Q. On the second touchdown pass to WR A.J. Brown, was that the play QB Jalen Hurts went to the line with? (Dave Zangaro)
BRIAN JOHNSON: Yeah, those guys made a great play. Ultimately, right there you’re trying to get the first down and get into that, but it was a situation where those two guys made a fantastic play and were able to connect for a shot and get in the end zone.
Q. Was that the play he went to the line with, though? (Dave Zangaro)
BRIAN JOHNSON: Yeah, it was a pass play to try to get the first down.
Q. I know Head Coach Nick Sirianni addressed it, but I just want to give you the chance. The third down run to RB Kenny Gainwell, what was the thought process for why that’s the best play in that situation? (Zach Berman)
BRIAN JOHNSON: Just in terms of managing the game, there’s always those situations on those third-and-long field goal range type deals where there’s a couple schools of thought of strategy and how you want to play that scenario and it works out a couple different ways. There’s been times where we’ve done that and it’s hit and you’ve scored, or you’ve gotten yourself in a position to go for it on fourth down. Unfortunately, it didn’t work that time and you have to be accountable for that.
For me in particular, we’ve got to try to continue to do the best job we can to put our guys in a position to have success on an every-play basis.
Q. Head Coach Nick Sirianni was asked about QB Jalen Hurts doing more to protect himself, which makes sense, but has it limited his ability to be maybe a little more elusive when he is running? Sometimes it doesn’t look like he’s as explosive. Has it altered his running style because he has to be more cognizant? (Jeff McLane)
BRIAN JOHNSON: I think it’s always a fine line and a balancing act. Obviously, you want to keep your quarterback out of harm’s way. It’s a really, really long season. You have to do a great job of keeping him upright. He has to continually use his instincts and use everything that he has at his disposal to be the best player that he is, and his legs are definitely a part of that equation.
So, I think for us, not only as a staff, but for Jalen as well, it’s just continuing to find that proper balance in terms of him being able to use all of his God-given ability play-in and play-out.
Q. As his play-caller, are you cognizant of that added emphasis to make sure he’s protecting himself? (E.J. Smith)
BRIAN JOHNSON: I think as the play-caller, you have to be cognizant of everything. There’s a lot of different variables that take place throughout the course of a series, throughout the course of a game, and ultimately, the job is to call plays that work and try to put the guys in the best position possible and making sure that we’re scoring points. I think we just have to continue to find that balance and find that rhythm and continue to press forward.
Q. From your standpoint, I asked Head Coach Nick Sirianni earlier this week, when it comes to getting TE Dallas Goedert involved, it’s been a different guy every week. He said he wasn’t concerned. Can you guys put a finger on why the football has not been going to him? (John McMullen)
BRIAN JOHNSON: There’s been some opportunity. It’s been pretty strange because he’s had some opportunities where the ball could have or should have went his way, and for whatever reason, there might have been a breakdown in the play or a flushing of the pocket or something like that. Dallas is a fantastic player. We do have to do everything we can to try to get him involved early and often.
But I think it just goes to show his mindset, his selflessness, being a team player and understanding that he still impacts the game in so many other ways that don’t necessarily show up on the stat sheet. If you go back and watch some of these early, early games and just what he does on the line of scrimmage, how he draws coverage, it’s still having a positive impact on the game. It’s no surprise because he is one of the best players at his position in the NFL, but ultimately, we do have to continue to try to do a better job of making sure that all of the skill position players are doing a great job contributing to our success as an offense.
Q. Of all the offensive line spots, it seems like the right guard spot has the most options. Why is G Sua Opeta the best option there if G/C Cam Jurgens is out? (Zach Berman)
BRIAN JOHNSON: Those guys do a great job and [Run Game Coordinator/Offensive Line Coach Jeff Stoutland] Stout is awesome in terms of getting those guys to develop and getting everybody the necessary reps they need to be ready to go and having the confidence to put whoever we need to put in the game, that they can go out there and perform.
So, for us, Sua, can’t say enough good things about how he came in that game and performed on Sunday. He’s a player that has a lot of experience, that’s played for a while and knows the system, and he’s done a great job for us so far.
Q. We’ve seen the offensive line have success against stopping Rams DT Aaron Donald, I think last time they faced him, they doubled him almost the entire game. What’s the obvious pitfalls of doing that? (Jeff McLane)
BRIAN JOHNSON: Well, I think the biggest thing is any time you play a player of that magnitude, a generational talent, an obvious first-ballot Hall of Famer, there’s a certain level of respect. A certain level of gamesmanship that goes into how you attack and how you set up your plan.
He’s one of the best defensive players to ever play in this league, so he’s obviously going to draw a ton of attention but our guys, I think they are all excited for the challenge, excited for the opportunity to go out there and compete at a high level against one of the best to ever do it.