Translating Eagles’ Nick Sirianni’s confusing press conference: What did he actually mean?

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Philadelphia Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni, center, talks with down judge Danny Short (113) during the second half of an NFL football game against the San Francisco 49ers, Sunday, Dec. 3, 2023, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

There was a lot of reaction, mostly negative, to how Eagles HC Nick Sirianni conducted his latest press conference. He looked exhausted and visibly frustrated, especially when the topic turned to the level of accountability and “not playing to the standard.”

Sirianni kept ducking and weaving, cloaking his cliches in frivolous coach-speak, as reporters battered him with questions. It was a rather uncomfortable scene that ironically channeled former Eagles HC Doug Pederson’s final days at the helm. No one is calling for Sirianni’s job but the disgruntled head coach needs to take a quick public relations class.

Let’s dive into Sirianni’s head-scratching answers and try to make sense of what he (probably?) meant.

Translating Eagles HC Nick Sirianni’s confusing presser

Question: So if I can just follow up real quick, you’re not planning to change WR Quez Watkins’ playing time or his snap count or anything like that?

What Sirianni Said: We’ll see. Again, we’re confident in him as a player, as a teammate. Julio [Jones] has done a good job. O.Z. [Olamide Zaccheaus] has done a good job. We have three guys that rotate in between being the No. 3 receiver.

What Sirianni Meant: Dude, what are my options? I have a 34-year-old possession receiver and you know my feelings on giving too many snaps to kids from St. Joseph’s Prep (see: D’Andre Swift) so here we are. I told Howie to keep my boy Zach Pascal but he didn’t listen — hey, at least he could block and play special teams.

Eagles nfc east quez watkins
Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Quez Watkins (16) carries the ball against Washington Commanders safety Bobby McCain (20) during the second half of an NFL football game, Monday, Nov. 14, 2022, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Question: You mentioned about Eagles Defensive Coordinator Sean Desai’s role now with the defense. Why is it that he has retained his title as defensive coordinator, and is there a pathway back this season or the next where he goes back to calling defensive plays, and how would you describe that?

What Sirianni Said: Again, like I said, they’ve switched responsibilities, and Sean did a really good job helping out in the game on Monday both in the locker room at halftime and on the headsets. I know Matt [Patricia] valued his opinion and his vision and was really — I really admire how Sean went about his business last week. I think any of us that have been in a situation where things didn’t go the way we wanted it to go, you can go two ways with that.

What Sirianni Meant: Not my monkeys, not my zoo. Ask Howie. I love Sean Desai. I told him not to hire Matt Patricia in the first place, but he wanted to see how pissed off Slay would get if he did it.

Question: How do you feel QB Jalen Hurts has played the last three games?

What Sirianni Said: My mind is a little bit off three weeks ago from San Francisco. I don’t remember much about what happened there unless I watch the tape again. Like any of us, Jalen is going to want some plays back. We’re going to want some calls back. Everybody out there is going to want some plays back. We just have to get it back on track.

What Sirianni Meant: I’ve been on a three-week bender so my memory’s shot. But, to answer your question, Jalen looks like a three-legged dog out there. Why is that? Because he’s playing on a bum knee which he’s probably going to need surgery to fix in the offseason. Next question, jackass.

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts runs with the ball against the Seattle Seahawks during the second half of an NFL football game, Monday, Dec. 18, 2023, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Lindsey Wasson)

Question: I think you probably would agree that the standard hasn’t been met on either side.

What Sirianni Said: I just said that two seconds ago. Go ahead.

What Sirianni Meant: Listening isn’t one of your core values.

Question: Sure. I’m just prefacing the question. I think you would agree with that. When you look at the differences and the struggles offensively and defensively, what led you to make a coaching staff change on defense but not offense?

What Sirianni Said: We have to put the players in more positions to create explosive plays. But make no mistake about it, this offense is being run the exact same way the offense was run last year and the year before that. This offense is my offense; right? This is my offense.

What Sirianni Meant: Shane Steichen won’t return my calls. It’s his offense.

Exploring the Eagles’ offensive woes

What Sirianni Said: But make no mistake about it, this offense has been consistently similar throughout the three years. Yes, there are different things you do based off your personnel and different things you do based off the teams that you are playing and what’s working for you, but again, it all starts there with me. So I guess I’m not thinking that a change needs to be made there for multiple reasons, and that’s one big one.

What Sirianni Meant: I’m sure Howie will leak a coaching change to Jay Glazer on Sunday afternoon; I’m rooting for a Frank Reich return.

NASHVILLE, TN – OCTOBER 23: Indianapolis Colts head coach Frank Reich coaches during the Tennessee Titans game versus the Indianapolis Colts on October 23, 2022, at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, TN. (Photo by Bryan Lynn/Icon Sportswire)

Question: On that second interception was WR A.J. Brown the primary read? Why take a shot downfield in that situation where a shorter completion could have gotten you into field goal range?

What Sirianni Said: At times there we’ve seen you can get a pass interference there. It was what it was on that particular play, but if you get a pass interference call there and if a team is giving you a one-on-one shot for very similar to what happened on the other side of the ball, they ended up getting a one-on-one shot that had some different things there, and we’ve seen it.

What Sirianni Meant: I figured the refs owed us a pass interference call after making that bullshit call on James Bradberry in the Super Bowl. Also, screw A.J. Brown. This guy wants to keep complaining about targets, well, he’s going to get them!

Question: What do you have to see in these last three games, and I know you’re focused …

What Sirianni Said: I’m not worried about that. I’m worried about today. I’m going to go back up and game plan right now, so I don’t have time for any more questions, but I’m worried about today and that’s it because you cannot say this is what I’m worried about the next three games. You’re not going to be successful in this league doing that. You put your head down and work and get better at today.

What Sirianni Meant: I need to see Big Dom back on the sidelines. I lost my security blanket. These fans are mean. The media is annoying. I can’t wait to go back up to my office so I can crack a Yuengling and put the new Bradley Cooper movie on.

Philadelphia Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni reacts to a play during the second half of an NFL football game against the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday, Nov. 5, 2023, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

AP Photo/Matt Slocum