Brian Johnson

Q. Is QB Jalen Hurts escaping from the pocket too early? (Jeff McLane)

BRIAN JOHNSON: No, I think Jalen has great instincts and feel of how to create space for himself, create operational space in the pocket. I think that’s one of the parts of his game, one of the aspects of the game where he has just a great feel for what he needs in terms of being able to create enough space to operate for him in the pocket.

Q. On the last interception, QB Jalen Hurts backpedaled because there was pressure. Was that unnecessary? (Jeff McLane)

BRIAN JOHNSON: Was that unnecessary? No, I just think any time you’re back there in the pocket, you’re just trying to create that space to find windows to maneuver the defense.

I think that’s just a part of playing quarterback. You’ll see guys try to — there are really just four directions you can move: You’re either moving backwards, forward or sideways or diagonal, I guess.

As you start to navigate those windows and try to find lanes in the course of the pocket, that’s something that every quarterback does is just try to find ways to navigate those tight windows.

Q. Along those lines, he was under pressure a little more than he’s accustomed to being. Was there an accumulative effect in that game as it went on for him? (Dave Zangaro)

BRIAN JOHNSON: I don’t think it was. I think the biggest thing is just treating each snap and each rush individually and not letting one affect the next. Each pocket declares a little bit differently, and how you maneuver that pocket will in turn have to declare differently.

I think just having that mindset and understanding that each play is independent and taking that mindset I think is something that’s really important.

Q. They shut down most of your first runs, your first five or six runs didn’t really produce a lot of yards. When that happens, what’s your philosophy as far as sticking with it and trying to make it work or do you just figure it’s not there today, we’re just going to go another direction? (Reuben Frank)

BRIAN JOHNSON: I think it just depends on the flow of the game and what you need in particular. Credit those guys, they did a great job defensively. Any time you score 14 points and turn the ball over four times, obviously not good enough. We just have to use this as an experience to learn and continue to grow and obviously get better than what we showed on Sunday.

Q. When you step back and look at the run pass ratio, are you okay with the way it went? (Dave Zangaro)

BRIAN JOHNSON: Yeah, that was fine. I think we have really good players at a bunch of different spots, and sometimes you look at some of these runs or some of these passes or extensions of the run game, when you start to add in some of the RPOs and the bubbles and the swing passes and things like that, it’s just space touches. A lot of times, those are extensions of the run game.

So, when you look at a stat sheet and you see it’s 45 passes or however many passes it is, but I think that varies when you talk about that type of pass and the drop back pass.

Q. How did those things change when T Lane Johnson wasn’t on the field? (Zach Berman)

BRIAN JOHNSON: Yeah, any time you take off one of the best players in the league at their position, I think there’s obviously going to be some difference and some change. Lane is obviously an elite player, and he has been for a really, really long time, and he obviously means a lot to what we do offensively and what he brings to the table.

And there’s no different than some of our other great plays whether it’s [C] Jason [Kelce], [WR] A.J. [Brown], [WR DeVonta Smith] Smitty, all those guys. Everybody has great value and Lane is no different. He’s a spectacular player and when he’s out there, he’s one of the best in the business.

Q. When you have a player like T/G Jack Driscoll that comes in cold or any offensive lineman comes off the bench, is there a tendency to let’s see how he does before we maybe give a little bit of help to that side? How do you think he did when he came in? (Ed Kracz)

BRIAN JOHNSON: Well, we have a ton of confidence in Jack. He’s played in some big games for us over the course of the past three years. He’s played multiple positions. He’s tough, he’s smart, so he’s a guy that we have a lot of faith in as a staff, and a guy that has done some really, really good things in his career here. He’s a guy that obviously we’ve depended on throughout the course of his career, whether it was in the ’21 season or even in ’22.

So, there’s times where he’s had to play a bunch, and I know he prepares like crazy to get himself ready to play, and that’s the expectation.

Q. Is there any point where you decide, okay, maybe he needs some help with this, not just T/G Jack Driscoll, but any linemen? (Ed Kracz)

BRIAN JOHNSON: Yeah, there’s always protection consideration, particularly you look at what we did, I guess it was two weeks ago in L.A. A lot of the focus was how do we handle [Rams T] Aaron Donald, and different strategies and different matchups present those types of challenges that happen in-game or leading up to the game. We’ve just got to do a great job of being ready to adjust on the fly.

Q. On the final interception, what did the tape show you? (Zach Berman)

BRIAN JOHNSON: Just credit to the Jets. They made a good play. Obviously in that situation, protecting the two-point lead, we are trying to get the first down and end the football game. Unfortunately for us, we didn’t do a good enough job on that play.

Ultimately, that always starts with me. I’ll take full responsibility for not being able to get that done. But you look on the other side of it, is credit the defense, they did a good job. They made a play, and we weren’t good enough to get it done.

Q. How about this Dolphins defense. What sort of challenges do they present for you? (Ed Kracz)

BRIAN JOHNSON: Well, you know, obviously it’s a very well-coached defense. [Dolphins Defensive Coordinator] Coach [Vic] Fangio, he spent some time here. They have some fantastic players. [Dolphins LB Bradley] Chubb and [Dolphins LB] Jaelan Phillips. They have really, really good edge rushers, [Dolphins CB Xavien] Howard playing corner. They have some guys that have played a lot of ball, and they are a really, really good scheme and they play hard. They execute.

Just like any other week, we’ve got to come out here and be ready to go. It will be an awesome environment, awesome atmosphere to get back in the Linc on Sunday night. I know everybody is really, really hungry to go out there and ready to perform.

Q. That time that you spent with Dolphins Defensive Coordinator Vic Fangio last year, how much of a resource is that as you’re planning for him now? (E.J. Smith)

BRIAN JOHNSON: I think any time that you get a chance to be around someone, you pick up tidbits, and you just try to be a sponge and learn as much as you can. I always admire guys who have done this at a really high level for such a long time. I mean Coach Fangio has been coaching in this league for probably almost 40 years. There’s so much knowledge, there’s so much football, there’s so many things that he’s seen throughout the course of his career and there’s just little things that pop up that you can always learn from.

I’ve been truly blessed in my career to be around some coaches who have a lot of experience and been able to soak up as much knowledge from those guys as humanly possible. And sometimes it may be some of the simplest things.

I’ll never forget my time at Florida. [Former University of Florida Head] Coach [Steve] Spurrier would walk in every once in a while from his office on the third floor and he would just come and spend five minutes with you and you feel like, man, I really got something from that. And it could have been just a really, really simple message or a really, really simple idea.

But any time you get a chance to learn from others and have that growth mindset and use it in a way to make yourself a better coach or better player or whatever it is, I think those opportunities are always welcome.

Q. Going back to T/G Jack Driscoll for a second, obviously you have two subs on the right side there next to each other, I don’t know how much G Sua Opeta and T/G Jack Driscoll have played together, if at all or even taken reps together. How much does that compound the whole situation there with protection? (Reuben Frank)

BRIAN JOHNSON: Well, I think those guys, maybe they have not played together in games, but they have played together whether it’s scout team work or when you’re in the second group or all of training camp, that was the combination.

And then [Run Game Coordinator/Offensive Line] Coach [Jeff Stoutland] Stout does a great job throughout the course of the week of getting the guys the necessary reps in case stuff like this happens. So, there’s always contingency plans, and those reps are always set out like that accordingly.

Q. Knowing QB Jalen Hurts the way you do, what do you think it will do for his competitive juices to have Dolphins QB Tua Tagovailoa on the other sideline? (Tim McManus)

BRIAN JOHNSON: Jalen is the ultimate competitor; I think regardless of who we are playing. I think one of the beautiful things about Jalen is his approach. His consistency will always remain the same in terms of how he gets ready, how he enjoys competing, how he enjoys the process of getting ready to play, and then ultimately going out there and playing.

So, I think Jalen will be fired up to play just because he’s Jalen.

Q. What perspective do you think Dolphins Defensive Coordinator Vic Fangio has on your scheme and personnel from his time here last year? (Zach Berman)

BRIAN JOHNSON: Well, yeah, he was here so he knows some of the things we like to do. But ultimately, it’s going to be a battle on the field. We have got to do a great job of putting the players in a great position to go out there and execute what we’re doing, and I’m sure he’s preaching the same thing. So that familiarity in terms of being here, I think it obviously goes both ways.

Q. Do you have to alter your prep because of it? (Dave Zangaro)

BRIAN JOHNSON: Not necessarily. I think part of this, too, is you’re not in their meetings. So just like anything else, you have got to be ready to adjust on game day.

So, I think that’s really, really something that’s kind of shown its head throughout the course of the season is I think one of the most important things as a staff is we have to be ready for the unknown and be ready to adjust accordingly.

Q. What did you see or observe in your conversations with QB Jalen Hurts since that game on Sunday about how he’s responded? (Zach Berman)

BRIAN JOHNSON: There’s no question in my mind of how everybody is going to respond. I think we have a building full of fierce competitors, and when you lose a football game, it sucks. The amount of work and effort that you put in to prepare throughout the week, and ultimately when it does not go your way, it’s very disappointing. It’s very disappointing.

I think [Head Coach] Nick [Sirianni] always talks about this as well. It’s like, it’s very healthy to drag yourself through the mud in these situations and really take a deep look within. I think the first thing is like everybody is like, ‘okay, what could I have done better,’ and I think that’s a very, very natural reaction. I think that’s the correct reaction.

I know everybody in this building feels like there was something that they could have done to prevent that outcome. I think for us as an offense, it’s really about how we respond, and I know we have a great group of men in this building, a great group of leaders on offense that will respond the right way.

Q. QB Jalen Hurts talks about how he responds to adversity and how those moments are defining moments for him. As someone who has known him as long as you have, where do you think that comes from and has he always been that way? (E.J. Smith)

BRIAN JOHNSON: Yeah. I think as long as I’ve known him, in terms of a football setting, absolutely. And I think that’s every great player. When you deal with sports, there’s going to be disappointment, and we try to prevent that as much as possible. Obviously, we didn’t do a good enough job this past Sunday, and that was very, very evident and very clear, but the only goal now is to fix it and move on. And you truly have to have that mindset and that requires that mental toughness to correct obvious mistakes, move forward with enthusiasm and intention that you have another opportunity to go out there and get it right.