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Arizona Cardinals head coach Jonathan Gannon has been hired by the team from Philadelphia Eagles defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon as their new boss, making him their first new coach since 2021.
Gannon's two seasons in Philadelphia saw the Eagles become one of the league's premier defenses. By 2022, they ranked sixth overall and their 78 sacks were second only to their 78 tackles for loss that season - an NFL record.
Gannon recently won the NFC East with the Philadelphia Eagles and led them to Super Bowl LVII. Now he's set to replace Kliff Kingsbury as head coach of the Arizona Cardinals.
Gannon, 40 years old and with a strong defense coaching background, should have no trouble transitioning into his new head-coaching role. His defensive staff was instrumental in the Eagles' 16-0 record that propelled them to the Super Bowl.
His defense led the league in sacks with 70 during the regular season and 78 total during the postseason - an average of 3.9 per game. Furthermore, he coached three players to the Pro Bowl - cornerback Darius Slay, defensive tackle Javon Hargrave and defensive end Josh Sweat.
In addition to their impressive sack numbers, the Eagles ranked fourth in the league for takeaways with 27. This was largely due to opponents completing only 69.4% of their passes against them in 2022 - a marked improvement over his rookie year with the team when opposing quarterbacks completed 74.4% of their passes against them.
These improvements were evident during the regular season, when Philadelphia won seven games after a 2-5 start to make the playoffs and finish with an 8-8 record - a far cry from his initial year in 2021 when they went 4-13 and lost all seven of their final games.
He didn't have the luxury of signing top-tier talent in free agency to build a roster, but Gannon still managed to restock the team with talented young players such as Budda Baker, Jalen Thompson and potential second-round pick Marco Wilson. Additionally, Howie Roseman provided him with Haason Reddick - an elite pass rusher - and versatile cornerback James Bradberry which helped increase their overall depth.
With Gannon on board, the Arizona Cardinals should be able to rebuild a winning culture in the desert. Last season's 4-13 record tied for their most losses ever; adding Gannon back should help increase their chances of reaching the postseason again in 2023.
According to a report from the AP, the Arizona Cardinals have appointed Eagles defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon as their new head coach. The 40-year-old Gannon replaces Kliff Kingsbury who was fired last month after a 4-13 season.
Gannon, a former NFL linebacker and scout, served as defensive coordinator for the Philadelphia Eagles for two seasons. During that span, his defense led them to two NFC championship games as well as an appearance in Super Bowl LVII.
His defense was among the league's best for both seasons, allowing fewer than 20 points per game each time. Furthermore, he recorded 70 sacks during his time with Philadelphia - third-most in all of this season.
Gannon's offense was often criticized, but his defense proved instrumental in their success. He believed in preventing big plays and creating takeaways through zone coverage - believing this to be the most effective method for doing so. Furthermore, Gannon often utilized pre-snap disguises to confuse opposing quarterbacks.
Gannon served as defensive coordinator for two seasons, leading the Eagles to rank eighth overall and first in pass defense while compiling a franchise-record 70 sacks - 15 more than any other NFL team during that span.
One of the most remarkable aspects of Gannon's hiring is his ability to build his own coaching staff. He can focus on improving the defensive line, adding cornerbacks and finding a pass rusher who can help his unit compete at an elite level.
Gannon's hiring as the Arizona Cardinals' offensive lineman is an encouraging development. With his help, they may be able to rebuild after two consecutive late-season losses.
Gannon will also have the chance to build a relationship with new quarterback Kyler Murray, who wasn't satisfied with Kingsbury. This could be the key factor in whether Gannon is successful in his new role with the Cardinals.
The Cardinals' relationship between Gannon and Murray remains uncertain, however it's difficult to predict how it will develop until Murray returns from his ACL tear in early 2019. With plenty of salary cap room this offseason after general manager Steve Keim left for personal matters, it could be that the team uses some additional capital for defense upgrades.
Gannon joins Arizona after a week that began with a Super Bowl loss and concluded on Tuesday when he inked a five-year contract to become their new head coach. He replaces Kliff Kingsbury, who was fired after four seasons with the team and finished 4-13 in 2022.
Sports Illustrated's Albert Breer noted Gannon's success at bringing out the best in players. As a strong communicator and listener, he customizes his defense according to each player's strengths.
He has an extensive NFL coaching career, beginning with the Atlanta Falcons in 2007 as a quality control coach. Since then, he has held various positions such as scouting for the St. Louis Rams, Tennessee Titans defensive quality control and Minnesota Vikings assistant defensive backs coach. Additionally, he was previously employed as college scout by the Rams and has remained in the league ever since 2009.
As he embarks on his second year as head coach, the Cardinals face an uphill battle: They haven't qualified for the playoffs in seven years and are just 9-12 overall in postseason play. His top priority will be finding a staff that can get quarterback Kyler Murray back up to and beyond his Pro Bowl level performance.
Additionally, the Cardinals must find a true lockdown cornerback who can cover every passing target and rebuild the pass rush that was once the cornerstone of Arizona's defense. If he can do those things, Arizona could improve their defensive rankings next season and reach the playoffs for the first time in decades.
Gannon is expected to interview for other jobs in the future, but he seems like an ideal head coach candidate for Arizona. His excellent communication skills will help foster accountability within their locker room and could potentially lead them to their first NFL championship since 1947.
After an exhaustive search that has lasted several weeks, the Arizona Cardinals have appointed Eagles defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon as their new head coach. This marks their fourth head coach hire in 10 years as owner Michael Bidwill has taken bold steps to restore a winning culture within his franchise.
Gannon, 40 years old and former defensive backs coach in Philadelphia for two seasons, boasts an impressive resume that includes coaching some of the NFL's top defenses. He's credited with developing and communicating a winning defense that's always a threat to opposing quarterbacks--including in Super Bowl LVII when Philadelphia Eagles star Patrick Mahomes decimated them.
Gannon is widely seen as a top contender to lead the Cardinals. Not only does he possess an impressive resume, but his relationship with owner Michael Bidwill - who is searching for a coach who can help the team win its first NFL title since 1947 - also speaks volumes.
He's an excellent communicator who understands the game well, and has been praised for listening carefully and tailoring his strategy according to players' strengths. Additionally, his recruiting abilities will be key in finding top-tier talent for whatever coach takes over from him in the future.
Gannon has an impressive resume and is in high demand due to his work with the Eagles' defensive backs. Additionally, he possesses a warm personality which allows him to form strong connections with players.
After being hired by the Eagles, he helped them to a 14-2 record in his first season. His defense was one of the best in the NFL, allowing just 15 points per game.
But they didn't quite reach their full potential in the Super Bowl, as they surrendered a 10-point halftime lead and couldn't stop Mahomes from leading Kansas City to an exciting comeback victory. Despite this setback, Gannon and Bidwill remained close throughout their relationship.
Fans were certainly taken aback when Bidwill reportedly blocked the Cleveland Browns from interviewing for Gannon's open defensive line position, showing his desire to keep him on staff. He's already interviewed Cincinnati Bengals offensive coordinator Lou Anarumo and Giants offensive coordinator Mike Kafka for the position, and will have another opportunity to request interviews with all three candidates after the Super Bowl concludes on Sunday afternoon.