The Eagles have a little more prep time this week as they get ready for a Monday night matchup against the Vikings, and head coach Nick Sirianni spoke with reporters on Thursday about some of their game planning process — he also clarified Howie Roseman’s role in that process. He also talked about Justin Jefferson and signing Janarious Robinson.
Sirianni was asked whether there was extra pressure on Jonathan Gannon to get some of the defensive issues fixed. He noted that he has a ton of confidence in the DC — that’s why he’s with the team — and that it’s the NFL and they play in Philly, so the pressure is always there, but not anymore than usual after Week 1.
Here’s what else the head coach had to say:
On the NFL’s officiating points against QB hits
“They’re always trying to protect the quarterback, and I know and we understand that — and we have a quarterback like Jalen [Hurts], we’re obviously very appreciative of that. And so, you know, I thought that the referees in the game the other day did an outstanding job. They have a hard job. They got a really hard job. It’s kind of a thankless job too, like nobody’s going up to them after the game, like ‘You refed an awesome game.’”
On the game-planning process
Earlier in the week, defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon mentioned the game-planning process, which involved himself along with Sirianni and Howie Roseman. There was some speculation that followed about how involved Roseman is, but Sirianni clarified on Thursday that when they start planning for games, they talk about the roster and Roseman’s expertise is in roster management. So, they go to the Eagles’ GM about players they want elevated from the practice squad or who might need to be inactive, and Roseman makes it happen.
“We have Howie’s support, and he just wants to help us do our job as best we can do, and that’s how he helps us there in that aspect.”
The head coach followed up by saying that they discuss everything, so it’s not entirely a one-way conversation with the roster moves they want to make.
“But, at the end of the day, I have the say of who’s up on game day and what we need. He’s not sitting in there game-planning with us either.”
Sirianni went on to say that he discusses some of the things they’re planning — like if they plan on using more 13 personnel, etc... because the best teams he’s been on have had a really good relationship between the head coach and GM. So, Sirianni explains his rationale for the roster moves, and Howie supports those decisions by making the moves.
On Vikings WR Justin Jefferson
Sirianni said that he’s always admired Justin Jefferson’s game, going back to his last year in college. The head coach talked about watching film from all the quarterbacks and receivers heading into the National Championship matchup between Clemson and LSU, and Jefferson’s talent and route-running stood out to him — everything that was then solidified by his performance for the title.
On signing Janarius Robinson
“Big man who we liked his tape coming out, and saw an opportunity there. Obviously, we’re really bummed about Derek [Barnett], but saw an opportunity there to improve our roster. And you know, our defensive coaches liked him, I liked him, Howie liked him, and his staff, and we saw a way to improve our roster.
So, you’ll see him out there, he is big. He is a big man. It was nice to see him and Josh [Sweat] eating lunch together the other day — so, I may have hummed the Florida State fight song chant when I walked by them. But, he’s a big dude.”
- Sirianni said he wasn’t concerned with the pass pressure from the defense against the Lions, and expressed his confidence in the coaches and players to get to the quarterback. He noted that they have to put guys in positions to make plays and that’s what they’re working like crazy to do.
- The head coach said that they go through the same process every week, and that includes having a theme, and this week’s theme is connecting. He referenced that it was also their first core value, but it’s something that will help them on and off the field, as well.
- He was asked about Britain Covey and Sirianni pointed to his quickness as something they saw during training camp. The head coach mentioned that a lot of guys in the NFL are fast, but some of the best players can change directions very quickly, like Covey can.