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Nick Sirianni 'ready for the unexpected'

Nick Sirianni Bill Belichick 1920

Head Coach Nick Sirianni met the media virtually on Tuesday afternoon as the Eagles dig in for Sunday's 2023 regular-season opener at New England. He spoke with admiration about Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick and the honor of coaching against him. Sirianni also addressed the unknowns.

As in, the Eagles are going to see a lot of them on Sunday (4:25 PM, CBS) and they're going to have to adjust and find ways to have success.

"My experience has been that when you've had success on offense, you have to be ready for the unexpected," Sirianni said. "You have to be ready for things that they didn't put on tape. And so, what you're trying to do in walkthroughs specifically is recreate that as much as you can. Hey, what stops this play? Well, this can stop it, this can stop it, this can stop it, whatever it is.

"And you try to say, all right, this is in their scheme. Show them that. But then you're also trying to pick and choose, well, they could do this. They didn't show them that on tape, but they could do it. That's been my experience when we've been successful on offense is that you have to expect unexpecteds."

Hours and hours of film study these last couple of weeks will work toward finding solutions and Sirianni is relying on the collective brainpower of his quarterback and center to be on the same page with recognition and adjustments.

That's what the early portion of the NFL regular season is all about, because there just isn't enough on film from what, for example, New England's defense showed in the preseason.

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"One thing I talked about in our roles to the guys is like, 'Hey, Jason Kelce and Jalen Hurts, there's nobody else in this world I want to handle the unexpecteds other than you guys out there on the field,'" Sirianni said. "They're the two best doing it in the world, in my opinion. And so, nobody else I'd rather have handling the unexpecteds than Jason Kelce and Jalen Hurts because a lot of times you as a coach can't handle it until after it happens, or you can prep them, but you can't handle it until after it happens on the sideline.

"So, it's the players on the field that have to handle it the first time it happens. And, again, like I said, nobody else in the world – the football IQ on those two guys is off the charts, and they set the table of where we go and how the play's being blocked or the check or anything like that. So excited they're there because I know you can expect unexpecteds when you've had success on offense."

Going against the brilliance of Belichick, the only coach in NFL history with six Super Bowl victories, has Sirianni's competitive juices flowing. Belichick is as respected as any NFL head coach, and with that brings a definite challenge.

Sirianni knows that Belichick will put together a great game plan and probe for weaknesses in every phase of the game.

"Obviously just honored to be able to coach against him on Sunday. Just have the utmost respect for him and everything that he's done for this game and in this game," Sirianni said. "I've always been fascinated about Coach Belichick and his style of coaching and why he's been so successful. Guys that I've learned – I think about (Giants Head Coach) Brian Daboll and the elevation that my coaching career took after being around him. I know Coach Daboll always talked about where he learned; it was from Coach Belichick.

"Just have so much respect for him and always fascinated by everything that he does. A ton of success year after year after year. And so, of course, I've studied him and different things with his success."

Relive the greatest games and plays between the Eagles and the Patriots ahead of Sunday's season opener.

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