HomeDa Birds NewsThe Importance of Jonathan Gannon for the Eagles

The Importance of Jonathan Gannon for the Eagles

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PHILADELPHIA – Perhaps the page will be turned on Jonathan Gannon after the Philadelphia Eagles beat the overmatched Arizona Cardinals and their former defensive coordinator on Sunday at Lincoln Financial Field.

In theory, there should be closure after the fan base gets their pound of flesh from the man who “cost them the big game” and did it with his middle finger proudly raised out the door, almost the symbolic version of Jets’ defensive tackle Michael Clemons wishing the Cleveland Browns fans well.

If you believe that, however, you’ve probably got some significant assets invested in trestles near Brooklyn.

The City of Philadelphia needs Jonathan Gannon and so does the Eagles’ front office.

The latter part of that thesis needed to be narrowed down because nearly all of the team’s defenders who were with the organization in 2022 spoke glowingly about their, former boss this week, particularly Pro Bowl cornerback Darius Slay, veteran defensive end Brandon Graham, and safety Reed Blankenship.

Nick Sirianni, at one time admittedly miffed at Gannon’s troubling habit of conflating subjects, has even buried the hatchet with his former defensive chief.

“I have a great deal of respect for Jonathan and the coach that he is and the person that he is,” Sirianni said. “I know the players that I’ve talked to feel the same way.”

Emotion turned back to logic for Sirianni when it came to what is essentially a former family member.

“Obviously, we didn’t finish the job last year, which all of us have the taste in our mouth of like, ‘dang, wish we had finished the job,’ but there were still some special moments, a lot of special moments,” said Sirianni. “I think we can all agree there were a lot of special moments last year, and also in 2021, and Jonathan Gannon was a big part of that.

“Any time he thanks me for the opportunity for being here, I always in return thank him because his service to this team and the special things we did while he was the defensive coordinator here was enough payback for me tenfold.”

Jonathan Gannon as Eagles’ DC.

USA Today

Some in the front office, however, can’t let it go, a sentiment tied to the disappointment of “knowing” the better team lost in Super Bowl LVII and the troubling need to always find a scapegoat when expectations aren’t met.

Former Eagles assistants like Mike Groh, Press Taylor, Matt Burke, and Cory Undlin can testify to the latter, and recently demoted defensive coordinator Sean Desai is already a lame duck after getting his wings clipped first at 8-1 (third-down autonomy) and then at 10-3 (defensive play-calling) this season.

In Gannon, though, those who want it have found a unique scapegoat bridge that spans 2022 and 2023 and unites the fans with those in the organization needing a convenient excuse not only for the disappointing collapse on the big stage but also a  baked-in explanation as to why this season is at peril — Because Vic Fangio is tucked away safely in South Florida instead of South Philadelphia.

The Fangio stuff has become exhausting and ironically would matter little had either of two alternate universes emerged: the one where the Eagles won the Super Bowl and another where they got the veteran DC to Josh McDaniels the Miami Dolphins had Gannon immediately informed the organization (as he should have) that the Cardinals wanted to interview him.

In the former Bizarro World, the celebration is on and the narrative would have been ‘that sucks, the timing didn’t work out with Fangio,’ and the latter Superman-fueled existence would expose that Fangio isn’t the mythical cure-all that many fans have imagined him to be, especially while trying to integrate five new starters while navigating a host of injuries.

Related: Eagles’ Attention Focused on ‘Ballhawk’ Baker

Yep, the City of Philadelphia needs Jonathan Gannon and that doesn’t stop on Monday.

Only a Super Bowl LVIII victory can turn that page.

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