Nick Sirianni talks Jalen Hurts’ Week 2 performance and accountability

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Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Plus, the Eagles head coach evaluated Jalen Hurts’ performance.

Eagles’ head coach Nick Sirianni spoke to reporters on Monday after having some time to reflect on the team’s Week 2 loss to the 49ers, and he continued to emphasize personal accountability, as well as holding some of his players accountable. He talked about Jalen Hurts’ performance, getting Josh Sweat more snaps, and gave some (unfortunate) injury updates.

Here’s what the head coach had to say:

On Jalen Hurts’ performance

Sirianni was asked about Hurts not attempting many passes over the middle of the field, and while that may have been the case last year as well, the head coach pointed to their defensive opponents the first two weeks of 2021 and wanting to attack on the outside.

“I thought he played a good game. I thought Jalen played a good game. Was it the same type of game he played the week before? No, but there were just some things that we need to clean up. Maybe a misread here or eye discipline here. But again, I thought he did a lot of things well, got to the right place with the ball. I wanted him to be on time on a couple other things that he wasn’t, but he went to the right place with the ball for a majority of the game and he made a lot of plays with his feet when things weren’t there because a couple times their guys got through, but I do think the protection was really good in our game. The protection was outstanding. Our offensive line did a phenomenal job against a very stout front.”

On Derek Barnett and K’Von Wallace penalties

He was also asked about Derek Barnett’s personal foul penalty, and Sirianni said that it’ll be addressed just like everything else that needs accountability from the coaches down to the players. Similarly, Sirianni said that he doesn’t want any player criticizing referees like K’Von Wallace did on Instagram Monday, and that will be something else they’ll need to address and correct.

“I’ve got to hold them accountable for what they did. There’s a standard of what it is, and when the standard is met, we praise that, and when the standard is not met, we correct that.

That to me is — accountability is a form of discipline and discipline is accountability, same thing. So we correct it when it’s not right. The correction comes different ways. Sometimes it’s a hand over the shoulder and you correct it that way. Sometimes it’s a yell and scream. Sometimes it’s just very matter of fact. That discipline comes many different ways, and that’s just an art to coaching of when you do that.

[…]

But as far as the referees, I don’t ever want any player criticizing the referees. They’ve got a hard job just like we’ve got a hard job. They’ve got to make these decisions in a split second, and we all make mistakes, and again, I’m not saying it was the right call or the wrong call, but we’ve just got to hold ourselves accountable and not look at anybody else.”

On holding himself accountable

Following Sunday’s loss, Sirianni admitted that he could have called better plays in certain situations and took accountability for not putting players in the best situation. When asked about that on Monday, he emphasized that he has to look inward just as much as outward.

“Again, this accountability thing only works if you’re holding yourself accountable first. Again, I’ve said this before, everything is going to start with me, how I lead — if I’m down, I feel like the staff is going to be down, then the team is going to be down. If I’m up, same thing, and if I’m not holding myself accountable, everybody is not going to hold themselves accountable. That’s how I view my role.

If I want the players to do it, I need to do it first. I’ve got to lead by example.

So, it kind of just goes through just watching the tape, checking the call sheet again, looking back at the studies that we did, and just evaluating every call like I evaluate every play of the players. ‘Okay, well did he take the right steps here on this inside zone play, yes or no; did he get his job done?’ And I do the same thing with myself. It’s not a fun process, but it’s a necessary process, and the only — it’s just like I say to the players, the only thing — I’m not looking to drag myself through the mud, but if I need to, I will, for one reason and one reason alone, is to get better so I do my part next week to give this team every chance it needs to win, and then I think we all need to be in that mode and we’ll have a better chance to win next week.”

Injury updates

Sirianni confirmed that Brandon Graham will miss the remainder of the season after rupturing his Achilles, and Brandon Brooks will likely go on IR with a strained pec, although he expects Brooks back before the end of the year.

Davion Taylor is day-to-day with some scar tissue build up in his calf that was causing him some pain.

Other notables

Sirianni was asked about Josh Sweat only playing about 40 percent of snaps, and the head coach said that was due to the packages the 49ers were using — 21 personnel and 12 personnel.

“He’ll play more. Looking back on it, he should have played more there, too, but that was just a design of what packages we were playing against, against the 49ers.”

The head coach said that despite the defense allowing a couple long drives against the Falcons and 49ers, he was happy with the limited number of explosive plays, which they prioritize.
Sirianni talked about the lack of wide receiver targets in the second half of Sunday’s game and he said it was a combination of taking what the defense was giving and then some mistakes made by him in the playcalling. He thought the offense was moving the ball well, but then would stall, and when they’d stall he needs to do a better job of thinking of what the players do well versus the plays he wants to call.

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