Brian Johnson

Q. Are you still calling plays? (Jeff McLane)


Q. There’s a tendency thing about the red zone, I think you guys have the highest run percentage in the red zone in the league. Is that like a, ‘wise man avoids all extremes’-type thing, or is that because you guys feel like it’s one of your strengths? (Bo Wulf)

BRIAN JOHNSON: I think that’s something we’ve done here for the last three years is philosophical. Just being able to run the ball in the red zone and give yourself a chance. Oftentimes we’re in four down-mode down there, so we’re trying to play for all four downs.

I think that’s just a part of who we are and what our identity is offensively, and that’s kind of what it’s been the last three years.

Q. When teams are playing cover four and stuff like that, guys try to slow explosive plays down, how do you balance the patience of trying to take what the defense gives you, and also trying to be aggressive down field? (Chris Franklin)

BRIAN JOHNSON: Yeah, that’s a line you definitely have to walk, right? I think the biggest thing is you want to try to create as many explosives as possible. And I think you definitely have to balance that because when you have to go on 12, 13, 14, 15 play drives to score, it just magnifies everything.

The easiest way to score is to create big plays, so we’ve got to do a great job — I have to do a great job putting us in situations to create some more chunks and not have to take so many plays to go score.

Q. As a fellow coordinator, what was your reaction when Defensive Coordinator Sean Desai and Senior Defensive Assistant Matt Patricia switched positions? (Martin Frank)

BRIAN JOHNSON: My first reaction is I think the biggest thing for me was, control what I can control. I’ve learned this a long time ago, is mow your own grass, man. You’ve got a lot of stuff to worry about, a lot of stuff to take care of that directly pertains to you. Focus on your job and your process and what you need to do in order to make things go.

Q. How would you assess G/T Tyler Steen’s development, and how do you think the exposure he had in that early game that he started… (Josh Tolentino)

BRIAN JOHNSON: Yeah, he started in the Dallas game. Thought he did a great job. Obviously, our offensive line and those guys have so much experience. He’s able to learn from some really, really good players.

I think the way that thing is structured obviously puts him in a position where he can go in there and have success. He’s a very talented player. He’s worked at it. He’s definitely got a bright future.

Q. On the interception at the end of the game, how do you balance going for a chunk play like that with how many yards do we need to get into field goal range? (Reuben Frank)

BRIAN JOHNSON: Yeah, you’ve got to get to the line. With two timeouts there you’ve got to just – we’ve got to put ourselves in a position. Unfortunately, in this particular case, we ended up having an interception there and ended the football game.

Those two-minute type situations with the game on the line is really what this league comes down to so often so many weeks and being able to execute in those situations and give yourself a chance.

Q. On the shot play to WR Quez Watkins, was that a result of a check based off what the defense was doing? Did WR A.J. Brown get the check? Did QB Jalen Hurts make the right decision? (Tim McManus)

BRIAN JOHNSON: It’s a three-level pass concept, so it’s something that we’ve run a ton. Sometimes coverage dictates where the ball goes. In that particular case you’ve got a one-on-one shot with the safety with some speed running down the field.

All of these plays really have multiple options, and the ball can go to a bunch of different places based on how the defense is presented. You got to credit him. He made a great play on the ball.

Q. Did he change the play at the line? Is that what you’re saying? (Jeff McLane)

BRIAN JOHNSON: No, I didn’t say that.

Q. WR Quez Watkins and WR A.J. Brown were communicating before the snap, almost through the snap. Just trying to get clarification. (Tim McManus)

BRIAN JOHNSON: No, they didn’t do anything wrong.

Q. Why do you think you guys have had so many problems with the outside screen passes? It almost seems like they’re sniffing them out before. (Bob Brookover)

BRIAN JOHNSON: I think the biggest thing is guys are doing a good job of forcing the block. You got to do a great job of keep complementing that and continue to run some of those plays like we ran against Buffalo where you get the fake bubbles and things of that nature and continuing to set them up.

I think that is also a credit to some of the defenses in terms of being able to be stout and set edges in the run game.

Q. When you were talking about the response to the coaching change, did that change create urgency for you? You said ‘mow your own grass,’ but does that create some urgency for how you approach it? (Brooks Kubena)

BRIAN JOHNSON: Urgency never needs to be created in this profession. Everything that we do is urgent. There is always an eagerness and a desire to get the best result possible. So independent of anything else, that’s who I am, that’s who we are as people in this building. I think that’s internal.

Q. Your longest pass completion of the game was early on, TE Dallas Goedert over the middle. The numbers over the middle haven’t been great this year. Why has that been, and is there an opportunity maybe to take that completion there and build off it? (Jeff McLane)

BRIAN JOHNSON: Any time you have Dallas Goedert working the middle of the field I think that’s a huge positive for us. Being able to turn some of those plays into explosives in the middle of the field is obviously really important like I talked about in terms of being able to create some scoring drives that are 5, 6, 7 plays as opposed to 13, 14, 15 plays.

It’s something that we are really, really working on to try to make sure that we can put ourselves in the best position every trip out.

Q. When you look at the Giants, what has Giants DL Kayvon Thibodeaux been doing that is making him so much more of a factor this year? (Merrill Reese)

BRIAN JOHNSON: Kayvon is an excellent player. He’s got a ton of sacks, a ton of production in his pass rushing. Our guys, we’ve played him three times now and he’s a guy that is very, very active, he moves around and plays both sides. He’s a guy that definitely we have to be ready for on Monday.

Q. When it comes to those explosive plays, how much work can you do throughout the game when you’re calling it to make sure you set them up? (Dave Zangaro)

BRIAN JOHNSON: I think that’s what the whole deal is, is being able to have that feel and being able to mix and match so you can try to create some chunks based off of a couple things, right? Based off pass, based off other runs, based off of play-action. Just trying to create those chunks and give yourself an opportunity to get down in the red zone a little quicker.

Q. Did QB Jalen Hurts’ condition — he was sick and all that and seemed to be getting worse as the game went on. I was wondering if that kind of impacted your play calling. (Reuben Frank)

BRIAN JOHNSON: No, he was out there. Jalen is a competitor, he’s a tough warrior. He’s obviously somebody that I have a tremendous amount of respect for. For him to go battle what he was battling and go out there and play, I mean I think that says everything about him, about the type of person he is, the type of leader he is, the type of competitor he is. So, he’s someone that will always rise to the occasion.

Q. How is your history with QB Jalen Hurts coming in handy as you’re in a bit of a rough stretch as an offense? (Tim McManus)

BRIAN JOHNSON: I think you get to have very direct conversations. Like all of this is built around — coaching is all built around trust. Regardless of if you have a relationship prior to becoming someone’s coach or the relationship as you get to know people as you start to coach them, I think those — everybody wants the same thing. Everybody wants to have success. Everybody wants to do their job to the best of their ability. It’s just a matter of making sure that we’re all getting there.

Q. Going back to the second interception, Head Coach Nick Sirianni talked about the other day kind of the idea of looking for a pass interference with the one-on-one matchup against WR A.J. Brown. How do you reconcile the notion of maybe playing or looking for a DPI on a play versus just the concept of controlling what you can control? (Olivia Reiner)

BRIAN JOHNSON: Yeah, I think you control what you can control. Obviously, A.J. Brown is one of the best players in the NFL, and you get some one-on-one opportunities with him. He’s definitely made his fair share of plays in that regard. We’ve got some great players on the perimeter, got a great quarterback, and we trust those guys to go out there and make plays one-on-one.

Q. How big of a factor is WR Quez Watkins’ speed, as far as not only just going deep, but opening things underneath for WR A.J. Brown, WR DeVonta Smith, TE Dallas Goedert, those guys? (Martin Frank)

BRIAN JOHNSON: He has rare speed. I think you just mentioned it, right? It’s not always necessarily primary in terms of blowing the top off the coverage, but it does create space. That’s what this game is about, trying to create as much space as possible to give guys an avenue to make plays with the ball in their hands once they get it.

Q. Is there any one thing over the last three weeks that bothers you the most that you feel like you need to address the most? (Reuben Frank)

BRIAN JOHNSON: I think when you look at it and you kind of go through it, and it’s been a not good three weeks, not very good production, definitely not up to the standard that we expect, but, again, it’s about action and problem solving, how do you fix it.

That’s the question that I continuously ask myself every day after every single game. How do you get better and how do you fix it? I think it’s very simple. Comes down to a couple things. For us, essentially, I think what we have to do is we have to create some more explosive plays. We have to. We have to take care of the football. We have to score touchdowns in the red zone. I think that’s what you have to do. Now, how do you do that, right? That’s the next question you have to answer.

That is the task. That is the challenge for us. I accept that. No one is running from that. It’s just very matter of fact in terms of, ‘okay, this is what needs to be done.’ There is no doubt in my mind — I say this with 1000% certainty — that these people in our offensive room, myself, are all made of the right stuff to get that done. We’re looking forward to going through that.

Q. Because the Giants blitz so much, are they vulnerable to those explosive plays that you talk about? (Bob Brookover)

BRIAN JOHNSON: They do a great job with their blitz package. [Giants Defensive Coordinator] Coach [Don] Martindale is obviously known for that. We’ve played him I think three times last year. They have every blitz package you can think of. So, we definitely have to be ready to go out there and execute at a high level and make sure our communication is on point.