JONATHAN GANNON: It was good to go on the road and get a good win. I thought all three levels played well. Some things we need to clean up situationally to keep some points down off the board, but good to see some other guys in the game, too.
I think that it’s a testament to all our guys playing together and team ball, where some guys had some big-time production, but that’s not just them, it’s other guys helping them make some plays.
On to Chicago and the windy city.
Q. In Head Coach Nick Sirianni’s postgame speech he mentioned the goal was to keep Giants QB Daniel Jones in the pocket and from running. How did you do that, and how does that prepare you for this upcoming game? (Zach Berman)
JONATHAN GANNON: Good question. Players executing the plan, because you can’t be selfish when you play quarterbacks with that type of skill set. It’s really everyone has to rush together, whether you’re rushing four, five or six. You have to stay disciplined, and you have to be where you’re supposed to be, and I thought they did a good job of that.
They know the value of that, of the rush plan I’m talking, and executed at a high level. Then going to this next upcoming game, this guy is electric, so we’re going to have to have some tools that we use and we’re going to have to do basically the same thing because the way that they move the ball down the field is all through the quarterback.
Got a big-time challenge with that.
Q. Safety took another hit this weekend with S Reed Blankenship getting injured, whether or not he plays on Sunday, I don’t know, but how do you think S K’Von Wallace played? I think he played a career high in snaps and five tackles. How would you assess how he played? (Ed Kracz)
JONATHAN GANNON: He played well. We’ve been talking all along, and [S] K’Von [Wallace] always gets mentioned in that. He plays some high-leverage snaps for us when he comes in the game, and I expect K’Von to go in there and play well. He started however many games last year, I think three games and played winning football for us.
I feel very comfortable with K’Von going in, and I thought he did a good job. Anyone that has a jersey on game day, there can’t be a drop-off if we have injuries or nicks or whatever the case may be. They’ve got to be psychologically prepped to go in the game and execute at a high level, which I thought he did.
Q. How is S Anthony Harris going to fit in here? (Jeff McLane)
JONATHAN GANNON: I think we’re bringing him in for some — obviously if we’re down a couple guys, he knows our system. His football character is through the roof. We’ll get him up to speed, see where he’s at and get him going.
Q. There was a stretch where you guys were getting gashed pretty good in the running game. What’s changed as far as run defense over the last three, four weeks? (Reuben Frank)
JONATHAN GANNON: I think just the consistency of doing the right thing all the time. That’s probably going to be always my answer to how do we play better. You have to coach it and play a little better.
I think that with some of our structures and some of our spacings, coaches have done a good job with, hey, this is why we’re calling it and these are the blocks you’re going to get.
We put up the Xs and Os and it’s cool to draw plays up there and say, hey, this shouldn’t work or that should work or this is a hard down. But ultimately that O has to block that X for it to work.
I think our guys have taken it to heart like hey, man, if you get a single you’ve got to win that at the point of attack, and really that’s what it is. We’re winning at a high level.
It’s tough to block our front when everyone is winning their one-on-one match-up and we’re in the right spot and knowing that there’s give and take with each calls where you’re okay giving up four or five yards in certain calls and certain calls you’re not. We’re executing at a very high level and we’re winning a lot of one-on-ones right now.
Q. Do you think they’re tackling better? (Reuben Frank)
JONATHAN GANNON: Yeah, you know, I guess so. I never really thought — obviously we talk about tackling all the time. That’s the number one skill of a good defense in my opinion, and I know we have good tacklers and nobody is afraid.
Sometimes it’s the NFL, you miss some tackles at times versus some good people in space or in the core, and it’s just constantly reminding our guys, hey, here’s how we want to attack ball carriers, here’s the leverage you have to hit this guy with which makes the tackle easier for you and population to the ball. I think our effort has been good, which we always harp on that, and people are in the right spot, and they’re doing a good job with it.
Q. We saw DT Jordan Davis’s snaps increase this past week. Where is he physically, and ideally where do you want that rotation, that breakdown to end up? (Dave Zangaro)
JONATHAN GANNON: Yeah, different with each game, obviously, but I like where he’s trending, and I think he’ll continue to get a little more snaps here and there.
But it’s a good room, and it’s a luxury that we have where we have those guys up on game day, all those guys play multiple positions, and they can all win. If we can keep it evened out like where it’s been the last couple games and [DT Ndamukong] Suh and [DT] Linval [Joseph] in there, getting Jordan back, [DT] Milton [Williams], Fletch [DT Fletcher Cox] and Grave [DT Javon Hargrave], I really like where that’s at because I do think when they go in, they’re fresh and ready to hunt. That helps the defense.
Q. It’s kind of amazing that DE Brandon Graham at 34 can put together a three-sack game. He’s a great player over the years, but is some of that a product of having the versatility of getting guys in and out the whole rotation, keeping him fresh? (Merrill Reese)
JONATHAN GANNON: Yeah, if you talked to him right now, I think this — obviously he’s almost as old as I am. He feels good. He feels fresh, where a lot of guys if you’re playing 75, 80 percent of the snaps throughout, you get to December and you start to get beat up a little bit.
What he’s done coming off the injury and the role that he’s taken on, he feels good, and he goes out there and he produces, like all of our guys. But that’s why I like the rotation of that room, because it keeps those guys fresh so later in the game they’re not tired and they can go win at a high level.
BG [DE Brandon Graham] has done an excellent job, as all those guys are, and he’s producing at a high level, which honestly I’m really not surprised by that. I expect him to go in and win, and he does.
Q. It’s the first time you had CB Avonte Maddox in a while. What did you see from him? (John McMullen)
JONATHAN GANNON: I liked where he was at. It was good to get him back out there and going. He made some big-time tackles. That nickel position for us is critical, and he had no soreness. There was no kind of setback after he played because he played a lot of snaps, without having played in a while, so it’s good to have 29 back in there humming because we need him.
Q. How is the chemistry between LB T.J. Edwards and LB Kyzir White and more so specifically their ability to play in coverage, how that allows you to deploy the rest of the defense? (Josh Tolentino)
JONATHAN GANNON: The chemistry between everybody in that room is very good, because they all have high football character and they want to win, so typically you will have good chemistry when their football character is right.
But just those guys playing together for however many games now, through camp, and hey, this is what I’m seeing, this is what you’re seeing, these are the calls I’m expecting you to make.
Anytime you play multiple games together, it doesn’t matter if it’s a unit or a couple guys standing — those guys are unique because they’re next to each other all the time for the most part, I think they feed off of each other. They both have a little bit different skill sets, and I think they’re comfortable in playing well together.
We have to continue to improve that with how we’re doing things, as always, but those two guys, I don’t fret about any coverage or any match-up or any route concept that could come up because they both function well and they’re in the right spot and they play with good technique. I like where that’s at.
Q. The last couple weeks you guys have had big leads in the fourth quarter and you’re able to put in a lot of guys who probably wouldn’t be able to play otherwise. How valuable is that, especially for young guys? (Martin Frank)
JONATHAN GANNON: Unbelievably valuable. I talk about there are a lot of ways to learn. To me in my opinion the biggest learning tool that you have are game reps. When you can play five snaps here or 10 snaps here or 15 snaps here, those snaps add up.
It’s cool, too, because those guys bust their ass when they’re out there, and you like to get them in the game and let’s see what you can do and they want to play. Ultimately when they do — you never want to have a guy that needs to go in and start and not having played any snaps on defense. You’d like to get him out there and play a little bit.
Those are huge snaps for us as a defense, as an organization, for those guys. They want to get out there and play, and I thought they did a very good job.
Q. As a defensive coordinator, what do you think is the hardest part of game planning for the Eagles offense? (Bo Wulf)
JONATHAN GANNON: I don’t worry about our offense, I’m worried about Chicago right now. But obviously the playmakers we have, the scheme and the quarterback skill set.
Q. If you think about your coaching philosophy and your defensive philosophy, how was it shaped or enhanced by your time with Bears Head Coach Matt Eberflus? (Zach Berman)
JONATHAN GANNON: Oh, good question. Yeah, a lot. A lot. He’s one of my greatest mentors. But I tell people all the time, like working for Flus for three years, he has elite leadership qualities, and I took a lot of those with me. I really did.
He’s helped me tremendously as a person and a football coach, being detailed out all the time, and how to hold players accountable all the time. He’ll be a head coach for a long time. I’m not surprised by the success that he’s had, and he’ll continue to ascend, I’m sure.
But he’s been fantastic with my family, and we love his family, and he’s a great man.
Q. If you have to replace S Reed Blankenship because of crossover between safety and corner, is it about getting the best personnel in there or is it because you want to have more specific in terms of guys’ skill sets, safety, better safety? (Jeff McLane)
JONATHAN GANNON: Yeah, we have kind of multiple plans in place if we have to replace Reed and what we’re doing with that. I feel good about that entire room when they have to go in and play certain spots, and a lot of those guys can play multiple spots.
We’ll use everybody’s skill set and we’ll use everybody up on game day to put our guys and give us a chance to win.
Q. How different does the scout team and the practice team look when you’re preparing for Bears QB Justin Fields? (EJ Smith)
JONATHAN GANNON: [QB] Gardner [Minshew] will have some stuff. He might get tackled a little bit this week, which he might not like. But yeah, we’ve just got to do a good job of making sure we get our guys the looks that they’re going to see, and obviously Justin is a very unique player and got drafted where he got drafted for a reason. You’re not the number one recruit in the country for not having a very unique and special skill set. So, we’ve got a big-time challenge ahead of us, and we’ve got to make sure we do a good job, like I said, getting the looks our defense needs to see and that we’re on the details of what that entails with each call and how to defend this guy.
Q. How would you characterize your relationship and time with Matt Eberflus? (Josh Tolentino)
JONATHAN GANNON: A great one. I mean, it was a great three years for me, and like I said, being a DB coach for him in a completely different scheme that I’ve been in for basically my entire career, it was eye-opening. It was a great three years with him, and I learned a ton.
I remember when I took this job, we had a really good talk, and it was — he basically said hey, man, you’re running the show, like do what you need to do and do how you want to do it; you know right and wrong, and you’ll be successful and be true to who you are, which he is true to who he is. It was an awesome experience being there.
Q. Head Coach Nick Sirianni always talks about the coaching staff here and the offensive coaches will tap into you if they want questions about how a defense will do a certain thing and vice versa. Do you tap into the offensive coaches here a little bit more this week because of QB Jalen Hurts’ dual threat ability and Bears QB Justin Fields’? (John McMullen)
JONATHAN GANNON: Yeah, every week. I tell you guys all the time, you want to learn defensive football, talk to offensive coaches, and I truly believe that. They see the game from the offensive perspective where we’re looking at it from a defensive perspective, and the ideas, the teaching of it, the reason why behind a lot of things, what we do on defense is because of our offensive coaches’ brains.
So that’s been huge for me, for our staff, for our players. Even listening to Stout [Run Game Coordinator/Offensive Line Coach Jeff Stoutland] talk to our D-line about hey, this is what this combo block is trying to achieve, and this is what kind of ruins that combo block if you can do this.
I use those guys weekly, daily, and the off-seasons are big when we do Eagles versus Eagles, that’s a great week for us because you just learn a lot about offensive football, and then you apply it to what you’re doing on defense.
This staff is tremendous with what Nick [Sirianni] has set up for the communication between offensive and defensive guys, and there’s no silos. I’m in each one of those guys’ office all the time as the position coaches are, and it’s a good back and forth, and then we talk to offensive players. We’ve talked about what’s hard on — do you want to play a zero or a shade, talk to [C Jason] Kelce, he’ll tell you, and we do.
The learning that has gone on since we’ve been here from the offensive side of the ball has been invaluable.
Q. As a follow up to the question about the linebackers, how has the stability of having those two made the defense better compared to last year when you spent the first two, three months trying to figure out that position? (Zach Berman)
JONATHAN GANNON: Yeah, stability is good everywhere. You know what I mean? I think those two guys, really ultimately, [LB] T.J. [Edwards] is obviously the green dot running the huddle, and the consistency of hearing a certain guy talk, make checks and adjustments for the front and the back end, and the more you play the guys that are out there playing for the majority of the snaps, the better typically off you are.
A lot of times there’s forced communication by what the offense is doing, but we don’t even have to make those calls because they know the calls that are going to be made already.
Anytime you get it like that, you just function a little bit better. We were actually joking about because in dime T.J. is out and [LB] Kyzir [White] is in, and Fletch [DT Fletcher Cox] was like ‘m not used to hearing his voice as opposed to T.J.’s. You know what I mean? We were laughing about it because Fletch didn’t like the one call that he made. And he was right. But Kyzir does a great job when he’s in there doing that, but the continuity of those two guys in there I think has definitely helped us.