Nick Sirianni knows there’s no way he can hold his players accountable if he doesn’t hold himself accountable.
So there was a lot of accountability going on at the NovaCare Complex this week.
Sunday was not a good day for Sirianni or his football team. After a crisp, clean, efficient debut of Sirianni’s offense in Atlanta, the 49ers game was marked by poor play calling and poor execution.
And Sirianni isn’t afraid to take the blame.
The rookie head coach was hard on himself Thursday when asked about his personal self-scouting process.
“The amount of time that I spend self-correcting is a lot,” Sirianni said. “I mean, you just got to believe me. I spend a lot of time self-evaluating myself before I even do anything with the team.
“So the amount of time I beat myself up on calls, and, I mean, I drug myself through the mud pretty good this week, you know? Hey, I should have. There were plays that didn't work.”
It was only his second game as a head coach, his second game as an NFL play caller, but the offense never got into sync, Jalen Hurts never got into a rhythm, the wide receivers only caught one pass after the first quarter and the Eagles had just three plays of 15 yards or more.
It all added up to a desultory 17-11 loss to the 49ers at the Linc.
And for all his talk about staying even keel and not getting too high or too low, Sirianni admitted that he needed to give himself a little pep talk after his first loss as a head coach.
“What I said to myself coming off of that (game) … at some point, you’ve got to switch,” he said. “You’ve got to switch your mode and be like, ‘No, I'm here because I'm a good coach and I'm ready to go and get our guys in the best position to beat Dallas as I possibly can.’
“And there's got to be a switch that flips. And so what helped me this week is just the preparation. ‘Hey, trust your preparation, trust what you did all week, trust the seven hours you spent on third down that you want to make that call. The other seven hours on red zone that you made educated decisions here, trust that process.’
"Trust your process, stick to your gut, trust your process, be ready to adjust. And that's just, again, get better from the mistakes that you made.”
How do you get better as a play caller when the only chance you get to do it is on game days?
Sirianni said he’ll lean on his staff and his offensive coaches, most of whom have some play calling experience on some level of football.
“That's been the message to myself and then with the staff, just continuing to use the guys on this staff that have play calling experience and that are good at what they do,” he said.
“I look at Jim Bob (Cooter), he's got play calling experience, Shane (Steichen) has play call experience, Kevin (Patullo) has it, Jason (Michael) has play calling experience, Stout has good experience there, Brian Johnson has play calling experience.
“I mean, my goodness, I’ve got great guys at my disposal to help me make good decisions. And so my thought is there, again, trust your process of what I went through and what this staff has gone through all week and then lean on guys that have had good experience calling plays in this league.”