Q. How did you think your defense looked today against the Patriots? (Eliot Shorr-Parks)
JONATHAN GANNON: Good, I thought we played pretty fast and, we’ve got to watch the tape, but I thought execution was pretty good and some guys had some pretty good performances. Just as I was out there just watching it, I thought a couple guys really had some good production.
Q. How much do you enjoy these joint practices where you get to look at another team? How much does it help your evaluation? (John McMullen)
JONATHAN GANNON: A lot. You know, especially like a team with New England, they are going to test your rules and your adjustments on every snap. So, it’s a real good learning for our guys because we really didn’t game plan, per se. Just go out and, ‘Hey, this is our system, these are our rules, you have to apply them and see if we can function.’ So, it will be good to get on a tape and watch with our guys and make some corrections with them.
Q. In the game on Thursday, how did you think the tackling looked? And how do you become a good tackling team while not doing it out here? (Zach Berman)
JONATHAN GANNON: Yeah, good question. I thought we tackled really well for the first time tackling. You know, as I said before, we’ve got distinct language how we want to tackle people. I thought the DBs, as a whole, tackled excellent. I honestly was worried about – when I was a DB coach, the first couple games in preseason were always sloppy. Seemed like they had a bunch of missed tackles and we didn’t have a bunch of missed tackles. They are doing a good job. Even though we don’t tackle in practice, the drill work the position coaches are doing, the game reflected what they’re being taught and how we are trying to tackle people.
Q. When you create an odd-man front, is the technique for the down linemen to two-gap strictly? (Jeff McLane)
JONATHAN GANNON: No, it’s predicated a little by call, but all our techniques are very similar with what we’re doing. Even though we might align some people a little bit different, techniques are very similar.
Q. In the game, you had a few longer drives by the opposing offense. You didn’t rotate, you just kind of left those guys in? Is that a way to gauge –? (Jimmy Kempski)
JONATHAN GANNON: Yeah, typically in a game, we would rotate a little bit more, but we had some guys that played some snaps and then were done for the night. So, it was good learning for those guys when you’re tired what goes away as a lineman assignment, key technique and really technique when they are tired. And it was good to see those guys grunt through it and some guys stepped up and did some really good things when they were tired, when they were playing multiple snaps in a row, so that was good to see.
Q. You mentioned the techniques are fairly similar. Has it been a pretty easy transition for the defensive linemen coming from former Eagles Defensive Coordinator and current Titans Senior Defensive Assistant Jim Schwartz’s attack approach to yours? (Paul Domowitch)
JONATHAN GANNON: Yeah, our D-Line as a whole are very intelligent. So, they know what we are trying to get done when we ask them to do certain things with certain calls. But I mean, that’s a great question. Honestly, we’re ahead of where I thought we would be as far as playing blocks the right way, and all it comes down to guys is pad level and striking people and we are doing a good job with that.
Q. LB Alex Singleton obviously got a late start. He seems to have caught up pretty quickly. What have you seen from him since he got back? (John McMullen)
JONATHAN GANNON: Yeah, he’s got a super high motor, and he runs around and makes plays. And he processes very fast, like all our linebackers do. They are processing at a pretty good level, I think, and we ask those guys – we put a lot on their plate in the run and pass game. He’s doing a good job as far as, ‘Hey, here is the call. Here is what you need to do. Here is the communication that needs to be said and then go play free.’ And that’s what you see him doing right now.
Q. How do you think LB Patrick Johnson has been doing in the conversion to edge rusher, to Sam and also how did he do in the first game? (Jeff McLane)
JONATHAN GANNON: Yeah, he’s doing well. We’re trying to accentuate his skill set and we are moving him around to see, you know, where he can function. And like all of our guys that are playing multiple spots, they are taking the coaching, they make mistakes and then they get back in the film room, correct it with the coaches, work at in individual, work at in practice and then it shows up. He’s doing a good job of taking the coaching and not making the same mistake twice.
Q. That Sam position, how difficult in the games is it to strike the balance between not showing too much and being able to evaluate these guys and what you’re going to ask them to do? (Bo Wulf)
JONATHAN GANNON: Yeah, what you saw in the game is a lot of what we’re going to do. You saw the Sams out there a decent amount and got some other things for them. But we saw them get lined up and strike blocks and then drop a little bit in pass coverage, which is what they will be doing.
Q. Have you figured out exactly what that role is going to look like for you? I know you said you were playing around with it earlier. (Dave Zangaro)
JONATHAN GANNON: Yeah, I think we are starting to define a little bit of each guy what he can do, what are his really good skills in that position and what the skills that each one of those guys have to improve on. But I think it’s starting to define itself as far as, ‘Hey, this is what we are trying to get done with this call. Here’s what you need to do to function and play productive football for us.’
Q. How do you see the safety spot opposite S Anthony Harris, that competition stacking up? (Jeff McLane)
JONATHAN GANNON: Yeah, they are all doing a really good job. That’s a really good group of safeties from – however many we have, they are all doing a really good job. I think they can all play winning football right now. Obviously, [S] Rodney [McLeod], too, when we get him back in the mix, it will be good to see, but they are all doing a good job.
Q. Going back to Patrick Johnson for a second, there was a projection when you guys took him in the draft that he could maybe play as an off-ball linebacker, what did you see from him in college that made you think he could do that? (Jimmy Kempski)
JONATHAN GANNON: Yeah, that goes back to with – the scouts do a really good job, I think the collaborative effort that I talked about. We kind of defined what we’re looking for with those outside guys and in college, a lot of tape – like we talked about, everyone’s brand of ball is different. So, what we saw from him, we felt like he did a lot of the things in college that we’re asking him to do, and then there are a couple things, ‘Hey, we need to see this guy play in space, cover down on receivers,’ and he’s doing a good job.
Q. LB Eric Wilson made the big play, hurry-up interception in the end zone. In your mind, what makes a good pass coverage linebacker? (John McMullen)
JONATHAN GANNON: Being where they are supposed to be, that’s the first thing I think. Processing very quickly because it happens fast, those spots. You know, the closer you are to the ball, the less reaction time you have, so those guys are kind of that second line. So, there’s not a lot of room for indecision with decisions that they are making. But I would think that processing and really a feel of, ‘Hey, this is your coverage responsibility, here is the formation, here is what’s going on in front of you, here is where you need to be or here is where you need to get on.’
Q. When you were coaching in different schemes and systems, what was your process for deciding what you wanted it to look like when you were running the show? Your core principles, your coverages, your looks? Did you keep a notebook? Or how did that lead up to how you’re shaping this defense? (Sheil Kapadia)
JONATHAN GANNON: You know, that’s a long – a lot of books. A lot of books. I’ve got a couple books that I keep notes in but what you see our Eagles defense doing right now, the 2021 Philadelphia Eagles, that was the vision.
Q. Did you see a different angle on the DE Derek Barnett hit on the field? (Dave Zangaro)
JONATHAN GANNON: You know, I didn’t. I saw it was bang-bang. I thought he did a good job of pulling off of him. I know it’s unfortunate the guy went down. We talked about it. [Eagles Head Coach] Nick [Sirianni] did a really good job – Coach Sirianni – last night with the team. ‘Here are our expectations, this is how we are going to practice.’ We had a meeting with the Patriots coaches, ‘This is the expectations, here’s how we are keeping guys healthy, keeping guys up.’ I think he really – it was unfortunate because it was bang-bang; I don’t think the quarterback even saw him. I thought he did a good job of keeping up and not making that a huge collision.
Q. Where is DT Milton Williams in his development? Is he where you thought he’d be? Is he ahead of where you thought he would be? (Jeff McLane)
JONATHAN GANNON: He is doing a good job. He is another one and all of our rookies, I feel like they get baptized by fire so to speak. They are out there and we’re doing a lot with those guys, and they make some mistakes. The key thing with those, especially the younger guys, is just try to get better and not make the same mistake twice. And we’re putting a lot on his plate and he’s handling it well.