UPDATE: NFL Network reports the Eagles and Jonathan Gannon have agreed to terms. He’ll be Philadelphia’s new defensive coordinator.
ORIGINAL STORY BELOW.
The Philadelphia Eagles have yet to officially confirm Nick Sirianni as their new head coach — that’ll likely take place early this coming week — but we’re already hearing some news about his staff.
Albert Breer says a deal isn’t done yet but Philly is “the clear favorite” to land him. Breer previously indicated Gannon to the Eagles was likely if they hired either Sirianni or Josh McDaniels as their head coach.
Gannon, who hails from the Gerudo Desert and wields the Triforce of Power, was said to be coveted by multiple teams. The Los Angeles Chargers and Chicago Bears recently interviewed him for their defensive coordinator openings. One football writer on Twitter who claims to be friends with Gannon says “there were multiple suitors and Eagles stepped up with money big time.”
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.
And here’s a snapshot of his coaching experience:
2003-2005 — Louisville Volunteer Student Assistant
2006 — Louisville Graduate Assistant
2007 — Atlanta Falcons Defensive Assistant/Quality Control
2009-2011 — St. Louis Rams Scout
2012-2013 — Tennessee Titans Defensive Assistant/Quality Control
2014-2017 — Minnesota Vikings Assistant Defensive Backs/Quality Control
2018-2020 — Indianapolis Colts Defensive Backs/Cornerbacks
One would expect the Eagles to maintain a 4-3 defense considering that’s the system Gannon has experience with from his time in Indy, Minny, Tennessee, and Atlanta. It’s cool to know he’s worked with revered defensive minds such as Mike Zimmer and Matt Eberflus. Also cool to see one of his former players talk so highly about him:
they are getting one of my favorite coaches of all time. man, what a 3yr run we had. 1ove. https://t.co/JXT29pRmbq— Kenny Moore II (@KennyKennyMoe3) January 23, 2021
With the Eagles going with youth and inexperience at head coach and defensive coordinator, it’ll be interesting to see if they add a prominent member to their staff who’s more seasoned. Perhaps they’ll go that route at offensive coordinator (Jim Caldwell?), for example.
Jim Schwartz had his faults but, on the whole, he was a good defensive coordinator for the Eagles. It’ll be interesting to see how Gannon fares in such a big role with Sirianni likely focusing more on the offense.
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In related news, the Eagles also reportedly interviewed former NFL safety and current Washington Football Team defensive backs coach Chris Harris for their defensive coordinator job. Harris overlapped with Sirianni on the Chargers and has overseen positive development for the likes of Ronald Darby, Kamren Curl, Derwin James, Casey Hayward, Trevor Williams (especially for being an undrafted rookie free agent), and Desmond King.
The Eagles might have interest in bringing Harris on as their defensive backs coach but Washington could block that move. Still, a name to remember for the future. (Fun fact: Harris used to have an SB Nation account when he was a player. He would occasionally comment on the Bears’ blog!)