Nick Sirianni Has Already Mastered the NFL Coaching Art of Saying Nothing
Eventually, all coaches learn how to do coach speak. Players, too. Ultimately, we’re talking about the art of using a lot of words but saying absolutely nothing at the same time. Mike Groh was the master craftsman.
It’s understood. Nobody is divulging secrets to the media. You’re not giving away the playbook or handing out bulletin board material or things of that nature. You get canned quotes because the subjects in question want to play it safe.
Nick Sirianni has been relatively open during his first year speaking consistently with the media, but Thursday he skillfully used more than 250 words to say nothing via this exchange:
Q. I got to two parter for you: Are you going to rest your starters in the finale, including Jalen Hurts? If not, with the guys you have on COVID and the little control you guys have on seeding, what would be the logic of playing those starters in this game? (Mike Kaye)
NICK SIRIANNI: That’s still something that we’re discussing and we’re working through. So, everybody is ready to go. Even the guys that are out of the building right now are ready to go this week because of the preparation that we’ve had by everybody throughout the week. And so that’s just still something – again, we’re sorting through. Every situation will be looked at differently. We are very aware that we don’t control our own destiny, as far as the six or seven seed, like you referred to.
So, again, we’re not in control over when the guys get back with COVID. We’re not in control over guys that are dealing with some bumps and bruises and injuries. So, everybody is being discussed, as far as – everybody is being treated as a different scenario. We’ve discussed all these, we are continuing to discuss all these, but our goal is to win this football game against a rival. I know that’s their goal as well, and that should be all of our goals.
So, we’re ready to go. We are prepared and not – and everybody is prepared because we know there are a lot of different scenarios as far as guys’ availability and stuff like that at this particular point. We’re not coming out with an injury report yet because we have a little bit more time to discuss that. We had an early practice/walk-through, so we have time to continue to talk about that. So, we’re going to use all our time and we’ll let you guys know as soon as possible with some of that stuff.
But we’re going through a lot of discussions right now.
It is, of course, bullshit. Sirianni knows exactly what the Eagles are gonna do on Saturday night. He isn’t going to show his hand because the Cowboys and Eagles could end up playing each other in the playoffs, and blah blah blah etc. You know this.
RE: the Chris Mortensen story about Gardner Minshew walking into Sirianni’s office and asking for the starting QB job, a response to that:
Q. On the topic of the personalities of your quarterbacks, there was a report last week that QB Gardner Minshew came to your office after the Jets game, asking what it’ll take to earn the starting job. I guess how do you recall that happening, what was your response, and what does that say about Gardner? (Zach Berman)
NICK SIRIANNI: I don’t want to report anything or talk about any conversations that I had with any player in my office. That’s a conversation between myself and that player. I really, really, really value the connection part of this whole thing. I love being on a team and I love being a part of a team and being able to connect with the coaches and the players on this team.
So, I don’t ever want to violate that relationship and that privacy we have with those. But I will say about Gardner, he is a competitor. He is locked in, whether he’s the backup, whether he’s playing, right? He’s been in both scenarios this year with the Jets game, playing in that game, not knowing if he was playing in that game until late in the week. The guy is going to prepare like crazy, no matter what the situation, and he’s competitive. Of course, every backup that we have on this team, if they didn’t want to be the starter, I would have an issue with them being the backup.
Gardner has played a lot of football in this league. I got a lot of confidence in him that he’s our backup and he’s the player that he is – again, we always talk about wanting your backup quarterback to be able to come in and function and give you a chance to win.
And we saw that. He was awesome in the game that he played against the Jets. And so, I would be disappointed if Gardner didn’t want to be the starter, but obviously Jalen is our starter.
Again, an expected response. What’s he gonna say? “Yeah Gardner asked for the job but I laughed and told him to get out.” He’s not gonna say that. Good on coach for talking about the importance of keeping things in house.
So what’s the point of this article? Well, I think it’s interesting how everybody thought Sirianni was a disaster when he did his first press conference. He looked like a fish out of water. It was never gonna work! (sarcasm).
Some folks said ‘hold your horses, give him time to get comfortable,‘ and that’s what we’re seeing now. He’s giving what he can, while being protective of information that obviously is going to stay in-house. Of course you’d like to learn as much as possible, but he seems much more “in command” in front of a microphone and he’s winning on the field as well, so you gotta tip your hat to the guy. He’s really settling in as a first-time head coach, and you can tell by going over some of the answers he’s giving at these pressers.