Jonathan Gannon is still the man at the center of Philadelphia’s run defense issues, regardless of two new signings.
Linval Joseph and Ndamukong Suh are the two newest additions to the Philadelphia Eagles. Two strong, and big defensive tackles fill the void that has been left by Jordan Davis over the last few weeks. While some fans and analysts may expect the Eagles’ latest additions will enact real change in their run defense, it’s important to come down to reality before Sunday and realize that Jonathan Gannon holds the keys to change.
It’s all in the hands of Jonathan Gannon
Joseph and Suh haven’t played football in close to a year. In reality, both players will probably see close to 10-20 snaps in their first game for the Eagles on Sunday. That’s also pushing it lightly.
The duo was brought in to stop the run. As two guys that are over 300 lbs., the belief is that they’ll take up space and allow the Eagles’ improved linebacking core to clean up plays.
The Eagles’ run defense won’t be magically fixed by these two players. The real key, as it always has been, is Jonathan Gannon.
Statistically, Gannon has been one of the better defensive coordinators in the Eagles’ history. They’ve finished in the top 10 in both years under Gannon and the secondary is the best Philadelphia has had in decades. However, he is among the most hated coaches in recent memory. Why? Because the adjustments he makes usually come too late and usually goes with a very passive-defensive approach.
Make no mistake, if the Joseph and Suh signings work out, it’s because Gannon has finally understood that his defensive approach needs to be dialed up to an 11 in terms of pressure, disguises, and run stoppage.
If they don’t perform as well, Gannon would have a simple excuse on Sunday, but the pitchforks and torches would be lit up against him. In essence, Gannon needs to start getting results and it won’t come unless he changes his overall approach to calling a defense.
It won’t matter what Suh or Joseph do on Sunday: if Gannon doesn’t change, the Eagles’ season will be in danger.
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