The Eagles offense struggled at times in Week 1, but ultimately did enough to secure the victory. Offensive coordinator Brian Johnson spoke to reporters on Tuesday about his thoughts on the offense’s overall performance, a bit about Jalen Hurts’ maturity at the quarterback position, and how they prepare for a short week and a Thursday night game.
Here’s what the OC had to say:
On the overall performance against the Patriots
“ I mean, it was too sloppy. From just the standpoint of — I think for me, the thing that was really most frustrating is we had an opportunity up 16-0 with the ball in the minus territory, three possessions in a row, and we couldn’t get much going.
Obviously, we’ve just got to continue to clean up those corrections, make those corrections, and put ourselves in a position to go out there and have some success.”
Johnson said that going into that game, the biggest thing was all about their operation, and they operated really well in how they managed different scenarios and were able to adjust in the second half. But, it’s a long season, and they need to continue to find different and unique ways to get everyone involved and put gets in the best positions to perform at a high level.
The OC noted that they played a great defense, which certainly affected their ability to convert on third down. They also had a few 3rd-and-really, really long situations that were tough due to penalties and a sack.
“So, I think that just goes into what we talked about in terms of the cleanliness that we play with, and keeping ourselves on schedule. We know we’re also a big 4th down team, as well, so for us, as we get to those conversion opportunities, we’ve got to do a great job of giving ourselves good yardage situations.”
As for their decision to run the ball on 3rd-and-long, Johnson said that sometimes it’s about catching your opponent off-guard, and that’s something they’ve done occasionally with game-planning, but admitted that the weather certainly played a factor, too.
He also talked about the Patriots did some things with coverages that prevented them from getting behind them and creating some explosive play opportunities. Related to that, the OC echoed the sentiments of head coach Nick Sirianni about getting guys like Dallas Goedert and D’Andre Swift more touches. They have to be more mindful of certain situations and get all their players involved.
Johnson later said that the communication between him and Jalen Hurts in terms of adjustments was really, really good, and they were able to put the ball in the air a bit more in the second half and get some first downs.
On Jalen Hurts’ maturity as a QB
“Jalen is a very, very smart player. I think he has great instincts. He understands the game. He understands what it takes to win football games. A big part of that is us as an offense doing a great job of taking care of the football and not giving the ball away.
I think that’s something that has really stood the test of time in terms of the game of football is guys that are able to possess it and score touchdowns in the red zone, it’s generally a pretty good recipe for success offensively.”
On preparing on a short week
Johnson said that Sirianni set the schedule in a way where the team is getting a lot of walk-through reps, and thankfully they have a lot of veterans on the team that can maximize those. The OC also talked about relying on the staples of their offense, especially on a short week, being a recipe for success.
“I think that’s why you have training camp and you build certain things throughout the course of training camp that you feel really, really comfortable with, regardless of the opponent you’re playing, regardless of who’s out there, stuff that you can hang your hat on and feel like you can go out there and execute really well.”