PHILADELPHIA – Nick Sirianni is still a mostly unknown commodity within the Eagles fan base and media, so any little morsel that is released via the Eagles’ website is of interest to me.
Heard about a film breakdown Fran Duffy did with Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni on the team’s site in a segment called, “Inside the Film Room” and checked it out.
It’s well worth your time, but if you are unable to carve 25 minutes from your day to check it out, here is what stuck out to me.
Sirianni is passionate about football.
There can be no question about it. His enthusiasm, while shining through a lot more in his second meeting with the media than in his initial press conference, really comes through here when he’s breaking down film with Duffy.
In discussing play design and game planning, Sirianni looked like he wanted to jump out of his chair.
"Coming up with plays and how we attack the defense I mean it’s addicting,” he said. “It’s a rush. You’re in a film room with offensive coaches, and you’re talking through the plan, and you’re talking through how going to attack a defense, and you’re like. ‘Ooh, this will be good, is this going to be good against this look, is this going to be good against this look,’ and you draw it up and you think about it and you get excited. It’s just an exciting process and it never gets old.
“Then when it works in a game or when you’re in a game and you’re like man here it comes, they’re going to play cover two to that, here we go, that’s what we thought, here it is. ... sometimes it’s hard to hide that excitement like, ‘Oh, my goodness, we got cover two we’re going to rip this in,’ or, ‘Oh my goodness we got cover one … or we got cover four … and boom it’s a touchdown.’ That’s pretty awesome.”
WATCH THE FULL CLIP: https://youtube.com/watch?v=sMbVa41dJs4…
The segment gives a good indication, through a variety of clips, of what to expect from an offense led by Sirianni in conjunction with offensive coordinator Shane Steichen, quarterback coach Brian Johnson, and receiver coach Aaron Moorehead.
Sirianni said he likes receivers who run “sharp, crisp routes.”
“I don’t like banana routes,” he said. “I don’t like, ‘Oh, we’re going to roll into it.’ It’s stick your foot in the ground and rip it. … I always say it’s your foot, it’s your body, it’s your head, stick it hard.”
That said, though, he wants his players to play fast and not do too much thinking.
“Our job is to create explosive plays both offensively and defensively,” he said. “Our job as coaches is to adapt to the players we have and run the plays they like, but we also have a system, so yes, we want to do what our players want to do but we have a system of plays that we want to be good at and they’re good at.”
Some great film clips Duffy shows reveals exactly that.
The clips also reveal what Sirianni has talked about repeatedly in his handful of public interviews, and that is building team camaraderie, where players for each other and are unselfish as to who gets the glory.
In a clip of the Colts’ Michael Pittman scoring a touchdown of a crossing pattern in the middle of the field then winning a footrace to the end zone, getting blocks along the way from T.Y. Hilton and Mo Alie-Cox, Sirianni wanted to point out those blocks as well as what Pittman did after scoring.
Pittman jumped into the stands, where Colts practice squad players were sitting in a luxury box, usually off limits and filled with fans, but the pandemic didn’t allow fans in the stands.
“Mo Alie-Cox and Hilton made the blocks for Pittman, (Philip) Rivers great throw, hit him in stride, but those guys in the corner of the end zone helped them get ready in practice all week long and they were just as excited.”
Speaking of Rivers hitting Pittman in stride on that play, Sirianni appears as if he will be a stickler for quarterbacks hitting a receiver in stride in order to help him get the all-important yards after catch.
“Ball placement has to be perfect to make them roll,” he said.
Sirianni also wants the ball out of his quarterback’s hands quickly.
“It is still all about creating explosive plays, (but) explosive plays don’t have to be created throwing the ball 50 yards down the field,” he said. “They can be created by getting the ball out of the quarterback’s hand … to a playmaker with the ball in his hands quick. … Trying to keep it simple for the players and let them do the things that they do best.”
Ed Kracz is the publisher of SI.com’s EagleMaven. Check out the latest Eagles news at www.SI.com/NFL/Eagles and please follow him on Twitter: @kracze.