Just another game.
It's obviously not just another game, but Nick Sirianni’s message to his team this week is that it is.
No matter how much is at stake, when 1 o'clock Sunday rolls around, just keep doing what you've been doing.
It's worked so far.
Sirianni repeated that mantra in several different forms on Monday, and you can bet he’ll be repeating it to his team numerous times during the week leading up to the Eagles’ wild-card game Sunday against the Buccaneers in Tampa.
Just another game.
Trust the process.
“This is a playoff game, as we know, but we're not going into this game saying, ‘This is different than any other game we play,’” Sirianni said. “And we're not going to tell these guys they’ve got to do something extraordinary to win this football game or extraordinary because it's a playoff game now.
“No. It's going to take everybody's best effort, but the process remains the same of how we go about our business. When it's about the process, when you're process-driven and you're results-aware, then you don't ride the highs and lows of the season.
“We feel like we've been playing playoff games for the last month of the season now. We didn't have a very big margin of error with the way we started off.
“I know from the outside, it looks like it's a bigger game and everything, but … our process remains the same through it all, and I'm confident in our process.”
Sirianni has been to the playoffs with the Chiefs in 2010 under Todd Haley, with the Chargers in 2013 under Mike McCoy and with the Colts under Frank Reich in 2018 and 2020.
So even though he’s a rookie head coach, he’s been around postseason football enough to know the moment can be too big for some players.
Only if you stick to the principles that got you here can you be at your best.
“We know how good a team that Tampa is,” Sirianni said. “That's going to be typical through the playoffs. Everybody that you're playing now has won their division or won enough games to get one of the three wildcard spots, so we know that every game from here on out is going to be a challenge. … Anybody can beat anybody at any time.
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“So that has been our process the entire year. We're going to stay the same way. I know it sounds cliché, but if you start doing anything different now in the playoffs than you've done the entire 17 weeks prior or 18 weeks prior, you've done the 17 or 18 weeks wrong.
“That's my philosophy, that's how I was raised in this business, and I think that's what good coaching is. If you're going to do something different this week, then you haven't prepared the right way for 18 weeks this season.”
There are 11 players left in the organization who were part of the Super Bowl team in 2017. Three are on Injured Reserve (Brandon Graham, Brandon Brooks, Isaac Seumalo), and two are specialists (Jake Elliott and Rick Lovato). The others are Jason Kelce, Lane Johnson, Fletcher Cox, Rodney McLeod, Derek Barnett and Greg Ward.
“We have some great players on this football team that have played in the ultimate ball game, in the Super Bowl, so what a great opportunity those guys have that were here in 2017 to lead the group going through the playoffs,” Sirianni said.
“Some of our guys that have never been in the playoffs or who are rookies, shoot, Jalen (Hurts) has never played in the playoffs, DeVonta (Smith) has never played in the playoffs, Landon (Dickerson) has never played in the playoffs. But they've played in national championship games, and those games are huge. They have the same type of hoopla that surround them.
“I'm confident. We have winners on this football team. That's why we're in the position we're in now. We have (players) on this team that know how to win. We go about the same process. Don't make it bigger than what it is. We understand the consequences of, 'You lose you go home, you win you move on.'
“The process remains the same because every game in the NFL that you play is big. If you don't treat it like that, then you're not going to be in the position we're in right now. So don't change now and keep it rolling.”