Defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon has gone through the wringer in his two-plus years with the Philadelphia Eagles. For better or worse, Gannon was the de facto punching bag for the media and fans when things weren’t going well. His scheme sucked. He wasn’t using his players correctly. He couldn’t make adjustments, especially in the run game.
All has been forgiven now that the Eagles are Super Bowl bound. Gannon has turned into a cult hero in Philly after a video of him started making the internet rounds on Thursday. In it, the 40-year-old assistant coach pulls down his car window and yells: “We’re gonna f****** gut these guys” to Eagles fans ahead of the NFC Championship Game. Gannon was making his way to the stadium, trying to navigate the traffic just like everyone else, when he felt the need to deliver that emphatic message. His stock has never been higher.
It doesn’t hurt that his defense knocked out two quarterbacks on Sunday while forcing three fumbles, recording three sacks, and limiting the 49ers to 164 yards of total offense. Yes, the Eagles did indeed “gut” San Francisco.
After the game, Gannon said he was returning to the Eagles in 2023 despite rumors that he may leave for a head-coaching job. He had interviewed for the Houston Texans gig but, ironically, they decided to hire 49ers defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans.
“Nah, no, Philly’s keeping me,” Gannon told FOX29. “Good, bad, or indifferent. I’m staying here.”
Eagles Locker Room Sticks Up for D-Coordinator
Head coach Nick Sirianni stood up for his top assistant following a playoff win over the New York Giants. He delivered a passionate, borderline belligerent, plea to reporters to back off an “unbelievable coordinator” who doesn’t get enough respect. Sirianni was livid. After the NFC Championship Game, it was defensive end Brandon Graham’s turn to pound the pulpit.
“You know what? It feels great,” Graham said of what it meant to advance to the Super Bowl. “Because I know how much work we’ve put into it and you know so many people doubting [Jalen Hurts] and us, and JG [Jonathan Gannon], ‘Can he get the job done?’ you know we just stayed focused. And that’s what we’re doing.”
Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie also mentioned Gannon in his post-game remarks, along with Sirianni’s whole coaching staff.
“You have to have a great culture of a coaching staff. He has that,” Lurie said. “Whether it’s Jonathan Gannon, Shane [Steichen], Stout [Jeff Stoutland] is the elder statesman but wow, we know what we have in Stout. And many more, from Brian [Johnson], the whole group.”
Jonathan Gannon Addresses Sirianni’s Defense
When asked to comment on Sirianni’s vociferous support for him, Gannon smiled and said: “I love the guy. You guys know I love the guy. But he’s always been in my corner.”
Gannon was on the same staff as Sirianni, under head coach Frank Reich, in Indianapolis. Those two don’t need outside approval because they trust and believe in each other.
“I don’t really pay attention too much,” Gannon told reporters. “But, like I said, we’ve always had a great relationship, and he’s never once wavered behind closed doors in his confidence to me and what we’re doing, and that’s why he’s a great head coach. You know he has everyone on his team’s back, and that’s why we do such a good job for him because we don’t want to let him down.”