The Eagles are back in Philly following their Monday night loss to the Seahawks, and head coach Nick Sirianni took some time on Wednesday to talk to reporters. He explained why the criticism over the offensive playcalling should be directed at him, talked a little more about shifting the DC role from Sean Desai to Matt Patricia, and how they’re emphasizing accountability as they always do.
Here’s some of what the head coach had to say:
On Brian Johnson and offensive playcalling
Sirianni was asked given his change to the defensive coordinator role, why he wasn’t also considering a change at offensive playcalling. He emphasized that they need to do a better job of putting players in a position to make explosive plays, but also noted that this is his offense.
“Make no mistake about it, this offense is being run the exact same way the offense was run last year and the year before that. This offense is my offense; right? This is my offense.
So, the criticism on the offense I think unfairly goes to Brian. Brian calls the plays. Brian calls the plays. It unfairly goes to Brian. The criticism on this offense should come at me because this is my offense.
I was hired to do a job here and got hired because I was successful as an offensive coordinator with our schemes and the different things that we did to coach players and help players win. I’m committed to that.
Like I said, the criticism should come at me, and I think it unfairly goes at Brian a lot of the times because he’s calling the plays.”
The head coach then doubled down that the offense has been consistently similar throughout his three-year tenure with the Eagles, and while there are different things they do based on their personnel, it all starts with him.
“So I guess I’m not thinking that a change needs to be made there for multiple reasons, and that’s one big one.”
On Sean Desai’s new role
He talked about Sean Desai and Matt Patricia switching responsibilities, noting that Desai did a really good job on Monday helping out both in the locker room and on the headset.
“I really admire how Sean [Desai] went about his business this last week. I think any of us that have been in a situation where things didn’t go the way we wanted it to go, you can go two ways with that, and I really believe Sean took the — it really speaks volumes of the person and the coach that Sean is and the character Sean has, that he did everything he can do to help the football team.
That’s why Sean is here, and we know he can help us.”
Still, Sirianni wouldn’t confirm what exactly Desai’s role is behind the scenes, or what that might look like moving forward or after the season. The head coach did say that he was glad that Desai was part of the staff.
Sirianni later explained that there won’t be any wholesale differences with the defense at this point in the season, and it’s still Desai’s defense, but there will still be some different things here and there with Patricia’s touch.
“Like I said, it’s a group effort by our defensive staff. Matt is just the one that’s making the main decision now. Sean still has a voice in there, and our assistant coaches still have a voice in there. We’re just trying to refine what we do well and continue to do what we do well and eliminate some of the mistakes that we’ve made.”
On the Eagles offense and Jalen Hurts’ performances
The head coach was asked about Jalen Hurts’ performance the past three weeks, but Sirianni instead pointed to the offense as a whole not playing, or being coached, to their standard. He explained that there are a lot of similarities to the offense overall from last year to this year, except in two notable categories: explosive plays and turnover differential.
Sirianni also acknowledged that he, Brian Johnson, and Jalen Hurts are always going to be looked at first when things aren’t going well. Still, he noted that Hurts did a lot of nice things in Monday night’s game, and in the game against Dallas, aside from the turnovers. And while the head coach was asked about the last three games specifically, he did point out that prior to that stretch, Hurts was a top MVP candidate.
“I have a lot of confidence with Jalen and the guys on this team that we can get this thing turned around. All it takes is the next game. All we’re thinking about is how we turn it around going into this next game, and we’ll take it one day and one game at a time.”
- When asked about Quez Watkins, Sirianni said that he still has confidence in the WR. He explained that Watkins’ speed changes the game and can clear the field, so he affects things even when he’s not being targeted. Still, the head coach said they would have to see how his snap count might change moving forward, because they do have Julio Jones and Olamide Zaccheaus.
- Sirianni talked about how he is using the exact same methods of accountability as he uses when the team is winning, noting that it’s important to stay true to your core beliefs regardless of the outcome. When asked later about holding guys like Jalen Hurts accountable, the head coach said he wouldn’t disclose private conversations, but emphatically stated that accountability is one of their core values and something they put a lot of time in every single day.
- He was asked about the second interception on a pass to A.J. Brown, and Sirianni explained that they’ve seen defensive pass interference called in that kind of one-on-one situation.
“In that particular time, it didn’t work, so we understand the criticism, but not only could you get a pass interference, but also A.J. has a tremendous ability to come down with the football in one-on-one situations.
In this particular case it didn’t work out, but we’re comfortable with what was called and what we did in that scenario, and we’ll be better next time because of it.”
- Sirianni commented on Christian McCaffrey being able to predict a QB draw based off Jack Stoll’s position on one play Monday night, but the head coach said that they’ve actually never run that play from that formation, so it was moreso McCaffrey showing his football IQ rather than the Eagles being too predictable.