JONATHAN GANNON: Just to start, obviously a lot of things we need to clean up and looking forward for that opportunity. I think it’s very clear to the coaches and the players after watching the game what we need to improve on quickly, from an execution standpoint, from a technique standpoint. I thought we did some good things, but 35 points is not good enough.
Had a chance to put that game away a couple different times, I thought, and we didn’t do it. Then that’s what happens. You get into a dogfight like that. Overall happy that we won the game, but that is not the standard that we need. We need to improve quick, and we will.
Q. What type of impact do you think DT Jordan Davis had in the running game, and how much closer do you think he is to being able to play more than 22 snaps? (Eliot Shorr-Parks)
JONATHAN GANNON: He did a good job when he was in there. I thought that he played his technique well, and what we’re asking him to do, he did a good job of executing.
The 22 snaps, those guys all played, the five D-tackles that were up. They’ll continue to all play, and I think [DT] Jordan [Davis] will keep maximizing his opportunities.
Q. I just want to follow up on that — we saw him get just a handful of opportunities in the four-man front. Is that something you think will grow for him, and why didn’t we see him – (Dave Zangaro)
JONATHAN GANNON: I feel comfortable with Jordan playing in the three- and four-man fronts. He’s a defensive tackle and can play all those techniques within all those schemes.
Moving forward he’ll be playing in everything that we do.
Q. What were the biggest issues you saw once you had the 17-point lead and they went on that run? (Reuben Frank)
JONATHAN GANNON: A lot of it came down to situational ball because we had our chances to get off the field a couple times, and we didn’t do it. We were getting it to 3rd down a good amount. The one drive, I think they had five 3rd downs that they converted. You’re just going down a long, hard road if you’re not getting off the field on 3rd down, and that extends drives and then you get into the red zone, and we didn’t hold up in the red zone, and those are points.
It’s really a combination of 1st and 2nd down, doing what we’re doing, but then executing a little better on 3rd down to make them punt or when they get into the red zone to keep those four-point plays, not touchdowns and field goals.
Like I said, we have to get it cleaned up, and we will get it cleaned up.
Q. When it comes to rotational positions, so not just D-tackle, D-end, is that sort of game planned in, that rotation? How much room is it to change in game with you and Defensive Line Coach Tracy Rocker? (John McMullen)
JONATHAN GANNON: Yeah, like we talked about I think last year, I think it’s a good question. We set up the game plan a certain way and say, ‘Hey, we want to come out of the game kind of looking like this,’ and we do that with the head coach and with [Eagles Executive Vice President/General Manager] Howie [Roseman]. But then there is always room for, as you go through the game, how the game goes. You don’t know how it’s going to unfold. You don’t know that you’re going to be up however many points in the third quarter or whatever and you don’t know how many points you’re going to be down. We try to keep that within reason. We set up a game plan and have a game plan for that, but then that can adjust moving forward. That’s why you guys will see all those guys’ snaps — whoever plays for us we feel good about, but those snaps will fluctuate through the year as the year goes within certain games because of how games are played.
Q. How about the rush defense? What did you see there? (Tim McManus)
JONATHAN GANNON: We have to clean it up because you can’t get gashed like we did. Just from a fit standpoint and a tackling standpoint, I think our execution needs to be a little bit better. Obviously, that starts with me. We have to coach that a little bit better to make sure our guys know exactly where they’re fitting on certain runs. You give up two explosive runs for however many yards, that’s going to skew the rush numbers, and that’s what happened. We have to get those runs down a little bit better, a little bit quicker, and the rush per attempt will go down.
Q. With DE Derek Barnett’s injury do you foresee playing someone like DT Milton Williams more on the outside given how stacked you might be at the defensive tackle position? I saw DT Fletcher Cox playing outside a bit. (Shamus Clancy)
JONATHAN GANNON: I talked to our guys about [DE] Derek [Barnett]. I know it happens in football. It’s tough because he’s one of my favorites. What he brings to the team as far as toughness, accountability, how he plays, being a pro, leadership, we’re all going to have to step up and do our job to replace a player like that.
We’ll have certain ways to do that with everybody that needs to – we have to rally the troops a little bit and try to replace them.
Q. Are you satisfied that you were in the right alignments against the run most of the time? (Les Bowen)
JONATHAN GANNON: Yeah. There are obviously advantages to each call and different spacings that you’re in, and whatever we end up being in because of how the game is being played or what we think is the best way to go, we have to execute a little bit better in everything that we did last Sunday.
Q. The missed tackles, how much do you think that’s a product of not doing a whole lot of live hitting and tackling in preseason? (Martin Frank)
JONATHAN GANNON: I really don’t think it’s a product of that. We just know that from what tackling is, that we’ve talked about, we’ve just got to be better at that, coach that better and tackle better next week on Monday.
Q. What are your first impressions of this Vikings offense? (Jimmy Kempski)
JONATHAN GANNON: Explosive. Explosive. They have some explosive people over there. The quarterback is a really good player, knows where to go with the ball, comes out fast. Obviously, they have some wide outs and a back. I was with a couple of those guys and they’re really good players, so we’re going to have to be on it to give ourselves a chance to win a game on Monday.
Q. As a general kind of matter, you mentioned feeling comfortable with anybody you put out there on the defensive line rotation. But you also mentioned that game situations will change; you don’t know how much you’re going to be up. When push comes to shove, do you defer kind of to the plan and the scheme, hey, this is what we want to play when they show us this? Or are there certain players you say, you know what, I’ve got to have that guy on the field regardless of what the scheme or what the other team is doing because they’re not blocking him? (Mike Sielski)
JONATHAN GANNON: Good question. That’s a blend of both. It’s a blend of both. As you set up the game plan, ‘Hey, these are the calls that we’re going to call, these different spacings and things like that’, and then we talk about who’s got the hot hand a little bit, too. But again, though, we’re trying to put our guys in situations where they’re going to be very successful within the situations of the game, what they’re comfortable with, what we’re comfortable with.
Again, that will always kind of change week in and week out about how we do that. Good question.
Q. You talked last year about how can’t measure pass rush by sacks; they get the ball out quickly sometimes. How did you feel like the pass rush was? (Bo Wulf)
JONATHAN GANNON: Good. We hurried them a couple times, we hit them a couple times. The one pick, I think that was [DT Marlon] Tui [Tuipulotu] made the guard miss and he smokes [Detroit Lions QB] Jared [Goff]. But again, how they played that game was the ball was coming out fast, they maxed us up a couple times, so when you see that, you kind of adjust a little bit.
I think I was happy where it was, and we want to continue to improve that part of our game, too.
Q. How do you think S C.J. Gardner-Johnson was able to be incorporated and how did he handle everything that was thrown at him? (Josh Tolentino)
JONATHAN GANNON: I was happy with him. That’s a lot for him to handle in 10 days, and he did a really good job. I loved the attitude and the swagger that he brings to the defense, the energy that he brings to the defense. I’m sure he wants some plays back, like we all do, like I do, and we’ll get it cleaned up, and I look forward to him improving as we get going.
Q. Did you feel like you guys were gassed at all in the second half? (Reuben Frank)
JONATHAN GANNON: Anytime you have a couple long drives there in a row, a little bit probably. I think our conditioning level was where it needed to be going into that game, but it doesn’t matter how good your conditioning level is when you go on a couple series in a row there where they had to move it down, and that goes into 3rd down and red zone. You’re allowing them to extend drives, go the long, hard road, but if you were better in situational ball, we get off the field a little bit. I’m sure we were gassed a little bit, but some of the reason why we rotate the way we do is to keep the big guys fresh, so that’s why you see some of the rotation. Ultimately, I think it comes down to us coaching and playing a little bit better.
Q. Throughout the summer you wanted to keep it closer to the vest in regard to LB Haason Reddick. Now that he played a game, what did you think about the way he was used? (Zach Berman)
JONATHAN GANNON: I liked how we deployed him. I thought he was comfortable in the spots that we used him. Just like all our guys, looking forward to keep expanding that as we get going and setting him up, as all our guys, week by week what we think is best match-ups for us and how we can put all of our players in a position to affect the game.
Q. You’re up 17 middle of the third quarter. I guess it’s human nature to think the game is over, we have it won. Did you sense any of that as the game went on? (Reuben Frank)
JONATHAN GANNON: I didn’t. We talked to our guys coming out after that. It was really — even after the pick six when we came out of half, I think when we took the field again maybe 31-14, that’s one of the drives I’m talking about, where if you make them punt there, our offense was rolling. Then I think that was a little bit of a letdown. But it wasn’t our attitude, it just came down to some technique and some schematic issues.
You’d like to see us, and our guys know that and the coaches know that and the players know that, when we have a chance to really put the other team behind the 8-ball when we have the chance, we have to do that.
Q. Were you surprised at all when they got down 17, Head Coach Nick Sirianni mentioned a little bit, typically teams are going to forget about the running game, and they stayed disciplined with the running game. Did that surprise you? (John McMullen)
JONATHAN GANNON: Before we go out, especially in the third quarter, I think what you’re asking about, you start looking and you see that there’s a blend of time, what our offense is doing, how many possessions they probably have. That’s coming from up top.
I thought they did a good job of keeping balanced, where I thought maybe they were going to start to throw it a little bit more, and that went into some decisions that we made to put who we put out there.
But again, though, ultimately, we can’t let them go down the field, up and down the field in the second half and score a bunch of points like that.
We just have to play a little bit better, coach a little bit better.
Q. From a play calling perspective, what did you walk away from thinking of? (Tim McManus)
JONATHAN GANNON: When I walked off the field there were a handful of calls I wanted back, that I put our guys in some bad spots, and that’s always going to happen. They got me out of a few bad spots, which that was good to see because they’ve been doing that in camp.
You’re always going to want a few back, just like our players always want a few plays back. I’ll always call the game with the players in mind to try to set them up for the best things that they can do.
Q. What part of Minnesota Vikings WR Justin Jefferson’s game keeps a defensive coordinator up at night? (Zach Berman)
JONATHAN GANNON: There are a lot of guys out there, but he’s a special player. I don’t rank guys, but he’s up in that top group.
He can beat you all different types of ways, so when you’re looking at his game, he’s not a one-dimensional guy. He can take the roof off, he can beat you underneath, he can beat you with yards after catch. They do a really good job of deploying him different ways, so it’s hard to have a plan for him to always have two guys on him. It’s going to be a good challenge for us, and we’ll be up for it.