PHILADELPHIA: Philadelphia Eagles first-year coach Nick Sirianni was careful during the preseason not to reveal his plans for the offense and how he will adapt it to the forces of quarterback Jalen Hurts .
The big reveal will come on Sunday when the Eagles begin their road season against the Atlanta Falcons.
Sirianni, the former Indianapolis Colts offensive coordinator, was hired by the Eagles in January and took a hands-on approach with his starting QB, sharing some duties with offensive coordinator Shane Steichen and quarterbacks coach Brian Johnson.
I’m at every quarterback meeting. I’m in all the offensive meetings and quarterback meetings, Sirianni said. We run quarterback meetings a little differently. Brian has a role he’s directing, Shane has a role he’s directing, and then I have a role I’m directing, when I was talking about the plays that were going on that week and when I was watching the movie.
Quarterback meetings last longer. … They start earlier, they last longer and that’s the way it is, and they were there all the time. A part of you, with the quarterback, you have no choice but to get closer.
Despite Sirianni’s intense focus on the quarterback position, the relatively inexperienced Hurts still have a say in the offense.
If Sirianni, Steichen and Johnson all like something and Hurts doesn’t like it, we won’t lead it, the head coach said.
Hurts, a sophomore from Alabama, started four games for the Eagles last season and became the clear starter when Philadelphia traded Carson Wentz to the Colts during the offseason.
He was made a team captain, an honor he says signifies the world and reflects the work he has done.
I don’t take it lightly, said Hurts.
Hurts and Sirianni have bonded with football and family. Hurts’ father, Averion, is a high school coach in Texas, and Sirianni’s brother, Mike, is a coach at Washington & Jefferson College.
We built a really good relationship in a short period of time, said Hurts. He said he and Sirianni are very similar in many ways, including their competitiveness and their sense of humor.
As for offense, Hurts said that while he has a contribution, it’s Sirianni’s system, and the adjustments are more if I see it like he’s doing than the other way around.
There are a lot of unknowns before the season opens. The Falcons also have a freshman coach in Arthur Smith who, like Sirianni, has been careful to keep his game plans vanilla during the preseason.
Dean Pees is Atlanta’s new defensive coordinator, and Sirianni has studied how Pees’ defenses in Baltimore and Tennessee tried to contain quarterbacks like Hurts.
Sometimes you don’t know, Sirianni said. So you have to go, it doesn’t matter if it’s Jalen or… Philip Rivers or Andrew Luck, you’re always trying to look at someone like you, right?
NOTES: Right guard Brandon Brooks (knee), offensive lineman Landon Dickerson (knee), safety back Rodney McLeod (knee) and linebacker Davion Taylor (calf) have been restricted in practice. … Asked about not having to prepare for wide receiver Julio Jones, now with the Titans, cornerback Darius Slay said Calvin Ridley is a legitimate No.1 receiver and one of the best runners in league road.
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