Cardinals To Request HC Interview With Jonathan Gannon

8:00pm: In an update to his previous reporting, Balzer states rather definitively that Gannon “will be the Cardinals’ new head coach” (Twitter link). He adds that there is a “strong possibility” Browns QBs coach Drew Petzing is hired for the OC role, something SI’s Albert Breer tweets would come as no surprise if Gannon were to be hired. Petzing and Gannon have history with each other dating back to their time spent with the Vikings.

10:16am: When Cardinals owner Michael Bidwill said that his team’s new head coach would not be announced until after today’s Super Bowl, it led to plenty of speculation that he wanted to interview one of the coordinators participating in the title bout. That turned out to be the case, as ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that Arizona is expected to request an HC interview with Eagles defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon (Twitter link).

Gannon interviewed for the Texans’ head coaching position in January and was at one time considered the frontrunner for the post, particularly since he had interviewed for the same job last year. Houston, however, pivoted to DeMeco Ryans, and until today, Gannon had not been formally connected to any other HC opening in this year’s cycle.

It’s easy to see why the Cardinals would have interest in Gannon. The 39-year-old, who just wrapped his second season as Philadelphia’s DC after a three-year stint as the Colts’ defensive backs coach, oversaw a unit that ranked second in the league in total defense and eighth in points allowed in 2022. The Eagles also boasted the best pass defense in the NFL — which reflects well on Gannon given his background as a DBs coach — and posted a whopping 70 sacks (60 of which came from a base front, as opposed to a blitz).

In a lengthy feature on Gannon’s life and career, Mary Kay Cabot of says that Gannon’s scouting experience — he spent several years as a college and pro scout with the Rams — has boosted his stock as a top HC candidate. Gannon himself confirmed that the GMs he has spoken with appreciate the fact that he knows and understands that side of the business.

Gannon also has a strong relationship with new Cardinals GM Monti Ossenfort, as Albert Breer of notes. Breer adds that Bidwill also did a great deal of background work on Eagles offensive coordinator Shane Steichen, though no interview has been requested as of the time of this writing. It presently appears as if Steichen is in line to land the Colts’ head coaching job, so the Eagles could find themselves looking to replace both of their top coordinators in short order.

The strength of Gannon’s Arizona candidacy will depend, at least in part, on whom he taps as his offensive coordinator, as Howard Balzer of PHNX tweets. Kyler Murray may not be ready to return to action until midway through the 2023 season, but he is the team’s franchise quarterback, and his performance will largely drive the team’s fortunes in the coming years. So in addition to bringing the right head coach aboard, the team also needs to hit on its OC hire.

Bengals DC Lou Anarumo and Giants OC Mike Kafka are the Cardinals’ other two head coaching finalists.

View Comments (11)