Cardinals Head Coach Jonathan Gannon (Post-Game Transcript)

Opening statement:

“[Cardinals OL D.J. Humpries] had a knee. So we’ll look at that. [Cardinals CB] Garrett [Williams] had an ankle. And I think other than that, we’re pretty clean. So, hats off to the players. That’s a really good team over there, obviously battling for the one seed. Being down 21-6, I felt like we’re down 21-6 at half, but we felt like we left some plays out there. Our offense kind of moved it up and down. Defense had a couple of, I think, one three-and-out, and then like how the two minute [drill] played there with them scoring there at the end. But down 21-6 at half the energy was good. The focus was good. Came out, scored, I don’t know exactly what went on but got back in the game got to a one score game which was what we talked about so we can play normal football on all three phases. And got a couple of stops there. Played the last six minutes exactly how we talked about playing it. Just came up a little bit different. Thought the execution was good. And I thought [Cardinals QB] Kyler [Murray] was lights out today. [Cardinals RB] James Conner was lights out. The [offensive] line. That’s a really good front. We ran it up and down the field. Just really hats off to the players. The resilience. The week of practice that we had. We were on it today.”


On the onsides kick:

“It worked. That’s what we talked about. That’s what I’m talking about. The reason for that is you don’t want to get bled out. That team is too good. I trust the defense to get a stop right there and make them kick a field goal, which is what they did, but with five minutes left, what they’ve shown is they’re not going to give you the ball back. And I wanted to make sure at all costs [Cardinals QB] Kyler [Murray] had the ball in his hand. At the end of the game, whatever you’re down, and that’s what we did. So it’s just funny how it came up, but no, I thought the defense did excellent. Held them to a field goal there. Kyler went down, [Cardinals WR Greg] Dortch had a big play. Had a couple of runs in there. And then we pounded it in. [Cardinals RB] James [Conner] will not be denied. So it’s good job.”


On the confidence in the offense:

“Yeah, there’s no doubt because you know how you set up the game versus a really good team. You got to trust what your eyes are seeing too.  I just thought we kind of self-destructed a little bit in the first half but we moved it up and down the field and we kept moving it in the second half. So really trusted the offense. Wanted to make sure that our offense had a chance to tie or win the game there and that’s the reason for the decision.”


On the meaning of beating his old team:

“I’m happy for the players. Honestly, obviously the year has been a tough year. We didn’t do enough to earn the right to play in January. So you know, I was really proud of them down 21-6 versus a good team. You could lay down there and get beat by 30. Guys did not do that. So really just happy for the guys how they responded all week. And a good win down the road versus a good football team.”


On what this win means to the team:

“I don’t know. I mean, we just played well enough today to win. You know what I mean? But our guys know if we play football the right way, we can play with anybody. And I know our record isn’t what we want it to be, and that falls on me. But they have confidence. They never waver. And what I’m really pleased about is the way they practice that effort. They stay together. They focus. Attention to detail. A lot of teams just pack it in right now. That’s not our guys in there. So that’s just a tribute to the character in the locker room.”


On competing against Eagles Head Coach Nick Sirianni:

“I mean we touched down, obviously we touched down Friday night. And not nostalgic, but I mean, this place was awesome for me. Working for [Eagles Head Coach] Nick [Sirianni] and the Philadelphia Eagles, you guys know I loved it here. That’s the reason I’m sitting at the podium right now is a huge reason that organization and [Eagles Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Lurie] and [Eagles Executive Vice President/General Manager] Howie [Roseman] and Nick [Sirianni] and it was great to see them but you know, I told them they’ll have their run, you know, I mean, and I’m always pulling for him, but not today. Obviously. Like he told me. But yeah, I love the guy.”


On Cardinals QB Kyler Murray’s performance today:

“I thought he did a good job. I mean they did some different things. You know what I mean? You only had three games or four games to look at. A little bit of difference. Some wrinkles different in there. But I thought he operated well in a hostile environment. You guys heard how loud it was. You know, I told those guys, it’s a really tough place to play. It’s a great place to play. The environment is legit. Unbelievable sports city. You know what I mean? But I thought he made plays. He hung in there. He made plays with his legs. He was accurate and found the open people, got us in the right stuff. Hadn’t had to take any time outs with delays. That’s always a thing. When it’s loud on the road. I thought he was lights out today.”


On turning discomfort into his advantage:

“I don’t know about that. I always put on blinders walking out of the tunnel. So it was fun out there today.”


On the pick-six:

“Big credit to them. That was an unbelievable play by that kid returned it 99 yards. But you know, we just had a little miscommunication there. But then you know, like we said, hey, make sure we get that fixed and [Cardinals QB Kyler Murray] was checking a bunch of plays at the line of scrimmage by the looks and was dictating some checks there. And I thought the offensive staff [Cardinals Offensive Coordinator] Drew [Petzing] and his guys had a great plan for all their different packages, things like that. And what I really thought was we controlled the line of scrimmage. He wasn’t in harm’s way a lot when he dropped back and we ran it pretty good. And that’s what you need to do. We tried to keep [Eagles QB] Jalen [Hurts] off the field a little bit too which the offense went into that. And they did that.”


On the feeling after the win:

“I feel good for the players. Not for me, man. I feel good for the players.”


On the run game:

“[Cardinals RB James Conner] is one of our premier players. Thought [Cardinals RB] Michael Carter had a really good game too. He had some big time runs in there, made a couple guys miss. There are certain games when we set it up hey, this is what needs to happen kind of a game. We just want to play and execute at a high level both in the run and pass game. We thought that we could sustain drives and even the first drive. Then we got down in the redzone and went backwards and kicked it through the house. A good job in the redzone there but converted some third downs which was good. Some guys, a lot of guys, made plays, man. That’s what it comes down to. Hats off to the players.”


On the challenge of Eagles Defensive Coordinator Sean Desai versus Senior Defensive Assistant Matt Patricia calling the defense:

“That’s a good question. You know, because he’s implemented some different things when he took over. So you don’t have the log of however many games, tendencies, and what they like to do in certain situations. So they kind of felt that out. But like I said, I thought they did a good job. A lot of studying years past, you know, different situational things. But again, hats off to the players.”


On the message to Cardinals QB Kyler Murray on the last drive:

“Yeah he came back. He battled. It was you know, a touchdown obviously going for it there. You talk about kicking a field goal there. But we really liked the play that we had up. Executed. He won and he had some big time plays today.”


On expecting the Eagles to score after the onside kick:

“Go win the game. Go win the game. They knew what we’re going to do and we didn’t obviously, you want to recover that. But they knew they were going to get the ball back and have to score to win or tie the game. And I felt really good after the two minute there to look and once I got on the headset and said guys, we’re going to win the game. I could see it in his face. And that’s what he did.”