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Nick Sirianni, Howie Roseman talk Eagles training camp battles and more

The Eagles’ head coach said the guys came back to work in phenomenal shape, and they’re excited for some of the upcoming position battles.

The Eagles are back at the NovaCare Complex for the training camp, and just before the team hit the field for their first practice, head coach Nick Sirianni and GM Howie Roseman spoke to reporters about some of the position groups, avoiding a Super Bowl hangover, and a whole lot more.

The head coach said the guys came back “in phenomenal shape” and it was really exciting to watch them run on Tuesday and see how much they worked to get back in shape. Sirianni pointed out that stamina is one thing they’re going to focus on during camp, to make sure those 4.6 guys are running 4.6 through all four quarters.

Sirianni also talked about this year’s training camp schedule, and while they’re still tweaking things, they’ve opted not to have too many back-to-back on-field practice days. The head coach pointed to the preseason schedule, and which days the games fell on, as the main factor in that decision.

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

On the RB group

SIRIANNI: “Everybody has an opportunity to earn roles and looking forward to watching that position group battle because there’s a lot of good options there. And so, they’ll rotate throughout.”

Sirianni mentioned that all the guys will get reps with the ones as they sort things out, and also noted they’ll all get reps with the twos and threes, because they all they need to get reps no matter where they are. All of that was to highlight not looking into how they’re lining up during camp and make any sort of assumptions as far as the depth chart.

Later on, Roseman was asked about the value of the running back position amid some of the contract issues that have been highlighted recently. He explained that there have been situations where they gave guys a second contract, like LeSean McCoy, but as far as Miles Sanders goes, they wish him the best in Carolina, but they had to make some tough roster decisions this year when looking at the big picture.

So, they’re not opposed to signing a running back to a long-term deal, and it was tough letting Sanders go. The Eagles GM didn’t want to make any sort of absolute comments about the RB position, and said that it just worked out that this year’s group are on a lot of one-year deals. Still, they want to keep guys that they draft as long as possible, when it’s feasible with the rest of the roster.

On the OL positions

Sirianni said that they are going to start camp with Cam Jurgens at the right guard position, but they’ll see how things play out and there are other options at that spot.

Howie was asked about bringing Dennis Kelly back:

ROSEMAN: “We drafted Dennis here in Philadelphia and we know what kind of person he is, we know what kind of work ethic we have, and we know what kind of player he is still, just by watching his tape. Obviously, we followed his career for a long time, starting in college at Purdue, and we’re always looking for offensive line depth. We’re always looking for guys that can come in and have versatility and play a bunch of positions, and for us it just made a lot of sense to bring him back and we’re excited.”

Sirianni followed that up by saying he’s happy to add Kelly to their OL depth, and if he ends up being among the best five players, he’ll play.

On avoiding a Super Bowl hangover

Roseman mentioned that they aren’t dwelling on how last season ended and instead are focused on the fact that this year they are starting from scratch.

After a follow-up question, Sirianni admitted that they have spent time looking into why teams don’t make it back to the Super Bowl in consecutive years, but wanted to make it perfectly clear that their goal right now is not to get back to the Super Bowl, it’s to get better one day at a time. He quipped that you can’t win two games without winning one, so that’s where they are starting at the beginning of camp.

Still, they did want to look into why some teams have struggled coming off of successful seasons, and look for any common denominators they can identify. They found some reasons — like injuries to a QB or OL, or the offense regressing — that teams make take a step back after a Super Bowl appearance, but again, their focus right now is just getting better one day at a time.

Other notables

  • This is the first year with significant coaching changes with Sirianni’s staff, but the head coach said that things are going really well. Offensively, the changes aren’t as big, with a lot of the same assistants having been promoted and running mostly the same offense, just with someone else (OC Brian Johnson) calling the plays. Defensively, there are a lot of new faces, so the main thing right now is everyone getting on the same page with how Sirianni likes to handle certain things.
  • Sirianni was asked about defensive consultant Matt Patricia, who he says has been an excellent resource, not only defensively, but as a former head coach, Sirianni can bounce things off of.
  • Roseman talked a bit about roster building and how he handles the cap situation, noting that it’s a balance of bringing in younger players, as well as those with a history of staying healthy.
  • As for some of the rookies coming into the league, Sirianni said that he thinks there’s a bit of a learning curve at every position, but it’s the coaches’ job to get those players ready as quickly as possible.
  • With a new contract for Jalen Hurts, Sirianni was asked if they’ve talked to him about better ways to protect himself when he’s running the ball. The head coach explained that wanting to keep Hurts healthy is just as big of a priority now as it was when Sirianni came to Philly.

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