Plus, the Eagles head coach talks Andre Dillard, Landon Dickerson and the OL depth.
Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni spoke to reporters on Friday about the offensive line, and what he saw from Andre Dillard against Dallas. He also talked about his experience getting fired by Andy Reid in Kansas City, and what it means to get veteran safety Rodney McLeod back on the field.
Sirianni opened by talking about LeSean McCoy and his retirement.
“I’d just like to say how awesome it was to have LeSean McCoy over at practice today, as he’s announcing his retirement.
Just a huge fan of his and what he was as a running back and what he was for this city as an Eagle. You know, just remember so many plays that he was on highlights, making plays.
A little loose with the ball security [laughing] but, you know, he didn’t fumble it very often. But it was just good to see him and see – the first time I met him was today. So just great to see a great Eagle that’s retiring. What a phenomenal player and it was good to have him at practice.”
Here’s what else the head coach had to say:
On the offensive line
Sirianni was asked about Andre Dillard’s performance against the Cowboys, and he acknowledged that the tackle played “really good” against two really good pass rushers. He went on to say that Dillard played an “outstanding game” and combined with his pre-season performance against the Jets, he’s stacked up two games in which he played really well.
“And, you know, he’s showing us that at practice. So what does that say about him? What I think it says about him is you want everyone to think, like, ‘I’m one snap – if I’m a backup, I’m one snap away from going in and my role is to get myself ready to play. And if I’m on scout team a little bit, it’s to get the defense ready to play. But it’s ultimately for me, myself, to be ready to play.’ And he was and a tribute to him and he played his role really well.”
When asked about Landon Dickerson being critical of his play the past two weeks, Sirianni pointed out that the criticism doesn’t equate to the rookie not being confident. It’s what he asks of the whole team, which is for players (and coaches) to hold themselves accountable, but that doesn’t mean that Dickerson is getting down on himself, he just wants to get it right.
Sirianni said that he’s confident in the depth they have on the offensive line, especially with three guys playing this week who didn’t being the season as starters, but that’s why they get everyone on the roster ready to play. He also credited Howie Roseman and his staff for putting together the kind of depth they have, and while they’ll miss the injured players, Sirianni is excited for the opportunity of the guys who will step up.
On former Eagles HC Andy Reid
Sirianni and Reid overlapped just barely in Kansas City, with Sirianni noting that meeting Reid was unfortunately to learn that he no longer had a job as the team’s WR coach. He went on to say that it was actually an awesome conversation, and he really respected the fact that Reid took the time to meet with him, but that he already had a guy for that position — David Culley. He leaned on that experience when he had to let guys go when he took over in Philadelphia, because he respected the way Reid handled the situation.
“As far as – yeah, I just know what type of coach he is, a really good coach. And I always say guys that I think are really good coaches are, you know – that his team plays with fundamentals and puts them in good positions to win. He’s a good scheme coach.”
Sirianni went on to talk about how he studies other coaches and play callers, and while he might not get a ton of time to do that during a game week, if he’s asking his players to get one percent better every day, he needs to get better every day, as well. That includes looking at how different coaches call games — both in the NFL and in college,
On getting Rodney McLeod back
“It’s huge. He’s shown every single day, whether he was going to be – whether he was not practicing at all or whether he was out there practicing, or whether he was getting ready to play in a game, he’s shown to be the same person every single day. And he’s shown to be the same leader every single day. And that’s just huge.
That’s huge to have that veteran leadership out there. And so, really excited that he’s going to get back out there and be able to contribute in this game.
And because, you know, we need those guys out in the field that have that type of leadership that Rodney has. So really excited to have him back.”