The Philadelphia Eagles have yet to hire a head coach as of me typing this sentence. The latest rumors indicate that could soon change, however, and it’ll be either Josh McDaniels or Nick Sirianni replacing Doug Pederson.
Regardless of which one of those two the Eagles might pick, there’s already some buzz about who could get Philly’s defensive coordinator job. It turns out that Indianapolis Colts defensive backs/cornerback coach Jonathan Gannon is a name to watch when it comes to getting Jim Schwartz’s previous role.
We discussed Jonathan Gannon's stock here in @theMMQB (https://t.co/augQ2TBoVJ). He's red hot. Would be Josh McDaniels' DC in Philly. Is a leading candidate in Atlanta.— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) January 21, 2021
FYI: Gannon and Staley are VERY close. They'd been lined up as co-DCs on McDaniels' Cleveland staff in '20. https://t.co/uJDW3PpeuB
That’s why I believe the likelihood would be that Gannon would go to Philly, if McDaniels (or even Nick Sirriani) gets the job there. We’ll see where things go. https://t.co/k67QUepMw4— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) January 21, 2021
Clearly, Gannon was part of the coaching staff that McDaniels put together in Indy before surprisingly backing out of the job. Gannon and McDaniels are both Ohio natives and they overlapped on the St. Louis Rams in 2011. Gannon has also overlapped with Sirianni, who attended college in Ohio (Divison III Mount Union), for the last three years.
So, why is Gannon getting buzz? Well, he contributed to a Colts defense that ranked seventh in defensive DVOA and seventh in opponent offensive points per game last year. More specifically, Gannon oversaw a resurgent year for Xavier Rhodes, who had been cut by the Minnesota Vikings. Colts general manager Chris Ballard specifically credited him for that. Our friends over at Stampede Blue also note that Gannon was critical in developing younger guys like Rock Ya-Sin, Kenny Moore, Khari Willis, and Julian Blackmon.
Gannon might not be available to the Eagles. He’s reportedly interviewing for the Los Angeles Chargers’ defensive coordinator job. With new head coach Brandon Staley expected to call plays there, though, Gannon would lack the kind of power he’d get in Philly.
But the Chargers are also able to offer Gannon a real job right now while the Eagles are not until they decide on their head coach. We can talk about how the Eagles don’t need to rush their head coaching hire since it’s not like there are other openings, aside from the Houston Texans. The downside is that the Eagles risk losing out on hiring desirable assistants the longer they wait.