Eagles’ Sirianni: ‘It’s not going to be easy to replace [TE] Dallas [Goedert]’

On Wednesday, the Philadelphia Eagles placed tight end Dallas Goedert(shoulder) on injured reserve after he injured his shoulder in the team’s 32-21 loss to the Commanders on Monday night.

The fifth-year tight end will miss at least four games, and according to Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni, the team will see where he stands at that point.

“It’s not going to be easy to replace [TE] Dallas [Goedert], and not just one person does it,” Sirianni said Wednesday. “So, we’ll see how long he’s out. Obviously, you know he has to be out for at least four games, and we’ll play that by ear as that goes.”

Goedert was having a Pro Bowl-caliber season and was on track to have a career year as he had 43 receptions for 544 yards and three touchdowns, and Sirianni felt Goedert was playing like one of the best tight ends in football.

“He was having a great year, right?” he said. “To me, he’s having a Top 3, Top 5, Top 2, whatever you want — Top 1 tight end year. So that stinks for us as a team, stinks for Dallas.”

Without Goedert, tight ends Jack Stoll and Grant Calcaterra will get an opportunity. In addition, guys like A.J. Brown, DeVonta Smith, and Quez Watkins may get more targets, which Sirianni discussed.

“So, how do we replace him? You can’t, right?” Sirianni said. “You have to do it by committee. You have tight ends that are there that; we have a lot of faith in this building; it’ll start with them. Then it goes to where some of his targets go. Probably a couple will go to [WR] A.J. [Brown], probably a couple go to [WR] DeVonta [Smith], and then you have backs that get intertwined in that. Slot receivers that get intertwined with that with [WR] Quez [Watkins]. You just have to balance it out and try to make — you’re not the going to be able to duplicate everything he does because he has a unique skill set. You try to figure out who can do what he does and can they do it, and then you put that stuff in your offense. Then some of it, you might lose some of your stuff in your offense because it’s always about players, as we talk about. I know we have guys in this building that I have a lot of faith in, though.”

Eagles sign DT Linval Joseph

Also, on Wednesday, the team placed DT Marlon Tuipulotu(knee) on IR and signed veteran DT Linval Joseph. According to reports, it’s a one-year deal. The 34-year-old last played with the Chargers in 2021.

“So, we had an opportunity to add a good player that we played against last year and who made things very difficult for us last year in that Chargers game,” Sirianni said. “There are a lot of guys here that have had opportunities to be around him.

“Coach Gannon [Defensive Coordinator Jonathan Gannon], Coach Rallis [Linebackers Coach Nick Rallis], [Vice President of Sports Medicine/Head Athletic Trainer] Tom Hunkele. I mean, there have been a lot of guys who have had experience with him, and we think he’s the right type of guy for the locker room. We think he’s still a heck of a football player, and he’s going to be able to help us.”

Hurts still confident in team after loss

Every team wants to win every game; however in life, there are no losses but only lessons. Hopefully, the Eagles(8-1) learned some valuable lessons after suffering their first loss of the season as they fell to the Washington Commanders(5-5) 32-21 at Lincoln Financial Field. 

The first lesson Philadelphia hopefully learned is protecting the football. Coming into this game against Washington, Philly had only three turnovers in eight games, but on Monday night, they had four turnovers, which led to 17 Washington points.

The next lesson the Eagles hopefully learned is that they must stop the run. Philly allowed 152 yards on 49 carries. While the Commanders averaged only 3.1 yards per carry, it did allow Washington to hold the ball for 40:24, and in addition, they let the Commanders keep drives alive as they were 12/21 on third downs.

Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts, who completed 17-of-26 attempts for 175 yards, two touchdowns, a rushing touchdown, and an interception, expects the team to respond favorably after the loss.

“My message to [the team] this morning and before the game ironically was hungry dogs run faster,” Hurts said after the loss. “When you win, they say it’s hard to keep the hunger, and I think this team is in a position to dictate on how we want to respond to this adversity, this obstacle in our way. What is done is done, so there is a what now mentality. And I know my mentality moving forward. I know my attention to detail in terms of my preparation and how that will look moving forward. I know my eagerness to play to the standard moving forward. I know what that is. I know how this team will respond, and I have confidence in this football team.”

Many people started talking about the possibility of Philadelphia going 17-0, but according to Hurts, it wasn’t something that was not on his mind.

“I wasn’t entertaining it at all,” Hurts said. “You obviously want to win all of the games we play in. Tonight wasn’t our night. The message for me is control the things that you can. When you do that, you have a pretty good opportunity to be victorious in the end. How do you do it? You prepare, attention to detail, the energy you have, the approach, the mentality towards it, and ultimately playing together.”

This was a good loss for the Eagles, hopefully getting them to refocus and get back to their winning ways against the Colts next Sunday.

Eagles’ Sirianni happy with the improved passing game in Philadelphia

At the end of the 2021 season, one thing was clear; the Eagles needed to be a better passing team if they wanted to advance in the playoffs. 

Last season, Philadelphia had the best rushing attack in the NFL. After eight games, one thing is clear, Jalen Hurts has grown as a passer. In 2021, the third-year quarterback completed 61% of his passes. This season, Hurts has a 68% completion percentage. He has been much more accurate in 2022, and last week against the Texans, he completed 22 of 27 passes(78%).

Against the Steelers, Hurts had a career-high four passing touchdowns. He showed off his deep ball as all four touchdowns were 25-plus yards. 

Right now, the Eagles have one of the top offenses in football as they are second in the NFL in points per game(28.1), so not only is the running game big time, but now the passing game is just as good.

On Thursday, Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni discussed the improved passing game in Philadelphia.

“Yeah, he’s been able to attack all parts of the field through different ways, through the different types of players we have, and that’s outside, inside, short game, deep game, intermediate game,” Sirianni said. “The more they have to prepare for, the harder we are going to be to defend. So that’s not only our run game, which is in the top tier of the league but also in our passing game. Then you just open up with the way the ball is coming out, and where the ball is coming out, there’s just more and more to defend. That’s tough on any defense; the more they’ve got to defend, the harder it is for them.”

The return of Frank Reich?

Earlier this week, the Colts fired their head coach Frank Reich. Sirianni, who worked under Reich in Indianapolis, said he will always use the former Eagles offensive coordinator as a consultant.

“We’ll see how that goes,” Sirianni said about hiring Reich. “I don’t know yet. That’s not something that’s been — that happened, when, Monday? My focus has been completely on Washington. Again, you know how I feel about [former Indianapolis Colts Head Coach] Frank [Reich]; I’m always going to use him as a consultant, whether he’s in the building or whether he’s not in the building. But I haven’t really thought about that, to be quite honest with you. We’re just really focused on today to get ready for Washington.”

Eagles’ Sirianni talks team’s performance in second half of games

The Philadelphia Eagles got their best win of the season on Sunday night as they defeated the Cowboys 26-17 at Lincoln Financial Field.

Philadelphia jumped out to an early 20-0 lead in the second quarter, but the Cowboys were able to cut it to 20-17 in the fourth. However, Philly went on a 13-play, 75-yard drive to put it away as Jalen Hurts connected with DeVonta Smith on a seven-yard touchdown pass.

The Eagles scored 20 points in the second quarter on Sunday, and this season, Philadelphia has outscored its opponents 112-27 in that quarter. 

However, things have not been the same in the second half. The Eagles have been outscored 51-35 and were outscored 14-6 by the Cowboys in the second half. While they are 6-0, Philly has to do a better job in the second half.

On Monday, Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni discussed his team’s play in the second half of games.

“It’s just finishing the game,” he said. “Again, it’s not — here is what makes it hard to play a complete game. A team that’s really good on the other side, right? That’s a good football team, as we know. So, yeah, of course, we were up 20-3 at the half and would’ve loved to just duplicate that and won the game 40 to 6, but in the grand scheme of things, that’s hard to do.

“The second half is played a little bit differently, so you want to — you just want to finish the game. I think there is no doubt, right, that if we have good first halves and that the second halves, whether the defense has held them and the offense hasn’t scored, or whatever it is, we haven’t played a complete game in the sense of we haven’t really blown open a game when we have had two-score leads.

“From what I understand, I believe we’ve had two-score leads in every game this season, and so you want to just be able to end a game and put a game away. I think that’s what we’re talking about, is to just really finish the game and put it away. Things change the way you view things in the second half sometimes when you do have these leads, but you always want to be aggressive and always want to put points on the board, and we haven’t done that.

“We’ll look at that as coaches and see what we’re doing as coaches, how we can put our guys in better positions to do that.”

At this point, they have overcome their poor play in the second half, and with the team on their bye week, Sirianni and the coaching staff will have the opportunity to fix the second-half woes for the Eagles when they return against the Steelers. 

Eagles’ Sirianni responds to DeMarcus Lawrence

When the Cowboys and Eagles play, it’s always a big game, and on Sunday night at Lincoln Financial Field, the 5-0 Eagles will battle the 4-1 Cowboys.

Philadelphia is the only undefeated team in football, and after losing their season-opener and their quarterback Dak Prescott to injury, the Cowboys have won four straight. 

After five games, the Eagles have one of the best offenses in football and are a top-5 team in points per game. One reason the offense has been so good is quarterback Jalen Hurts. The third-year quarterback has thrown for 1359 yards and 10(six on the ground) combined touchdowns.

However, Dallas has a top-10 defense and is second in the NFL in sacks. According to Cowboys DE DeMarcus Lawrence, we don’t know how good Hurts is until they play Dallas.

“Has he played us?” Lawrence asked this week. “All right. “All you need to write is he hasn’t played the Cowboys yet, so we don’t know how good he is.”

On Friday, Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni responded to Lawrence’s comments.

“I’m not really into bulletin board material, to be quite honest with you, because our greatest motivation is to play for each other,” Sirianni said. “This team loves each other. This is what is making this team a special team, is that they’re in it for each other, and they’re in it to not let each other down, to play for each other.

“That’s why we’re in it as coaches, to put our guys in positions to help them play great. That’s the motivation we need, is just, hey, for each other. I don’t want to let [QB] Jalen [Hurts] down. I don’t want to let [DT Fletcher] Fletch [Cox] down. That’s a contagious thing.

“When all the guys want to play for each other, that’s when it’s a special thing. And, hey, [Dallas Cowboys DE] DeMarcus Lawrence is a great football player, and we’re going to have to be ready for where he is no matter where he is on the field, so we know how good of a football player he is, and how good of a defense this is for that matter.

“But we’re playing for each other, and that’s our greatest motivation.”

It’s a division game; it’s a big game, and we will learn a lot about both teams after Sunday. In addition, it should be interesting to see if Lawrence’s comments bring out the best in Hurts.

Eagles’ Sirianni is happy with just winning

The Philadelphia Eagles moved to 5-0 after escaping with a 20-17 win on the road against the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday.

Thus far this season, the Eagles have not been in many close games. In fact, coming into the game against the Cardinals, Philadelphia’s average margin of victory is 11 points. 

However, learning how to win close games is essential, and the Eagles did just that. With the game tied at 17 in the fourth, Philadelphia had a 17-play, 70-yard drive, which set up a 23-yard game-winning field goal from Cameron Dicker. Arizona had one final shot, but Matt Ammendola’s 43-yard field goal went wide right, and the Eagles survived.

On Monday, Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni said he would like to blow out every team, but he’s okay with just winning.

“Yeah, I would love to win every game by a lot,” he said. “I really would. Those are a lot less stressful. You know you played a good game when you hold them to 7, and you score 30, or whatever it is, right?

“But that’s not the reality of this league. You’re going to go through the grind. In fact, more games are going to be like they were yesterday than they were for our first couple games — or for our Washington game or our Minnesota game. There is a heck of a lot more games like yesterday than those couple games.

“So, you just like to be able to win any way. You go through it, and you’re happy with the win, no matter what. You’re dissatisfied with the things that you want to correct. First of all, as coaches, and then secondly as the players.

“So, you just try to go through and fix that as you would, but of course, there are benefits to winning every way, and you say to yourself, well, we’re going to be in those games more so than not, so it’s good when you win those games obviously.”

Again, as the schedule goes along, the win the Eagles had on Sunday will benefit them more than any blow out. 

Eagles’ Sirianni uses Tiger Woods to motivate team

There’s only one undefeated team in the NFC, and that is the Philadelphia Eagles(3-0). At this point, the Eagles look like one of the best teams in football, but it’s still early. On Sunday, the Eagles host their former coach Doug Pederson and the Jacksonville Jaguars(2-1).

Philadelphia is getting a lot of national headlines because of its great start. However, Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni wants to keep this team grounded and hungry. To do that, Sirianni showed his team clips of Tiger Woods.

“That’s something when you’re concerned about getting better every single day, and your sole focus is ‘How do I get better, how do I get better, how do I get better,’ it is easy to block out noise,” Sirianni said on Wednesday. “Whether that’s people telling you how good you are or how bad you are.

“A clip that we showed today was of Tiger Woods – and this is what we showed in our team meeting today. When he was at the top of his game, playing as good of golf as anybody has ever played, ever, he was still obsessed with getting better. He says that, ‘I’m obsessed with getting better. I’m obsessed with being the best.’

“That’s a guy that was playing the best golf of anybody ever. What a great example for us, right? We can learn so many good things from what not to do and what to do. Last week it was a Kobe Bryant film. This week it was a Tiger Woods film of just how am I going to improve my swing today to make sure that I’m getting better even though I’m playing pretty good right now.

“I want them to know that I’m doing that. There are things that happened in that game that I was not comfortable with. There are things I’m obsessed with getting better as the head coach to make sure that we’re prepared to play and the different things.

“So first we have to live that as coaches. We have to preach that through our word-of-mouth. Then other great people like Tiger Woods’ word-of-mouth, and then we have to accomplish that.”

The Eagles have not accomplished anything yet. Jalen Hurts is off to a great start, and the defense is getting done. However, again, they have to keep grinding.

Eagles’ Sirianni on Hurts: ‘Big-time performance on a big-time stage’

After the first two weeks of the NFL season, Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts is playing like one of the best quarterbacks in the game. 

After having a combined 333 yards of total offense in the team’s win over the Lions in Week 1, Hurts was even better in Philly’s home-opener against the Minnesota Vikings on Monday night.

Hurts completed 26-of-31 (career-high 83.9%) attempts for 333 yards, TD, INT(which wasn’t his fault), and a 108.7 passer rating while adding 57 yards and 2 TDs on 11 carries.

He had a combined 390 total yards on offense with 3 TDs in the game, and more importantly, the Eagles defeated the Vikings(1-1) 24-7. With the win, Philadelphia improved to 2-0 for the first time since 2016.

The 83.9% completion percentage was the highest by an Eagle since Nick Foles produced an 84.8% mark (28-of-33) back in 2018.

“Shoot, I mean, 83% passing. With that many attempts, what was he, 26 of 33(28/33)? Yeah, that’s pretty darn impressive,” Eagles coach Nick Sirianni said after the win.

Last week against the Lions, he started the game 0/5. This week, Hurts started 11/11 for 151 yards and 1 TD. It marked the longest streak of consecutive completions to start a game in his career.

“It was a big-time performance by him, obviously in the run game and the pass game,” Sirianni said. “Great run. Both of his touchdown runs were outstanding runs. The one, I know it, was only four yards out, but it reminded me of that New Orleans one he made last year.

“Big-time performance on a big-time stage.”

Eagles center Jason Kelce was happy about what he saw from his quarterback.

“Another outstanding performance,” he said. “He threw some unbelievable balls. He made a lot of plays. This was a really great, well-rounded game for him; it seemed like. I have to go back and watch the tape, but when I’m watching the tape, I’m not assessing the quarterback. I just know the offense was moving really well, and it seemed like Jalen was doing phenomenal.”

For Hurts, who completed passes to eight receivers, including four players that finished with 60-plus yards, it’s not about his performance but about the performance of the team.

“I think we just came out and played very efficient, he said. “You know, talked about last week. Last week I talked about the inconsistencies and the urgency and the communication and the operation. And that starts with me. Obviously, we operated at a high level early on in the game. I think that’s something that we have to be able to sustain throughout the whole entire game regardless of the situation. That starts with everybody. I think as a whole, as a team, coming out here and playing on Monday Night Football. I remember what happened last time we played on Monday Night Football. I haven’t forgotten about that. To be able to come out here and perform at a high level as a team, that’s big for us.”

Big win for the Eagles, and if Hurts continues to play at this level, Philadelphia will continue to soar.

Eagles’ Sirianni on Jefferson: ‘He poses a lot of problems’

Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson has been a stud since he entered the league in 2020. In two seasons, Jefferson has made the Pro Bowl twice, and he’s been one of the better wide receivers in football. 

Last season, Jefferson had a monster year as he had 108 catches for 1,616 yards and 10 touchdowns.

Last week, Jefferson had nine catches for 184 yards and two touchdowns in the Vikings’ 23-7 win over Green Bay.

This week, Jefferson and the Vikings travel to Philadelphia to battle the Eagles on Monday Night Football. Philadelphia had a shot at Jefferson in the draft, but they chose Jalen Reagor, who eventually was dealt to the Vikings in August.

Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni was impressed with Jefferson coming out of LSU, and he is impressed with him now.

“I can always go back to my first initial reaction to [Minnesota Vikings WR] Justin Jefferson,” Sirianni said this week. “We were out of the playoffs, and it must have been, what — this was — we didn’t make the playoffs in Indy one year, and I wanted to watch all the players in the National Championship Game that were playing that night between Alabama and LSU — Am I right there? I wanted to watch all the receivers and quarterbacks that were going to be eligible.

“So that week leading up to that, because we weren’t in the playoffs, I watched [Cincinnati Bengals QB Joe] Burrow. I watched [WR] DeVonta [Smith]. I watched Justin. I watched [Cincinnati Bengals WR Ja’Marr] Chase. I watched all those guys, and I remember putting on the tape and going, man, this Justin Jefferson guy is really, really good. Like he’s really quick. He’s got great hands. He runs really good routes.’

“It made the game a little bit more he enjoyable for me. I put the game on, we’re watching the game, and I’m watching the game with it, and he catches the ball, and he puts his foot in the ground quick, and you get the zoom up of it on the TV camera, and it was like, okay, he’s exactly what I thought. He does have all that quickness. That close-up view really helped me learn that.

“I’ve always admired his game and respected his game. He poses a lot of problems. He’s a great football player, and we have some great football players, too. Yeah, he’s got a great game.”

Sirianni probably should be coaching Jefferson, but stuff happens. However, fortunately for Sirianni, he has A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith.

The Great, Not So Great, & Bottom Line of Eagles’ win in Detroit

The Philadelphia Eagles(1-0) started slow but revved things up in the second and third quarters and held on to defeat the Detroit Lions(0-1) 38-35 at Ford Field in the season-opener. 

After being down 7-0 early, the Eagles scored 24 second-quarter points to take a 24-14 lead at halftime. Philadelphia would take a 38-21 lead into the fourth and got the win as Jalen Hurts converted on 4th-and-inches with just over a minute left in regulation.

Here’s the Great, Not So Great, and Bottom Line of the Eagles’ win over the Lions.

The Great:

Run Game: Philadelphia, who led the league in rushing last season, ran for 216 yards and four touchdowns. Hurts rushed for 90 yards and one touchdown on 17 carries; Miles Sanders had 96 yards and one touchdown, including a big 24-yard run on third down with 2:21 left in the fourth quarter to continue the Eagles’ attempt to run out the clock. The running game was big in 2021, and it looks like they will have similar success in 2022.

A.J. Brown: In his Eagles’ debut, Brown had 10 catches for a career-high tying 155 yards. Brown had 128 yards at halftime, including a big 54-yard reception in the second quarter. According to Elias Sports, Brown finished with the most receiving yards ever by a player in their Eagles debut. Brown’s debut felt like Terrell Owens’ debut with the Eagles in 2004. Hurts and Brown are close off the field and seem to have a connection on the field.

Jalen Hurts: After starting the game 0/5, Jalen Hurts picked up his play and led the Eagles on three scoring drives in the first half. Hurts combined for 256 offensive yards (189 passing, 67 rushing) in the first half. That is the most offensive yards he has produced in the first half of a game in his career, and he finished with a combined 333 yards(90 yards rushing) and threw for 243 yards on 18-of-32 passing.  

Not So Great:

Rushing defense: Detroit ran for 181 yards against Philadelphia. D’Andre Swift had a career-high 144 yards on the ground, including a touchdown, and Jamaal Williams had two rushing touchdowns. 

Second-half defense: Philadelphia had difficulty slowing down the Lions in the second half. Detroit scored three touchdowns on their four second-half drives. Goff was able to carve up the secondary and had a clean pocket for most of the game. The way things were going, Detroit might have scored again if they had gotten the ball back.

Bottom Line: 

The Eagles won a game they were supposed to win. While they almost blew a 17-point fourth-quarter lead, they were able to hold on. Philadelphia must do a better job of getting after the quarterback and stopping the run. Brown is a weapon, but going forward, the Eagles have to get others involved, including DeVonta Smith(no catches). It appears the offense is going to put up a lot of points, but Hurts did a lot of running, and not sure he can keep that up for 16 more games, but again, they’re 1-0.

What’s Next:

Eagles battle the Vikings on Monday Night in their home-opener at Lincoln Financial Field. 

Best of the Rest:

In his Eagles’ debut, James Bradberry reached the end zone for the first time in his career on a 27-yard interception return in the second quarter. The play was set up by a tip by LB Kyzir White, who was also making his Eagles’ debut.

-Philadelphia leads the league in season-opening wins since 2011, posting a 10-2 record in its last 12 season openers.

-Head Coach Nick Sirianni improves his season opener record to 2-0.