Two days after Nick Sirianni’s loud and passionate endorsement for Jonathan Gannon, the talented defensive coordinator has surfaced in a new job rumor.
The Houston Texans were already hot on Gannon’s trail, along with 49ers defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans, but another team is expected to make a run at Sirianni’s top assistant. Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer reported the Arizona Cardinals are now in play after the franchise hired Monti Ossenfort as their new general manager. The move has reset their head-coaching search, per Breer.
Two other names I’d bet Ossenfort would want to interview but are still in the playoffs—Bengals offensive coordinator Brian Callahan and Eagles defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon. They won’t be able to interview until the Super Bowl bye week (which is next week).
Not surprising to hear Gannon’s name pop up there. He’s being mentioned in nearly every head-coaching rumor. Football executives love his youthful energy and the way he conducts himself in interviews, plus Gannon’s players adore playing for him.
While Ossenfort never worked on the same staff or in the same front office, it’s probable he crossed paths with Gannon in 2009 or 2010 when both men were serving as scouts. (Ossenfort with the Patriots; Gannon with the Rams).
Breer also notes that Eagles quarterbacks coach Brian Johnson interviewed with Sean McVay for the vacant offensive coordinator position in Los Angeles.
Meanwhile, Breer thinks the Eagles would make an “aggressive play” for Vic Fangio if Gannon leaves the nest. It would be a logical move to bump Fangio — the one-time head coach of the Denver Broncos (2019-21) — up to defensive coordinator considering he’s been serving as a semi-secret “defensive consultant” in Philly all year.
Nick Sirianni Stumps Hard for Gannon
Someone asked Nick Sirianni to evaluate the performance of the Eagles’ defense after Saturday night’s win. He started his answer by bringing up how many points the Giants scored, only seven, then threw the spotlight on Gannon.
“This guy is an incredible coordinator,” Sirianni said. “People love to play for this guy. Listen, you want me to keep going?”
“He’s going to be a head football coach in the National Football League because of what he does. This guy is a stud. He’s a stud.”
Dennard Wilson, DK McDonald Rising Coaches
Sirianni wanted to raise the profile of another trusted assistant on Monday when he shouted out defensive backs coach Dennard Wilson. He has been the key to keeping the Philly secondary elite despite injuries to C.J. Gardner-Johnson and Avonte Maddox. Wilson has plugged guys in seamlessly, even elevating the games of Pro Bowlers Darius Slay and James Bradberry.
“He’s just a great leader of men, and he’s able to bring a group together,” Sirianni said. “I look at Coach Dennard like a really good offensive line coach where you’ve got to bring them all together. They’ve all got to play as one, and that’s a really important position to make sure you’re doing this, and Dennard is really good at that.”
Sirianni made sure to throw kudos at Wilson’s right-hand man, too: assistant defensive backs coach D.K. McDonald. There’s a very good chance, if the Eagles wanted to keep everything in-house, that Wilson gets promoted to defensive coordinator and McDonald moves up to defensive backs coach if Gannon gets a head-coaching job.
Sirianni added: “You can’t say enough about the coaching that they’ve gotten from Dennard and D.K.”