PHILADELPHIA – It came during team drills, 11-on-11 on Tuesday, when Nick Sirianni went ballistic.
The team was having trouble getting lined up when Sirianni stepped in and started motioning with his arms and yelling at everyone.
“He’s not afraid to tell it like it is and be honest with guys,” said quarterback Joe Flacco, who was at quarterback when Sirianni exploded. “I think that’s why he’s allowed to do that. He’s been so honest and up front. He’s given us, in our meetings, exactly what to expect. We should know exactly what’s going to happen in each one of these situations.
“So, when things go wrong, he has all the right in the world to get on somebody and get on all of us if that’s the case. And that’s what he’s been doing. He’s accountable because anything that he’s yelling at us for, or getting fired up about, is something that we’ve gone over in meetings, and that’s what you’d like to see.”
So much for the perception that Sirianni is trying to be buddy-buddy with his players.
With DeVonta Smith on the shelf for a couple of weeks, Sirianni was asked who at wide receiver has stood out this far.
Quez Watkins had a nice day on Monday then stacked Tuesday on top of that, with another nice day.
John Hightower has shown some nice work, too, while Travis Fulgham did a good job hanging onto a ball over the middle after taking a wallop from safety Anthony Harris on a day when the Eagles wore pads for the first time since training camp began last week.
“I've been very pleased with the entire group,” said Sirianni prior to the start of Day 6 at training camp. “I think [passing game coordinator] Kevin Patullo keeps coming up to me and he keeps saying, ‘We didn't have this speed in Indy.’ He's like, ‘And we sure as heck didn't have it right away.’ We're seeing that we've got some guys that can really run, so I'm really excited about that.”
There’s no question the Eagles have a crowded running back room, to the point where it may even be a possibility that they keep five of them.
No matter how many they keep when the roster is ultimately trimmed to 53, Boston Scott looks like he will be one of them.
“Boston I think is a great leader and really good for the running back room,” said Sirianni. “I think he's highly respected amongst his teammates. Love that he knows what to do at all times. And yeah, he shows ability in the backfield, in the run game, and in the pass game, whether that's protecting or splitting out wide.
“Guys that are multiple with what they can do and not just a one-trick pony to say, they're hard to defend. So, I'm glad we have Boston because he seems like he can do a lot.”
BG A DT
Brandon Graham is seeing an unusually large number of snaps as a defensive tackle, as Jonathan Gannon preaches position versatility. The 12-year veteran is no stranger to the inside of the line – heck, he made the franchise’s most pivotal play when he lined up at DT and strip-sacked Tom Brady in Super Bowl LII.
“I did that with Chip Kelly,” said Graham. “We just switch the scheme up a little bit. It’s a little of what I like and what I got to get better at. In order for me to stay on the field, I gotta be good at that position too.
“We run a lot of what I like, the 4-3. But we gotta switch it up and give them different looks. If they know where I’m going to be every time, that’s a big time for them to tee off on me. I understand why Coach is doing what he’s doing. I’m just excited. It’s something new. It’s a challenge for me to get back. I’m just trying to go out there and make plays.”
You never know who’s going to show up at training camp. On Tuesday, it was Phillies legend Charlie Manuel and Larry Bowa.
Former Eagles receiver Freddie Barnett also was on hand as one of the team alumni who meet and greet fans on the way onto the field.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“This offense that we’re running is new for me. I think I can relate to things faster than obviously a younger guy. But at the same time, I am putting things together in my head to make sure that I’m trying to run the offense the way it’s supposed to be run. And also, getting some of the new things that I haven’t heard before out of my mouth and in nice, concise ways so that everyone can understand it.” – Quarterback Joe Flacco.
Ed Kracz is the publisher of SI.com’s Eagle Maven and co-host of the Eagles Unfiltered Podcast. Check out the latest Eagles news at www.SI.com/NFL/Eagles and please follow him on Twitter: @kracze.