The Philadelphia Eagles are headed to the Super Bowl, but they’ve got a week left in Philly before making the trip out west. Head coach Nick Sirianni spoke to reporters on Tuesday, and talked about how the team is structuring their week, as well as how they plan to keep things as consistent as possible. They’ve been focused on staying true to their process all season, and Sirianni said they are sticking with that as much as possible in the days leading up to the game.
Here’s what the head coach had to say:
On this week’s preparations
Sirianni said that he’s spoken with not just the players who were with the Eagles during the 2017-18 Super Bowl run, but also a lot of the staff that had been there. Among the (many) things that he’s discussed, has been the schedule of things leading up to the big game — something he says that Kevin Patullo has helped a lot with, as have other coaches. The head coach feels good about the schedule they’ve put together.
“Without giving too much out there, you’re working on getting a big chunk of your game plan done and practicing like a normal week, knowing that the schedule when you get out [to Pheonix] next week is a little bit different.
So, you’re going to try to keep everything as similar as possible. We’re going to keep these next two weeks as normal as we possibly can for our guys and our schedule.”
On preparing for Kansas City
Sirianni talked about being able to watch the second half of the AFC Championship game at his home, surrounded by family and extended family. He mentioned that they are still in the early stages of studying the Chiefs, but he knows that they have a great coach in Andy Reid, and really talented players like Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce, and Chris Jones. They are a well-coached team and are really good — as evidenced by them being in the Super Bowl.
On keeping things consistent
A big part of Sirianni’s messaging throughout the season has been their focus on keeping every day and every week the same. Every game has the same gravitas, and the goal every day is to get a little bit better. The head coach was asked how he plans to keep that same messaging when they get to Arizona given the circumstances with media requirements and other responsibilities.
“It’s just how do we eliminate distractions, and it’s hard. It will be hard. It will be a challenge. But again, when you’re playing for something that’s bigger than yourself, right, because of the relationships that you have with the teammates that you have and the coaches that you have, then you’re willing to sacrifice things.
And that’s the definition I talk about all the time. That’s the definition, the greatest motivator is love, and I know our guys love each other, and sacrificing things is one of the greatest indicators of love.
It’s just, know your distractions is the first thing; try to eliminate them as much as you possibly can this week with what’s going on so we can go 1-0 each day. That will be essentially the message of what we talk about, and it will be a repeat, and that’s essentially a repeat message that we started the year with.”
Sirianni later mentioned that they are also still focused on not making this game bigger than the others. Admittedly, that will be tougher to do than the other games this year, but they’ve been consistent with their approach and will continue to do that.
“This is the last time this team will be together, but that doesn’t mean you treat it any different. You go about it the exact same way. I can’t wait to go up there and finish some of our 1st and 2nd down plan that we’re doing right now with the guys and just go through the same process over and over and over again.
That’s something I learned so much last year, too, of just being 2-5, how are we going to climb out of this hole that we’re in? One day at a time, one meeting at a time, one practice at a time, over and over and over and over again.”
On the team’s NFC Championship performance
Sirianni was asked what about the game on Sunday really jumped out, and he really emphasized the physicality they played with.
“The whole thing as far as just being in an electric atmosphere was really awesome as far as just the whole atmosphere.
The plays — I just felt like we were very physical in the game. You really saw that throughout the entire game. You saw that with the first touchdown run, the combination blocks from Landon [Dickerson] and Jason [Kelce] as well as Isaac [Seumalo] and Lane [Johnson]. That really showed up.
You saw the physicality of our defense the entire day, finishing off plays, and there were some really good tackles our guys made getting off blocks.
Because we talk so much about being physical, physically tough and mentally tough, there’s just a lot of that that popped up through the game.”
On what makes Jeff Stoutland such a great coach
Sirianni acknowledged that he could talk about Stout all day long. He pointed to the OL coach’s “high, high, high” attention to detail and his high intelligence, combined with an excellent understanding of what different looks will require and then putting players in the best positions for the run game.
“This guy loves football. Stout loves football. He’s always here. He’s always working. He’s always looking, and he loves his guys, and he loves the guys on this team. It’s not just the offensive linemen. I always see him talking to other players on this team because he knows how important it is to connect.
But he does love his offensive line so much that he’s willing to go — and that’s the whole point of everything we always talk about. He’s so willing to go the extra mile for them because he loves them and he doesn’t want to let them down.”
Connection is something Sirianni has emphasized since he got the head coaching job in Philly, and he mentioned that Stoutland is the epitome of that.
“He just doesn’t stop. He’s relentless. I always say this: good leadership, good coaching is when you know what I’m going to say, and there’s a part of that to it, too. He’s not going to get bored of hey, if this step is off or if a technique is off, a fundamental is off, or a point or anything like that is off, you’re going to hear about it. He’s going to let them know. He’s going to talk through it with them.”
- Sirianni’s time with the Chiefs came to and end when Andy Reid was hired, but he noted that he appreciated Reid being honest and forthcoming about bringing in his own guy, and giving Sirianni ample notice to try and get a new job. He wasn’t able to pick Reid’s brain much in that situation, but said he respects him a lot.
- The head coach talked about meeting his wife during his time in Kansas City, so while it was his first NFL job, it probably holds a more significant role in his personal life.
- He was asked about the Eagles vs. Chiefs game from back in 2021, and Sirianni said that they’ve started watching that tape — as he assumes the Chiefs are, too — and he thought Jalen Hurts played well that game. But, re-watching the tape, also showed the head coach how far the QB has come and how he’s continued to improve every day since.
- Sirianni was asked about a story of him kind of stalking Todd Haley at a YMCA to get a coaching opportunity. The head coach explained that they met when he was still a football player at Mount Union, and Haley was kind enough to help him with WR drills and things like that. So, it all started with Sirianni wanting help as a player, and then once he became a coach, he reached out and they kept in touch. He admitted to going to the YMCA, saying he’d go sometimes because he wanted knowledge and he ran into Haley a couple times.