When word got out that Nick Sirianni was asking prospective draft picks to shoot baskets on a mini basketball hoop, some people thought he was nuts. Quarterback Sam Howell called it the “craziest thing” he’d ever been asked to do in an interview.
Sirianni defended it by explaining how he wanted to loosen guys ups before talking football. The Philadelphia Eagles coach wanted to get their competitive juices flowing while having fun. He recalled playing a game of H-O-R-S-E with Gardner Minshew at the 2018 NFL Scouting Combine. It left a lasting impression on both men.
“It benefited us this year just me knowing a little bit about him and what makes him tick a little bit,” Sirianni said of Minshew. “But, again, you might come away from that and say, ‘I didn’t get anything from that.’ One thing we do realize is that it’s a good ice breaker.
“It does lower the guard of the player a little bit to know that we like to have fun, we like to compete, and now let’s get into the interview and get more of that information of what we want about your love for the game, your knowledge of the game, et cetera.”
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Sirianni Shows Off Hoops Skills on NFL Network
A video showing Sirianni drain buckets like James Harden was going viral on Saturday. He got into a fierce shooting competition with Kimmi Chex on NFL Network and showed everyone the true value of competition.
“I think it’s awesome,” said NFLPA agent Derek Hawkridge. “I think it’s awesome because you want someone with grit, right? And competitiveness plays a part in someone’s grit. Are you willing to do whatever you need to do to make sure that you can succeed?
“When you have a short amount of time to spend with these young men, I think any type of insight you can receive on who they are and what their makeup is, it only makes sense. People may think it’s weird, people may think it’s funny, but I think there’s a method to the madness.”
Important to See Players at NFL Combine
Some coaches don’t make the trip to Indianapolis for the NFL Scouting Combine. They let their scouts and general managers do the heavy lifting when it comes to getting to know the rookie class. Not Sirianni. He believes in establishing those inter-personal relationships from the jump. It’s extremely important to him.
“You’re able to sit there, look them in the eye, see his body language, see how he answers different questions, and then to see him workout in person,” Sirianni told reporters. “Again, this is a piece of the puzzle. There are many pieces to the puzzle that go into it. We have 30 visits coming up and we have pro days and private workouts and Zoom interviews. There are so many different opportunities to meet the player.”