The Eagles were just about to take the field at Lincoln Financial Field for the team’s public practice, but head coach Nick Sirianni took a few minutes to talk to reporters about the team’s latest roster moves, and why he’s excited for Sunday’s public practice.
Here’s what the head coach had to say:
On the LB group and Myles Jack, Zach Cunningham additions
Sirianni emphasized, several times, that he was and is happy with the linebacker room they have, but they are a little thin at the position and wanted to bring in some experienced players. He pointed to Nakobe Dean is working through an ankle injury, but the LB had done a good job in training camp leading up to the injury — Sirianni later said that Dean is getting close to returning.
The head coach said that bringing in guys like Jack and Cunningham will add competition to that room — one of the team’s core values — and will help elevate the group. He said the best players will play, but they’re coming in to compete like everyone else.
“When you bring in players, like these two have been in the league, that’s only going to raise the level of everybody else in the room and on the defense.”
Sirianni talked about the challenges of getting a linebacker up to speed because they have to know what everyone on the defense is doing. They’re confident in the research they did on Jack and Cunningham, saying that they’re both smart players that should be able to get caught up.
He said that they did factor in the moves they made last year to bring in Ndamukong Suh and Linval Joseph when they needed some depth up front. It’s obviously a different situation but they talked about that situation and needing depth due to injuries.
On releasing Davion Taylor
“That’s always a tough part of the job, because Davion’s worked hard. He’s worked really hard to be in a position this year to be on the 90-man roster and fighting for a spot.”
Sirianni went on to say that it’s tough when you build a relationship with guys, and Davion is someone who’s been around for two years, and someone who gave them really good looks last year, which was a big help during the season.
On Eagles fans and their support
“There’s not a harder place to play than this, and why is that? Because we have passionate fans that love the Eagles, that care about the Eagles, and care about their teams in this city. This is the best sports town in America, and I’m just honored to be a part of it.
He went on to say that he couldn’t believe that they were expecting over 50,000 fans at Sunday’s public practice. Last year was memorable for the head coach, who remembers A.J. Brown and Zach Pascall being in awe of the environment, and is excited for this year’s group of new players to feel that.
- Sirianni was asked about Josh Sills returning to the team, and the head coach explained that they never took the charges lightly and let the legal process play out. They followed all the protocols, and let the legal process and then the league process of removing him from the Commissioner’s Exempt List make the decision for them. As it relates to football, Sirianni said Sills was a good teammate and they’re happy to have him back.
- The head coach still wouldn’t confirm that Cam Jurgens is the new starting right guard, but quipped with a smile that there’s no hesitation, he just doesn’t have to reveal that information yet.
- He talked about A.J. Brown and pointed to his stamina and quickness out of breaks as two areas the WR has improved this offseason.