Sean Desai

Q. If you look at the missed tackle rate, it wasn’t really egregious compared to what your average was heading into this game, but it did seem like when there were missed tackles, there was no one else swarming. Obviously, that had a lot to do with them doing a good job getting players into space, but did you see anything else in that regard why guys weren’t swarming? (Jeff McLane)

SEAN DESAI: No. Like you said, they did a good job of scheming up some space plays, and I’ve got to do a better job of putting our guys in position to get tighter in corralling those areas. It starts with me. I’ve got to do a better job of getting those guys in that position to get tighter when they’re trying to make it the space game on different levels.

Q. You like the effort? (Jeff McLane)

SEAN DESAI: I think the effort at all levels, I’ve got to improve. I think every player knows we’ve all got to improve from an execution standpoint everything too. I’ve got to be able to help them also.

Q. Do you see LB Shaq Leonard as a third down linebacker on the defense? Why do you think some of that wasn’t there with the Colts? (Brooks Kubena)

SEAN DESAI: I can’t speculate on anything that happened with the Colts. Shaq’s been an all down, all pro linebacker in this league. We’re excited to get him in here and get working with him, kind of teach him our stuff, and have him part of that room and compete with everybody and then move forward that way.

It’s just another good piece because we like the guys we have in that room, and it’s just another great job of getting another veteran presence there for us.

Q. When you talk about the space plays, everybody runs them, how much of it is about the play makers versus the scheme and things like that? (John McMullen)

SEAN DESAI: I think it’s always — from my end, I always look at myself and figure out the scheme part of it. I’ve got to continue to do that and put our guys in a game like that in better positions, more consistently to be able to make those plays that we’re asking them.

You’re right, this is a space game, and some teams attack different spaces differently. Credit those guys at San Fran. They did a good job of attacking soft spots in our zones, and they hit us on some calls I’ve got to reflect on and put our guys in better positions on.

Q. When you watch film of that game, what bothered you the most? (Reuben Frank)

SEAN DESAI: There are a lot of things. I’ve got to get to some calls differently and get to them a little bit quicker and get to them in better situations. That’s what I’ve got to be able to do.

That is what’s going to help our guys execute in a cleaner format. So, I’ve got to do a better job of that. We started the game fast. We played really good in the first quarter, and then I didn’t get to the things that we needed to get to fast enough.

Q. It seemed like one of the advantages that you guys had going in was that defensive front against their offensive line, but it didn’t really seem to manifest, or maybe you saw it differently. What’s the why behind that, in your opinion? (Tim McManus)

SEAN DESAI: Again, it’s the same thing. I’ve got to get to our answers faster. We saw in the first quarter, we got some pressures and some quarterback hits on them early, and we did a great job there. Then I think we continued to try to get around him and do some things. I’ve got to be able to change that look and get guys in more advantageous positions more consistently.

Q. When you talk about getting to the answers faster, what’s that process like on the sideline? How do you speed that up? (Dave Zangaro)

SEAN DESAI: To be honest with you, I think we’ve done a good job of it this year, I really do, over the course of the year. In this game, I think we — the coaches and we all talk about it, and we continue to lean in with each other.

It’s just a matter of me calling the right play at the right time. Give credit to them, they hit more right plays at the right time than I did.

Q. Did they change anything after that first quarter when you guys got pressure on 49ers QB Brock Purdy, did they do anything differently, or was it just kind of how the game was going? (Martin Frank)

SEAN DESAI: I think one thing they leaned into was their 4 by 1 passing game, and it was good of them. I got to be able to get our answers to the 4 by 1 game a little faster and more consistently, and they did it on some mixed down situations. They kind of played off of some of their run-pass tips, and they did a good job of calling it that way.

We were good on some and not good on others. When we’re not good in terms of the play call there, it exposed us in space. That’s on me. I’ve got to be better longer.

Q. That game obviously wasn’t what you wanted, but if you go back five games, you guys have given up a lot of yards over the last five games. How do you think you can change this, and why do you think you can? (Bob Brookover)

SEAN DESAI: I think we lean back into what we believe in. We lean back into our techniques. That’s right. Over the last few games, we have given up some yards. We’ve done a good job of holding some points down and winning in some areas.

We’ve got to get better in our third down and red zone defense for sure over the course of that span, and we will. I think the biggest thing is giving guys a clean plan that is really detailed and highly understandable and processable for them so they feel confident in going out on the field, our players feel confident going out in the field and executing that plan.

I think we’ve done a good part of that for a lot of the year. This last game, like I said, I’ve got to get to some answers faster.

Q. 29th in the league in red zone, 32nd on third down. What’s your focus on situational football in particular and the emphasis that gets in discussions throughout the week? (Zach Berman)

SEAN DESAI: It’s a high focus, and it’s going to get even higher. We’ve got to do a better job as a staff and coaches and myself leading the staff in those areas. And we will. We will do a better job there.

It’s about being more consistent for longer. The last few trips down into the red zone, we’ve gotten them to third down. Then we’ve lost on third down. We’ve got to just do better and put our guys in better position to go ahead and execute down there.

Q. Back to Shaq, I know he was primarily a Will linebacker with the Colts. How much difference is there in how you might use him in your defense here and what ways can he be used here? (Brooks Kubena)

SEAN DESAI: I think we feel confident with his ability, obviously his learning ability. He’s played a lot of good football, been around a lot of good coaches. I think he feels comfortable being in a stack position. We’ll keep him there, keep him anchored, and he’ll be able to do some things.

Our backers can play interchangeable as you’ve seen too this year. They’ve been in different spots. I think, as he learns the system and learns where we use our guys, we’ll find a nice role for him.

Q. When things start to snowball like they did Sunday, they had six straight touchdown drives, what about the mental aspect of guys getting down on themselves? What can you do to make sure that doesn’t happen and they stay engaged in the game? (Reuben Frank)

SEAN DESAI: Our guys are great. They’re such professionals. I think they, like all of us, they’re trying to get to the answer faster. They’re looking to me, and I’ve got to be better for them. I’ve got to get them in the right call faster and more consistently. I think that’s what it comes down to.

Q. In terms of the investment in the position of linebacker, Eagles salary cap dollars are among the lowest, 31st or something in the NFL. This has been a longstanding philosophy here about that position. Do you agree with that evaluation? (Jeff McLane)

SEAN DESAI: I agree with everything that we do here. Yeah, I agree with everything that we do here. It’s what’s stood the test of time. I’m fully convicted on it. All of our leadership from Mr. Lurie [Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Lurie] to [Executive Vice President/General Manager] Howie [Roseman] down to [Head Coach] Nick [Sirianni], we do a tremendous job, and the communication is great. Yeah, I’m all in.

Q. In talking about Shaq Leonard, Nick Sirianni mentioned arm length in particular, and between and LB Zach Cunningham, two guys like that, what’s the benefit of arm length at linebacker? (Zach Berman)

SEAN DESAI: Man, just the ability to go downhill and strike blockers in the run game and shed and disengage in the pass game, it just increases your range and ability to cover it and eat up space. So, I think those are a couple of the reasons why arm length is important at that position.

Q. The 48-yard catch and run by 49ers WR Deebo Samuel, aside from the LB Nick Morrow tackle, what else could be done, from play calling to the rest of the group? If you can go into as much detail as you can. (Tim McManus)

SEAN DESAI: Obviously the play call, get more people around there in the middle of the field in that situation. We tried to get them into a little pressure situation there, and it was — they had a good call up, and they kind of high load Nick over there. It’s not his fault. He did the best he could in terms of that situation because he was getting high load on his — he had an over route coming too, and they had to break down on the underneath route.

So, I’ve just got to get more people there. That goes back to me putting guys in the right position in the right calls at the right time. I didn’t do a good enough job of that in that game.

Q. Is it helpful, dating back to training camp really with Zach, and then you had CB Bradley Roby and S Kevin Byard having to get guys going really quickly, coming in late. Now you’ve got to do it again with Shaq. Is there sort of a silver lining that you’ve done it, you’ve got a template? (John McMullen)

SEAN DESAI: Sure. We feel confident in our teaching, and our coaches do a tremendous job, meeting with our guys extra. Like you said, we’ve done it before. We’ve got to lean right back in and go do it again.

We’re excited for this next week. It’s another great opportunity for us. Obviously with Shaq, bringing him in and having him learn it and seeing what his ramp up is. Then we go right back to work and get going this weekend.

Q. Are the 49ers more taxing on linebackers than most teams in this league, just because of all the things they do as an offense? Also, Nick Morrow had a rough day, but he’s been having a good season. What do you say to him after a game like that? (Bob Brookover)

SEAN DESAI: Yeah, you say, ‘I’m sorry, man, I’ve got to put you in better spots. I’ve got to do a better job for you.’ I think that offense is a good offense. They’ve always been a good offense. They do good things schematically. They match their run and pass plays together, and they put binds on guys.

So credit to them of doing that. For Nick, I mean, like you said, he’s played a lot of good football for us. One game doesn’t define you. One game doesn’t define us as a defense. We’re going to continue to build from here and get better, and we will. We will do that.

Q. With all the pieces you’ve added at positions where communication is so important, is there a concern that these guys won’t have the adequate time to really get on the same page? (Dave Zangaro)

SEAN DESAI: Yeah, I think that’s always a concern, but that’s our job. That’s our job as coaches to make sure we have a tight enough plan that’s well detailed and thought out that they feel confident communicating everything that we need to be able to communicate and adjust in a game like that where things are moving.

So, we’ve got to do a better job of that. I’ve got to do a better job of that. I think that’s kind of why we’re in this. We’ve got to be able to develop guys and teach them. Regardless of the time that you get with them, the bottom line is the bottom line.

Q. What did you learn from the last game and how you guys defended Cowboys WR CeeDee Lamb now that you’re facing them again? (Jeff McLane)

SEAN DESAI: We’ve got to do a better job of getting around him too. He had a lot of catch and run yards on us, underneath stuff and catch and run stuff. Make sure there’s bodies underneath that can help us. We did a good job overall in terms of limiting them in the red zone and keeping points off the board, but we’ve got to do a better job earlier and just get around him a little bit more.

Q. Your first year as coordinator here, you were saying earlier you agree with everything. They have a way of doing things that is longstanding, but how flexible are they whenever you come in with your own ideas and maybe be requesting for different things? How flexible do you find that conversation? (Brooks Kubena)

SEAN DESAI: I think they’re very supportive, and it’s a very open-door policy. Everybody here has been just tremendous that way. Like you said, as a new person coming into the organization, it’s been with open arms and I can’t ask for a better type of situation in that regard. They’ve been great.