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Nick Sirianni said NFC Championship ‘atmosphere was unbelievable’

The Eagles are headed to the Super Bowl, and coaching in the big game is something the head coach has dreamt about.

The Philadelphia Eagles are the NFC Champions and have two weeks to get ready for the Super Bowl!

Head coach Nick Sirianni spoke to reporters following the game — flanked by his kids — and talked about how coaching in the big game is a dream come true for him. He also talked about the hurry up call by DeVonta Smith early in the game, and how Brock Purdy’s injury affected the rest of the matchup.

Here’s what the head coach had to say:

On getting to the Super Bowl

“Pretty awesome. This is something you dream about you’re whole life.”

That was his message to the team in the locker room after the game. Whether it’s something the players had been dreaming about since they were 2, 10, 14 or 18, competing in the Super Bowl is something they have all dreamt about.

“We get to do it because we did better than anyone else in the NFC this year. That’s pretty special. Fans were awesome. Atmosphere was unbelievable.”

Sirianni said that there’s a big picture hanging up at their indoor facility from the NFC Championship game back in the 2017 season, and he’s excited to add another one from this win.

On DeVonta Smith’s situational awareness

Early in the game, Smith made a huge catch down the field, and immediately got up and started signaling no huddle, hurry up, before the catch could be reviewed. Sirianni explained, “Smart players do smart thing.”

The head coach admitted that he doesn’t know if Smith caught it there or not, but when he was told it likely wasn’t a catch, Sirianni said that it was an even better play by the WR. He went on to note that situational football isn’t just third down, redzone, or two minute, it’s all the situations that happen within a game.

Sirianni pointed out that the same thing happened in his very first game in Philly versus Atlanta, with Zach Ertz calling for the hurry up.

He explained that the situation is something they do work on and discuss in practice, and said Smith did a great job and Jalen Hurts did a great job getting them to the line of scrimmage and running the play.

On Brock Purdy’s injury

“You want to make the quarterback feel as uncomfortable as possible, with everything — whether that’s the fans and making it loud, whether that’s disguising the coverages, or whether that’s hitting them. You don’t ever want anybody to get dinged or get hurt, and I hope he’s okay, but it definitely did change the game.”

Sirianni later admitted that when Purdy came back in the game, they saw he had that thing on his arm, so they assumed he probably couldn’t throw the ball down field. But, they also weren’t entirely sure what limitations he had, but they knew the 49ers were likely to do some screens in that scenario. He explained that it’s not until they got them in some 3rd-and-medium situations that they had a full picture of his capabilities.

The head coach said he had a ton of respect for Purdy for coming back into the game and playing through the pain — but, that’s what he would expect from the QB after talking to his coach friends from Iowa State.

Other notables

  • Sirianni was asked if he thought he would be in this situation just over a year after starting his first season with the Eagles 2-5. The head coach explained, however, that being focused on the present — which is what he preaches every single day and week — means not thinking about this far ahead or even looking back.
  • The head coach was asked about the Eagles being extra motivated going into this game and feeling disrespected. Sirianni explained that they know how mentally and physically tough they are as a team, and they wanted to show everyone else that on Sunday.
  • For the second week in a row the Eagles started the game with the ball, and Sirianni said it was great for them to be able to set the tone and get the lead.

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