Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni spoke with reporters on Tuesday in his last media appearance prior to Thursday’s second preseason game, and spoke about the development of Jalen Hurts and Jalen Reagor, the use of checks in their offense, and how he’s handling roster cuts.
Here’s what the head coach had to say:
On Jalen Hurts
Sirianni was asked about Hurts’ performance during the first joint practice with the Patriots, and the head coach noted that the QB knew where to go with the football and made quick decisions. He admitted that there are always times when he wishes the ball came back faster, but Hurts had an excellent day throwing.
The head coach was asked about Hurts’ ability to get the ball out quicker.
“You know, again I think I’ve mentioned this before that you don’t want to completely change something that is a strength of his, but you want to get it a little bit more balanced throwing the ball on time. It’s definitely been an emphasis. Don’t want to be extreme with it. Wisdom avoids all extremes. You don’t want to be extreme and say, ‘Hey, you have to turn into this passer,’ but he’s getting better at it.
The things you focus on, you tend to think you get better at them and that’s definitely an improvement he’s made.”
On Jalen Reagor
Sirianni talked about being really impressed with Reagor lately, and particularly in his one-on-one drills in Monday’s practice. He noted that Reagor had started using some techniques that they’ve been emphasizing — by taking his ability and athleticism, and combining those with fundamentals and technique, he’s really able to reach his ceiling.
“So what I saw Jalen [Reagor]Yesterday in those one-on-1s, he did a great job of moving a guy off the line of Scrimmage, and he was also very good at the top end of the route. He finished with the catch. He just had a good feel how to attack guys yesterday and so I really see him growing, really a credit to Aaron Moorehead and Kevin Patullo who have really helped work there and it’s great to have Eddie Royal here working with our guys.”
Checks in the offense
“It’s a little different each time. Sometimes it’s a play that it’s, ‘Hey, we are running this, and if we get this, we are running this. Sometimes we are running this and if we get this, we’re doing this and if we get this it’s a three-way check’. And sometimes it’s just built into, ‘Hey, this team likes to do this, this sort of pressure, be ready to check to these couple things that they do.’
So it’s a little different each time, but that’s why it’s so important that the quarterback and myself as the play caller and Shane [Steichen]as the offensive coordinator. [Johnson] as the quarterback coach are all on the same page and seeing things alike like, ‘Hey, we love this play versus this, we hate this play versus this, we have to be ready to adjust.’
As coaches, we are not going bat a thousand. Defense coaches get paid, too. It’s, ‘Hey, here is what we like it against, be ready to get out of those plays if we don’t like it against something.’”
On the defense of the Eagles
Sirianni spoke of how they have a highly experienced defensive line team and have excellent coaches who help them grow. He stressed that good defensive and offensive lines are key to winning games.
“Shaun’s [Bradley] energy is contagious, he’s just a guy you want to be around at all times and the guys feel that around him. Obviously, he’s got talent and just continuing to learn the system and getting himself in position to be in the right spot at the right time and using his instincts. The thing that really sticks out about him, again besides the fact that we are counting on him to do good things this year, is that he’s a good leader, personality is contagious, guys want to be around him.”
- DeVonta Smith was able to get in some team reps in practice on Tuesday, but they are still evaluating whether or not he’ll see playing time on Thursday. Sirianni also wouldn’t say how many snaps the starters would get in the second preseason game, just noting that the joint practices have been pretty game-like and they’re still adjusting their plan.
- When asked about Miles Sanders’ absence from the preseason opener, the head coach said that he was not sure if it was because of his experience at the position but that it was the best decision for him and the team. The team is talking about whether or not the running back should play in Thursday’s game, but overall Sirianni is happy with what Sanders has done so far in camp.
- Sirianni was asked about roster reductions and he said that it was difficult to let go of guys because one of their core values is connecting. He makes it a point of talking to each man as he makes that decision.
“I think that’s my job as the head coach — and I owe that to every guy to talk to them and be able to give them feedback to help them develop their career.”