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Nick Sirianni on Jalen Hurts: “To have him out there is like having Michael Jordan out there”

The Eagles head coach said they’re going to celebrate tonight, but tomorrow they’re right back to work.

The Eagles absolutely dominated the Giants on their way to the NFC Championship game, and head coach Nick Sirianni spoke with reporters following the win. He talked about the importance of having Jalen Hurts back, why the offensive line deserves attention for the run game, and how they stay motivated.

He mentioned taking some time to celebrate the win, but getting back to work sooner rather than later, noting the locker room was a whole vibe.

“It was lit in there. It was fun in there.”

Here’s what the head coach had to say:

On Jalen Hurts’ return

Sirianni talked about how the quarterback affects the run game, even when it’s not him carrying the ball. He explained that Hurts demands attention on the backside, and opens up a lot of options. The head coach also gave the QB credit for getting them to good checks, especially against a good defense that posed a lot of issues.

As for the amount of say Hurts has at the line of scrimmage, Sirianni said that they have checks on things at times, but overall the QB was in complete control. He later explained that Hurts was not limited at all, so some of the designed runs and plays they ran, were reflective of that and they weren’t hesitant to do what they needed to do to win.

The head coach was very complimentary of Hurts, likening him to Michael Jordan.

“To have him out there is like ... I know this is high praise, but to have him out there is like having— I shouldn’t even go there. But to have him out there is like having Michael Jordan out there.

He’s your leader. He’s your guy.

Like, hopefully that’s the biggest respect I can pay to him. Comparing his ability to being on the field to a Michael Jordan-type.

This guy leads. He brings this calmness to the entire team. He plays great football. He’s [as] tough as they come.

To me, there ain’t nobody that’s played better football than him this year.”

On their motivation moving forward

Sirianni explained that when the motivation is playing for each other, it doesn’t matter who the next opponent is. Of course, they’re going to rest tomorrow and see who they’ll be playing for the NFC Championship — the Cowboys of 49ers — but the connection they have with one another is the takeaway.

The head coach talked again about the Dog Mentality that they have, and how they’ll enjoy the win over the Giants for a second, learn from the mistakes they made, and then move on to the next game.

“Of course we’re excited tonight, but we know we have bigger goals.”

Sirianni said that they’ve been climbing this mountain all season, and they’re getting close to the top, but they can’t look at the top yet, they need to look at the next step along the way.

He was asked about having a dominant win after several weeks of lackluster performances, but Sirianni said that he’s not interested in style points. His focus is getting better everyday, and that’s their priority. It might not be obvious to the outside world, but they know they’re growing.

Other notables

  • Sirianni gave a lot of credit to the offensive line for their effort in the run game. He said that they have a special group of players and men. The head coach explained that Lane Johnson is the best tackle in the NFL, and having him back to shut down a side is huge, and Jason Kelce sets the table for a lot of the things they do. He went on to say that Kelce is one of the smartest players he’s ever been around.

“He’s a special leader. He’s a special center.”

  • As for Dallas Goedert getting more attention this game, Sirianni said that it’s always part of the plan to get him touches, but some games that’s more possible than others. The TE got involved early and got hot, plus he’s really hard to tackle, but he’s someone they always try to get involved.
  • The head coach was asked about his altercation with a line judge, and he said that he was trying to get down toward the end zone to call a timeout and he’s not quite as fast as he used to be so he started that way early. The judge told him to get back.
  • Sirianni went on a little rant about how much disrespect Jonathan Gannon gets as a defensive coordinator. He lauded Gannon and the work he’s done with the Eagles’ defense, and said he’ll be a great head coach one day. Sirianni said it blows his mind that he doesn’t get respect from people — namely the local Philly radio station.

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