022 NFL season, and head coach Nick Sirianni spoke to reporters after their Week 4 game against the Jaguars about what it was like to come from behind, how the weather affected some of their playcalling, and why they’ve been so successful in the two minutes before haltime.
Sirianni emphasized that he has a lot of confidence in the team, from the players to the coaches, and that confidence is what drives some of the fourth down calls and other situational decisions, because he has confidence in the whole group. He also said it’s great to be able to win different ways, and while it’s never great to be down 14 points, it’s great to win in a different way and lean on different units.
Here’s what else the head coach had to say:
On their mentality down 14 points
“We’ve talked about adversity, right? Have we faced a lot of adversity? Not really, right. In three games, we probable haven’t. We had a battle up there in Detroit, but have we faced a lot of adversity? Not really. And so, it was a great opportunity to say, hey, we’ve talked about this, we’ve discussed this. You guys are built — you players here, the reason you’re here is because you’re built to be able to handle adversity.”
Sirianni went on to say that not every game is going to be pretty, and sometimes it’s going to be muddy, and that was one of those situations. But, the guys buckled down and he thought the defense was playing well. He acknowledged that they gave up a long drive, but the reason they were down 14 was because the Jaguars made a really good play and finished it off for seven points.
He said it was a great example of their dog mentality, and how they might be 4-0 but they have to focus on the next play, the next day, the next game. That isn’t just a week-to-week thing, but also an in-game mentality.
On the playcalling and run game
Sirianni was asked about the decision to go for it on 4th and 1 late in the game, and the head coach explained that with the weather and everything, they felt it was the best decision in that situation. He didn’t want to go into too much detail about their decision making other than to say that they felt that was the best move in that position.
Later, the head coach was asked about Miles Sanders, to which Sirianni emphatically said that, “Miles Sanders is our number one back.”
“We’ll do whatever we need to do to win the football game, and of course conditions are going to play into that. We look at everything, we take everything into account, and we were running the ball really well. I think that second quarter our offensive line was rolling, and that’s a good defensive line — and I’ve known that going back to my Indy days, that that’s a really good defensive line.
\But our offensive line, I’d take them over anybody in this league. I love that group — they’re gritty, they’re grimy, they’re tough, they’re physical, and we had to play some guys today. You can see what a good job Coach [Jeff Stoutland] does of developing guys and getting guys ready to play who might not play. I got Jack Driscoll, Sua [Opeta], those guys stepped in and did a really nice job.”
Sirianni mentioned earlier in the week that the entire defensive line got game balls last week for notching nine sacks, just as the offensive line would if they allowed over 200 rushing yards — well, that’s what happened on Sunday against the Jaguars. The head coach said if he would have had eight game balls in the locker room he would have given them out right after the game, but those guys will get the game balls this week.
On being effective just before halftime
The head coach was asked what makes them so successful scoring in the two minutes just before halftime.
“Quarterback play. Playing really good and really poised in that scenario. We spend a ton of time talking about situational football, a ton, and that’s just a tribute to the coaches I’ve been around in the past about how important situational football is and the amount of time you spend on it.”
Sirianni wanted to be very clear that the players, though, are doing a great job executing. He credited the entire operation in those situations for doing their jobs, including each player and the coaching staff, so when they are in that area, it’s just automatic.
On Jalen Hurts’ ball security
“He knows how important it is to take care of the football, and he can do it. He can go out there and execute and take care of the football. So, it’s huge, because that’s such a key. It’s such a key to winning and losing games, and I think that even elevates when it’s messy outside. It was great that he was able to execute under the conditions.”
On Doug Pederson
“I have so much respect for Coach Pederson. First and foremost, I’ve heard that he’s one of the best people in this game and from multiple outlets — people in this building, people that have played for him, people that I know that have coached with him — that he’s a top notch person. Obviously, you see what he’s doing with his football team. He’s doing a good job with his football team, and that’s a tough team.”
On Haason Reddick
Sirianni has been saying for weeks that Reddick was close to having a big game, and now he’s had two back-to-back. The head coach said that the LB has been really good at forcing fumbles, and Reddick is someone who is fundamentally really good at creating turnovers.
“I said to him and Shaun Bradley and Kyzir White after the game, like ‘Hey! There ain’t nothing like winning in Philly!’ because they know about that.”