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Philadelphia Eagles Postgame Quotes 9/10

Philadelphia Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni and select players comment on their game against the New England Patriots on Sunday, September 10, 2023.

Philadelphia Eagles' Nick Sirianni.
Philadelphia Eagles' Nick Sirianni.



SEPTEMBER 10, 2023

NS: I'm great, to come out of here with a win? Shoot. Start us off Jeff.

Q: Offensively, was it the Patriots or was it you guys?

NS: You know, that's a good defense. That's a really good defense. They are really well-coached. There's a couple that I saw, Smitty [DeVonta Smith], little throws on the sideline where I saw Smitty get out of those and spin out of those and they made really good tackles. That team, shoot, Bill Belichick-coached team, it's going to be well-coached, and I thought that's exactly what it was. Now was it our cleanest performance offensively? No. We have a lot of mistakes to clean up and we have got a short time to do so. But shoot, I thought that we just didn't finish some drives. We got in a rut a little bit in the second quarter and didn't finish some drives late in the game. Jake [Elliott] did a really good job. We have a lot of confidence in Jake to kick the field goals to put us up a couple scores. A ton of respect. There's a lot of good players on that Patriot defense, also, starting with [Matthew] Judon. They all play really solid football. I've got a lot of respect for that team.

Q: The second quarter, seemed pretty run-heavy at that time. Was that part of the rut?

NS: It was just hard. We weren't winning on first down and we were getting ourselves into second down and that's on everybody, right. That's on us putting in, first of all, first and foremost, us putting the players in position to succeed and us being able to execute. And so the rut was just that we weren't winning on first and second down and getting ourselves into third down and not manageable. So, you know, again, some of it was, you know, the run game, some of it was the pass game and I think it was equally – I've got to look at the game obviously to have a better answer for you but I thought it was a little bit of both that we struggled in both parts of that game right there and like I said, that starts with us, myself and Brian [Johnson] putting them in the right position to succeed.

Q: What went behind the decision to make Rashaad Penny inactive today?

NS: There was just a number count. You saw that – I don't ever want to come out of a game where D'Andre Swift has only two touches, either. Where we were with numbers and some of the things, you know, our first three guys and through camp are those three guys, they dressed. So like I said with Boston [Scott], to have four backs up, Boston and D'Andre both only had one carry, we have to play that number game.

Q: You mentioned Swift – Dallas Goedert only had one target, were they doing something to take him away?

NS: You know, sometimes it's going to be – this reminds me a lot of last year against the Lions. Smitty [DeVonta Smith] had no catches against the Lions last year. This year, it was Dallas. We can't go a game without getting him the football. He's too good of a playmaker but there are some things that the Patriots did that made it difficult for us to be able to get him some quick, easy touches. So that happens, and so some of the plays that you think you can get easy touches for your guys, quick, don't necessarily happen for your backs and tight ends when you play a Patriots-style defense, and so again, hats off to them. They made it hard for us to get the ball to our playmakers, and that's what a defense like that usually does is try to take away your good play-makers, so we had to get it to the other guys.

Q: How did Brian Johnson do, first time play calling?

NS: I thought he was awesome. I thought he adjusted. We're always talking, communication was great. I didn't feel the operation problems on the offensive side. We had some operation problems elsewhere, which I'm sure y'all will ask me about. But I thought Brian – Brian's cool and calm and just got a great demeanor about himself. I thought he called a great game. I thought he made some adjustments in the second half to throw it a little bit more knowing that we were struggling in the running game. If we throw it 20 times in a row, that's because we think that's the right thing to do. If we run it 20 times in a row, it's because we think that's the right thing to do, and that's conviction. I thought Brian had conviction today, and I was really happy with how Brian performed as the offensive coordinator today.

Q: Jalen Hurts has not played in a real game since February 12. Do you think that had anything to do – we know he's better than that. Do you think that had anything to do with it, shaking off?

NS: I'll definitely reevaluate some of the preseason stuff next year. You know, I know they played the first two years that we were here, they only played one series against the Jets in 2022. Maybe I should have played him a series or two this preseason, and I already wrote that in my notes. I'm constantly self-evaluating myself. And I'm not promising anything, and I know y'all will remember this conversation and play it, and that's okay. But I have to – I'll re-evaluate that. You know, second thought, if I had to do it over again right now, I would say, yeah, I would have played starters one or two drives in the preseason. But next year will be a new thing with new situations and new everything, so I'm not worrying about that right now. I'm just got it in my notes to think about right now though.

Q: At the fourth and two at the two-minute mark, what made you want to keep your offense on the field and why was that the play call?

NS: Again we just try to give them options in situations like that. I guess really the word, again, I'm going to say is conviction. Conviction that our offense is going to succeed. Conviction that we'll call the right play to put them in position to make a play and conviction if we don't that our defense will get a stop. I know I'm going to hear it from my dad when I get on the phone with him when we land in Philadelphia and I'm driving back to my home, I'm going to call my dad and wake him up, and I know exactly what he's going to say; the exact question you just asked me there. So I'd better have an answer for him, too. I was convicted there. You know, it didn't work. Sometimes that's going to happen, that you make that call that you feel good about but it's about the process that you put to get to that position; that there wasn't a hesitation in my mind because we have put ourselves in that scenario in the film room all week. We didn't execute. On second thought, we've got to get a little bit better play. We're always going to look at ourselves first and I was convicted in that kind of like I was convicted in accepting the penalty on fourth down when it was fourth and 11 that put them back because I didn't want to get points on the board that would have gave them three potentially right there. If I make that call pulling back into third and 20 and they convert, I'm the dumbest coach in the world. If they don't convert, I'm the smartest coach in the world. So I understand that, and so it's always about conviction. And it's always about, I can look myself in the mirror knowing that I've put myself in those scenarios, us as a staff have put ourselves in those scenarios and thought through those things so we don't make gut knee-jerk reactions in a game, so I do feel good about that preparation and that process.

Q: Some third downs seemed like they weren't aggressive, run calls.

NS: That's not necessarily true. A run call could be aggressive. It doesn't have to be a pass to be aggressive and so I actually think calling a run play in a third and eight situation is aggressive. It's not – it's not, what's the word, it's not common. That's not the word I was looking for. That's an easy one. Thinking of another word. It's unique but I thought we were aggressive with that style of play that we ran in that scenario. So I respectfully disagree with not being aggressive. We just thought it was the right call for that scenario.

Q: You had to burn a timeout in the first half –

NS: I hate that. I hate that. It was operation that we need to clean up. You're not going to come out and play your cleanest game. We talked about it an awful lot but we had some mistakes and that's on us as coaches. Any time you have to burn a timeout like that with the guys down the field, because we didn't start as coaches communication first and that's always, always – don't look at anybody else but me in that. Don't look at Sean Desai; don't look at the defensive coaches; don't look at the offensive coaches; don't look at the special teams coaches. That's always on me because it starts with me telling them, hey, we are kicking it; hey, we are punting it; hey, we are going for a field goal. That's always – any time something like that that happens, it's on me.

Now I get upset with myself and I might be yelling it up but it's always on me in those scenarios, and it was in this case. I actually had to do it twice. So I'm kicking myself about that and I'm going to make sure that I'm working my butt off to fix that.

Q: How do you think the defense looked? A lot of new starters.

NS: Yeah, any time you create two turnovers that lead to 14 points, that's big time, right. That's the difference in the game, right. Jordan [Davis] making that great play on the screen and then also the coverage that happened and the pressure that happened on the interception for a touchdown that Slay finished. Slay has a great knack to get the ball and finish plays like that. You know, obviously we have a lot to clean up on all phases but I was pleased with the defense and the pressure that we got, and you know, it was – Mac Jones I thought did a really nice job and Bill O'Brien, so much respect for Coach O'Brien. Man, I've seen him call plays for a long time being in that division and I just think he's an outstanding play caller and he did a good job of getting the ball out of Mac's hands and Mac did a good job of seeing it. But where I was really excited was, you know, there was a couple times there I'm like, "we've got to get to this quarterback at some point" and two of the biggest moments in the game we did. And so but that's the waves that we can come at with the defensive line so great job by them. Also great job obviously getting to the quarterback when we needed to.



SEPTEMBER 10, 2023

Q: How would you evaluate your performance today?

JH: I think first and foremost, I think that's a great, great win, a great win for us, being able to be resilient. Obviously for me, winning is the only thing that matters and that's something that I've always said all the time. And so that is the mentality right now. That will always be the mentality. Winning is the only thing that matters. I think we obviously have things that we need to work on and have to be better in those situations when the ball is in my hands, and I take full accountability for that. But good thing about it is we get the opportunity to play on Thursday.

Q: How did it go with the first time live with Brian Johnson calling the plays?

JH: I think Brian did a great job for us. I've said these things throughout training camp and I've made that clear of us searching for an identity and us trying to find an identity and that's something that we are navigating, and that is something that happens when you have different roles and new guys and new places and new faces. We're going to continue to grow. It's easy for us to grow and always better when you win and so give a lot of credit to Jake Elliot. I don't like him kicking. But you know, he showed up and he made big-time, big-time plays all night for us. That was huge. That was huge. And then our defense, how they played and how they were able to turn the ball over and get points for us that, was huge as well. A lot to clean up obviously. A lot to clean up. But always good to have a lot to clean up when you win and I'll reiterate, winning is the only thing that matters.

Q: What did they do to take Dallas Goedert away from you? Seemed like he didn't get targets until the fourth quarter.

JH: I think for us, I think as an offense, you try not to let the conditions of the game deter you from playing a certain type of way, and I just think for us, we just want to execute at a high level. We've got different guys getting opportunities to make plays and some guys, you know, it may not seem as much,– but ultimately when you have an opportunity to make a play, take advantage of it. There was a lot to grow from in that and there's a lot for me to personally grow from as well, to continue to be a point guard of the offense.

Q: How challenging was it, the disguise they were doing on defense?

JH: I think they are a really good defense. That's what the NFL is. The NFL is a huge league of disguises. That's what it is, you know what I'm saying, so for us, I don't think it's necessarily about anyone else. It's about us and how we control the things that we can. You know, that's always been the reality for us, so we've got to be able to execute at a better level and a higher level, and we have to be more efficient.

Q: I know you took a couple big hits in this game. How did you come out physically?

JH: Ready for Thursday.

Q: The issues on third downs, in particular, you guys were 4 of 13.

JH: We didn't get the first down. That's the biggest issue. You know, and those things look different. Those things look different; and every time you have an opportunity to convert, and we didn't do enough tonight. But we won. Again, winning is the only thing that matters.

Q: Nick Sirianni said just prior to when you came in about he's going to re-valuate his approach to the preseason next year, maybe play you guys a little more in games.

JH: That's a long time from now. I couldn't care less about that. We won the game. That's a long time from now. We have a game on Thursday and we are eager to prepare for that one.

Q: Do you feel like that might have helped had you guys gotten some game action?

JH: It's over now. It's over now. Would've, could've, should've, we won and winning is the only thing that matters.

Q: How meaningful was it to throw that touchdown to DeVonta Smith after he had his first child?

JH: It was a very nice moment, a very nice moment for him. You know, obviously he's a big-time player but even better person. So I can only imagine how great of a father he'll be.

Q: You were very run-heavy early in this game. Was this something you came into this game thinking you'd emphasize?

JH: I think the rain had a little bit to do with that.


Darius Slay, CB

(On his interception he returned for a touchdown)

"It was great. I saw the pass and it was tipped. So I said to myself, 'let me go get that.' Of course I saw green grass and I knew I had to get in the end zone for sure."

(On the defense)

"We got the win, that's all that matters, but we've got to go out there and put out a better tape. We need to go out there and fix our mistakes. Overall we got the win and that's what it's all about. But as a leader on this defense I know we need to go out and execute better cause we're better than that. I have to give props to that team, they came out and made adjustments. We're better than that and we got to go and make a better tape.

Jordan Davis, DT

(On his forced fumble on Ezekiel Elliott)

"I didn't even know what happened until I walked to the sideline. I just thought I got a tackle for a loss. Just doing the fundamentals, wrapping at the ball, securing the tackle and then whatever happens, happens. Grateful for the guy scooping it up."

(On the half-time message after allowing a touchdown at the end of the first half)

"Bend don't fold. It's the first game, it's going to be a little too close for comfort most of the time. At the end of the day, we just have to play our game and don't let the score dictate how we play on the field. Be dominant all throughout and let it fall as it falls"

(On his first career sack)

"Just keep going. It's great to have, but those opportunities pop up when they pop up and you just have to try and take advantage of them."

Jalen Carter, DT

(On the third down sack)

"Yeah, we had a call that we had run in. We executed the call and because of the pressure from the other guys, the quarterback stepped up in the pocket and happened to go right into my hands. It felt good."

(On what he's telling himself at that point in the game knowing the defense has to make a big play)

"I'm not saying it's my time, but it's time for someone to make a play. At that moment in the game, everybody is rushing trying to make a play for the win. Everybody is just trying to execute the plan."

Jason Kelce, C

(On if there's something to take away in winning a game like that)

"It's always good to win, but it's not good to play like that and we are going to put a lot of work in to make corrections. We have a short week so it's going to be sped up a bit. I think you are always happy to win but you know we need to play a lot better than this if we are going to reach the potential and level of play we want this year."

(On how he would grade the offensive line's performance)

"Not up to our standard. I'll look back at the tape. I have a hard time believing anyone played badly individually. I think it was more just not being on the same page. Miscommunication here. Mental error there. I think that we will look back at this tape and realize we didn't do a great job and we have a lot of corrections to make."

Jake Elliot, K

(On the game)

"You knew coming into this game that this was going to be a battle. It's the reputation the Patriots have coming into Week 1. It was a hard matchup. I love having all those opportunities. It was a little more interesting than we wanted it to be, but that is what I prepare for."

(On how difficult is it for the holder to hold the ball in that rain)

"It's a tough job especially when it was coming down like it was in the first half. There is no one I trust more than Rick [Lovato] or Arryn [Siposs] to get that job done."

(On missing the PAT and then coming back to make long field goals after that)

"Early in the game when it was downpouring like that, it's tough conditions and everything has to go just perfect. Those PATs are real kicks now, they are 33-yard field goals. When that stuff is coming down, it's tough. I have to be better, we have to be better."

DeVonta Smith, WR

(On his touchdown)

"It was perfect coverage, cover-0. It worked out. It was a great throw by Jalen [Hurts]. He threw the ball low and kept the ball away from the defender."

(On the Patriots defense)

"That's a great defense. They do a great job disguising the coverage and things like that. They make it very tough for me to know what they're in. They hold their coverage and disguise it until the last second. They are very athletic, a very fast defense and a very physical defense."

(On the Eagles offense)

"We are very confident. We go out there and do the things we need to do. Everybody is out there making plays. During the whole game we were not good on first down. We knew it wasn't going to be easy because we put ourselves in a lot of holes because we were playing terrible on first down. We've got to find out a way to be good on first down. I don't know what it was tonight, exactly, but we've got to be better on first down."

Brandon Graham, DE

(On supporting the offense during the game)

"I mean there was a sudden change that happened in the game and we knew it was going to be one of those well-coached type of games where they had a plan just like we had our plan. We had to make sure we executed. When things happen in the game you have to make sure you let guys know, It doesn't matter where we're at on the field. There were so many times they [Patriots Offense] were on the plus-40 where they were going in and we made some stops and some we didn't. At the end of the day when we needed it, I like the way we all came together."

(On the defense's big plays)

"I feel good because I mean we have much respect for the Patriots, and we know how well-coached they are, and we are well-coached too. It was just one of those games that we knew we were going to fight to the end. We knew their defense was really good. I know the offense doesn't feel they had the best day like they wanted to, but I know that they did enough to make sure that they took care of us, as far as, you know especially Jake [Elliott] putting him the position to get some of those kicks. I think it was a collective win and I think for the most part we need to just clean some stuff up and this is the first game."

(On the play of Jalen Carter)

"Oh man, I'm excited for him. I mean he was itching to get out there. We've got such a great defensive line and everyone is itching to get out there. It's cool to see the young guys in shape and on top of that making plays. I was happy he got his first [sack]."

Dallas Goedert, TE

(On the game)

"A win is a win and that is really tough to do in this league, so I'm really happy with the way everyone played. The benefit for me is that I get to be in there for run game, and take my frustrations out on the defensive ends and linebackers, so I had a lot of fun playing out there today. It was great team win for us and a lot of fun. We got great people all over this field, so maybe next week will be my week, and if not, I will just keep chopping away until it comes."

(On if he felt the Patriots defense was trying to take him out of the game)

"I wouldn't say so, we knew they were going to try and bush me off the line a little bit here and there. I got rerouted a little bit but I felt like I played well. We will have to go back and look at the tape and see what happened with all of the aspects. Like I said, it was a good team win and I am very proud of the way the whole team played."

Reed Blankenship, S

(On the defense)

"I felt like we swarmed to the ball. Obviously there is a lot that we need to work on, but I felt like our effort was there. We showed the character of who we are and who we are as individuals. We had a couple guys go down but we came together. We knew we had to get stops so we got it done. I was just trying to have fun. That's football. When my number is called, it's called so I am going to have fun with it. It's the NFL and anything can happen. A win is a win and it is on the road."

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