Eagles’ head coach Nick Sirianni spoke to reporters for the final time before their Week 5 matchup against the Cardinals and talked about how they coach the offense in the event of a turnover, as well as how facing Jalen Hurts in practice has prepared the Eagles defense for Kyler Murray’s specific skill set.
Here’s what else the head coach had to say:
On offensive turnovers
Sirianni was asked about the coaching points for the offensive players in the event of a turnover, citing Jordan Mailata’s injury last week against the interception. He explained that he acknowledged that Mailata’s injury was on him for not coaching him on the right way to make a tackle, emphasizing the need to get to his back when diving for a leg.
“He said to me, ‘I’ve been playing rugby my whole life, I knew that wasn’t what I was supposed to do.’ But still, they know they’re not supposed to fumble or go out of bounds in four minute. I still am the one that needs to remind them. That’s my job as the head coach. That’s my job as a coach. So, I need to do a better job at that, so I’m beating myself up about that, pulling myself through the mud about that.”
The head coach said that he tells his players to let the defense go out there and play defense following a turnover, but that they also should keep the other team out of the end zone no matter what. Punter Arryn Siposs made a big tackle during the Vikings game, and it was a big difference in that game. So the coaching point is to make a tackle, and then let the defense play defense,.
“So that is our coaching point. We do talk a lot about it. But I didn’t do a good enough job coaching Jordan on if he did dive at the leg to get to your back. Like I said, I’m beating myself up about it.”
On facing Kyler Murray
Sirianni was asked about how much facing Jalen Hurts has helped the Eagles defense prepare for off-schedule offenses — something they’ll face on Sunday against the Cardinals. He acknowledged that it’s a big time advantage that the defense has had to go against Hurts in training camp and OTAs, and it’s not something they’re facing for the first time.
“Our defense has had to do that and has had to do that in practice a lot. Now, they don’t get to hit Jalen, right, and we’re going to have to go out there and tackle him live, but he’s a really good player. Kyler [Murray] is a really good player. He can make plays with his arm. He can make plays with his feet. Very dynamic playmaker, and we’re going to have to be on it to make sure we’re doing the things to contain him.”
- Sirianni didn’t want to admit that Jake Elliott would miss Sunday’s game — even though it was announced in the injury report later in the day —, but said that they are comfortable with Cameron Dicker. The kicker made a big time kick in the Oklahoma-Texas game last year, a game Sirainni said is one of the bigger games in college football.
- Rookies aren’t getting the immediate playing time this season like they did in 2021, but Sirianni said that his message to the group is that they are just one snap away from having a more predominant role. He emphasizes that they should contribute like crazy on special teams and come to work every day and know their role, contribute in their role, and also look to extend their role.