The Eagles went to Miami early with the hopes of having two joint practices before their final preseason game against the Dolphins. That didn’t end up happening, but head coach Nick Sirianni spoke to reporters before the Eagles took the practice field, and talked about this unique situation, as well has how Jalen Hurts and offense performed in Wednesday’s joint practice.
Here’s some of what the head coach had to say:
On the practice change for Day 2
Sirianni said that he found out this morning that the Dolphins wouldn’t be practicing on Thursday due to what’s been reported as a stomach bug/food poisoning affecting the team. The head coach said that he’s not a doctor, but the Eagles’ trainers and medical staff said that they were fine to still practice, so they did.
When asked about how this will affect the intensity of practice, Sirianni said that the players know how to practice and compete. They talk about it before taking the field, emphasizing that it should be a high intensity practice. They also planned on the ones getting a lot of reps.
He wouldn’t speculate about whether there would be a game on Saturday, but said he didn’t really need much notice because they are preparing as if they’ll play, and the team is healthy and ready.
On where Jalen Hurts has improved
“A lot of different things. I think he’s seeing the field really well. I think he’s building that memory bank of plays versus different coverages, and knowing where to go with the football from there. So, I just think his decision making process is just continuing to get better — which is common among quarterbacks that are on it, and that are getting better. So, I just think his decision making is happening fast, it’s happening quickly, and he just keeps getting better at that.”
One Wednesday’s joint practice
Sirianni said that the team’s joint practice with the Dolphins was definitely competitive. He was proud of how the players battled through the heat, and he also said offensively, they were efficient on third down.
“I thought Jalen [Hurts] was outstanding in yesterday’s practice. I mean, to me, Jalen’s practice yesterday was the best practice he’s had as an Eagle — since I’ve been here, I can’t speak for the year before I got here. What he was doing with the football, and being able to go through reads and progressions that fast and getting the ball to where it needed to go, I thought it was unbelievable.
There was a play on third down, we’re running some sort of slant to A.J. [Brown], they took it away by coverage and boom, it was 3rd and 5 and he checks it down quickly to the tight end, to Jack Stoll over the ball. He did the same thing on another slant to A.J. when he went overtop to DeVonta [Smith] — I’m not sure on all the times I’ve ever been a part of that play, I’ve never seen the ball go there, and Jalen found it and figured out how to get it there. I just thought, like, it was just happening. Everything was happening so quick for him.”
The head coach later acknowledged that they had a few too many pre-snap penalties, three offensive and two defensive penalties, and then there was the dropped pass by Dallas Goedert, but was overall happy with how the offense did. They didn’t run it as efficiently, but from their numbers, they had an 85 percent completion percentage.
On A.J. Brown
“He’s awesome. You know, he fits in great. Obviously, a guy comes in and the amount of plays he’s made in this league, has the automatic respect of everybody, but the way he interacts with his teammates, the way he works on the practice field, he fits great into our culture. I mean, we want to get better everyday at practice, we want to compete, we want to connect with our guys, and he speaks to all those things. So, I love having him on the team for his playmaking ability and I love having him on the team for the person and the teammate that he is.”
- Sirianni was asked whether he preferred two or three quarterbacks on the roster, and he said that it depends on the roster situation, not necessarily the actual quarterbacks, but he’s been on teams with two and three — probably more two. He pointed out that Gardner Minshew has been doing well and Reid Sinnett has had a nice camp, so the head coach is happy with the QB situation they have.
- He didn’t commit to Quez Watkins as the kick returner, saying that there’s a good competition for special teams roles too, but they want someone explosive back there.