EAGLES HEAD COACH NICK SIRIANNI
Postgame Press Conference
Thursday, August 19, 2021
Q. What happened with QB Jalen Hurts? (Dave Zangaro)
NICK SIRIANNI: He came in and wasn't feeling great. We put him through pregame warmups. He wanted to go out there and go through pregame warmups. He came back in and still wasn't feeling good. We evaluated him and we just decided it wasn't in his best interest to play with what he was feeling. We evaluated him. He is fine now. He is doing okay now, but that is why we held him out.
Q. Did you send him home? (Sal Paolantonio)
NICK SIRIANNI: He actually went to the hospital to get evaluated for his stomach. Like I said, came back, everything is good, and he is going to be okay.
Q. What kind of symptoms did he have? (Sal Paolantonio)
NICK SIRIANNI: He just had pain in his abdomen, which for a guy like that to tell us, he's a tough guy, so it must have been hurting him pretty good for him to let us know about that.
Q. Was the plan on offensive line just to start G Isaac Seumalo and T Jordan Mailata with Jalen Hurts at quarterback? (Jeff McLane)
NICK SIRIANNI: Well, no. What we were going to do – we were playing all that by ear. That was kind of up in the air of what we wanted to do. We have some guys with a lot of experience on that offensive line. So we talked to those guys on the right side there yesterday. They were sore, they wanted to go, but we just thought, again, in the best interest of them, they played two games essentially this week, and we just felt they got a lot of good work and they didn't need to go this third day in a row.
Q. After Jalen Hurts was examined in the hospital, did he go home? (Sal Paolantonio)
NICK SIRIANNI: After he was examined at the hospital, I don't know. I didn't get that.
Q. I think it caught some of us by surprise because we saw him pregame and he was dancing, spinning, looked like he was feeling great. You're saying he came into the building today before the pre-game warmups and wasn't feeling good? (Jeff Skversky)
NICK SIRIANNI: Yes, correct.
Q. I don't know what your plans are for the Jets game, but have you seen enough from Hurts where you would be comfortable going into Atlanta, that regular season opener, without him playing in that final game? (Jeff Skversky)
NICK SIRIANNI: Next week we have two practices against the Jets and two other practices, so, again, we'll evaluate how he's feeling the next couple days. Again, we get two practices against the Jets. I've said before, those are like games. Those intersquad practices are like games, so he is going to be able to get two more there. I'm pretty confident that we'll get a lot of good work against the Jets.
Q. What did you think of WR DeVonta Smith's debut tonight? (Martin Frank)
NICK SIRIANNI: Yeah, you know, looked like he was a little antsy at first. Dropped a couple balls, and he was a little late with his eyes on the deep ball that [QB] Joe [Flacco] threw him. He made a couple plays there. That's what happens with young wideouts. They have to play and go through the ups and downs a little bit, and the preseason is for that to happen.
He ran a good route on that return route on a third down. Thought he ran a couple other good routes, too. Again, we will look at the tape to see totally how he played, but I'm glad he got in there and was able to play a good, meaningful first half and take a couple hits and have to go against some of those tight coverage looks he had to get.
Q. What's the rationale behind playing RB Miles Sanders tonight after sitting him last week? (Ed Kracz)
NICK SIRIANNI: Yeah, we wanted to make sure that he got a couple carries in the preseason. Last week with how he felt last week and how he felt this week, we felt like -- last week it was our decision as a team not to play him, and this week we were like, 'He needs to get a couple carries,' and he did. He looked good on those couple carries.
Q. Getting back to Jalen Hurts for a second, *at the hospital I assume they ruled out anything serious. What did they leave you with? What did they tell you now he's dealing with? (Mike Garafolo)
NICK SIRIANNI: Yeah, just a stomach infection, stomach bug that was going on, that was causing some pressure in his stomach.
Q. Did he stay at the hospital? You're not sure if he went home? (Sal Paolantonio)
NICK SIRIANNI: He's not still at the hospital. I do know that. I just don't know if he came back to the stadium. I'm assuming he did to get the car. I didn't see him after in the locker room. So, yeah, that's about all the information I have on that.
Q. Would he have played if it was a regular season game, Nick? (Bo Wulf)
NICK SIRIANNI: You know, I think that's hard to say. He really wanted to play. He really wanted to play, and we decided that that just wasn't in the best interest of the team and of him. So, I think that's just a hypothetical. It's hard to say. He was trying to -- he was fighting me in playing tonight. I know he would've wanted to, but that's where you have to lean on the doctors, too, and make a decision, and that's what we did.
Q. Just to clarify on the offensive line, going into the game, after you said you decided this yesterday, it was going to be just the two starters? (Jeff McLane)
NICK SIRIANNI: I didn't say that. I just said we were still thinking through all that. We were going to -- we were thinking they were going to probably play, and then with Jalen's thing we decided to give them a rest as well.
Q. So when you knew Jalen wasn't going to play, that's when you decided? (Jeff McLane)
NICK SIRIANNI: That's right.
Q. First series today, you came out, second snap with 21 personnel. You've said several times that the running backs are going to be a big part of this passing game. Once the regular season starts, are we going to see a lot more of that than you've shown in the preseason so far? (Paul Domowitch)
NICK SIRIANNI: Yeah, again, one of our biggest advantages is that people don't know exactly what we're going to do. We look at all the personnel groupings. We definitely want to be 11, 12, and we want to be in 21, and 13. The more things you can do and more times you can run your base plays out of different personnel sets the harder you are on a defense. But I think we have those personnel sets to be able to do that, most importantly. You don't want to do those things unless you have the guys able to do them. I think all those personnels I just mentioned, we have players in those roles that we think we can use in those scenarios.
Q. Have you been impressed with RB Kenneth Gainwell and what he's shown as a pass catcher? (Paul Domowitch)
NICK SIRIANNI: I have. Yeah, I have. I have a lot.
Q. I recognize you're not playing your top guys and you're not showing much, but in the past six quarters you've been outscored 52-nothing. How do you view the big picture? (Zach Berman)
NICK SIRIANNI: Yeah, obviously you want to go out and win every time you take the field, and just because we're not playing our starters or showing some of our looks doesn't mean -- that's not an excuse. We have to execute better, play with better fundamentals, coach better, and put them in better position to make plays.
Q. You kind of emphasize competition, and then we see the emphasis on the joint practices and maybe not as much on this game. How do you reconcile that? (Dave Zangaro)
NICK SIRIANNI: You know, again, just every time you step out there it's not like just because of who we played or what we ran, doesn't mean we're not competing. Every time we step on the field, we want to compete our tails off, and today's game was no exception.
Q. What's your message to the team after this type of game? (Ed Kracz)
NICK SIRIANNI: It was that in the NFL, right, you look at our practice this week, we had a good day on Monday. Tuesday, we competed pretty hard against the Patriots, and today wasn't good enough. The message was this is like a season, right. You have to stack practices on top of each other, stack quarters on top of each other, stack plays on top of each other, stack games on top of each other. So, it's not good enough to come out, play a good game one day, compete the next day and play a little bit better than okay and play bad the third day. That's just not going to work in this league, and that was a good example for our guys to see that's just not what we do. We have to come out and play every day and compete every day.
QUARTERBACK JOE FLACCO
Postgame Press Conference
Thursday, August 19, 2021
On when he found out he was going to start:
"When we came in from warmups obviously we knew [Eagles QB] Jalen [Hurts] wasn't feeling well but when we came in from warmups they informed me that I would be going out there. So all par for the course."
On what it was like trying to get on the same page as the rest of the starters:
"You throw routes on air with them and stuff like that. You always get a couple of reps with them here and there. Sometimes that stuff is overrated. When you go out there and play in a game, it's just is what it is. You make the most of it especially in my role. That's part of it. With what I'm doing right now, I could get thrown in there at any point and it doesn't matter that I don't have reps with people. It's just the nature of the business."
On how he thinks the offense responded to the change in the starting QB:
"You just kind of go with the flow. It's an NFL game. Everybody is still getting pumped up and getting ready to go and getting their mind right to play in an NFL game. We came out there and got a couple of first downs and then kind of just hit a wall after that. We weren't able to turn it over and get any momentum going in our favor. It kind of carried through the rest of the night."
On how he felt his connection with Eagles WR Devonta Smith was like:
"It was just some little stuff here and there. Stuff that you would expect to kind of connect on. It wasn't like it was anything crazy down the field. I took a shot down to him on the sideline. Obviously we would have liked to do a little better of a job, but at the same time I wouldn't say it was anything crazy or pressing. It was good to see him get out there and run some routes against some press-coverage. Some physicality out there. So that's always good to get him in there and get us some action anyway."
On whether he alerted Eagles WR Devonta Smith pre-snap to the pass behind the shoulder:
"No, no. It's just kind of a feel when you take your drop and you see how he's doing on his route. Was he pressed to begin with? That usually has something to do with it. He's one of those guys that most of the time you're going to expect him to get a good release and run by the guy or at least put himself in good position to throw it over the top. But that's just how I saw that one and how it played out."
On when he saw Eagles QB Jalen Hurts and learned he wasn't feeling well:
"I didn't really know. Somebody alerted me that something might be happening. Obviously he went through warmups and things like that. I didn't really think too much of it. Like I said it's just kind of the nature of this business. You have to be ready to go in at any time."
On whether Eagles QB Jalen Hurts being listed as out serves as a reminder that anything could happen in a game:
"Yeah, I've seen it all. This is probably a little bit of a new situation. But you know, you could compare it to something. Like I said, what were they going to play, two series today anyway? So you're kind of going out there getting your mindset to play early on at any point."
On whether he thinks there is a correlation between preseason performance and the regular season:
"It's tough. It's probably just different across the league depending on what your philosophies are and things like that. I think Peyton Manning back then used to go 0-4 or 0-5 if they played in the Hall of Fame Game and it didn't matter at all. I think depending on the type of style that you play and how much you end up playing your starters and things like that. Those things are all nuance."
On why he thinks they had a poor game performance after the last couple strong practices:
"You have to come out and prove it every day in this league. Just because you do something one day doesn't mean you're guaranteed anything the next. Practices aren't games. We have to learn how to carry one thing into the next and keep building on things and stacking positive days. The more of those that you have and the more that you do, then the more wins you come away with. It's just part of the learning experience and hopefully we can take out of it what we can and get the positives and move on in a positive way."
On whether he thinks the team is more vanilla in the preseason than they will be in the regular season:
"Listen, you have to talk to those guys on that one. The bottom line as players is we're trying to run their offense and do whatever we can to be successful. Preseason games in a player's mind might seem like they're different, but believe me they're not. It's still an NFL football game and you have to get yourself ready to go play. You want to be successful. You want to do well. This is our profession. We want to go out there and play well and all that. It's tough for me to comment on what we're doing now versus what we're going to do in the season."
LB TJ Edwards
On the joint practices with the Patriots this week:
"Yeah, we had a really good week against them at practice. Basically, just stacking those good days and keeping that momentum. Making sure we start everyday with that 'go get it' attitude. Tonight definitely wasn't good enough, but I think we have a lot to learn from and that's why we have the preseason so we can learn from those things."
On when joint practices don't carry over:
"It just goes to show you have to bring it every day. You have to bring your best every time you step on the field. I think everyone in the locker room knows that's not how we want to play tonight. Things didn't go our way, but also know that a lot of guys are encouraged by some of the things we did and go back and look at the tape and get better."
On how he views the current group of linebackers on the depth chart:
"I think every time we're on the field we want to be those guys who are the leaders and making sure we are picking people up and making plays. For the most part I believe we did that. Obviously, the effort tonight wasn't good enough for myself and the rest of the group. Again, a lot of positives in there as well, not all negative. We just have to go and look back and come back tomorrow ready to work."
On having the green helmet and communication from the sideline:
"[I feel] really comfortable. Some of this I've been used to doing my whole life and that's not really something I worry about or anything like that. I just want to go out there and play good football every time. So, get people lined up if that's what I have to do."
LB Alex Singleton
On whether starting the game in the red zone affected the defense:
"When we just start down there – I don't think it really always matters where we start, you want to kind of go out and – we've already given up a field goal at that point and so I think, as a defense, you want to go out and hold them to a field goal in that situation or cause a turnover or push them back. Obviously, we came out and they scored on two plays, so not a good start and it just kind of continued that way."
On when they knew that the linebackers would play the entire first half:
"We don't get to be in those meetings, but we got to play and that's the best part about our group. We want to play, we don't care if it's preseason or regular season, we're going to go out there and put our best foot forward as long as we can."
On how the group's tackling went today:
"I mean, it definitely wasn't our best outing. I think, like anything, it's the second time going live. This next week, going up to New York, it's going to be good for us. We're going to be able to get three days with the Jets and continue to work on that. It's the second live time and by this weekend, it'll be the third and you just stack those days and this team will get better."
On what may have changed between the joint practices and the game tonight:
"No, I think just – I think we're keeping some stuff under wraps right now and, like anything, the preseason – you have joint practices to kind of work through situations that, as a team, you might not necessarily see until the season. When the preseason games come, you shrink down that play list, so when you get into certain situations, you're not going to pull out something that you're going to use in the regular season, so you kind of have to sit back and play the calls that are going to come. At a certain point in that second quarter, they know the calls that are going to come, so it's just kind of how it is in the preseason."
WR DeVonta Smith
On how it felt getting into his first game action:
"It felt good just to get out there and get back in a groove with my routine before the game and stuff like that. Just to get back out there and get back to myself."
On the quick movement off the line scrimmage and how the knee felt:
"I felt good. I kept attacking and rehabbing. Right now I am feeling good."
On whether he should have gotten his eyes around earlier on the over the back shoulder throw:
"Yes, I took too long to look back at the ball. That is a great throw by [Eagles QB] Joe [Flacco] and I have to do my part."
On how he felt after catching his first pass after a rough start:
"Yeah, that is kind of how it is when you have a rough time catching the ball. Once you get that first one, then it's like 'I got it now'. Just getting back into it."
On whether he felt like he had to knock off some rust after missing two weeks:
"I wouldn't call it rust. I would say I wasn't focusing on catching the ball and trying to look back too fast before I caught the ball."
On whether after having a few catches under his belt he felt back to normal:
"I mean, I go to practice every day. I am on the jugs machine and things like that. That's what it is for me. Maybe I need to hit the jugs more."