HomeDa Birds NewsNick Sirianni Supports Jalen Hurts; Is the Support Reciprocated?

Nick Sirianni Supports Jalen Hurts; Is the Support Reciprocated?

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PHILADELPHIA – Now we know.

The throw that was picked off to end the Philadelphia Eagles’ loss to the Seattle Seahawks, after they blew a late lead in Seattle three weeks ago, wasn’t to try to draw a pass interference penalty like head coach Nick Sirianni said at the time.

A.J. Brown, who Jalen Hurts’ pass was intended for in what turned into a miserable 20-17 loss on that Monday night, was a case of Brown and Hurts going rogue.

And Sirianni is fine with that, fine enough with it to spin it that way, to take all the blame on his shoulders and absolve his players of the blame. The Eagles’ coach is the very definition of a players’ coach.


Jalen Hurts and A.J. Brown.

© Eric Hartline, USA TODAY

“I think that’s just what a lot of coaches do, and that’s something I’ve always done and always thought when a coach did that for me was appreciative of it,” said Sirianni. “Also knew that coach was going to correct it after the fact.

“But knowing that when I played – and that was a long time ago – knowing a coach had my back was really important to me. You’re a product of the things you went through. I felt like that would be important to them as well, and then we move on and correct the mistakes we make from that, myself and the players.”

Sirianni is also fine with something else – Hurts going off-script when he sees something that may work other than the play that is called.

“He has total freedom to do what he needs to do to make a play.,” said the coach. “Sometimes that’s going to work and sometimes that’s not going to work. …when you have success on offense, you’re going to see different things that you didn’t anticipate getting on tape.

“That’s happened to us multiple times this year, where there are things that are happening that you don’t anticipate on tape, and sometimes you make those adjustments on the sideline, sometimes the player makes the adjustments.”

In the case of Seahawks safety Julian Love intercepting Hurts’ throw to Brown in the final seconds of loss No. 4 on the season in Seattle, the play clearly did not work.

Interestingly, though, Hurts had a chance to take accountability for the throw days later when asked about it.

This was the exchange with Hurts two days after the loss:

Reporter: What were you thinking on the final interception?

Hurts: I was just trying to give him a shot down the field.

Reporter: Nick said the team was looking for PI, was that what you were thinking?

Hurts: Uh huh (yes).

Reporter: Is that the way it’s taught?

Hurts: That’s not the way it’s taught. You’re not hoping for that, but it’s situational football and we came up on the short end of that stick.

The quarterback had a chance to take his coach off the hook with his silly response of hoping for a pass interference call. Hurts didn’t do it, and it would have been simple to do.

All he had to say was something like the truth? Something like: “I saw something I thought would work and it didn’t. It’s my fault, not Nick Sirianni’s.”

The coach may have the players’ backs, but do the players have their coach’s back?

In this case, it doesn’t seem to be the case.

Related: Eagles Rule Out DeVonta Smith vs. Giants, Swift Questionable

Sirianni alluded to having addressed the play with Hurts afterward, probably on what he saw, why he thought it would work, and why it didn’t. The coach, though, never goes into detail about private conversations with players.

“I just think there are things that don’t need to be addressed to the outside world, and we keep things in-house,” he said.

“Same thing with a play. Nobody really needs to know in those scenarios. All that matters is that we know, and all that matters is that we get better from whatever we did from it. If the play worked, we get better from that. If the play didn’t work, we get better from that.”

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