Eagles Post-Game Quotes (Preseason Week 1)
Eagles Head Coach Nick Sirianni
You were pretty fired up after the late hit to QB Jalen Hurts. Can you take us through what you were saying to Jets Head Coach Robert Saleh? (John McMullen)
Nick Sirianni: I wasn’t mad at Coach Saleh. I was mad at the situation. I was more mad at the player, than Coach Saleh. Coach Saleh is a great guy. I have so much respect for him. It was just emotions of the game. I was just sticking up for Jalen [Hurts]. I’ll never apologize for sticking up for my players. I should have handled it a little bit better than I did.
Obviously, I didn’t want that hit to happen on the sideline. I know it happens, and I know it’s football. I was more mad at the situation, not mad at Coach Saleh. He and I talked after the game, and I wished him nothing but luck and he did the same. He’s a friend. I have a lot of respect for him.
What did you think of Jalen Hurts’ decision to break the pocket on that play? (Mike Sielski)
Nick Sirianni: It was a good decision.
You felt it was warranted? (Mike Sielski)
Nick Sirianni: I have to watch the tape, but he has had a good feel of staying in and hanging in there and making the throws when he needs to make them, and he did that tonight. I thought Jalen did a good job of – [jokingly] he was six for six, perfect quarterback rating and you are questioning one of his decisions to escape the pocket. I think that’s kind of funny. I just thought he did a good job of staying in the pocket when he needed to stay in the pocket, making plays that way and escaping when he needed to escape.
Also, I thought he did a great job of running the offense under complete control and getting us into the right checks.
I imagine there was a sense of relief when you saw Jalen Hurts pop right up after that hit, right? (Ed Kracz)
NICK SIRIANNI: Yeah, I was just yelling so I guess I didn’t see him pop up.
What was the reaction from the players on the sideline after the hit? (Reporter)
NICK SIRIANNI: I imagine they were upset just like we were. I know our players, we have each other’s backs. This is a tight knit group.
Does that affect your decision on whether to play Jalen Hurts in the last two pre-season games? (Martin Frank)
NICK SIRIANNI: No, not at all. We’ll do what we think is best for the team and those guys, and each case will be discussed individually.
We won’t ever be scared to do something. You’re going to get hit. He got hit late out of bounds. Well, what’s stopping somebody hitting him in the pocket? It’s football and that won’t play into our decision.
I know you probably instinctually protect all your players, but is there anything about Jalen Hurts that specifically brings that out of you? (Tim McManus)
NICK SIRIANNI: Sure, yeah. I mean, he’s our quarterback, right? And so, as an offensive coach and the head coach, you get close with your quarterback. I spend more time with him than any other player in meetings, talking to him after meetings, everything.
He’s the one guy that my son and I have a handshake, and the same handshake is done with Jalen, and my son and Jalen are doing it now as well.
Him and I are close, and I look forward to continuing to work with him.
What did you see from the rookies, particularly DT Jordan Davis, C/G Cam Jurgens, and LB Nakobe Dean? (EJ Smith)
NICK SIRIANNI: Sometimes in the interior you have to wait to see, watch the tape, wait to see what it is. I thought it felt like we were on the same page in the protections. We were on the same page with the run points.
Again, I have to watch the tape. But that’s on Cam. We had a false start that I’ll have to iron out, but those are the little things that kill you when they’re tight games.
So it cost us some points. I have to see whose fault that was, but he did a nice job.
I thought Jordan did a good job eating up blocks, and I thought Nakobe got to the football, made a nice play when a guy threw an iso play, shed the blocker and made the play.
Again, I have to watch the tape, but first thought I thought they did a good job.
With Jordan Davis and Nakobe Dean, can you tell that they have played together before with the way they operate? (EJ Smith)
NICK SIRIANNI: Yeah, I think they have that automatic connection. You can definitely see that and feel that. Same with — I know Jalen [Hurts] and [WR] A.J. [Brown] have never played together on a team, but they’re close. They aren’t shy about telling each other what they’re thinking. They have that instant bond as well.
What did you think of the pass Jalen Hurts made on the run the first play of the game? Can he do that on a consistent basis, making those passes on the run? (Chris Murray)
NICK SIRIANNI: I think that’s one of his strengths, is to be able to escape the pocket and make big time plays. We got a lot better at that as the season went on last year.
I think about Washington at Washington. He scrambled and hit [WR] Greg Ward for a big play on a third down.
I think about him in that same Washington game him scrambling and hitting [TE Dallas] Goedert for a big play. He had a big one to Goedert in the Tampa Bay game. He sees the field nicely when he escapes from the pocket, and he creates explosive plays.
When you’re the No. 1 team in explosive plays like we were last year, they’re all going to come in different forms. A lot of them came in the run game, but some in the passing game that happened were when he extended the plays.
That’s a big-time skill that he has.
What’s your take on that drive that gave you the lead late, the 18-play drive? What did you see there? (Ed Kracz)
NICK SIRIANNI: It’s hard to have 18-play drives, and so you want to hit explosive plays and be able to move the ball down the field. It’s hard to be perfect for 18 plays. Not that you’re perfect, but it’s hard to put all those plays together.
But it was a nice job. I’ll have to watch the tape, but it was a nice job of them stringing that many plays together after a really rough third quarter. I mean, a really rough third quarter of three and out, three and out, three and out — maybe was it four three and outs in a row?
To be able to go down and do that as an offense, I thought that was pretty good, especially after the third quarter they had and some of the ups and downs they had in that third quarter.
It was only one series for the starters, but you threw the ball every play. Is that kind of what the offense has evolved into? (Bob Grotz)
NICK SIRIANNI: I wouldn’t give any information out to that. Hey, we’ll do what we need to do. We are working on some things, and we wanted to be able to coach off some things, and that’s what we did today.
If we need to run the ball 20 times to start a game, we’ll do that. If we need to pass the ball 20 times to start a game, we’ll do that. We will do whatever we need to do to win the game, but it was nice to see them go out there and execute when we were passing.
You had a lot of first- and second-year players on the defense, especially on the front seven out there early in the first and second quarter, how do you think they played? (Geoff Mosher)
NICK SIRIANNI: I thought we did a nice job. The defense was running around. You really felt them running around and getting to the football in strip attempts and everything like that. I just thought the energy was high.
That’s how you want your defense to play, to fly around. We will have to watch the tape and see how everybody did individually, but it’s nice when you get the young guys in and get them some meaningful reps, and we were able to do that tonight.
On the first drive, I know you’re not game planning this time of year, but was that a conscious effort to get a bunch of people involved, or is that just Jalen Hurts going where the coverage takes him? (John McMullen)
NICK SIRIANNI: It was really Jalen going where the coverage took him. We have an idea where the ball might go based off the coverages teams play, but that’s the beauty of the offense. You want to put the guys in position to make plays, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the defense is going to play what you thought every time.
We like getting everybody involved. There is no doubt. Just makes you harder to defend. But, yeah, it was nice to see him spread it around early tonight.
Eagles QB Jalen Hurts
On how it felt to play tonight:
“I think it was good to get out there, get everybody and have the opportunity to play. We’ve been working really hard and getting into the phases of things. Just to go out there and execute is really big for us. Good job to the guys out there. Good job to everybody that had the opportunity to go out there and play today.”
On the late hit out of bounds play in the first quarter:
“It happens. [Jets LB Quincy Williams] hit me late. They called a flag. We moved on.”
On seeing his teammates rally for him when he was hit late out of bounds:
“Yeah, I think that’s what we’re about. In the end, I think that’s us having each other’s backs. That’s Philly. That’s [Eagles] Coach Sirianni. That’s [Eagles LT] Jordan Mailata. That’s [Eagles C Jason] Kelce. That’s some of the defensive guys. [Eagles TE Dallas Goedert]. You know, just everybody.”
On whether getting multiple players involved during the first drive was a conscious effort:
“Just going out there and playing ball. I’ve always talked about the trust to have with everyone on the field. So just going through my progressions, doing my job. Let the playmakers make plays.”
On his communication with Eagles C Cam Jurgens:
“You know, Cam has come in and done a really good job. He has so much ability. So much ability. He can run. He’s very smart. I know he’s early on in it being a rookie, but he’s showing so much. For me, it’s been a diligent process just making sure we’re all on the same page. Whether it be the snap count, how we’re [reading] something, how we’re seeing the game, making sure we’re on the same page. I’m excited for Cam.”
On what he was looking for during the play when he was hit late out of bounds:
“Getting flushed out of the pocket. Ended up running to the sideline. He hit me late. I’m not tripping about it.”
On whether he was bracing for the late hit:
“I’m very pleased to be talking about this hit if this is the biggest takeaway from the night. You definitely don’t want to come out here in these games and take hits, let alone a late hit like that. But it happened. I’m not tripping about it. It happens. I’m healthy. I’m fine. I got right back up and played the next play.”
On whether he attempted to target Eagles WR A.J. Brown:
“It didn’t go his way tonight. It’s okay. He’ll get his.”
On whether he felt like he got into a rhythm on the 6-6 drive:
“I think in general, we talk about the importance of explosive plays. We came out of the gate with an explosive play down the field. It was a great catch by [Eagles WR] Quez [Watkins]. That can get the drive going. Overall, I was just pleased to see everybody go out and execute and do their job for the first group. Get it into the end zone was the goal.”
On Eagles TE Jack Stoll’s development:
“Jack is another guy who has shown up so much. He knows what to do and does it at a high level. He just keeps getting better and better. He is going to be a guy who makes plays for us.”
On whether the ability making throws on the run makes him a dangerous quarterback:
“I believe so. In hindsight, I think there are a lot of guys in the league that do a lot of special things in the pocket. I think I can do those things. There aren’t too many guys in the league that can do the things I can do in terms of extending plays, throwing on the run, getting freaky, getting down the field using my legs, and running with the ball. I think that definitely adds an extra dynamic to my game. My whole approach has always been, regardless if it is throwing and running, my communication, my leadership, to take a step and get better at it. I am always in the process of getting better. That is the approach I take day by day.”
On what he can take away being able to wear a headset during preseason games:
“I think the one takeaway I have from it is just the natural maturation process of hearing those conversations, hearing how coaches are truly seeing the game, how they see it unfold before their own eyes. That is helpful for me because I am the one on the field. It was definitely cool to be in those conversations to talk about what we would have done here in certain situations, seeing the defense, and just going through it. It is fun to go out and play the game we love, coach the game we love, and be a part of it. It was a fun night.”
On his biggest takeaway from the game:
“Not about me, obviously the energy of our guys going out there and playing. It is always great to see the first group go out there and execute at a really high level. With the fans, you talk about the fourth quarter when [Eagles QB] Reid [Sinnett] our quarterback is in and that’s a drive that will potentially win the game. I know they end up scoring, but the fans are doing waves, they are enthused during the entire deal. Everybody is excited when we score. Seeing that for a pre-season game is wonderful and I know we aren’t going to be back in the Linc [Lincoln Financial Field] until Monday night against the Vikings, but that is noted and I am excited for that. The enthusiasm by the fans is really cool to see.”
Eagles C Cam Jurgens
On how it felt playing tonight:
“It was just fun going out there and playing football. [We’re] at home having fun playing football together.”
On trying to step in and fill the shoes of Eagles C Jason Kelce tonight:
“Yeah, I’m not thinking about that. I’m just thinking about how to go out there and play the best game.”
Eagles WR A.J. Brown
On whether the first scoring drive set the tone for the game:
“Yeah, I think it was a good day, a good drive for the offense. We went down there and drove the ball and did what we were supposed to do.”
On how he thought Eagles QB Jalen Hurts performed today:
“He did a great job today. He didn’t like the late hit. I told him on the sideline don’t take the big hit, slide. But I think he was just trying to move the drive.”
On whether he thought the hit was late:
“I don’t know, I didn’t really see it. I didn’t like the hit, but it’s part of the game.”
Eagles TE Dallas Goedert
On the atmosphere tonight at Lincoln Financial Field:
“Even if it’s just preseason, to have our fans out there and to be playing against a new opponent, it’s always fun.”
On his touchdown reception on the opening drive:
“I saw the defense and I knew I was matched up against a linebacker, so I just went to go catch it. I saw a safety coming at me, ducked a little bit, so I just jumped. It was fun finding pay dirt even if it is preseason.”
On head coach Nick Sirianni’s message to the team before the game:
“High football IQ, have fun out there, play hard, and then we’ll just learn from it. It’s a great chance that we get to rep the plays that we’ve been working against different defenses. Tomorrow or the next day we get to learn from it and keep getting better.”
On the execution of the offense on the opening scoring drive:
“It was fun out there. Everyone was flying around and [QB] Jalen [Hurts] did a good job of controlling everything. I think that’s what we have in store for the season. We want to be a detail team with people in the right spots and it was a good start today.”
Eagles DT Jordan Davis
On which teammate he thinks is poised for a big season:
“I might be biased but [Eagles LB] Nakobe [Dean]. He flies around and he’s always alert so just knowing him and knowing his work ethic and knowing how hard he works I think he’s going to be something special.”
On if playing with Dean felt like old times:
“Yeah I’m always excited to have Nakobe behind me. If I mess up he’s going to clean it up and always having him behind me I can do no wrong, but obviously I love playing with and just having Nakobe there.”
On a play where he and Dean chased down Jets QB Zach Wilson:
“Yeah, that’s exactly what happened. We split a double team and honestly I didn’t realize it was a double team, but I just started pressing and found the quarterback and just got in there and chased him down. Unfortunately [Jets QB] Zach [Wilson] got hurt. I’m praying for him but it was good to see him out there and running. Feeling like old times playing with him.”
Eagles DE Brandon Graham
On getting back into the game after being out for a year:
“It felt good being with the guys. Just being in the locker room, before the game, it was just that feeling when you know you’re going to play the game. Because I used to be in that locker room just getting the boys encouraged because I knew I wasn’t going to play until the following season. To be here now, I’m just enjoying the moment.”
On what Eagles DT Jordan Davis showed him tonight:
“Jordan has been showing me a lot. He’s just been building, just like I told him. It’s about making sure you’re in the best shape you can be for the season, and just making sure you’re running to the ball. Even seeing [Eagles LB] Nakobe [Dean], you know Nakobe, he’s been working his butt off in practice and just seeing him make plays out there today. I’m happy for the young group because they want to listen, they want to learn, and they want to keep getting better, and that’s what you want – guys to come in with a worker’s mindset.”
On keeping the expectations for the season tempered after a game like today, especially after seeing how the first team performed:
“You’ve just got to make sure that you don’t get too full of yourself, [at any point during] the season. Our work will be done when we’re done pointing at that ring, saying ‘we’re going to get that ring’ after we won the big game. We need to come every day like we’re trying to get somewhere, and just because we did some good one game, we can stink it up the next if we start smelling ourselves. I don’t think we’re going to have that though, because we got too many guys that’s been there and understand it’s a long road and we’ve got to make sure we stay healthy, make sure that we take care of ourselves. Coach is going to take care of us in practice, we have to make sure we take care of them off the field, too, by making sure we do the preventatives, the stretching, the massages, making sure we’re keeping our bodies right so we can be ready for our moment. My mindset, and our focus, is just ‘let’s get better tomorrow.’ Let’s be off tomorrow, but then, after that, when we come back let’s get better, because it’s something that we can definitely work on and we probably didn’t get hit on yet.”
Eagles LB Nakobe Dean
On whether it has been difficult to stay patient during the early portion of training camp:
“We’re just working and getting better. Everyday everyone is pushing each other to get better as a team and as an individual.”
On playing in the NFL with his former University of Georgia college teammate Jordan Davis:
“It was great to have him out there with me. Definitely going through college together and now being [in the pros], playing together is always great.”
On the area he believes he has improved on the most as a professional:
“I’ve improved mostly on becoming more personable. That’s more an off the field thing, being able to talk to people, being more personable to people, being able to open up and see different people’s perspective on things. I’m from down South, stayed down South to play [college] football, and now I’m up North and meeting people. Of course I played college football with all different types of people, but now there are more people from different areas. Northern people sometimes have a different way of thinking or different ideas that I probably have never heard of. Just seeing different things, I think as a person, it has just opened me up.”
On the importance of developing chemistry with people in leadership:
“It’s important as a leader to be able to figure out people. It’s important to be able to talk to people and understand why they’re doing certain things. Right now I’m not leading on the team, but I’m working my way up, trying to learn everything I can, and take everything day by day.”
Eagles LB Kyzir White
On his interception in the game tonight:
“I was just a whole player, and I was playing visual on [Jets QB Zach Wilson]. I saw it in his demeanor where he was going to go with the ball. Just tried to sprint and make a play on it.”
On what it meant to him intercepting a pass in Philadelphia:
“Oh man, everything, man. First game. Getting my feet wet. Family and friends in attendance, so I always want to go out there and put a show on. It felt good. It’s definitely a good start for me, but I’ve got to keep building and keep getting better each and every day.”
On the importance of run defensive and gap assignments in the preseason:
“Yeah, it’s big, man. You’ve got to stay disciplined. You’ve got to work your technique. I don’t care if it’s a preseason game. How I prepare for today is how I prepare for every game. So I don’t look at it like it’s just a preseason game. We’re playing football. It’s me versus you.”