JONATHAN GANNON: Quick recap of that game. I do have walk-through pretty quick. We didn’t do enough to win the game on our end, flat out. Let them possess the ball for a good amount of time, obviously the entire game, especially the first half. There were some things we have to clean up execution-wise, detail-wise.
That starts with me. The amount of plays and the time of possession, I felt like that really hurt our team because we’re on the field for a long time, and when you do that, then they have the opportunity to score points; and on the flip side to that, our offense is sitting on the bench and I don’t like that.
Gave up 20 points in the first half. You’re not going to win many games when do you that, so we have our work ahead of us.
Now, what I do like is in the second half I think we played a little bit better. We executed on some known-pass situations, which helped us, which in the first half we really didn’t do that.
When we had known pass situations on second and third down, we didn’t get it to third and in our favor, or even they made some first downs on second downs.
So, when you do that, the plays are going to get high, the time of possession is going to get out of whack, and they’re going to have a chance to score points.
Second half I felt like we cleaned that up and played better. I think we gave up six points there in the second half. Got off on some third downs and played to how we have been playing.
But challenge ahead of us, and we have to get cleaned up to give ourselves a chance to win the game.
Q. In the run game you gave up 3.1 yards per carry, which if you add up over the course of the year it will probably be best in the league, but they stayed on schedule as you mentioned, it contributed to time of possession and total number of plays. I guess I’m just curious where your level of content was with your run defense? (Jimmy Kempski)
JONATHAN GANNON: Yeah, it’s one of the things we’ve been working on. I think that it should be better. We have to coach it better and I have to call the game a little bit better to help our guys out.
I don’t know the yards per carry and where we are and all that stuff, but if a team is going to run the ball on first and second down, first and second down, first and second down, and try to get it to third and short, we have to do something to combat that.
That’s what we’re working on and that’s what we’ll do.
Q. That said, there were some third and longs that they converted. Was your focus on the run? Did that prevent you from bracketing Commanders WR Terry McLaurin? (Jeff McLane)
JONATHAN GANNON: On third down?
Q. In general. I know you had CB Darius Slay covering him; doing what you did with Vikings WR Justin Jefferson. (Jeff McLane)
JONATHAN GANNON: Yeah, a little bit. Each game plan is a little different as far as who you’re defending and what plays you have to defend. I thought we got things that we needed to clean up with the pass game that we got cleaned up.
It’s just a little bit better execution and the coaching of the details of those calls.
Q. Were there two plays where you guys only had ten players on the field? (Tim McManus)
JONATHAN GANNON: There was, yeah.
Q. What happened there? (Tim McManus)
JONATHAN GANNON: My fault both times.
Q. You say you’re working on the run defense, getting better. What are your options at this point? The personnel is what it is; you’re adding DT Linval Joseph, but schematically I don’t think anything changes. What are some options there? (Ed Kracz)
JONATHAN GANNON: That’s a good question. There are some things schematically within things that we do and we have that we can use those bullets, so to speak. It’s just deploying them and using them at the right times, and I can help our guys out a little bit better calling it a little bit better.
That’s going to always come down to within each call the strength and the stress of each call. Putting our hands on the right people, playing with good pad level, fundamentals. And that is all 11 guys.
So, it starts with us coaches to make sure the fundamentals — and we are really good at times. It’s got to be consistently throughout the game. And I know it’s never going to be perfect, but we have to make sure we’re consistent with what we’re doing, because run game, run defense is not one or two guys, it’s all 11.
This team that we’re about to play, they make the corners tackle, and we have to do a good job of crack replace and tackling backs. That’s how they’re winning games right now.
So, it’s all 11 guys, and we have to execute at a high level, just like in everything, situation, pass game, but especially the run game as well. One guy gets a little bit cut out and another guy thinks he’s going to be here and he’s not there, it leads to a six-yard gain instead of a three-yard gain. That’s what you’re talking about the kind of the first and second down, like 3.1, whatever.
When you’re playing a game in third and short all day and it’s not known pass on third down, it’s a hard way to go for us. We don’t want to play like that, and we know that, and we have to get cleaned up.
Q. I imagine DT Linval Joseph is here for a reason. He’s got a reputation as being one of the better run stuffers when he was younger. How much does a guy like that make a difference? (John McMullen)
JONATHAN GANNON: He’s a really good player against the run. Then with [DT] Marlon [Tuipulotu] getting hurt we needed to add another piece there. I was with [DT] Linval [Joseph] for four years. He’s a really good player. His attitude is right. His character is great. He practices extremely hard. He is diligent. He kind of fits right into what we do and how he wants to play and what he wants to do, and I think it’ll help us.
Q. Do you have a sense yet of what kind of shape he’s in, and how quickly he’ll be able to play? (Dave Zangaro)
JONATHAN GANNON: In about an hour, I will. He’s always a guy — this guy, I mean, he’s three or four times a day, on his own, working on that part of his game. He’ll always be in shape. I’m not worried about that.
Q. He’s going to practice today? (Ed Kracz)
JONATHAN GANNON: Yeah.
Q. There is a stat out there that teams league-wide are averaging 4.5 yards per rush, and yet points are down. Are you okay with allowing teams to run on you, because ultimately the numbers are down and you’ll take that over what could happen versus the pass? (Jeff McLane)
JONATHAN GANNON: That’s a good question, Jeff. I mean, I think you don’t want teams to run on you all day. You don’t want to do that. You have to defend the run and the pass.
With saying that, you know that there are stresses and strengths of each call. I always talk about the quickest way to give up a lot of points is the ball to go over your head. Now, with saying that, when offenses adjust, we have to adjust, too.
And that’s not just like this year, that’s each game is a little bit different; how you set up the game plan; that’s during the game, what’s going on. That’s what we talked about Houston, what kind of was going on.
So, and you’ve just got to — it’s a constant chess match back and forth. Are they going to keep doing this or not? But if you win some of those known-pass situations that we’ve been winning at pretty high clip, the however many plays we played, 80 plays, that goes down to 60, you know what I mean, and you are right where you want to be and you give up kind of the points we have been giving up.
So, you have to see how out game is kind of going and set it up that way, but I think that’s a good question as far as schematics right now and who is playing the different spots of quarterbacks and different offenses. Especially ways that defenses are trying to combat certain things. Offenses have adjusted, and then obviously the defense will have to adjust.
Q. What are the challenges? Obviously, you’ve got Colts RB Jonathan Taylor coming up. Based on the last couple weeks, what kind of challenges do you have like trying to stop him? (Martin Frank)
JONATHAN GANNON: Every challenge that you would have with a good running football team. They’ve got a good O-line and he’s one the premier backs in the league.
I was with him — I told our guys a story — the first two or three days of training camp he broke a run and literally just ran away from all our defensive backfield. Guy has major gas. He’s big, physical. He has really good vision.
So, it’s like any week, but this week he presents a different challenge because of his skillset, and we have to do a good job, all 11 of us, to stop him.
Q. As you look at this, did you see signs of this earlier in the season or is this the by-product of DT Jordan Davis being absent? (Zach Berman)
JONATHAN GANNON: No, I don’t think that. I mean, like I said, [DT] Jordan [Davis] being absent, he’s a really good player and we like when he’s in for us and he does a good job. I think it’s really just how these last couple have gone, how teams are going to try to play us.
That’s a correlation to the other two phases of our team with our offense and our special teams. We just have to be ready to combat how people are doing that and don’t let our offense — that’s what I don’t like. I don’t like when our offense is sitting on a bench for ten minutes, guys.
I don’t even care if you make them kick a field goal because it’s all about points, but we have to get our offense the ball back, and that’s what we’ll work on this week.
Q. DT Fletcher Cox played the most snaps that he’s played in two years, 70 in this past game. What have you seen out of his play so far this season? (Tim McManus)
JONATHAN GANNON: He’s been fantastic. I don’t like that the game got — the known pass got the number count out of whack a little bit, and that’s why we played that many plays. Then who we had up for that and how they decided to play us, he played a lot of snaps. So did all those guys. I don’t like that.
He’s played extremely well. He’s one of our best box defenders that you could ever ask for, and he’s super versatile and playing good football for us.
When you ask these big guys to play that many snaps, it’s hard duty on everybody. So hopefully he’ll get his body ready to go for this week, but I do not want to see that again.
Q. Were you okay with S C.J. Gardner-Johnson matching up with Commanders WR Terry McLaurin in the slot, or is that something that they didn’t show? (Jeff McLane)
JONATHAN GANNON: No, they’ve shown that with that particular call, that was the matchup, and we talked about how we can correct that a little bit more.
But I was comfortable with the call, and hats off to them, they made a good play.