The Eagles were fresh off a huge (kelly green) win over the Dolphins late-Sunday night, and head coach Nick Sirianni spoke to reporters about the dynamic defense, why the NFL shouldn’t ban the ‘Brotherly Shove’, and his thoughts on the performances of Jalen Hurts and A.J. Brown.
Here’s what he had to say.
On the Eagles defense
Sirianni had a lot of praise for DC Sean Desai, saying they knew the type of guy they were getting when they hired him.
“I just think he’s done a phenomenal job. What I think he’s done such a good job of is what I admire of any coach: Adapting to the personnel that you have.
I think he’s done that, and we’ll continue to look to climb. Sean has done a great job of putting the guys in positions to make plays and our defensive staff, they all contribute to that.”
The head coach went on to say that they’re doing a really great job up front, and guys like Haason Reddick and Josh Sweat don’t have to sack the quarterback to affect the game. He noted that it felt like Reddick and Sweat had unbelievable games.
He also talked about holding the No. 1 ranked offense to just 17 points, and Sirianni once again credited the coaching staff for putting players in position to succeed and the players for executing. They were able to make the Dolphins offense one dimensional.
“Great job by our DBs. We knew [Tyreek Hill] was going to get some plays and this and that, but starts with our defensive line and being able to apply pressure, which I thought we did, and the DBs did a good job making him hold the ball a tick when we were able to get home.
But it started with making them one dimensional. I think you saw some good things there with Haason [Reddick], with the way he kind of stopped the toss crack play and set the edge, because they have been highly successful on that play.”
On the ‘Brotherly Shove’
Sirianni admitted that he didn’t know the down and exact distance when he called a timeout on 4th-and-1 before going for their No. 1 play. Originally, he thought they were closer to the 2-yard line, and while he hated to call the timeout, it gave him a chance to evaluate.
“I thought to myself, well, I would being crazy if I don’t go for it on fourth and one with the type of guys we have.
Again, goes back to the dudes that we got and making the play.”
The head coach said it’s a play they have a lot of faith in, and that no one can do it like the Eagles do it, if everybody could do it, they would.
“People can’t do it like we can do it.”#Eagles coach Nick Sirianni with a passionate defense of the Brotherly Shove, noting one of the cold, hard facts: Few other teams can do it. pic.twitter.com/NcTArwCN71— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) October 23, 2023
On Jalen Hurts’ performance
Sirianni didn’t care to provide any information regarding Jalen Hurts possibly getting injured and wearing a brace in the second half — noting people would have to ask the QB. But, he did say that Hurts played the rest of the game and did so at a high level.
“I thought he played really outstanding. Man, he is a competitor. There is nobody else I would rather be our quarterback. He played his butt off tonight. He’s tough.
You all saw that he was going through a little something. So he is tough. He is tough, tough. This game always comes down to physicality and toughness. Always does. No matter what. Because it’s hard. And that’s physical and mental toughness, and Jalen Hurts has both.”
The head coach also said that Hurts coming out of the locker room late after halftime wasn’t related to the aforementioned potential injury. Hurts will sometimes get an IV at half, and if they aren’t starting with the ball, he’s able to finish it. Sirianni also refuted that he asked Marcus Mariota to warm up, saying QB2 was probably just throwing a bit.
On A.J. Brown’s hot streak
“A.J. is a phenomenal player. He just has this unbelievable ability to come down with the football. Nobody catches the ball as pretty as A.J. Brown. I am just in awe of good wide receivers and the skill that they have. Nobody goes and snags the football like him. Nobody I have seen. It’s so much cooler in person to see that and when it’s someone on your team. He’s on a tear right now.”
He noted that the other guys are playing well, too, and Brown is on a tear because he’s surrounded by guys like DeVonta Smith, Dallas Goedert, and D’Andre Swift, and now Julio Jones is out there. Sirianni also credited Howie Roseman for putting this group together, and even admitted to thanking Jeffrey Lurie at practice this week for spending $100 million to bring Brown to Philly.
- Sirianni couldn’t say enough good things about Darius Slay as a leader — even noting the veteran CB took injured Zech McPhearson to a baseball game the other day to spend some time together.
- The head coach talked about how they focused on details and physicality this week in their messaging to the team. They missed some details in their loss to the Jets, so they wanted clean things up and then lean on their offensive and defensive lines.