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What was Nick Sirianni's message to end the spring?

Nick Sirianni
Nick Sirianni

The spring minicamp ended Thursday with offensive coaches doing gassers after linebacker Brandon Smith stopped tryout wide receiver Griffin Hebert short of the first-down marker on the decisive play of a 7-on-7 compete period.

The players and coaches commence their summer break and will reconvene for the start of Training Camp in late July.

Here are some highlights to wrap up the spring:

  1. What was Head Coach Nick Sirianni's message to the team?

"One of the main messages was come back in the best shape of your life. One of our core values is detail ... and to play with great detail, you have to be in great shape," Sirianni said.

"Our guys have done a great job of being in the weight room, of running extra after practice, running during practice, different things, our strength staff and training staff has done a great job of helping these guys get in great shape and now it's maintaining that so when they come in, it's not getting in shape, we hit the ground running and we go. There will be natural soreness and things like that as you practice, but it's being in great physical shape so we can play with great detail."

  1. How was Jalen Hurts' spring?

"I think he's done a really nice job adapting to some of the different things that we're doing," Sirianni said. "Some of the different – there's different concepts. There's similar concepts, but in those similar concepts sometimes we're asking him to read it differently than we have in the past. There's similar things with the way the routes are being run, and there's some differences of how we've run it in the past, as well, that goes with how the play is supposed to be designed.

"I think he's done a very nice job handling things that are similar but as his job has changed a little bit and done a really nice job of really grinding away to be a master at the offense and all the things that come with it."

For Hurts, after reflecting and gaining "a new perspective" of the offense, he appreciates that there is "a lot of new inventory." Between now and the start of Training Camp, Hurts' focus will be on enhancing that connection with his receivers and not taking the critical chemistry for granted.

"I treat every year like I'm a freshman, like I'm a rookie and being diligent and patient in everything that I'm doing," Hurts said. "That requires you to learn the individuals that you're out there to battle with. See what they're good at and see what they're not. See where their head is. Spend time with them in the summer throwing, checking up on them, building that rapport."

  1. How is the blending of the offense with new Offensive Coordinator Kellen Moore progressing?

"You're constantly trying to evolve as far as what you're studying," Sirianni said. "When you study things, usually, and you're a staff that's together again, you have to go outside and study. Well, when we've studied things this year, yes, we've went outside into different places to study things and talked to different coaches, but we're able to – Kellen naturally is able to learn some things about the way we did it before, I am able to learn some things the way Kellen – that's major growth, when you're in there – you've got the guy who, you know, Kellen being responsible for that, you get to grow together and ask those questions that sometimes quite frankly you don't have that opportunity. You might have a couple days at a place or they come in here. But we're together all the time.

"That's been good. Again, just pleased with the progression of the offense and where we are."

  1. Don't forget about the defense and new coordinator Vic Fangio

"I'm really pleased with what the defense is doing," Sirianni said. "I thought they did some really good things, were good on their drops. Man, they worked so hard over – Vic had them over and over and over again matching routes, over and over and over matching routes. It showed up during our 7-on-7 drills in the way they were there and the way they were in position to match things.

"Again, pleased with the direction we're in, we're going. By no means is that a finished product."

  1. How did the team chemistry develop over the spring?

"All our players in this room have talent. But the best teams have something else. They have something else, and it's the culture," Sirianni said. "It's the things that – it's your daily habits of being connected, having accountability, being extremely detailed, being tough, that we're trying to drop in the bucket over and over again.

"I think sometimes you can lose sight of that, of like, 'Hey, we're not just going to win games because we're talented.' It takes everything.

"That's what – we know we have the right pieces – (Executive Vice President/General Manager) Howie (Roseman) has done an unbelievable job of putting this team together and we have the right pieces in here. I'm excited to go to training camp with these 90 guys and these coaches and this front office and this support staff.

"But at the end of the day, it's never just about the most talented – not in football. It's never about, in football, the most talented team wins. It's not in football.

"We all realize that. We all realize that, I think, and it's just about going to work every single day, making ourselves better coaches and better players every day, but doing that and also making ourselves to have the best culture every single day."

Last, but not least, minicamp observations

• The starting cornerback position opposite Darius Slay very much appears to be up for grabs, with a rotation at that spot throughout the week. Rookie Quinyon Mitchell, second-year player Kelee Ringo, and young veteran Isaiah Rodgers all took turns manning that spot. – Fran Duffy

• Kelee Ringo really flashed on Wednesday. He was right there on a throw intended for John Ross in the opening 7-on-7 period. He shadowed Joseph Ngata on a deep post route and forced a throw underneath from Kenny Pickett in the next period before getting a PBU on an out route on the very next snap. Ringo blanketed John Ross on another rep and then jumped another throw intended for Ross later as well, getting another ball on the ground. The only real catch I saw him give up was against Johnny Wilson on a nice route from the rookie along the near sideline. – Fran Duffy

• For the first time we saw the Eagles go through kick return drills utilizing the new format. I'll admit – it was a bit strange hearing the silence after the ball left Jake Elliott's foot as both sides had to wait for the ball to be caught before leaving their stationary position near midfield. Defensive backs Josh Jobe and Cooper DeJean both flashed in these drills, drawing praise from the coaching staff in the process. Jobe also appeared to stand out in the punt coverage drills on Tuesday. – Fran Duffy

• Cooper DeJean nearly pulled in a one-handed interception of quarterback Jalen Hurts during 7-on-7 action on Wednesday. C.J. Gardner-Johnson sprinted over in DeJean's direction after the play, praising the rookie defender for apparently taking a coaching point that the veteran had offered earlier in the practice. On Thursday, in the 7-on-7 compete period, DeJean ripped the ball away from the wide receiver at the catch point to get a point for the defense. – Fran Duffy

• The battle among the young wide receivers will be a highlight of Training Camp. Joseph Ngata, who spent his rookie year on the practice squad, shook a defender in the back of the end zone and split out to the left to create space for a touchdown throw from quarterback Kenny Pickett in a 7-on-7 drill. In a team drill, rookie Johnny Wilson used a stutter-and-go to gain just enough separation to haul in the ball at the 5-yard line. – Chris McPherson

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