Eagles’ head coach Nick Sirianni spoke to reporters on Thursday ahead of practice, for an extra media session than in a normal week, and talked about how they are focused on being consistent and doing the same things they’ve done every week this season. Sirianni also explained his passion for situational football, and calls this Eagles’ team the most complete he’s ever coached. He also had a message for fans coming out on Sunday for the game.
Here’s what the head coach had to say:
On his message to Eagles fans
“Somebody asked me last week what my message was to Jalen [Hurts] going into this game. It’s his second playoff game, what’s your message to Jalen? Be you. That would be my same message to our great fans, our great city, is just be you.
The reputation of having to come into Philadelphia and play is the reputation that we have because it is intimidating and it’s loud and it’s hype. They are passionate fans; we have great passionate fans. Be who you have been for the entire time the Eagles have been here.”
On their approach to this week
Consistency is key for Sirianni and this Eagles team, and he emphasized over, and over, on Thursday.
When asked if this was the biggest game of his coaching career, Sirianni explained that he was raised that the biggest game is always the next game, because if they start making some more important than others, preparation changes and you’re riding a wave of the season.
That kind of consistency extends to how he’s preparing his big message for the team meeting, and how he plans to coach the game.
“It would be like coming out with a brand-new offense or a brand-new defense. I know San Francisco is not doing that, we’re not doing that. We’re here for a reason, and we’re going to keep going with what got us here.”
On his focus on situational football
Sirianni opened up a bit about his obsession with situational ball, saying that it stems from obsessing over little details that might give his team some kind of edge.
He explained that it started when he was working under Todd Haley, and on the first day of training camp meetings, Haley put up a list of situations that he wanted to hit during practice. Sirianni and Frank Reich were obsessed with it together in San Deigo, and then took it up a notch together in Indianapolis.
“Then it was just something that, I don’t know, something that I just got really interested in. The other thing I find is that I’m in the offensive meeting all the time correcting the tape.
‘Hey, we got to do this here or that here,’ and what I found with the situational thing is it’s my way to coach the entire team, as a head coach should. When we’re in here on situational Saturdays or what we call situational Saturdays or teaching situations from the game, it’s my way to do what I do with the offense to the special teams. It’s my way to do what I do with the offense to the defense.
So, yeah, we have a lot of guys that care. That situational meeting that we have every week, there are a lot of guys in there. My job is to groom coaches to be able to go and do it on their own as well. There are a lot of guys in there and it keeps growing.”
On the strength of this Eagles team
“But, yeah, in the NFL this is the most complete team that I’ve ever been around.
The thing that makes you say that is that I’ve been taught from very young that it’s O-line, D-line, O-line, D-line, O-line, D-line. It doesn’t matter if it’s my son’s pee wee game, it doesn’t matter if it’s a high school game, it doesn’t matter if it’s a college game, it doesn’t matter if it’s a pro game, the O-line, D-line, wins games and sets the tone.
We have a great defensive line. We have a great offensive line. And not only do we have these pieces in place there, we also understand that we have backups and we have rotations, guys ready to step in and make plays and guys that have stepped in to make plays.”
- Sirianni was asked what changed for the special teams unit after the Packers game, and the head coach said that the unit being consistent through each game and each week is what made the difference. He noted that they had some good games early in the year, but then there would be one big issue and it would sour the view. So, consistency has been the biggest difference.
- He talked about Avonte Maddox, saying the cornerback is trending up, but still wasn’t ready to commit to him playing on Sunday. Sirianni also said punter Arryn Siposs has been doing some punt work on his own, but hasn’t been back at practice with the group yet.
- Sirianni talked a little about his teach tapes and how they’ve evolved over time, and acknowledged that current players have the opportunity to take over a teach tape if they are able to perfect what they want them to do. It’s a visual representation of all the different details they are included in a specific play.
- He noted that the age and experience of the Final Four quarterbacks ebbs and flows each year, having so many young quarterback in Conference Championships is great for the league. Sirianni said that it makes the game exciting, and he loves watching QBs develop.