Eagles Coach Front-Runner for Texans Job, per NFL Insider

Howie Roseman

Getty If Eagles general manager Howie Roseman wants to upgrade the return game, an interesting name has announced his availability.

One of the hottest names in head coaching searches this offseason is Jonathan Gannon. The Philadelphia Eagles defensive coordinator has always talked the talk and now he’s walking the walk. His unit is ranked No. 2 in overall defense, plus they lead the league with 49 total sacks.

Yes, Gannon has pushed all the right buttons for arguably the best defense in football. Their struggles against the run appear to have been severely overblown. It doesn’t hurt to have an MVP quarterback leading a prolific offense on the other side. Still, Gannon deserves a ton of credit and he’s getting it around the league.

According to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, Gannon might be the front-runner to land the Houston Texans job if the franchise decides to part ways with head coach Lovie Smith. Houston stands at an abysmal 1-11-1 in the sagging AFC South. Fowler wrote:

Houston has become a spot to watch as the coaching carousel nears. Some people around the league believe Texans coach Lovie Smith could be on shaky ground after this year’s one-win performance. Moving on from minority head coaches in back-to-back years wouldn’t be the best look for Houston and GM Nick Caserio, whose Texans teams are 5-24-1 since he took over the job. But the Texans have regressed on the field. Should the Texans move on, watch for Eagles DC Jonathan Gannon. Caserio was believed to be very high on him during last year’s interview cycle.

This isn’t the first time Gannon has been linked to the Texans. He was a finalist for the job last season following two impressive interviews, but the franchise ultimately hired Smith. Obviously, they like Gannon and what he brings to the table.

Preaching Consistency, Eagles Stopping the Run

The Achilles’ heel for the Eagles at one point this season was thought to be their inability to stop the run. They surrendered nearly 145 yards per game during a brutally bad five-game stretch (Week 5 through Week 10) where opposing teams averaged 4.6 yards per rush. Then, the team went out and signed defensive tackles Linval Joseph and Ndamukong Suh. Now Gannon has rookie monster Jordan Davis back in the middle.

While adding big-name personnel to the equation helped, don’t count out Gannon’s influence in making the proper adjustments. He’s been preaching better spacing and gap awareness, as well as stronger tackling in recent weeks. It all comes down to attention to detail.

“I think just the consistency of doing the right thing all the time. That’s probably going to be always my answer to how do we play better. You have to coach it and play a little better,” Gannon told reporters. “I think that with some of our structures and some of our spacings, coaches have done a good job with, hey, this is why we’re calling it and these are the blocks you’re going to get. We put up the Xs and Os and it’s cool to draw plays up there and say, hey, this shouldn’t work or that should work or this is a hard down. But ultimately that O has to block that X for it to work.”

Reed Blankenship Misses Wednesday’s Practice

The Eagles conducted a walk-through on Wednesday but submitted an estimated injury report. Safety Reed Blankenship (knee) was the only player listed out to start the week. The team recently added veteran safety Anthony Harris to the practice squad as an insurance policy there. It’ll be either Harris or third-year man K’Von Wallace in line to start with C.J. Gardner-Johnson (lacerated kidney) still out.

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