Jonathan Gannon

Q. What’s your biggest play calling regret about this past Sunday? (Mike Kaye)

JONATHAN GANNON: Probably one of the red zone calls I’d like to have back. And then probably the last third down where I put the guys in a tough spot. The guy that was on [Chiefs WR] Tyreek [Hill], not a very good matchup there. So probably those two I’d like to have back.

Q. Was the red zone one with Tyreek Hill and LB Eric Wilson? (Jeff McLane)


Q. So have you done much dime this year? And if not, why? (Jeff McLane)

JONATHAN GANNON: We’re not really a dime team right now. We like to play out of four down and two linebackers. I’m not really going to get into the schematics of that, but I’d like that one back.

That particular formation forced us to check a call. And they got us in a mismatch. It was a good design by [Chiefs head coach] Andy [Reid].

Q. Can you tell us why you’re not a dime team? (Jeff McLane)

JONATHAN GANNON: I just don’t believe in it right now with who we are. I like to play out of four down and two linebackers.

We feel like that’s kind of the best way with second down and drop back and defending — who we’ve defended up until this point. On third down, as well, to play with two linebackers in a game. 

Q. Is there something you got to do different schematically to stop the run? (Geoff Mosher)  

JONATHAN GANNON: Yeah, I would think — we always first look at the coaches. You know, when we come in on Monday, critically, how can we help our players a little bit more to put them in better position to win the game.

I think we’re all pissed off about the last two games. We haven’t played great on defense. That’s evident. And that starts with me and starts with the coaches.

So it always comes down to self-evaluation, ‘Hey, what can we do to help our players? What did we say the three things are to win this game? Did we get those three things done?’

And the last two weeks, we have not done that. So, you look at — if we get these three things done, are we putting ourselves in a position to win the game? You look at those first. The three things we said, are they the right things?

Then from there, you look at execution and what we’re asking our players to do and how can we help them and serve them better to put them in better spots. And that starts with me, to the coaches, right down to the players.

Q. Is there anything you can do to help DT Fletcher Cox be a little more impactful? (Ed Kracz)

JONATHAN GANNON: Yeah, I think so. We always talk about ways to get our best players going a little bit. And that starts with first and second down, and then goes into third down, it goes into situational ball.

I would say Fletch is doing a good job right now. Again, he — people know that we play with Fletcher Cox, so they do certain things that you typically don’t see on tape. What we get, certain teams do not get because of our personnel.

So it’s always a constant, ‘Hey, let’s try to find ways to, free up Fletch or get Fletch going.’ But I thought — he’s playing good.

And, again, the production — guys, we’re four weeks through, the production will come. I’m not worried about the production from Fletch.

Q. Going back to the previous answer. Against Kansas City, what were those three things? (Zach Berman)

JONATHAN GANNON: I’m not going to go into that, Zach, honestly. Because that’s kind of schematically what we talk about.

I do think that we had the right three things. I don’t think we executed from the standpoint of myself calling the game once adjustments were made to get to some other things to help slow them down.

Q. As a follow-up, in talking to us last week, you said you wanted to get them kind of in third and short situations, right? Or in third down situations and force them off the field on third downs. What was the issue you found on third downs? (Zach Berman)

JONATHAN GANNON: Maybe I misspoke. You don’t really want to be in third and short all day. You want to get to — it’s hard to, when you’re in third and one, third and two all day, and that’s a direct correlation from first and second down, what’s happening.

So, we have to do a better job on first and second down. On first down, to get it to second down and manageable, to get it to third down and some longer distances where we can get to some of our stuff and some of our packages to be successful and get off the field.

The one play where we had the interception, if you look at that series, the first down, the second down, how we got it to third down and seven or eight, we played good ball on first and second down.

So, third down defense, to me, is we got to get out of third and one, third and two. How do you do that? You play better on first and second down.

Q. You mentioned the red zone where you got caught, the play with Eric Wilson on Tyreek Hill. Defense is kind of reactionary. So, from your perspective, what can you do when you realize you’re getting caught? Are there checks built in? Do you have to call time-out? How does that kind of work? (John McMullen)

JONATHAN GANNON: Yeah, I’m not going to call a time-out, John. [Head Coach] Nick [Sirianni] handles that.

Yeah, it’s always going into the game plan, ‘All right, here’s the call, what are the adjustments within the call? Where are the soft spots of every call?’ And not one call takes away everything. ‘And what are we asking our guys within each call to do and who are they going to be on, and can they execute that?’

That’s a constant — we just met all this morning about Carolina. It’s, like, ‘All right, well, with these certain calls, who has the hard duty, where’s the soft spot, where should the ball go? Boy, this call is really good against this and this, but if they give us this, it’s not great. And that guy has a tough matchup for that down.’

From that, it’s the standpoint of, ‘All right, guys, here’s the call, here’s who have the hot spots of the call, here’s what the call is for, and this is who has some hard duty.’ And they have to know when they have hard duty and how to do defend it.

Q. Is playing Fletcher more as a three technique, what he’s used to for most of his career, a way of putting him in a better spot? (Jeff McLane)

JONATHAN GANNON: Yeah, I mean, he played three technique a lot last game. That’s what he’s playing right now for us. But, yeah, we like to move Fletch around.

You know, his skill set is one of that it makes it a hard matchup for different people to block him. So that’s one of the guys that I think — along with most of our guys, that’s why we’ve trained them to play in different spots for matchup-driven reasons.

And we got to continue to do that with Fletch, to give him the best matchup possible. But there’s not a guy that lines up on Fletch, that in my mind, that he cannot beat.

Q. Do you have a certain level of patience with your team learning an entirely new scheme than what they’ve played before as opposed to if this were year three or four what you are trying to do with the defense? (Geoff Mosher)

JONATHAN GANNON: No, I don’t really look at that. Because, from the jump — you guys, I don’t have a scheme. Like, we have to — our scheme should be put our 11 guys on the field in the best position possible to succeed.

So, I have to do a better job of that because right now, it’s not showing up where, ‘Hey, are we doing that, with what I’m calling and how we’re playing right now, how can we be a little more successful?’

And just because I like something or the coaches like something, if the players can’t execute it or it’s not the best thing for them, throw it away.

And that’s a kind of — you know, the first month of the season, we’ve — the last two games, we’re continuing to figure that out as we go. And we need to figure it out fast. Because we can’t keep looking like that. I know that.

Q. Just to follow-up, when you’re playing two deep safeties or doing certain things with guys on the line, where they are aligned, that’s not your scheme, that’s you believe this personnel is best suited to do that? (Geoff Mosher)

JONATHAN GANNON: Yeah, a little bit of how I — in my mind, how I think what we need to do to win the game. That goes into the three points. 

And then that’s a little bit player driven with who we have and what we have to get done within each call to be successful for that call.

Q. You spoke to third and short. How can you stop teams from getting six, seven, eight yards just running on first down? That seems to be happening a lot. (Les Bowen)

JONATHAN GANNON: Yeah, that goes a little bit into schematics and players and coaches. We got alignment assignment, key technique has to be a little bit better on some of those downs.

It’s always going to come down to striking blocks, tackling, getting off blocks. You know, the run defense, that’s — just like pass defense, just like all defense, is it takes all 11 to execute at a high level to be successful for that down.

So, when you look at run defense, like, we have to be in the right spot and we have to win individual matchups.

And from a coaching standpoint, what adjustments can we make and how can we position our guys to be a little more successful than what we’ve been so far.

Q. To follow up on the philosophy about getting the best 11 players, et cetera, what’s your level of patience and what’s your outlook on potentially switching up who the best 11 players are if you’re noticing that maybe one is the weakest link or one is making the same mistake over and over again? (Mike Kaye)

JONATHAN GANNON: Yeah, we don’t really have a lot of guys making the same mistake over and over again. I think we continue to improve.

My level of patience, it’s wearing thin on myself. ‘Hey, Jonathan, let’s get them in better position so we give our team a chance to win the game.’

It’s not really towards getting irritated at the players. That’s how I’ll always roll, that’s how the coaches roll.

So, when we came in here on Monday and sat down, I talked to the head coach on Sunday, on Monday morning, and then we’ll talk to him tonight.

And the patience for me is wearing thin, ‘Hey, let’s get competitive. Let’s get in a game.’ Because right now, we haven’t been in a game — I know we were in that game, but from a defensive standpoint, like, we got to keep the points down, keep the yards down, get off the field to give our team a chance to win.

So, where I’m most non-cool, calm, and collected right now is not with the players, it’s with myself.

Q. What do you find is the biggest difference — like, the first two games, obviously, you only gave up 23 points, the last two games, a lot different. Is part of it the teams you’re playing, too? (Martin Frank)

JONATHAN GANNON: I don’t look at it like that. I’m looking at it as, ‘Are we setting up our players the best way possible to be successful?’ And then I look at how I’m calling the game.

And then it goes into — like Zach’s [Berman’] point is, ‘Hey, when you develop a couple things that we say we need to get these things done to win the game,’ you know that when you do that, there is give and take to that.

So, there are certain things that go on that I am okay with that to the — you know, to the eye of the public, might be irritated at certain things. ‘Well, they don’t do this, they don’t do that.’

I’m not really concerned with that. I don’t really care about the statistics other than winning and losing. So, what we develop as a coaching staff and with the players, this is what we need to get done to win the game, that’s what I’m concerned with. And my level of patience is going down because we haven’t done that for two weeks.

Q. Can you talk about something that you might care less about, than, what the public might think? (Bo Wulf)

JONATHAN GANNON: I wouldn’t really want to go into that. But certain statistics that, to me, don’t reflect winning and losing football. That’s what I would say to that. And that changes by who you’re playing.

Q. Head Coach Nick Sirianni mentioned harsh conversations with you and the staff. And you mentioned your patience. How’s his patience right now? (Jeff McLane)

JONATHAN GANNON: Excellent. Yeah, he’s really good with us. He’s very demanding, but, ultimately, all the conversations that we have with the head ball coach is, ‘How can we help this team win?’

And so, that starts with Nick and I, when we talk about the defense, and then goes right down into the position coaches.

So we’re, obviously talking every day how we’re defending and what we’re doing, and is it acceptable, and how we can get better.

Q. You mentioned that give and take, if you one defense gives you something, it takes away. You guys have been pretty successful eliminating big plays in the passing game. How has that affected the run support? (John McMullen)

JONATHAN GANNON: A little bit, because when you’re taking away big plays in the passing game or you’re trying to take away people that they’re trying to get the ball, you’re going to be light at times in the run game.

But the first critical thing for myself is, how can I call the game a little bit better at a little high percentage to say, ‘Well, they’re really not trying to attack down the field in these certain spots. Let’s be better in the run.’

But, again, that kind of goes into each week is a different game plan and you call the game differently each week. So, you know, again, it comes down to, let’s put our players in a little bit better position to be successful.

Q. Is LB Davion Taylor, if he stays healthy, someone that can earn a bigger role for your defense? (Dave Zangaro)  

JONATHAN GANNON: Yeah. We’re excited about DT [Davion Taylor]. He keeps improving. He’s gotten some snaps in certain games when he’s been up.

We’ll always continue to look at, hey, what are the best guys in certain packages to be successful? You know, what we’re asking DT to do, it might be different from another guy what we’re asking him to do.

So, we’ll always look to — whenever they’re in a game — whoever’s in a game, we feel comfortable executing at a high level to play winning football.