People had a lot of jokes about Nick Sirianni comparing the Philadelphia Eagles to flowers. The metaphor was meant to indicate growth from within as the team slowly improves from week to week. Then, the Eagles exploded for 350 total yards in a 44-6 win.
The offensive outburst was no laughing matter as it ended a two-game losing skid. Jason Kelce was featured in a video released by the Eagles where he breaks the team down following Sirianni’s post-game speech in the locker room. In it, the All-Pro center shouts: “Keep them roots growing baby, roots on three!”
Kelce’s wording seemed carefully plotted, a fun way to take heat off Sirianni who caught flak for it. Or was it just a spur of the moment thing? Kelce denied there was any pre-meditation behind the celebration when he met with reporters to discuss the Los Angeles Chargers. He was doubling down on the theme.
“He [Sirianni] asked me to break it down, it wasn’t pre-meditated. I went up there and roots felt right,” Kelce said. “That was the theme of the week. We won the game, but the whole point of this thing was we were supposed to keep growing, keep getting better. We’re still not where we need to be, we’re still not good enough, so it just felt like the right thing to do.”
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Don’t Pigeon-Hole Their Identity
The Eagles rushed for a season-high 236 yards against Detroit in a grinding, smash-mouth kind of game. Four touchdowns came on the ground, with the other one going to the defense on a fumble recovery. The offensive linemen actually lobbied Sirianni to keep running it after picking up 36 yards on their first five plays. He listened to them.
“We can definitely be physical,” Kelce said. “I think we’ve shown if we need to be [physical] or if we’re asked to be [physical] we can definitely do that.”
There has been a lot of talk about the Eagles’ identity on offense since the final whistle. Jalen Hurts addressed it immediately after the game, calling it a “melting pot” of pass and run. Kelce has since added his two cents to the identity question with one request: don’t pigeon-hole them into one thing.
“People ask, is that the formula for success for us? Or is that your identity? The moment you make it a formula or an identity or whatever, you become predictable,” Kelce said. “And I think at the end of the day the last thing you want to be on Sunday is predictable. I want to go out there and win football games.
“And we have a good offensive line, we can definitely run the ball. We have good backs, we have a quarterback who can do it all, and I think we’re very fortunate in that regard. We can do a lot of different things.”
Hurts, Sirianni Growing Together
People on the outside may have been having a good chuckle over Sirianni’s flower speech. Inside the locker room, no one blinked an eye. Multiple players went on record to support the head coach. They knew the point he was trying to illustrate with roots growing underneath the soil.
One of his core principles is to connect with his guys, something that Hurts noticed early on in training camp. He also appreciates Sirianni’s passion and energy.
“He brings great intensity and he has a good purpose for what he’s trying to do,” Hurts said of Sirianni. “He goes out there and he wants to affect everyone around him. He wants to build good relationships with everybody and that goes a long way. So it’s been good for us to continue to know him, him to continue to know us as a football team, and us to kind of grow together.”