The Eagles were back with a vengeance for their Week 8 game over the Steelers, winning 35-13. Head coach Nick Sirianni spoke to reporters after the game about the bye week work they did, Zach Pascal’s TD, and on playing a more complete game. Sirianni credited the leaders on the team for making sure that the energy and effort were high in practice this week coming off the bye, and that there wasn’t any lag from the time off.
Here’s what the head coach had to say:
On the bye week focus
Sirianni was asked if they had put an emphasis over the bye week to work on dropbacks and get away from using as many RPOs.
“No because RPOs have been pretty good for us. RPOs, you gotta think that we’re looking to run the ball first on RPO, so when we do pass, it’s an extra pass that happens, but we’re looking to run it first there.
We worked hard in the bye week. I’m really happy with our coaches with how much time they put in and how much information we got done. And really it’s a group effort, so analytics department giving us different things, defensive coaches looking at things for the offense, and vice versa, so we felt like we fixed some tendencies. We’re able to get a couple things off of some tendencies and create some explosive plays off some tendencies we had. And that’s what the bye week’s for. It’s a very, very important part of the process.
On Zach Pascal’s TD
“I love Zach Pascal. Zach Pascal for the five, or the four years I’ve been with him, has always done the dirty work. Always. And it’s great when you can reward a guy that does the dirty work, who might not have the stats. It’s awesome to be able to reward him for that. And that’s what happens sometimes when a guy’s doing the dirty work — everyone’s focused on the other guys when he’s doing the dirty work, that he ends up wide open for a touchdown.
Zach doing all those little things, all the little things that are important to a football team, that’s sweet and I loved it. I love to see that because I love the guy. You aren’t around a guy for that long and not have a good relationship with him, and I’m so glad he’s here. I knew he could do all the dirty work we wanted him to do, and man, that was sweet.”
On playing a more complete game
Sirianni mentioned that he has so much respect for head coach Mike Tomlin, and the Steelers are a really well-coached team. They really put an emphasis on needing to play a complete game in order to win, and Sirianni thinks they did just that.
“We really wanted to be able to emphasize how we start the second half. We have had some second-half woes and we really traced it back to how we started the second half, and it was good to be able to go down and execute today to start things off and set the tone.”
The head coach also acknowledged that near the end of the game, up three scores, they weren’t as aggressive as they tried to run the clock.
- Sirianni admitted that A.J. Brown’s big game on Sunday was special because this time they were on the same team — referencing when Sirianni was with the Colts and Brown ran over them with the Titans offense. He gave a lot of credit to Howie Roseman for bringing Brown to Philly, saying that the WR makes them so much better, and his instant connection with Jalen Hurts is special.
- Brown mentioned post-game that Jalen Hurts is still in the lab developing, and Sirianni has echoed what he’s said in the past, that with a QB like Hurts, there’s no telling what his ceiling is. He continues to work hard everyday and his commitment to improving will keep moving the standard.
- Sirianni also talked about how Jalen Hurts was able to execute against the Steelers, particularly in the passing game. The QB threw some deep balls and read the defense well, and he continues to develop.
- With the Eagles having a short turnaround heading into a Thursday Night Football matchup in Week 9, Sirianni said that the training staff was already working on getting the guys recovered from Sunday’s game.