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Jonathan Gannon Discusses Play of Four Players in Win Over Jaguars

The Eagles DC went into a little more detail about four players important to the victory
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The Eagles’ defense has done things the past two weeks that don’t come along very often.

First, they sacked Washington quarterback Carson Wentz nine times in Week 3.

Then, they forced five turnovers from Jacksonville quarterback Trevor Lawrence in Week 4 – four fumbles and one interception.

The secondary looked a little different, too from Week 3 to Week 4.

Slot corner Avonte Maddox was out with an ankle injury then Darius Slay injured his forearm after just three snaps.

Into the void stepped Josiah Scott for Maddox and Zech McPhearson for Slay.

What were defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon’s impressions?

Gannon met with the media on Tuesday.

Here are the highlights:

ON SCOTT

He was asked why he went with Scott in that situation rather than moving Chauncey-Gardner Johnson from safety to slot since CGJ played slot in New Orleans before being traded on Aug. 31.

“A couple reasons,” he said. “Josiah does a good job for us. That's a tough spot, like I've talked about with you guys, and he handles it well. He's got the skill set that you're looking for as a nickel. I thought he played well.

“The other thing that goes into that, you don't want a trickle-down effect as far as hey, ‘This guy has got to go here, this guy has got to go here.’ I just thought where we're at as a unit, that was the best way to go and that's how we'll continue to proceed.

“We also got some different packages and some different bullets to switch guys in and out, but like how we played that game.”

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ON MCPHEARSON

When Slay came out, the second-year corner went in. He played 44 of a possible 47 defensive snaps.

“He got some really good quality snaps last year,” said Gannon. “I think that he improved. He improved his game. He had a really good training camp. We feel good about Zech going in.

“You've always got to be ready to go in. You never know when he's the next guy in that spot. Played well, executed. I thought he covered really well. Mentally he was sharp. That's one of the hardest things. It's really not the physical to me with the guys that we have up. It's the mental, because they just don't get a ton of reps in practice.”

Gannon also spoke about two other players – Haason Reddick and Jordan Davis.

ON REDDICK

Reddick had two strip-sack fumbles, recovering one, and now has all 3.5 of his sacks in the last two games. He added four tackles.

“For a guy that's a speed rusher, he's very powerful,” said Gannon. “That shows up not only in rushing, [but] in the run game. With saying that, so he can rush, he can play the run. We can deploy him different ways where he can play in space. He can play different spots along the line.

“That's a really good piece to have for us because one, he can handle it mentally, and two, that gives us a chance to create different matchups that we like. So, he can play right and left. He can stack. He can do it all.

“I'm really pleased with where he’s at. But that's what I mean by the unique skill set. He's not just a one-trick pony. He can do it all.”

ON DAVIS

The defensive tackle had a career-high four tackles and made his presence felt with a stuff on one running play for a loss.

Gannon talked about his rookie’s development.

“He's developing every week. I really like where his game is at. He's continuing to ascend. The things that (Defensive Line coach) Tracy (Rocker) is working on with him, it's showing up on tape. You see him chasing the ball down. That's good things. He's doing a good job.”

Ed Kracz is the publisher of SI.com’s Fan Nation Eagles Today and co-host of the Eagles Unfiltered Podcast. Check out the latest Eagles news at www.SI.com/NFL/Eagles or www.eaglesmaven.com and please follow him on Twitter: @kracze.