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Nick Sirianni was quick to name the Eagles’ top OTA standout

The head coach spoke to reporters ahead of the team’s final spring practice and talked about what he’s seen from young players and certain position groups.

As the Eagles head into their final OTA practice, head coach Nick Sirianni spoke to reporters and discussed what he’s seen from players so far this spring, why he’s excited about the depth of the running back group, and how Jalen Hurts continues to improve.

Sirianni said that his message to rookies is the same as his message to everyone heading into the break, which is that he wants them to come back for training camp in great shape and to make sure they’re doing the right things off the field.

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

On what’s impressed him during OTAs

“You see the fundamentals continuing to grow, and that’s from the guys that just got here, right — the fundamentals of what we’re trying to look like —, but then, just how much better too that the guys that have been here are with their fundamentals, and that they just keep getting better. That’s just our message, and that’s just what we strive to do, is just to get better everyday, and you’re really seeing that.”

Sirianni went on to say that the fundamentals are improving so much because of the hard work the players are putting in, combined with the amount of time they’re putting into it with the individual phases of OTAs.

On players who have stood out

“A lot of guys are standing out to me. I really have no problem singling one guy out that I think has just done a phenomenal job this offseason, is Quez Watkins.”

Sirianni went on to say that while no one in the building has doubted Watkins, he gets the sense that the WR is eager to silence some of the outside doubters. He’s attacked every day and every practice with that kind of attitude. The head coach said Watkins looks really good, and they know he has a lot of talent, and Sirianni is excited about that and about how the WR has taken care of business.

The head coach was also asked about rookies Jalen Carter and Nolan Smith and how they’ve acclimated this spring.

“I think you just see their athletic ability in the drill work. We’re doing a lot of 7-on-7, not team drills, but they’re getting a lot of individual work, and so you’re seeing the things that we saw obviously on tape of what they do well, and the power, their athletic ability, their personalities. You’re seeing that every day in drills, and so it’s not the same type of measuring stick that you get from maybe a skill guy who’s getting some team periods with the 7-on-7, but you’re seeing the development.”

On Jalen Hurts

“Jalen may be the most coachable person I’ve ever been around in my life. I mean, he’s just always looking to get better.

Now, that’s our job as coaches to make we’re feeding him good information. He’s so coachable, he just keeps getting better, and he keeps getting better, and he keeps getting better. So I do, I see another jump in everything that he’s done with accuracy, with the decision making.”

Sirianni acknowledged that they’re only doing 7-on-7’s right now, so there’s no pass rush to challenge the QB, but he is still developing all the time.

On the RB group

Sirianni was once again sure to point out that Trey Sermon is among the long list of talented backs on the team, and said Kenny Brooks is doing a nice job, in addition to D’Andre Swift, Rashaad Penny, Kenny Gainwell, and Boston Scott.

“We got a really deep room there, and you’re excited about the competition that we’re gonna have there.”

He noted that running backs get a little more chance to shine when they’re finally in pads, but so far, Gainwell and Swift have a done a nice job in the receiving area. Sirianni said that some of those competitions sort themselves out when the pads come on.

“It’s all gonna be great battles to who makes this football team, and they’re all going to be able to contribute in some sort of way.”

Other notables

  • On Philly being a potential interest for free agent DeAndre Hopkins, Sirianni said that he and Howie Roseman are always looking for opportunities to make the team better, but the head coach is really happy with the wide receiver group they have in place.

“Never know what’s gonna happen, but I really like that room. I’m really pleased with that room.”

“First and foremost, it’s always, always, always, always about our players’ health. We’re always going to put their health first.”

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