The Eagles were back at practice on Saturday and head coach Nick Sirianni spoke to reporters before taking the field. He talked a bit about the offense’s 3-turnover day on Friday, and how with shorter and fewer practices they are confident they can still improve and be prepared. He also touched on where Jalen Reagor fits within the wide receiver room, and emphasized that he’s battling for a spot — and a return spot.
Here’s what the head coach had to say:
On Friday’s practice
The offense had three turnovers during the team’s second on-field practice, but Sirianni noted that also means the defense was having an outstanding day.
“Anytime you turn the ball over, you’re not going to be happy with the results on offense. Now, what I did think is our defense is flying around. You could really notice the guys up front getting the pressure on the quarterback, collapsing the pocket a little bit, and our guys on defense not only got their hands on the ball, they finished with their hands on the ball.
The catch that Avonte Maddox made yesterday on the interception, that’s an incredible play.”
He touted Davion Taylor’s hustle to capitalize on the deflection by Mac McClain, calling it an “unbelievable individual effort.” Sirianni also called Andre Chachere’s interception “outstanding.” The head coach was quick to emphasize that the offense can’t turn the ball over, but that the defense was doing some impressive things.
“We did some good things offense yesterday, but there’s some really good teachable moments that we’re going to want to improve on.”
Sirianni went on to talk about their two focuses for games, and that’s to win the explosive play battle and win the turnover battle, which is why they start practice everyday with ball security drills.
On the training camp formula
Sirianni spoke about their schedule and how they make the most out of training camp without as many live reps. He explained that they are looking at every detail from the live reps they take, and teaching each player what their job is on every different look.
The head coach broke down their formula:
- High-detail meetings
- Full speed to the snap walk-throughs
- High intensity practices
He also mentioned that having productive walk-throughs now helps prepare the guys as they get into the regular season and have more walk-throughs due to a short week, or injuries. They’ll be better equipped to make the most out of those mental reps.
Getting extra walk-throughs means he also expects the intensity to be higher on the field because they have fresh legs. Sirianni said that he gave QBs Jalen Hurts and Gardner Minshew incentives for every minute they finish practice early — he wants the to push the tempo so they can be as efficient as possible. The head coach also noted that the practices serve as conditioning work, so he wants it full speed all the time.
He later talked about the importance of the developmental period that they schedule into the end of practice, about 5-8 players, and how it’s something they do consistently during the season, as well. Sirianni noted that it gives the younger guys some more full speed reps and some more direct reps. It also gives newly acquired guys some additional time to get acclimated to the scheme — like with Gardner Minshew last year.
On Jalen Reagor
“We have great depth at the wide receiver position and so, you know, he’s battling. He’s battling for a spot. I know he’s not — you know, he is working with the twos right now. So, you know, he’s gotten a lot of balls the last two days out here. He’s done a nice job, and he’s battling for a spot. He’s battling for a return spot, and, you know, he’s worked hard in the offseason to come back in great shape. That’s something we all noticed in the conditioning test, how good a shape Jalen was in.”
- Sirianni clarified that Miles Sanders is RB1 for the Eagles and he, along with Kenny Gainwell and Boston Scott, always rotate the first two periods of practice, so there’s nothing to be gleaned by whose repping with the ones, twos or threes.
- The head coach acknowledged that they do want to try and motion more on offense, and while it’s never been something he or OC Shane Steichen have ever incorporated a lot in their offenses, they are looking to do it more often.