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Nick Sirianni talks aftermath of Eagles vs. Commanders

With some time to review the film from Sunday’s win over the Commanders, Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni spoke to reporters about their plan at right guard, explained some of his game management decisions, and their focus on protecting Jalen Hurts.

He also mentioned that they need to find ways to get Dallas Goedert more involved, but defense’s are making that tough. Still, Goedert is a big factor in their offense.

Here’s what the head coach had to say:

On the RG position

Sirianni confirmed that Cam Jurgens is week-to-week, although didn’t get into specifics regarding the injury. He noted that it’s still early in the week, so they’ll see how things play out over the next few days.

As for who will step into that spot, Sirianni said it was pretty obvious how the depth chart looked with Sua Opeta being the next man up and Tyler Steen not being active.

The head coach said that Opeta, “played outstanding yesterday,” and it was something that the coaches felt during the game and the tape confirmed it. Lane Johnson went up to Sirianni after the game signing Opeta’s praises for the job he did on what turned out to be about 40 offensive snaps.

“Excellent job by him to come in and play a great game.”

Sirianni noted that being able to come in and play at a high level is a very necessary thing to do, but it’s also very hard to do, so credit to Opeta for that.

On game management

9:41 to play, WAS had illegal formation, accepted penalty

Sirianni explained that it was 3rd-and-1, they stuffed them on a QB sneak, and the referee explained that it would’ve been 4th-and-half a yard or 3rd-and-6 with the penalty. He noted that even a regular QB sneak is effective about 70 percent of the time, so he thought it would be better to move them back.

It just so happens that Washington converted, but he understands that there might be criticism for not taking the down. He thought they would have gone for it at half a yard, and so the head coach said he just had to have conviction in his decision. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.

Not calling a timeout after DeVonta Smith’s catch before halftime

Sirianni explained that if you call a timeout there, and then get the ball with no timeouts or you don’t take the timeout and you can run a play. They ended up snapping the ball at 20 seconds, and so it’s just a matter of whether they want to hold on to a timeout, which is something they try to do for as long as they can.

The head coach mentioned that they have a chart of very specific times and situations for them to call a timeout. They followed the chart on Sunday, and did what they prepared for in that particular case. Sirianni said that in the moment is not the time have a knee-jerk reaction — they have to make the decision quickly, and so he followed their process, and would make that same call again in that situation.

He noted, however, that their charts are constantly evolving as they learn more and prepare for different things, so while he would make that call again, the call for that particular situation might be different in the future.

On the secondary vs Rams WRs

“This Rams team, with their receivers, I can’t say enough about Sean McVay and how he’s always been able to have production out of his receiver group.”

Sirianni said that James Bradberry did a nice job in the slot on Sunday, but he is playing a position he hasn’t played often in his career. He noted that the defense does have options if they want to move Bradberry back outside, or if they want to move him and others around.

The head coach said that Josh Jobe continues to grow. Obviously, the young player wants some plays back from Sunday’s game, but the coaches have a lot of confidence in him as he develops, and he learns a lot going up against guys like A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith in practice.

They’ll have to see how rookie Sydney Brown is doing this week, and determine whether he’ll be back. So, there’s a lot of moving parts for the secondary over the next couple days.

On Jalen Hurts’ as a runner in the open field

“He needs to protect himself.”

Sirianni noted that the QB has taken a couple big hits, including one against New England, and the priority is for Hurts to protect himself when he’s a runner. The coaches encourage him to slide or take a step out of bounds, whatever he needs to do to protect himself.

The head coach also explained that everything they design up during the week is done to make sure that they are keeping Hurts’ health and safety the priority. If that’s what the coaches are thinking about on every play, the QB needs to be thinking about it, too.

Other notables

  • He mentioned after the game on Sunday that he doesn’t watch field goals, but explained that it’s not because he’s superstitious, it’s more because of his nerves and emotions in the moment so he’d rather look at Michael Clay to get the result.
  • When the team submits requests for clarification on penalties, Sirianni said the NFL does a really good job of getting back to them. It’s an important step because they can then turn around and use that information to coach up players to avoid calls in the future.

“Its not to bitch about the call, it’s to get knowledge for us so we can coach it the best way we can coach it, and play within the rules.”

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