The Eagles were back at practice on Sunday, and head coach Nick Sirianni spoke to reporters before taking the field. He talked about how some of the depth players performed on Friday, and also how the team’s joint practices later in the week will determine whether starters see reps in Sunday’s Week 2 preseason game against Cleveland.
Here’s what the head coach had to say:
On Friday’s performance
“I thought the starters did a great job out there, you know, going and performing. The twos I thought did a nice job, as well, to end out the first half, and they played a little bit in the third quarter.
The threes — again, there was corrections that we have to make from all over the tape, right? But, some of the stuff with the threes that you look at and you’re like, well I saw that in practice. It’s a great example of you play like you practice. So, there are some things we wanted to clean — that we’ve been trying to clean up at practice that leaked over to the game. There’s some good individual performances, but it needs to be better as an entire group with those threes, and more sound, and more fundamentally sound.”
He was asked about Carson Strong not getting reps on Friday, but Sirianni said that he wanted Hurts to get one drive, to see Gardner Minshew through the half, and then he wanted Reid Sinnett to get a full half. There are two games left, and that’s just the way the reps shook out that game.
“Reid’s looked really good in practice. He’s really had some good reps in practice. I think he was nervous at first — I do, I believe that he was —, but I thought as the game went on, he steadied himself and recovered, and had a nice finish to the game. I mean, an 18-play drive where you’re having to go the long haul, which the Jets made us do, to take the lead, I thought that was an outstanding drive led by him.
Sirianni didn’t want to compare Cam Jurgens to Jason Kelce just yet, because Kelce has obviously been playing at a high level for a long time, but there are a lot of similarities between the two. The head coach said that when they were watching Jurgens’ college film, there were things he did that reminded them of Kelce, and they still see that potential.
On Jalen Hurts and the pocket
The head coach thought Hurts did a great job of deciding when to make plays from the pocket and when to escape the pocket on Friday. Sirianni did want to point out, however, that there’s more to leaving the pocket than just when the protection breaks down.
“I think that people think that like, oh, we left the pocket early and the protection was good. Well, sometimes nobody’s open, and sometimes the defense calls a good play and it’s not a good look of the coverage.”
The head coach didn’t get wrapped up again in the late hit that Hurts took on Friday, saying that the QB summed it up best: He got hit late, they threw a flag, and he moved on. Sirianni explained that Hurts is unphased like that most of the time, whether he’s getting hit late or being chewed out by coaches, which is a trait that is great for a quarterback.
On joint practices
Sirianni has always been a big fan of joint practices, saying that it’s an opportunity for game-like experience but in a controlled environment. He also mentioned that being on the road is a good thing for the team, citing last year’s trips and the bonding he saw from the players at the hotel and on the road.
He said that they haven’t made any decisions yet about whether starters will play on Sunday against Cleveland, but again pointed to the fact that they’ll have joint practices. Sirianni acknowledged that those will be two hard days of work, so if he feels like they’ve gotten enough out of the practices, he probably won’t play them — this goes for Week 2 and 3 of the preseason. But, he emphasized that he hasn’t made a decision, yet.