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Nick Sirianni takes blame for Eagles’ play design issues

The Eagles head coach talked about how injuries to the secondary and offensive line affected them in Sunday’s game, as well as his thoughts on the offensive playcalling.

The Eagles are still recovering from their Week 6 loss to the Jets and head coach Nick Sirianni spoke to the media on Monday after being able to review the tape. He talked about how injuries to the secondary and offensive line affected things, as well as what he saw from the offensive play calling.

When asked if there would be any additional emphasis on their mistakes this week, Sirianni admitted that they want their preparation to be the same every week, regardless of the outcome.

“But it’s business as usual. We had some hard conversations today as coaches. We had some hard conversations together as a team to make sure we got better from this game.

And then when Wednesday comes in, we’ll all be focused 100% on Miami and we know they’re a good football team and we have got to be ready to go.”

Here’s what else the head coach had to say:

On injuries and the secondary

Sirianni said they’ll have to monitor and see how Reed Blankenship is doing this week, but admitted that injuries at safety have been a challenge this season. He mentioned that the defensive coaches did a nice job of getting CB Mekhi Garner reps at safety the past few weeks, so that’s something they’ll have to continue to work on.

“So good job by Mekhi [Garner]. I thought he did a nice job. He hasn’t played a lot at safety outside of practice, so I thought he did a nice job under the circumstances, and he’ll continue to improve.”

The head coach also said that they hopefully get Sydney Brown back this week, although didn’t want to be too certain about it this early in the week, and was optimistic they’d get a couple other injured guys back for the secondary.

On injuries and the offensive line

Sirianni was asked why they stayed in 11 personnel so much (80%) even after Lane Johnson’s injury, rather than go to 12 or 13 personnel to bring in some blocking help for Jack Driscoll. He explained that they have a lot of faith in Driscoll, someone who has played in and contributed in big games for the Eagles over the years.

“There are different types of help you can give to an offensive line. Sometimes that help comes with an immediate thump on the side by the tight end or receiver, which we sprinkled some of those in there yesterday.

And sometimes the thump or chip help or whatever you want to call it comes from the back. When it’s coming from the back — and some of those were the calls too as the game progressed. Sometimes with the back, you can’t guarantee he’s going to get there because he provides help when he doesn’t have protection responsibilities for himself.”

The head coach also explained why he took full responsibility for the interception when Jalen Hurts got hit making the throw, and didn’t blame Driscoll for that play.

“I thought the one with the interception, I’ll just say that was 100% on me, the interception where Jack’s guy got free late, No. 11 got free late. I’m taking that one. I’m not going to get too much into the why. The players know why, and we discussed this at length of why I thought it was on myself on that interception where Jalen [Hurts] got hit.”

Sirianni didn’t talk much about Lane Johnson’s injury — although, we did get an update following the press conference —, but emphasized that they have confidence in Driscoll for however long he’s needed to fill in, while admitting that losing the best RT in the NFL is going to affect things regardless of the next man up.

On the offensive play calling

Overall, Sirianni thought OC Brian Johnson did a nice job on Sunday. He acknowledged that when you look at the film, there are some details that Johnson wants back, but when it comes to play design, the head coach took responsibility.

“So, there are some detail things there. When we talk about a design of a play, I’m always going to take the brunt of that, of, hey, this design wasn’t good enough. There definitely were a couple of those that the design, I’m like, I didn’t really like the design of this play right here.

To me, when that is the case that’s 100% on me.

And then as you look at it, it’s going to be hard to sustain drives, score points, when you turn the ball over. The turnovers, it was all something different, each one of them. It wasn’t all on one guy. Jalen [Hurts] gets three interceptions to his name, but they’re not all on him.”

Other notables

  • Sirianni wouldn’t admit whether or not they let the Jets score late in the game to get the ball back, saying that whatever decision they made was strategy-based and he didn’t want to discuss it. So, maybe they let them score, maybe they didn’t.
  • The head coach broke down some of the issues they had moving the ball on their last offensive drive, but said it was just one of those situations where nothing was working. There were a couple calls they want back, and some execution issues they want back, but overall, it wasn’t just one specific thing that kept them from getting down the field.

“You win as a team and lose as a team. We’re all in it together. There wasn’t one thing I could say.”

  • He was asked about D’Andre Swift going out of bounds to stop the clock on their second-to-last drive, but Sirianni explained that not all four-minute situations are the same. At that point, they only had a two point lead and knew that if they turned the ball over, the Jets only needed a field goal to take the lead. So, while in some four-minute situations, they would’ve instructed Swift to slide and stay in bounds, at that point on Sunday, they were trying to get as many yards as they could to extend the drive.

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