Sirianni gives Gannon vote of confidence after shaky Week 1 performance


It was just one game. A game the Eagles won, by the way.

But Eagles fans are clearly not happy with Jonathan Gannon after his defense surrendered 386 yards and 35 points to the Lions in Week 1.

Gannon, 39, is in his second year as the Eagles’ defensive coordinator and there’s a lot of pressure on him this season. During the offseason, he interviewed for three different head coaching positions and he enters the 2022 season with a revamped defensive roster and plenty to prove.

Nick Sirianni claims he isn’t worried.

“I got a ton of confidence in Jonathan. That’s why he’s here,” the head coach said on Thursday afternoon. “As far as the pressure, this is the NFL and this is Philly. We know what the expectation is and the expectation is to win football games. It’s our job as coaches to figure out how we put the players in position to win as many games as we possibly can.

“Confidence level, super high. Pressure, nothing new to us. That’s what the NFL is all about.”

We’ll see.

There’s a reason Gannon’s name was a hot one on the head coaching interview circuit this offseason. But it’s not just that his defenses have struggled at times during his year-plus with the Eagles, it’s that they’ve struggled in frustrating ways. At times, we’ve seen very passive scheme from Gannon and an emphasis on taking away big plays. That’s a strategy that can work but needs execution, third-down stops and takeaways.

But as much as some fans want Gannon’s head, it is important to remember it’s still very early in this NFL season. And there are plenty of brand new starters and important players on this defense including Haason Reddick, Kyzir White, James Bradberry, C.J. Gardner-Johnson and Jordan Davis.

In hindsight, maybe we should have known it would take a while for this defense to hum.

But Sirianni wasn’t interested in that excuse.

“No, I don’t believe so,” Sirianni said. “We gotta put them in the best positions we can do succeed. Of course, you’re always working on gelling but we treat practices like games. We’re going out there and we treat walkthroughs … we always say we’re full-speed to the snap.

“We’ve had so many reps to get ourselves ready to do this. I’ll never give an excuse for that. That, to me, that wasn’t what the struggle was.”

On paper last season, the Eagles actually had a top-10 defense in terms of yards allowed, but they were 18th in points. While they feasted on some awful quarterbacks, the great ones really ripped them apart.

The Eagles will face far more “good” quarterbacks in 2022, guys who fall in between the dreck of the league and the elite. That continues in Week 2, when they host Kirk Cousins and the Vikings on Monday Night Football.

Plenty of time for the defense to gel and for Gannon to show everyone why he’s so well thought of around the NFL.

Subscribe to the Eagle Eye podcast

Apple Podcasts | Google Play | Spotify | Stitcher | Art19 | Watch on YouTube


Contact Us