clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Broncos reportedly request interview with Eagles defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon

Could Philly lose their DC to Denver?

Los Angeles Chargers v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

The Denver Broncos requested an interview with Philadelphia Eagles defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon, according to a report from NFL insider Tom Pelissero.

The Broncos are looking for a new head coach after firing Vic Fangio. And it’s probably worth noting that Denver general manager George Paton overlapped with Gannon on the Minnesota Vikings.

It was previously reported that Gannon was expected to draw head coaching interest. Here’s what we wrote about that possibility back on December 27:

Gannon’s first season as a DC has been ... interesting.

After the hire came with much hype and hope, his unit got off to a pretty discouraging start. The Eagles allowed 40 points in two of their first four games, which was a mark that Gannon’s predecessor (Jim Schwartz) had only allowed once in 86 games. Gannon’s incredibly soft coverages contributed to Philly allowing five quarterbacks to complete at least 80% of their attempts against them. To underscore how insanely bad that is, the Eagles allowed 80%+ completion to six quarterbacks COMBINED in the 70 years before 2021. Gannon also drew public ire from Fletcher Cox, the team’s highest-paid player, who was clearly unhappy with his role and reportedly requested permission to seek a trade.

Despite these flaws, the Eagles’ defense has allowed the second-fewest yards per play and 13th fewest offensive points. They’re allowing 16.7 points per game over their last six, in which they’ve gone 5-1.

Of course, it helps that the Eagles have played some really bad quarterbacks in that stretch. No one is shaking in their boots when it comes to facing Teddy Bridgewater, Trevor Siemian, Daniel Jones, Zach Wilson, Garrett Gilbert, or the combination of Jake Fromm/Mike Glennon. Football Outsiders’ DVOA metric, which accounts for level of competition, has the Eagles’ defense ranked 23rd out of 32 units. Pro Football Focus’s grading has it tied for the 17th best unit.

In fairness to Gannon, he’s in his first year on the job and he could benefit from the Eagles adding more defensive talent to the roster. He could draw more interest down the line after fielding some really strong units.

But he’s yet to prove he has answers to slowing down the league’s better quarterbacks. It would be a surprise if a team hired him away as soon as this offseason. Down the road? Sure, possibly. But not yet.

Those who’ve watched a Gannon press conference may have picked up on how he seems like a personable and bright guy. It’s not hard to believe he could interview well.

That being said, Eagles fans might not be totally torn up if he leaves Philly. We’ll learn more about just how good of a coach Gannon is as the Eagles take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this weekend.

In the event that Gannon does leave, the Eagles have some interesting defensive coordinator options available to him. Fangio, Mike Zimmer, and Brian Flores are high-profile names on the market.