Eagles’ head coach Nick Sirianni spoke to reporters on the Friday after Thanksgiving, and talked about how Robert Quinn has fit into the defense, how players accept new and sometimes more limited roles within the depth chart, and he touched a little on the struggles they’ve had the past two weeks.
Sirianni also said that A.J. Brown would practice on Friday and is “fine” and ready to go for Sunday’s game.
Here’s what else the head coach had to say:
On Robert Quinn
“I see his ability to really rush the passer, and we have to continue to work to get him in in situations where he can do so. Yeah, I’m pleased with Robert, and glad he’s on this team, and he adds great depth to this already really good defensive line.
I just know he’s going to make a play, a big-time play on a big-time situation here real soon because we know how much talent he has a what a good player he is.”
On Quez Watkins’ role
Sirianni was asked how Watkins felt knowing that adding A.J. Brown to the offense would affect his snaps and his role overall. He noted that Watkins is a big-time playmaker and even when he’s not showing up big on the stat sheet, he’s still affecting the game with his speed and big-play ability that he brings to the team.
“I think a lot of these questions, because I’ve been asked a lot of these questions, can trace back to the meeting of when we talked to everybody about their role. Where I stood right there, I looked at every guy in here individually in front of their teammates, I talked to them each individually while everybody was in here and basically spelled out their role. Quez’s role was to be able to make timely plays just like he did last year. He had more opportunities when we needed him. Quez had a really good ability of making big plays last year when we needed him, and they were usually explosive ones.
So that was really — and it was told to him that the pass game runs through A.J. [Brown] the pass game runs through DeVonta [Smith], the pass game runs through Dallas [Goedert], and you’re going to have to take advantage of the opportunities you get. So not everybody is going to like their role, but what you’re trying to do is get everybody to accept their role and be a star at their role because if we’re all stars at our role individually, we’ll be great collectively.”
Sirianni also made sure players were aware that as the season goes on, their roles might change, and they’ll have to be prepared for that, too. And it isn’t just Watkins whose had to navigate that kind of position, with the head coach naming safety Andre Chachere and CB Zach McPhearson, an their super important roles on special teams.
“The only way you’re ready for your role to change is if you go about your business every day and go through the steps every day of how you get better and really work on practicing hard to make sure — and walking through hard and meeting hard to make sure you’re here so that when your number is called, you’re ready to go, and Quez has done that.”
On preparing for the Packers
With Green Bay at 4-7 on the season, they’re playing like each game is a playoff game, but that doesn’t affect how Sirianni and the team go about their preparations. The head coach explained that they have to go through their process regardless of the situation — their situation or their opponent’s.
He went on to elaborate that their mentality last season taking things day-by-day and not getting too ahead of themselves, especially when they were trying to come back from a 2-5 start, is something they’ve carried forward to this season. Last year taught them that they were able to claw their way back into the postseason by staying locked in and not letting the circumstances dictate how they did things.
On the team’s struggles the past two weeks
“There are things that you want to work on individually, as a team, and as an offensive group that you want to get better at, and each guy has those coaching points, and I don’t want to get into specifics with it to be quite honest with you, but you know Jalen [Hurts] will have his coaching points — because I see something that he has done in the last two games that he’s got to get better at, and then A.J. [Brown] and DeVonta [Smith] and Quez [Watkins], they all have their own individual coaching points.
I think one thing that you’ve seen is the uncharacteristic fumble. Now, those happen in this game, but we know how much we’re rolling when we don’t turn the ball over because we know our defense is doing a great job of turning the ball over. That changes games.”
On having to wait to play on Sunday night
Sirianni admitted that he’ll spend the day leading up to a night game thinking about different plays and having butterflys in anticipation. He’ll watch some of the early games and put himself through different situations that come up, but that’s something he also does on Saturdays when he watches college games.
“Just like tomorrow. Tomorrow I’m going to watch football. I’ll go home, I’ll eat leftover turkey and mashed potatoes like everybody else, and I’ll watch Michigan-Ohio State. I always enjoy watching that game.
When situations pop up from that game, it’s easy, we have such great media access, I’m able to take a clip, send it to our coaches, give a coaching point and put us in that thought process where we’re thinking about it. That’s the same thing on a Sunday that I like to do, as well.”