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Jonathan Gannon talks Jordan Davis, Nakobe Dean, and more Eagles defensive topics

Plus, the DC talks first-round pick Jordan Davis’ role in the passing game.

Eagles’ defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon spoke to reporters on Tuesday for the first time this offseason, and he talked a bit about some of the new additions — free agents and rookies —, and also explained why it’s good to have Brandon Graham back. He also addressed his head coach interviews earlier in the offseason.

Here’s what the DC had to say:

On James Bradberry

“Very versatile player. Smart, physical, tough, can get the ball, can cover. So, anytime you have that type of skillset with your outside corners is a good thing. A good asset to have. He allows us to play certain things predicated on what we’re trying to stop that week — as [Darius] Slay does, as all those guys do.

That’s why you look for complete players — can they play off? Can they press? Can they play with vision? Can they play with man eyes? So, he does all that. And, really, that type of player gives you flexibility with some of the coverages that you can play, which I like flexibility with coverages.”

Gannon later talked about how he likes to change up coverages a lot which is why they like smart players with high football IQ — they need to switch things up quickly, think fast, and execute. The DC said Bradberry’s intelligence is one of the thing he likes most about the CB.

On defensive player additions

“[Nakobe Dean] — high, high football character, highly intelligent, versatile. Production, obviously, was through the roof. Excited to add him to that room.

With [Jordan Davis], same thing. High football character, versatile, tough, big, strong, violent. Can play a bunch of different spots for us, can affect the game in a positive way.

And then, the free agents we brought in, the other draft picks — with [Kyron Johnson], excited to see him play —, some of the free agent rookies that we brought in, extremely excited about that, we got a very specific vision for those guys.”

Gannon was later asked if Jordan Davis would have a role in the passing game, to which the DC was quick to unequivocally say ‘yes,’ pointing out that he’s a big, explosive guys who can win one-on-one and will affect the quarterback. Davis wasn’t asked to rush the QB a lot in college, but he has the skillset and physicality to affect the pass game, as well.

On having Brandon Graham back

“Awesome. I was talking about BG the other day, it’s like ‘What’s your ideal Eagle?’ He’s in that conversation. Just from a production and leadership standpoint, the person that he is, and sustained positive enthusiasm — that’s really who he is at his core. And, he’s a really good player.”

Other notables

  • Gannon was asked about the new OLB/DE room they created this offseason, and he cited more time on task for the positions and looking at how they can better maximize the coaches they have.
  • The DC said he’s confident in the team’s safety position because he looks at their production and they’ve shown that they can play at a high level.
  • He also talked about the head coach interview process he went through following the 2021 season, something Gannon called humbling to be in a position to meet with a few teams. But, he’s excited for the seat he’s in right now, and it was good experience but now he’s focused on getting the defense better.

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