The Eagles defensive coordinator spoke to reporters on Tuesday and spoke a bit about Darius Slay’s success following DJ Moore on Sunday, what he hopes to see from the Buccaneers offense, and he also took time to clarify his earlier comments about not having a specific schema.
This is what DC had to say:
On Darius Slay playing more man on Sunday
Gannon noted that having Slay as DJ Moore shadow was specific to the game plan, and whether they had him to do more of that this season will only depend on his opponent. He said they evaluate the confrontations they will face and determine what the best coverage plan is.
“I thought Slay did an excellent job. I accept the challenge. And like all of our players, he’s a guy who, ‘Anything I can do to help the team, that’s what I’m going to do. So, it was a good answer from him. “
DC was asked how vocal Slay has been about wanting the challenge of traveling with the best receivers, and Gannon acknowledged that it is a premium corner and that most premium cornerbacks like that kind of challenge to show that they are a top level player. But, Slay knows it’s a game-by-game decision, and if that’s not the best move for a specific week, he will do what is asked of him.
On the Buccaneers offense
Gannon was asked about the top three receivers for Tampa Bay: Mike Evans, Chris Godwin and Antonio Brown.
“They have a really good group. They have a really good group. Look at the tape. They make a ton of plays, and each one, I always thought, from the catcher’s point of view, if you have 11 staff members and you have three, they all have different skill sets, and that makes it quite a challenge because how do you have to defend each boy within each cover, what we are playing is different. And our guys have to get that and understand that, what we do because we have smart players.
So it’s going to be a big challenge because they also got the best ones by throwing them, and they also got other weapons besides those three guys. So I have a very high opinion of what they do there, and it will be a great challenge. “
He went on to talk about how the Bucs have an offense that uses four and five wide receivers, and different groupings and packages, so they have to see what kind of defense makes sense when each group enters the field. Gannon noted that they also need to consider what it is and what kind of defense makes sense for the situation.
When having to prepare for an offense led by quarterback Tom Brady, Gannon mentioned that as the season progresses, it helps to see what other teams were able to do and which defenses were successful and why.
Clarifying your comments about not having an outline
“Let me clarify, guys, what that really means to me is, as an offensive guy says, ‘Well, I’m a West Coast guy.’ Well, if you have Tom Brady, you’re not going to run a West Coast offense, are you? I never really wanted: to be on different defenses that I’ve been on, I never wanted to be labeled as, you know, a ‘Tampa boy 2’ or a ‘Seattle boy 3’ or a ‘pressure boy’ because, yeah, those things can be good and some of those defenses have been really good, some of those teams that are known to play that style. But if it doesn’t match the people you have in your building or if it doesn’t match the people you’re playing with, good luck.
So everything that’s not a schematic, it’s really just saying, ‘Hey, every week we want to be able to adapt and adjust, putting our guys in a position to be able to make as many plays as possible with the offense they’re playing.’ So all of that was because I was wrong about that, and I was like from the beginning, like, ‘We don’t have a plan.
Well obviously we have a scheme, but the point is, and that’s where it’s amazing to be around the guys that we have, is that we play differently from week to week. Sometimes it may not look drastically different, but what is happening before and after the snapshot, it really is. And sometimes it’s really good. Our guys run and we put them in the right place and sometimes obviously we have to improve. Like a couple of weeks ago, we have to do a better job of putting them in better places and executing better. Once again, everyone does the same. It’s who you have in your building and who you’re defending that puts our guys in the best possible position to make a ton of plays. “
- Gannon said LB Davion Taylor is doing a good job and his playing time will continue to increase. Taylor was doing a really good job in training camp, but then he got injured, so now that he’s back they want to maximize his skill set and put him in the game as much as they can.
- DC noted linebacker Genard Avery getting all reps at SAM’s spot relies primarily on matchups. With the fronts he’s been on in the last two weeks, his skill set allows him to be successful, but Patrick Johnson will continue to fill that role as well.