Eagles’ head coach Nick Sirianni spoke to reporters for a few minutes on Friday, and talked about facing former Philly safety Rodney McLeod in Indy, as well as why they wanted to bring in two interior defensive lineman and what he expects from Linval Joseph and Ndamukong Suh.
Here’s what the head coach had to say:
On facing Rodney McLeod
“Rodney brings a lot of leadership to any team that he’s on. He’s a great person, great player, great leader, super smart, and you could see that he’s identifying plays that are coming and that he’s quick to it because of how his accelerated vision works and how smart of a football player he is.
So, we need to know that and we do know that, and have to make sure we put some seeds of doubt in his head. Lot of respect for Rodney. Look forward to saying hello to him after the game, but he’s playing good football over there.”
On adding 2 interior DL
Sirianni said that they are always looking to add talent and depth to the team, and they felt like they were able to do that by bringing in two guys who are really good players. He noted that they had some injuries at the position, so adding those guys to a spot that is already a strength of the team was big for them.
The head coach wouldn’t talk about how long they had been in talks with Ndamukong Suh, but they’ll see how quickly he can be ready and feel confident to get out on the field. Sirianni said that he didn’t have to address whether Suh would start or play at all this week, one because there’s a little bit of unknown there, and two it’s a competitive advantage to keep that in-house.
He acknowledged the fact that both Suh and Linval Joseph are veterans and have played in different defenses will help them acclimate quicker.
“It’s huge, right? In the sense of these guys are professionals. They’ve been in this a long time and they know what it takes to get themselves ready — not only their bodies ready, but their minds ready to go out there and rip it.”
Sirianni explained that the two add toughness to an already tough group. When looking at toughness, they look at how guys are blocking and how they are knocking back blocks, how they’re tackling, and these guys can do all those things. He emphasized that toughness is part of this team’s identity — that includes being mentally and physically tough.
As far as how they’ll navigate playing time for four Pro Bowl caliber DTs, Sirianni said they’ll just have to make sure each guy is getting the reps that he needs — something they don’t really need to worry about right now given the (lack of) depth at the position due to injuries.
The head coach also acknowledged that having so many veteran players around guys like Jordan Davis and Marlon Tuipulotu is still really helpful, even though the young guys are sidelined with injuries at the moment.
It was brought up that in 2017, the Eagles brought in several guys who had won Super Bowl’s in the past and had that experience. Sirianni said that it’s always helpful to have guys around that have been to the top of the mountain and have won the ultimate Championship — they have some guys still from that 2017 team on the roster, and then bringing in other guys who have that experience with other teams.