Brian Johnson

Q. What are you seeing as far as the ball security issues with the fumbles Sunday against the Cowboys? (Martin Frank)

BRIAN JOHNSON: Well, we got to do a great job of protecting the football, particularly with our fundamental of going to the ground. You see this happen throughout the league every single week. It’s something that we talk about a lot, we drill a lot. It was just really unfortunate that they were able to get the ball out.

You know, something that we’ve got to continue to work on and harp on, about the details of our ball security and fundamentals.

Q. Head Coach Nick Sirianni was asked yesterday about the three receivers getting the targets. Obviously you are going to go through your top three guys, but he also mentioned many times a wise man avoids all extremes. You don’t want to become too predictable with just throwing to the three guys every game; is that correct, or are you okay playing it that way? (Jeff McLane)

BRIAN JOHNSON: I think just based on the type of defensive structure that we got, with how they’re playing, it’s going to create a lot of one-on-ones on the perimeter.

You know, with the style of defense that we got, we feel really, really good about those matchups on the perimeter. That’s just how it kind of goes. So, some weeks it’ll be like that. Some weeks it won’t.

I think for us, in particular just in that particular game in terms of how we were getting played defensively, there were a lot of opportunities for one-on-one matchups with two great options.

Q. Were there missed opportunities from QB Jalen Hurts not seeing those other guys when he should have? (Jeff McLane)

BRIAN JOHNSON: I think the ball for the most part went where it was supposed to go based on what we were trying to accomplish and based on what the defense presented to us.

So, I don’t think that was anything that was intentional other than the defense — coverage dictates where the ball goes sometimes. When you get some of that single-high defense like that, you get favorable matchups, one-on-ones on the outside, and that’s why you saw the ball go there.

Q. What are some of the coaching points on, for lack of a better term, rub routes when you are trying to create some separation, so you don’t get the penalty, but also create enough… (Dave Zangaro)

BRIAN JOHNSON: Yeah, I think it’s essentially a game of chicken, right? You have to be willing and ready to bail out and not create contact.

That’s a detailed fundamental that obviously we have had two of those calls in the past two weeks and we got to definitely get that cleaned up.

Q. Head Coach Nick Sirianni was asked about the slow starts. He mentioned information gathering as being part of the equation that early on. Information gathering. Can you expand on that, and is there a tendency sometimes to get carried away with information gathering that maybe gets in the way of attacking or… (Tim McManus)

BRIAN JOHNSON: Well, it serves two purposes. Obviously, you want to go down and score your first drive. I think the last two games we have moved the ball down there and haven’t finished, whether we had an opportunity for a first and goal at the six- or five-yard line and got a penalty and then we end up turning the ball over.

But the previous game I think we drove down there and did not finish in the red zone. Ended up kicking field goals. Yes, you want to gather information. It is a long game. But at the same time, you do want to attack, be aggressive, and you want to try to jump out to a lead.

So that’s something that we haven’t been able to do in the past couple games. We have to get it corrected.

Q. When it comes to QB Jalen Hurts, how much do you pay attention to how quickly he’s getting the ball out? Or do you not pay attention to it? He has the ability to extend plays and that’s going to affect those numbers, so what’s that balance? (John McMullen)

BRIAN JOHNSON: Yeah, there is definitely a balance. Getting the ball out to our playmakers in space quickly is never a bad thing. Jalen has a rare and unique ability to extend plays and create plays on his own, so, we definitely have to be very cognizant and aware of that, and making sure that we’re allowing both to happen.

Q. Against the Cowboys, RB D’Andre Swift had like 11 touches; the previous week he had eight. I know defenses have a way of influencing, especially on the RPOs, how has RB D’Andre Swift handled the decreased workload and how do you keep him involved in the offense with the limited amount of touches? (Chris Franklin)

BRIAN JOHNSON: Yeah, well, I think you just got to continue to try to get him the ball in different ways, whether that’s in the pass game or the jet sweep game or just handing him some direct runs that don’t have read elements to them.

I’ve always said that these games play out very independently in terms of how the defense is playing and what the read tells you to do with the football. I have full confidence in D’Andre. He is an awesome player and even better person. He works his tail off each and every day and he’s had a great year.

Q. As you know, it was your first time since you have been here you guys haven’t scored a touchdown. After a game like that, how much of it is doubling down on what you guys believe in and how much is taking a step back and evaluating what you’re doing? (Zach Berman)

BRIAN JOHNSON: Again, like you always want to evaluate and try to put yourself in the best position. We have had a ton of success here throughout the course of the two and a half or three years we’ve been here.

I think Nick gave a great message at that point in 2021. We were 2-5 and he talked about doubling down on our process and sticking true to what we believe.

I think that’s very, very important and important lesson to take when you’re in a process-driven profession but it’s really ultimately results-based. When the results don’t match your process for two weeks in a row, you still need to evaluate and still need to try to find new and creative ways to do things and put the guys in the best spots to go out there and execute the plan each and every week.

So, I think to answer your question, just like it is definitely a balance. We know what we have, and we know what guys do really, really well. Guys have done some of that stuff really, really well, and we got to continue to do that and complement it and to put them in the best spots to be successful.

Q. T Jordan Mailata said on the radio this morning at some point after the game you addressed the team and took ownership for the way the play calling went. He also said you said you learned a lot from the game. First, why did you decide to talk to the team and take the ownership you did, and what did you learn from this game? (Olivia Reiner)

BRIAN JOHNSON: I think this is all about accountability and being able to grow through what go through. It was a very, very unique game and we didn’t perform the way that we should. Ultimately that starts with me. I think any time you’re in a leadership position, accountability matters.

Being able to hold yourself accountable, players being able to hold themselves accountable, I think that’s all a part of the process and a part of continuing to find ways to get better.

Our story isn’t completely written yet. For us, you sit back and we’re 14, 15 weeks in or whatever, and still got a lot left to accomplish and everything is out there in front of us.

Q. As far as accountability, QB Jalen Hurts obviously being quarterback has much more on his plate than anybody else. So, when he is not playing up to maybe the standard that you want, how do you go about holding him accountable with also taking into account how much he does have on his plate? (Jeff McLane)

BRIAN JOHNSON: Yeah, there is no question that — there is a reason quarterback is probably the most difficult position to play in all of sport. There are a lot of different variables that get thrown at you and a lot on your plate.

I know Jalen openly welcomes that with how he’s built. I think for the most part, I think that’s the nature of the beast with every quarterback in this league.

We got to do a great job of surrounding him and putting him in the best positions possible each and every week, each and every play, and giving him the tools he needs to go out there and perform at a high level.

Q. So you think despite your long relationship that you can give him real hard coaching when it’s needed? (Jeff McLane)

BRIAN JOHNSON: Absolutely. Yeah, I don’t think that’s ever been an issue between us. At the end of the day, it’s all about action. Words mean a little; actions mean a lot. We’ve always been able to have very frank and honest and open conversations on what we need to do in order to improve, what we need to do to get better, and that will continue.

Q. What are the one or two keys for QB Jalen Hurts to get back to play to his normal standard? (Tim McManus)

BRIAN JOHNSON: Yeah, I think the one or two keys for Jalen — first of all, I don’t think it’s all on Jalen. It’s the ultimate team game, and I think everybody on each and every play has to do their 1/11th. I think that’s what makes this game so beautiful, is it takes everybody.

Obviously, the quarterback gets most of the credit and most of the blame when it doesn’t go well. Again, that’s the nature of the position. I think Jalen understands that. I obviously understand that.

But we have to do a great job of playing together and being able to utilize everything we have.

Q. You mentioned accountability earlier. This week in particular, yesterday, today, how did you approach, evaluate your game planning, looking through it again? Was there a different approach you did in terms of the game plan this week?  (Brooks Kubena)

BRIAN JOHNSON: Our process is going to be our process in terms of how we get ready for each opponent. I think that the consistency in which we do that is really, really important.

To have that level of consistency week in and week out and saying this is how we’re going to evaluate this, how we’re going to evaluate that, but at the same time, you’re always looking for opportunities to grow and improve.

We talk about getting better, and it always starts with self-reflection. I think any competitor, when something doesn’t go your way, like the first thing that any great competitor I’ve been around, first thing you do is ask, what could I have done better? You always look inward.

I think that’s a quality that everybody in this building has and that’s what we’ll continue to do.

Q. If I could follow up on the turnovers, it’s not lost on me that you’re under a sign about ball security. Head Coach Nick Sirianni talked about all that Running Backs/Assistant Head Coach Jemal Singleton does during the week in terms of ball security. How do you fix something that you guys already emphasize as much as you do? (Zach Berman)

BRIAN JOHNSON: You have to double down. We know that’s something that we really, really believe in, the fundamentals and the detail in which we talk about the ball, how vital it is for our success and to win football games.

That’s something you have to continue to double down on. Double down on your process and continue to really live in that each and every day. Make it really important moving forward.

Q. When you look at the third receiver role, just statistically doesn’t look like it’s developed, especially when you add someone like WR Julio Jones, five catches in eight games. Do you think more could be done there to be a little less predictable or more difficult to defend? (Ed Kracz)

BRIAN JOHNSON: Yeah, I think what you want is all five position players to contribute to the offense in a positive manner. Sometimes that shows up in stat sheets; sometimes it doesn’t.

There is no doubt we have a plethora of talented players here that are more than capable of having big games. I think that’s a fine line and balance, particularly when you have guys like [WR] A.J. [Brown] and guys like [WR] DeVonta Smith who win very, very regularly and the ball is out to them.

So, to answer your question, yes, you do want all five positional players to be able to contribute to the offense in a positive manner.

Q. Watching the Seahawks, what jumps out first? (Zach Berman)

BRIAN JOHNSON: They’re really well-coached. They play hard. They’re disciplined. They’re in good spots. It’s obviously a very hostile environment to go play in. They have a great home crowd.

I know our guys will be ready for the challenge to go out there and execute on Monday night.

Q. You mentioned this is a process-driven profession. When you face some on-field adversity and you guys haven’t had a lot of it, do you have to be careful not to over stress the adversity? (John McMullen)

BRIAN JOHNSON: You never want to get to a point where you over correct, right? I mean, again, none of this stuff is absolute. It’s never as black and white as you would like to make it, but there is some gray to it. I think the most important thing is being able to just identify and correct.

If you’ve got the right type of mindset, right type of people, which we do, that shouldn’t be a problem.