Scout, quality control, position coach, coordinator – these are all titles Jonathan Gannon has held in a still-young-but-impressive NFL coaching career.
The Broncos announced at. 18.30 Denver time Wednesday that they had finished the interview with Gannon.
The 39-year-old’s diverse resume, plus Philadelphia’s push in the second half to get a wildcard spot, led to the Eagles ‘defensive coordinator landing an interview with the Broncos’ vacant as head coach in the Philadelphia area on Wednesday. Connections with Denver general manager George Paton from the duo’s time together in Minnesota, where Gannon was assistant secondary coach, were probably also a factor.
Eagles coach Nick Sirianni approved the coaching skills of Gannon, who came with Sirianni to Philadelphia from Indianapolis, where Gannon initially became prominent as the Colts’ cornerbacks coach from 2018-20.
“I really believe in Jonathan Gannon, the type of coach he is and the type of person he is,” Sirianni told reporters last week ahead of Philadelphia’s playoff loss to Tampa Bay. “I have so much confidence in him and so much faith in him and I believe in him in the job he can perform as a football coach. I think he would be a good football coach in the NFL. I just think he has all the intangible things, all the qualities that I think you need to be a good football coach. “
Gannon’s interview for the Broncos ‘job opening created by Vic Fangio’s firing on January 9 was sandwiched between his interview for the Texans’ position on Wednesday and a meeting with the Vikings scheduled for Thursday.
It’s an astonishing turnaround for a first-year coordinator whose defense was about to be torn apart during the Eagles’ ugly 2-5 start. Aside from the blowout loss to Dallas in the finals of the regular season, Philadelphia went down 7-2 as the Eagles only allowed 16.6 points per game.
Perennial Pro Bowl tackle Fletcher Cox, who earlier this season commented on the lack of aggression in the Eagles ‘defensive plans, praised the changes “JG” made in mid-season that allowed the Eagles’ defense to turn their fortunes around.
“The way we moved some players around made it possible for the good players to get a lot of one-on-ones and just be disruptive,” Cox said.
Cornerback Darius Slay, who had three interceptions this year as well as an 83-yard fumble return for a touchdown in the Eagles’ 30-13 win over the Broncos in Week 10, repeated Cox’s feeling.
“(Gannon) put me in the right position to do the plays I had to do,” Slay said.
Prior to this time at the Colts and Vikings, where Gannon was assistant defensive coach from 2014-17, he also worked for the Titans (defensive quality control), the Rams (college and pro scout) and the Falcons. He got his NFL start in Atlanta as a defensive quality control coach in 2007.
Eagles linebacker TJ Edwards praised Gannon’s football IQ Edwards also described Gannon as a player – friendly coach who knows how to communicate effectively with players, even when Philadelphia’s season was in free fall at the end of October.
“The one thing he did all year that was great for us and helped us a lot was to let every job group and every job know how they fit into the scheme,” Edwards said. “There was never a question of why we did anything … As a player you want to know why everything happens and it’s rare that he does it in a personal way. He has a lot of respect around here, he trains hard “He wants exercises performed at a high level and with high intensity.”
Under Gannon, the Eagles finished in 2121 in ninth place on average allowed rushing yards (107.9), 10th on average allowed yards (328.8), 11th on average allowed passing yards (220.9) and 18th on average allowed points (22 , 6).
Gannon’s interview was the seventh the Broncos have conducted. Prior to Wednesday, Paton & Co. spoke. with Lions defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn, Green Bay offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett, Green Bay quarterbacks coaching / passing coordinator Luke Getsy, Dallas offensive coordinator Kellen Moore and Dallas defensive coordinator Dan Quinn. Earlier in the day, Broncos interviewed New England linebackers coach Jerod Mayo.
Denver has also requested interviews with Kansas City offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy, Cincinnati offensive coordinator Brian Callahan and Los Angeles Rams offensive coordinator Kevin O’Connell, all of whom are still coaching in the NFL playoffs.
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