Nick Sirianni was in a talkative mood on Monday for his weekly day-after press conference, and why not? His Eagles are 9-1, having won a tough come-from-behind, fourth-quarter win on Sunday in Indianapolis and now they get set for prime time once again when Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers come to Lincoln Financial Field.
"My answers usually outlast any meeting," Sirianni said when asked about one of his mid-week meetings that helped produce the wrinkle that was the Jalen Hurts' touchdown run for the winning points in the 17-16 victory, "because I like to talk, as you guys know."
On a more serious note, Sirianni evaluated the play of the tight ends, Jack Stoll, Grant Calcaterra and Tyree Jackson, who for the first time performed without the injured Dallas Goedert, and while the production wasn't at Goedert's level as a receiver, Sirianni was pleased with other parts of their collective games.
"Obviously Jack Stoll got the majority of the snaps. I think he had 55 or something like that (he had 55). I think Tyree had 9 and maybe 17, 18 (actually 19) for Grant," Sirianni said. "I know that the production obviously in the pass game wasn't there, but I thought they did a nice job and did their jobs. We had a couple penalties there by those two guys, by Grant and by Tyree, are plays we would want back, but I really did believe that Jack – Jack is a dirty work guy. He's kind of like – of the tight ends he's kind of like the (wide receiver) Zach Pascal of the wide receivers. They might not stuff the stat sheet, but the things they're doing are helping us win the game and being productive.
"I thought that Jack played an outstanding football game. Again, the reps will come for the other guys as the games go along, but I thought Jack was outstanding in his role yesterday. I thought the other two guys did a nice job in their role, but Jack really stood out in my mind."
Speaking of snap counts, new defensive tackles Linval Joseph and Ndamukong Suh made the most of theirs. In 26 snaps, Joseph had a total of 4 tackles. Suh had 3 total tackles on 17 snaps. They shared a quarterback sack as well and were part of a strong overall game by the defensive line.
After allowing an opening-drive touchdown, the Eagles were stingy on defense against Indianapolis and did a particularly good job of stopping All-Pro running back Jonathan Taylor.
"We thought the entire defensive line played really well. Obviously, those two guys played really well. It was exciting to see that, and felt like all the plays that we felt were splash or play-of-the-game type caliber plays had something to do with the defensive line," Sirianni said. "So, it was all of them. Suh and Linval, they both played outstanding games, and it was great to get them going and get in here and make an immediate impact. I think that's what we were all hoping for, and they did, and that speaks to the type of players they are, the types of pros they are, the types of teammates they are, and look forward to continuing to get them in and mixing them into an already really outstanding defensive line that I think a lot of teams in this league would be salivating to have.
"I'm just happy that I'm the head coach here and they're on the Eagles team."
Quarterback Jalen Hurts did it all on Sunday, rushing for 86 yards and a touchdown on 16 runs and throwing for 220 yards and a touchdown. Sirianni and his offensive coaching staff went into the game thinking that Hurts could have some success with well-timed designed runs, and he did just that.
"It definitely was more designed runs than in the past," Sirianni said. "Again, we always trying to do what you think is best to put yourself in a position. Some of their defensive line techniques, you know, obviously you're always trying to put them in the best possible position you can. You look at the way they're playing, their defensive line techniques, you look at the way they're playing their coverage techniques, you look at the way they're playing their coverages, all these different things and you try to put them in the best position.
"The plays we were calling yesterday we felt going into the game were going to be successful. That's why we called them. It happened to be some of the things we were doing with Jalen. And sometimes you go through the game, too, and build confidence in a call and you call it again, right? So, it's again, a little bit of hey, your game plan, what's working in the game, and we felt like right there in that last drive especially – you know, in the last drive was kind of what happened, right? We went from a two-minute drive, boom, got the big penalty, and now you're not. You're more in normal football there where you're just playing ball. Sometimes the situation of the game dictates that; obviously sometimes what you see on tape dictates that; and then how the game is going and how you're seeing it and adjusting to it on the field dictates that."