Jonathan Gannon

JONATHAN GANNON: So just to recap that game, I thought coaches and players did a good job of executing. We played four quarters. The things that we emphasized throughout the week, I thought they did a good job of taking the coaching and preparing the way that we needed to prepare and execute. Then some of the things that we needed to get cleaned up in a hurry we cleaned up. Looking forward to the challenge of this week on the road, divisional game. They have a lot of good players over there and our guys will be ready to roll.

Q. Did that game plan last week start with Vikings WR Justin Jefferson and what the plan was going to be for him? (Bo Wulf)

JONATHAN GANNON: Yeah, you always look at – when you set up a game plan, you always look at how they’re generating points and he was a major reason that they’re generating points. Not just this year, but last year as well. I know it’s a new system and coaching staff, but he’s a really good player. We always take into account that hopefully we don’t allow their best players to beat us. I thought our guys did a good job, the coaches did a good job with how we constructed some things. When guys were on them, they fully understood where the strength and the stress was of the call and had a good day and made some plays.

Q. How does having the corner back play you’re getting from CB Darius Slay, CB James Bradberry and CB Avonte Maddox help you as a play caller kind of open up everything? (Dave Zangaro)

JONATHAN GANNON: I mean the entire back end. It’s not just the corners, the nickels, the safeties, the linebackers, all those guys fit in together and what you see is typically what sometimes people don’t realize is, really good corner back play probably starts with the front. That’s what you saw in this game. When the front’s rushing and winning at a high level like they were, it just makes the quarterback uncomfortable and sometimes he’s got to throw it before he wants to throw it, or the timing might be knocked off a little bit. But all 11 are tied together. Our guys understand that and understand that here’s how these calls need to be played so we can win the down. But I thought all our coverage players in the back end had a pretty good game.

Q. You mentioned making the quarterback throw before he wants to. Commanders QB Carson Wentz might be a guy who would hold on to it a little bit longer. How does that change the dynamic? (Mike Sielski)

JONATHAN GANNON: Any time we look at a game plan and set it up, we look at what goes into that of the O-line play, the quarterback play, the receivers, the routes, the schematics of it, the people of it. Then we use our schematics and people and all that goes into defending them. So hopefully we put together a good game plan and we can go out and execute it.

Q. Why was your blitzing so effective? (Jeff McLane)

JONATHAN GANNON: Good question. I would say that, I don’t know if it was more effective, I think that we were able to really deploy some of them in the game because the situations came up and we decided when we put the game plan together this is when we want to use some of these calls. A lot of times those calls are up in a game, but they don’t come to fruition so to speak. I thought the guys did a good job when those were called. Some of those pressures were called, they executed them, and the rush got there and we held up in coverage.

Q. What were the conversations with CB Darius Slay like during last week? What do you notice about him when a big receiver, big-time receivers are coming up on the schedule? (Tim McManus)

JONATHAN GANNON: That’s what I love about [CB Darius] Slay, he’s the same every week. It doesn’t matter if he’s covering [Minnesota Vikings WR] Justin Jefferson or if he’s lining up covering me. He takes the same approach weekly. What I love about him is he’s a premier corner but he’s selfless, he’s always about the team first. What do you need me to do to help the team win. He knows it’s not about him. The way he prepares throughout the week, the way he studies, watches tape with those guys, I mean I really use the term for him he’s selfless. That’s a good thing. That’s why he’s a captain. You guys know that. Everyone sees on game day what he does, but people don’t see what he does during the week. It’s just, it’s a really good asset for our defense.

Q. The pressure, is it, you mentioned situation specific. Is that normal obviously every week’s a little bit different, but would you say the same amount of blitzes are in each week but it depends on the situation? (John McMullen)

JONATHAN GANNON: That’s very well said, John. That’s correct.

Q. Just to follow up real quick, DT Fletcher Cox said nothing changed from your framework from week-to-week. Is that what he’s discussing when it’s the scheme versus the little bit of changes from week-to-week? (John McMullen)

JONATHAN GANNON: Yeah, our guys, we always talk about being adaptable and what that means is week-to-week you have to defend people differently. Whether it’s what you’re doing schematically, how we set up the game plan for me to call it when we talk to our guys, ‘Hey, this is how I’m going to call the game. These are when these calls are going to come up if we get them to these certain situations.’ First, second, third down, red zone, two minute, everything within a game that goes on. Then it basically comes down to when we practice those things, do we execute them, practice them, do the guys feel comfortable with them. Are we accentuating our matchups? And does it – ultimately is it the best thing to do versus who we’re defending. From there, then we let it rip. So yes, I would say yes to your question.

Q. Head Coach Nick Sirianni talked yesterday about your ability to block out noise during the week. Does that come easy for you? Is it a challenge? What was the week like for you? (Reuben Frank)

JONATHAN GANNON: Good question. It’s funny. When you grow up and if you listen to outside noise and you let it affect you, good and bad, it’s a recipe for disaster. You’ve heard me talk about that. So, we preach to our players and we wear it on our sleeves as well. So honestly, I don’t feel any more pressure from anyone outside of this building. The most pressure I put on myself is because of myself. And that’s how I’ve been since I was a kid. This is a new week. The pressure that I have on myself, is the same that was last year, week one, week two, training camp. It really doesn’t matter to me.

Q. Without giving away the game plan what do you think the keys are to making things difficult for Commanders QB Carson Wentz? (Dave Uram)

JONATHAN GANNON: That would be probably giving away the game plan a little bit. I would think that we always try to affect the quarterback pre and post snap. Then it comes down to us being in the right positions and playing the coverages the right way and executing. When we deploy different things to be able to be in the right spots and win our one-on-one matchups.

Q. To follow up on that, how would you assess his play this season? (Dave Uram)

JONATHAN GANNON: He’s lighting it up right now. It’s a big-time challenge. He has a big arm, he can make off schedule plays. He has really good skill guys. Their O-line does a good job of when they need to protect him, they protect him so we have a big-time challenge.

Q. In coverage, it was the most pass break ups during the time period and significantly more than the average. What contributed to you guys playing more aggressive on the ball in coverage? (Zach Berman)

JONATHAN GANNON: Probably just a little bit of some of those calls are, they allow for certain things to happen within the call. Then when we, the DB coaches, linebacker coach did a good job of, ‘Hey, these certain calls we want to get tighter at times because of A, B and C.’ And that’s not always like that throughout a week. I think our guys saw that the best way to play that team was how we played them. And they went out and executed. So, it’s kudos really to the players.

Q. You said that it was stopping Vikings WR Justin Jefferson obviously he’s their main point generator. When you look at Washington though it might not be as obvious, who are some of those guys that you’re looking at? (Ed Kracz)

JONATHAN GANNON: I mean their three skill guys, [Commanders WR Curtis] Samuel, [Commanders WR Jahan] Dotson and [Commanders WR] Terry [McLaurin]. They’re good players. Their tight end’s a good player. They got two good backs. We talked about the quarterback. So, we just got to be on it when certain coverages are strong in some aspects, and they’re weaker in other aspects. That’s what we always say, make them find the week spots of those coverages. Our guys know the weaknesses and the strengths of calls. Then you just got to kind of go through it and see what’s working, what we need to adjust, how they’re trying to attack us. That’s some of the in-game adjustments that we make. It’s cool for me because we have a really smart room and they can get to different things in game and that’s what we do a lot of the time.

Q. What is your assessment of the four-man rush so far? (Jeff McLane)

JONATHAN GANNON: I think we’re winning at a high rate. I think if we keep winning at a high rate the production will come. You saw a couple sacks. The strip sack by [DT Fletcher] Fletch [Cox], [DE Josh] Sweaty [Sweat] ended the game, a couple of those picks were four-man rushes. Some guys won. They hit the quarterback. I like where we’re at right now and that’s another part of our game just like every part of our game that we’re always going to try to continually improve on and make it better.

Q. The aggressiveness we saw on some of the calls on Monday, obviously opponent and situation dictate a lot of that. But can there be carryover against other opponents that you might not have done it before against? (Dave Zangaro)

JONATHAN GANNON: Yeah, I mean there’s carryover to everything we do. As far as calls. Like we’re not changing the menu week-to-week. We pick and choose from different buckets. But the game plan’s always set up, I kind of sound like a broken record, it’s always set up with our people in mind versus their people. Our scheme in mind versus their scheme. Then our scheme versus their people and our people versus their scheme. It won’t change.

Q. With S Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, what are the job responsibilities that have been relatively seamless for him and what are the ones that maybe still need to take a little bit of time? (Bo Wulf)

JONATHAN GANNON: He’s learning. He’s doing a good job in the box. In the pass game, he’s doing a good job. I know he wants a couple plays back. But what I’m very pleased with [S] Chauncey [Gardner-Johnson] is the first thing of a safety is reliability. You have to be in the right spot. I thought he took a big jump from week one to week two. He understands he’s going to keep growing in that role as far as this is where you have to be, these are the calls you have to make. Then from there just go play, play free. You don’t want him thinking a lot. He’s very intelligent and very smart, but what I mean by that is it comes natural, and he doesn’t have to think about things and he can just unleash his talent and just go make a bunch of plays for us. So excited where Chauncey is, and I think he’s going to continue to get better.