Three days after identifying Nick Sirianni as the new head coach, the Philadelphia Eagles have chosen their next defensive coordinator. The Eagles have struck a deal with Jonathan Gannon to become the team’s new defensive coordinator, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network.
Gannon has spent the past three seasons as the defensive back / cornerback coach of the Indianapolis Colts. Prior to coming to Indianapolis, Gannon spent four seasons with the Minnesota Vikings as a defensive assistant / quality control coach. Gannon played a similar role during his two seasons with the Tennessee Titans during the 2012-13 seasons. Prior to that, Gannon spent three seasons as a member of the Rams Reconnaissance Department.
Last season, Gannon was praised for his work with the relatively young high school Colts. He was also praised for his work with Xavier Rhodes, who enjoyed a solid first season in Indianapolis after being abandoned by the Vikings after the 2019 season. Rhodes previously said Gannon was one of the main reasons he had signed with the Colts last offseason.
“Xavier has had a hell of a year. He really bought into what we were doing. I give Jonathan Gannon a lot of credit for that, ”Chris Ballard, Colts general manager recently said, via Jim Ayello of the Indianapolis Star. “He had a relationship with Xavier from Minnesota. Xavier worked and bought into everything we did.
Gannon will forget an Eagles defense that finished 20th in the NFL in scoring, 15th in assists, 23rd in rushes, seventh in third efficiency and 26th in red zone efficiency in 2020. The Eagles defense was led by the Pro Bowlers Brandon Graham (eight sacks, 13 tackles for the loss) and Fletcher Cox (6.5 sacks, nine tackles for the loss). The Eagles have also had strong seasons with fellow defensive line players Josh Sweat (six sacks, three forced fumbles), Derek Barnett (5.5 sacks) and Javon Hargrave (4.5 sacks).
High school was arguably one of the Eagles’ worst positional groups last season. While Darius Slay is still a solid No.1 cornerback, Philadelphia is expected to pass a high draft pick on a cornerback who could complete Slay.
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