Jonathan Gannon discusses lessons learned after rollercoaster week 1 win

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PHILADELPHIA, PA – DECEMBER 26: Philadelphia Eagles defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon and Philadelphia Eagles defensive tackle Fletcher Cox (91) chat during the game between the New York Giants and the Philadelphia Eagles on December 26, 2021 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, PA. (Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire)

The Philadelphia Eagles were able to defeat the Detroit Lions in week one, but the win should’ve been much more convincing. Holding a 17-point lead in the third quarter, the Lions fought back to finish within touching distance, losing by only 3 points. Naturally, the man drawing most of the criticism was defensive coordinator, Jonathan Gannon.

Almost choking away the game is one thing, but the way in which it happened raised so many red flags. First-round rookie, Jordan Davis, barely played despite the Eagles needing some extra help up front due to injuries.

Corners were consistently lined up 7-10 yards back, giving Jared Goff all day to negate what minimal pressure there was. If the Eagles aren’t going to find ways to make Jared Goff of all people uncomfortable, then how are they going to stop the bigger names in the league?

Despite such a seismic shift in talent level this past offseason, the result was the same – frustration.

Jonathan Gannon spoke to reporters on Tuesday, addressing many of the key talking points from the win.

Jonathan Gannon on Jordan Davis

He did a good job when he was in there. I thought that he played his technique well, and what we’re asking him to do, he did a good job of executing. 

The 22 snaps, those guys all played, the five D-tackles that were up. They’ll continue to all play, and I think [DT] Jordan [Davis] will keep maximizing his opportunities.

It’s great that Gannon has confidence in Jordan Davis to maximize his opportunities, but if there are only 5 per game while Marlon Tuipolotu receives the Lion’s share, then does it really matter? We’ve all seen the PFF stat by now as to how the Eagles gave up 2 rushing yards per carry when Davis was in the game and 7 without him…so hopefully, Gannon has too and things will change going into Monday where they face an even tougher rushing opponent.

He carried the same kind of opinion when discussing Haason Reddick, a marquee addition of the offseason who, like Davis, was almost invisible on gameday. It’s down to Gannon to figure out how to not only get his best players on the field, but to put them in a position of strength to execute.

It’s only one week, but the magnifying glass could not be fixed any firmer on the defense, with an explosive offense

Jonathan Gannon discusses Schematic misfires

 I think when we took the field again maybe 31-14, that’s one of the drives I’m talking about, where if you make them punt there, our offense was rolling. Then I think that was a little bit of a letdown. But it wasn’t our attitude, it just came down to some technique and some schematic issues. 

You’d like to see us, and our guys know that and the coaches know that and the players know that, when we have a chance to really put the other team behind the 8-ball when we have the chance, we have to do that. 

The good news is that the defensive coordinator is taking accountability and doesn’t appear to be worried about the effort level of his players, for now. It didn’t take long for Fletcher Cox to call Gannon out last year for calling plays he didn’t agree with, and at least for now, it looks as though it’s smooth sailing and that Jonathan Gannon is able to see that some of his decisions negatively impacted the team.

When I walked off the field there were a handful of calls I wanted back, that I put our guys in some bad spots, and that’s always going to happen. They got me out of a few bad spots, which that was good to see because they’ve been doing that in camp. 

You’re always going to want a few back, just like our players always want a few plays back. I’ll always call the game with the players in mind to try to set them up for the best things that they can do. 

Jonathan Gannon will now have to turn his attention to stopping Justin Jefferson, Dalvin Cook, and his former employer, the Minnesota Vikings. Here’s to hoping that the lessons he’s learned through week 1 can be applied here. If not, the wheels could begin to wobble violently.

Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire