Q. How many safeties would you like to keep on the roster? (Jimmy Kempski)
JONATHAN GANNON: It depends. That’s a blend of [Eagles Executive Vice President/General Manager] Howie [Roseman], [Eagles Head Coach] Nick [Sirianni], [Eagles Special Teams Coordinator Michael] Clay, us. We’re going to keep the best football players and they are all going to have multiple roles.
Q. Although CB James Bradberry has not practiced this past week, when he has, what have you seen out of him that you see beneficial for your defense? (Josh Tolentino)
JONATHAN GANNON: He can play different styles of defense. He’s smart. He can cover. Gets the ball tough. His level of understanding, especially being first year in the system, and he’s a vet, so he’s played a lot of ball. But just picking everything up. He’s been very comfortable with it. His understanding of what we are trying to get done with different coverages, he understands that and has been a great addition for us.
Q. Is James Bradberry giving your group a little more physicality, whereas CB Darius Slay gives you maybe a little more technique? (Josh Tolentino)
JONATHAN GANNON: That group was physical last year I thought. They tackle every day, and I don’t question any one of those guys in that room’s toughness. But to add another player who is a big-time tough guy always helps.
Q. What did you think about the tackling on Sunday? (Jeff McLane)
JONATHAN GANNON: Okay. We missed some. That’s a little bit, too, you guys by game plan specific, we talk to our guys about tackling certain ball carriers throughout the week. This is a guy that you have to tackle low, or this is a guy that you have to tackle high. We definitely need to clean that up a little bit because I thought there was some leaky yardage in there. I did think our population of the ball was good, but you would like to get the ball carrier on the ground on first contact a little bit more.
Q. What makes somebody that you want to tackle low versus tackle high? (Bo Wulf)
JONATHAN GANNON: Running styles and how big they are or how small they are. There are some little guys you want to tackle high because you miss if you go low. Vice versa with some big guys, you want to tackle them low because if you tackle him high, he’s going to push the pile a little bit. There are all kinds of different tackles in space, in the core, in the box, is it a frontal tackle or an angle tackle but you want to attack certain ball carriers a different way sometimes.
Q. What are you looking for in your defense specifically against the skill players on the Dolphins? (Eliot Shorr-Parks)
JONATHAN GANNON: Excited. Just like Cleveland, it’s a brand-new scheme, significantly different scheme from what we run and from what Cleveland runs and we know they have some weapons. It will be good to see if we can play without game planning them, play our calls we’re going to call and execute them at a high level and within that knowing issues or matchup issues and play accordingly.
Q. With CB Josiah Scott playing safety and S Andre Chachere at nickel, is it about those two players and their skill sets or are those positions often interchangeable? (Dave Zangaro)
JONATHAN GANNON: There are different ways to do it depending on the player, so that’s a case-by-case basis. Typically, you’ve seen you’ve have corners that slide inside or you have safeties that can slide inside. It’s really just, you said it. It’s really their skill set for those two guys kind of fit, within our scheme, what we are asking those guys to do. They have both done a good job with it.
Q. How much of Miami’s speed, on paper at least, is a good test for what you want to see out of the defense? (Geoff Mosher)
JONATHAN GANNON: Really good test. They have some guys with some major gas which will be good for our guys to see that type of speed. For three weeks, we see speed, too. Where they deploy people is a little bit different than our offense, so that’s why it’s going to be good to see if we can execute at a high level with a different skill set of their players and a different scheme than ours.
Q. What was your evaluation of CB Josh Jobe pre-Draft and now that you have him in the building, how much of that has proven true? (Jeff McLane)
JONATHAN GANNON: What we saw on the tape in pre-Draft was he had really good coverage ability. He was smart and tough. Since he’s gotten here, that’s what he’s proved to be. So, I really like where Josh is at, as that whole group. I like where they are at as far as their coverage ability, their tackling, their understanding of the defense. We just have to continue to get a little bit better every day.
Q. How easily has LB Kyzir White adapted to this defense? (John Clark)
JONATHAN GANNON: Very easily. He’s another one that’s extremely intelligent. He’s played in a system similar to ours, so it wasn’t completely polar ends of the spectrum when he got here. He just had to put it in our verbiage a little bit. He’s doing a good job as far as being where he needs to be and executing at a high level in the run and pass game and production.
Q. As you created your defense and your philosophy, what made you want to be so matchup and game plan specific as opposed to mastering one particular thing? (Zach Berman)
JONATHAN GANNON: That’s a good question. 2022 offenses look a lot different than they did ten years ago, five years ago. So, I never wanted to get into a meeting on a Monday and say, ‘Well, we did everything right, and they still beat us because of our scheme got us beat or because of the matchups that we knew weren’t advantageous to us, got us beat.’
So that’s the reason for a little bit of adaptability with scheme week-to-week as you guys see is what we do is predicated on how we need to win this game. And that goes to like we’ve talked about it is our people, their people, people versus people, people versus scheme, scheme versus people and that’s how we will always evaluate it.
Q. Do you see someone as a leader of your safety group? (Geoff Mosher)
JONATHAN GANNON: We have a lot of leaders on that defense. [S] Marcus Epps has taken a little bit of a leadership role, more than last year because he’s playing more, and his production is high, and he does everything right. [S] Anthony Harris is another one. He’s been a leader since I met him as an undrafted rookie in Minnesota, so he has leadership traits. That whole room from a football character standpoint and doing things right on a daily basis, that’s what a leader is to me, and they all do that.
Q. Eagles Head Coach Nick Sirianni talks a lot about having the advantage of surprise heading into Week 1, with all the new defensive players you have, how do you get the practice and looks you want for the season without giving things away in training camp? (Eliot Shorr-Parks)
JONATHAN GANNON: Last year, we probably, I don’t want to say hid, but we probably didn’t do as much in preseason games because we didn’t want everyone to see that going into the first couple weeks. This year, we’re kind of playing our stuff. The book is out. People know what we are going to do. It just comes down to execution and our players winning at a high level.
I feel good where we are at right now especially after these next two days with joint practices, you want to see all different parts of your scheme, what you’re going to use in a certain game go up against different people and different schemes. And not to say, again, we are not game planning for these practices, but you want to say, ‘Hey, if I call this and you’ve never seen a look, can we execute it,’ and get what we want to get done with the call. So really excited for these next two days.
Q. Where does LB Davion Taylor stand as he gets into his third year? Do you still view him as a developmental guy? (Jeff McLane)
JONATHAN GANNON: All those guys in that linebacker room are competing for playing time to be starters and be on this team and that’s where he’s at.
Q. Do practices give you enough of a sense of how you are as a run defense, or do you need to be live to gauge that? (Zach Berman)
JONATHAN GANNON: It’s live until you hit the ball. That’s the last piece is the tackling, and we want to see us make tackles because that’s what a game is.
But in practice, that box is completely live. I feel good about that evaluation of where those guys are at, playing blocks, putting their hands on the right people and in my opinion, pretty good. Pretty good. We still have to keep working on some things and that’s a continuous process, and we have a couple weeks before we play, which we need to keep improving where that part of the game is.
But I like where they are at right now.
Q. You have a good body of work from DT Jordan Davis, where has he impressed you the most and improved the most? (Dave Zangaro)
JONATHAN GANNON: I would say all our players, not Jordan, is consistency. That’s always going to be the improvement part. What he’s done a good job with is playing multiple spots and changing his technique by the call.
I have really seen a pretty good jump from him the last week or so where he’s understanding, hey, I can be more aggressive here, I can’t be as aggressive with this call. With this blocking scheme, I want to do this to the block, I don’t want to do this. So just his understanding of what he needs to get done with his position when the offense gives him certain things, I think that has really improved.