Nick Sirianni put a picture of a flower up in a recent meeting to show the team their roots are growing. They might be under the ground, buried from view, but things are happening in the soil. The analogy was an awkward one for a football coach to bring up, yet Sirianni’s point seemed to resonate in the locker room.
The Philadelphia Eagles need to embrace their new jobs as part-time botanists and rise from the dirt. Ten weeks remain in this downward-spiraling 2021 campaign, with a date with the winless Detroit Lions on the horizon in Week 8.
Sirianni started to lay down that flower foundation during the team’s first practice on Wednesday, October 27. His five core principles – compete, accountability, football IQ, fundamentals, connect – remain the fertilizer.
“This is what I said to the team today is that I said the results aren’t there right now, but what’s going on here is that there’s growth under the soil,” Sirianni told reporters. “I put a picture of a flower up, and it’s coming through the ground, and the roots are growing out. The roots are continuing to grow out. Everybody wants to see results. Shoot, nobody wants to see results more than us, right? We want to see results too.
“But it’s really important that the foundation is being built and that the roots are growing out. And the only way the roots grow out every single day and they grow stronger and they grow better is if we all water, we all fertilize, we all do our part, each individual, each individual coach, each individual player, everybody in the building, that we do our part to water to make sure that, when it does pop out, it really pops out and it grows.”
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Hurts Comments on ‘Productive Meeting’
Jalen Hurts has been the king of analogies since arriving in South Philly. Credit (or blame) Nick Saban for that cliched habit. You can’t fault the second-year quarterback for always bringing positivity to press conferences. It was no different coming off a 33-22 loss to the Las Vegas Raiders.
“We had a very productive team meeting today,” Hurts told reporters. “We’re right there. It’s all self-inflicted things that have stopped us and, really, we’ve stopped ourselves in a lot of these situations. So we just have to overcome it and stop beating ourselves.”
The confident 23-year-old wasn’t afraid to elaborate on Sirianni’s root-driven message. It’s flower season in Philadelphia.
“Coach, he voiced himself, he voiced his opinion,” Hurts said. “I believe that we just want to build, you know it’s time. Why not now? Why not now? For us, as a football team, why not go take that [next] step? I believe we have everything here that we need.”
Darius Slay Talks Detroit Reunion
Darius Slay spent seven seasons with the Detroit Lions after going 36th overall in 2013. He tallied 19 of his 22 career interceptions there. He appeared to have hard feelings on the way out the door, specifically between Slay and former coach Matt Patricia who clashed horns publicly. But the three-time Pro Bowler denied any animosity, maybe because Patricia was fired.
“Nah, it was great how it ended because, like I said, the situation was what it was,” Slay said. “But I’m here now [in Philly], ready to work, glad I’m here, and trying to do the best I can to help this team.”
Slay was sent to the Eagles in exchange for a third-rounder and fifth-rounder in 2020. He thanked the Lions’ organizations for drafting him, including former general manager Martin Mayhew and the Motor City football fans.
“That’s like my second home,” Slay said. “I got a lot of family there, built a lot of good relationships. Appreciate the fans there.”