Nick Sirianni Comments on Struggling Eagles Player’s ‘Back Fall’

Derek Barnett

Getty Eagles defensive end Derek Barnett has 20.5 career sacks against 24 career penalties.

Frustrations appeared to be boiling over in the fourth quarter when Derek Barnett was penalized for a neutral zone infraction. Fletcher Cox and Josh Sweat both darted dagger eyes toward the inconsistent defensive end after the play.

It was a crucial third-and-six for the Philadelphia Eagles who held a one-point advantage with 13:02 remaining. Instead the Los Angeles Chargers received a fresh set of downs and took the lead three plays later with a touchdown and two-point conversion. Barnett’s bone-headed gaffe wasn’t the sole reason why the Eagles lost the game. Chalk that up to an overall lack of failure from the defensive line to get pressure on Justin Herbert. However, Barnett has been the team’s poster boy for costly penalties over his five seasons in midnight green.

Barnett, the 14th overall pick in 2017, has 20.5 career sacks against 24 career penalties. Head coach Nick Sirianni hasn’t seen a majority of those up close but he’s not numb to the problem. He called Barnett’s mistake against the Chargers a “back fall” while pointing out the positives from Sunday.

“As far as Derek goes, he’s had two of those big ones in third-down scenarios, but I do believe, just like the rest of the team, we’re trending in the right way with our penalty situation,” Sirianni told reporters. “So, Derek is a defensive lineman, and it’s like a – I don’t want to say it’s exactly like this, but it does have the elements of a tight end who drops a pass. It does happen. It can’t happen in that situation, but it does happen. But I believe Derek is trending in the right direction and he had a back fall yesterday.”

Sirianni also commented on the emotional aspect of it. He could sense the frustration from Cox and Sweat after watching the tape.

“As far as the body language, I think that there are things that happen in the string of a game where our emotions show,” Sirianni said. “Listen, I’m an emotional guy, so I don’t want to be judged on things that happen sometimes in the game with my emotions, because it is an emotional game.”

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“We will be excited when we get Brandon back, but we are still in discussion there with what that is,” Sirianni said. “He’s going to have to go practice when it’s time to, but obviously we talk through all those things.”

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