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Nick Sirianni addresses A.J. Brown’s frustration, gives Eagles injury updates

The Eagles head coach spoke to reporters on Monday about the defensive struggles, Haason Reddick dropping into coverage, and A.J. Brown being frustrated.

The Eagles have to shake off their ugly loss to the Cardinals and start preparing for the Giants, but head coach Nick Sirianni spoke to reporters on Monday about the defensive struggles — particularly against the run —, why Haason Reddick dropped back in coverage so often on Sunday, and why A.J. Brown is so frustrated. He also gave some injury updates, even though it’s still early in the week.

Here’s what the head coach had to say:

On the Eagles defense

Sirianni said that he still believes in Matt Patricia and will not be making another change with playcalling responsibilities. He explained that they made the change from Sean Desai to try and get things back on track, and it looked that way initially, until Sunday’s game against the Cardinals. The head coach admitted that they didn’t play or coach up to their standard in that loss to Arizona.

He also later denied having any regrets about giving the defense over to Patricia, and said that he made the decision in the best interest of the team.

The head coach talked about allowing the Cardinals to run for over 200 yards, and he said it’s never just one thing. Sirianni pointed to Arizona scheming really well against the Eagles, and James Connor being able to break tackles, but also admitted that when it’s that many yards, it’s something they aren’t coaching well enough.

On A.J. Brown’s frustration

“Obviously, I don’t want to speak for him. But you know, obviously when you have a dynamic playmaker like A.J. [Brown], he’s going to want to change the game at all times and he’s capable of doing that at all times.

And so again, I don’t want to speak for him, but obviously we’re all frustrated. We’re all frustrated right now, especially coming off that loss yesterday. And so you want to be able to have fun. You want to be able to do all these things that football brings, but sometimes it’s hard to have fun and hard to find the enjoyment when you’re in a rut like we are.”

Sirianni went on to say that he’s lauded Brown as a person and a teammate on and off the record, and there’s nobody that is as good a teammate as the WR.

“There’s nobody that is as good of a teammate. There is nobody that’s as good of a person as A.J. [Brown] and shoot, he’s one of our very best players and one of our best players since I’ve been here in the past three years.

I can’t say enough good things about him. We’re all frustrated, I think and again, like I said, I don’t want to speak for him on anything.”

Injury updates

  • He noted that they’ll have to see later in the week how Darius Slay is doing, but they didn’t put him on IR for a reason, and hope he’ll be able to return soon. Sirianni said that he admires the way Slay has worked to be able to get back on the field.
  • The head coach didn’t want to address Avonte Maddox getting X-rays following Sunday’s game, and said he’d have more information later in the week.

On how things have affected him personally

Sirianni acknowledged that when your team is in a rut and struggling the way they have been, it’s always tough, because they put everything they have into their job. He pointed out that the family will be around for Christmas, and he’s still trying to grind away to get things fixed — noting that’s true of players and coaches.

Still, the head coach said that you can only be down for so long because you ultimately have to get back up and figure out what the solutions are to the problems.

“Anytime you go through a rut like this, yeah, it’s tough.”

On being unable to sustain leads

When asked about their inability this season to put away games in which they’ve had considerable leads, Sirianni said that there isn’t really just one answer or reason, but admitted that he always looks at whether they were aggressive enough on offense.

“So, of course, when I look at the game yesterday and we’re in that four-minute, we get that on-side kick and we’re in that four-minute, I like the calls but maybe I could’ve been more aggressive there.”

The head coach noted that they haven’t been great in four-minute situations, and that’s on him, and how aggressive they’re being in those situations has been a factor.

On Haason Reddick dropping into coverage

“You’re trying to not be predictable in different fronts that you’re in. I know when we see somebody that’s predictable in anything, right, that we try to take advantage of that. And so, you’re trying not to be predictable.

We know, he gets paid to rush the passer and he’s really good at it. But again, if the predictability — quarterback is going to get it out even quicker if he knows exactly what’s happening.

So again, there’s some games, he’s going to drop a little more than other games.”

Other notables

  • Sirianni agreed that there has been a weight to this team this season, even when they were winning, and he attributed that to expectations and knowing what they’re capable of. Still, he pointed out that it’s about zoning in to their daily improvements and knowing where they are instead of looking ahead or behind.
  • He later talked about whether they would consider resting starters in Week 18, but Sirianni explained that they still want to win and still need to get out of the rut they’ve been in. Still, they’ve discussed all options, especially since their fate in regards to the NFC East isn’t in their hands — needing the Cowboys to lose —, so they’ll consider everything as the week goes on.

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