Flanked by his (absolutely adorable) kids, head coach Nick Sirianni spoke to reporters after Thursday’s practice. He mentioned that practicing in the heat is tough for players and keeping them healthy, but it’s good because that’ll be what the first few games of the season will be like and they have to be ready for that.
Here’s what else the head coach had to say:
On the offensive camp performance
He said there were some was some ebb and flow to the offense’s performance on Thursday, but they didn’t turn the ball over as much — despite ending practice with a turnover. Sirianni noted he needs to watch the tape before answering in-depth. The head coach also acknowledged that the players were getting tired during the two-minute drills, which happens, but that they’ve added some conditioning elements which should help them as they continue to press forward toward the season.
Sirianni later talked about the training camp schedule and how the walk-throughs affect offensive installs. He pointed to several times during live reps when the defense would get to the quarterback, or when the offense was able to make plays, due to their focus and detailed preparations during walk-throughs. Sirianni mentioned that those moments show coaches that the players really are dialed in and getting the most out of those mental reps and then they are able to transfer it to the field.
On his focus on route-running
“It’s very important that the quarterback knows exactly where the receivers are going to be. So, if it’s zone, we talk about all the time, there’s route discipline, right? There’s route discipline, as far as, hey you have to be here at this particular time, and versus this look you gotta be here, this look you gotta be here. So, we spend a lot of time on that, because if you can just get guys in the right position, then that’s half the battle versus the different looks.
Then, it’s being sharp and detailed with your looks. One, so you can separate from the defensive back or the linebacker, and two, so you indicate for the quarterback when you’re breaking down.
So, everything we’re doing as far as that — I know what it takes to be a good passing team, I’ve been on a lot of good passing teams, and those are really common denominators of the receivers and tight ends and running backs of good passing games. Be where you’re supposed to be. Be disciplined in your route. Indicate to the quarterback. Separate from the defensive back.”
On Jalen Reagor’s progress
“He came in in great shape, ready to go. That’s a big part of it, right? He plays a position that you gotta run all day, and so he’s ready to go and ready to go as far as his shape when he first got in here, and, you know, he’s just working to get better every day and I see improvements. He’s making plays when [he has] opportunities.
We talked to him a lot about, hey, you’re not gonna get 11 chances a game like you did at TCU, but if you get three, you gotta take advantage of those three and you can’t leave them on the field. So, it’s the consistency, it’s his shape, and I see that he is playing more consistent right now.”
- Andre Dillard and Jordan Mailata are out with concussions that they suffered during Tuesday’s practice.
- Sirianni doesn’t know the exact play that DeVonta Smith injured his groin, but they are being cautious with him. Smith is typically one of the players who runs the most during practice, so they know how important he is, and will be, once the season is here.