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January 08, 2023

Report: Eagles DC Jonathan Gannon 'considered strong candidate' for Texans head coaching job, if available

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Jonathan_Gannon_Eagles_Giants_091922_KateFrese90.jpg Kate Frese/for PhillyVoice

Eagles defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon

During the NFL's 2022 head coaching hiring cycle, Philadelphia Eagles defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon interviewed with three teams — the Minnesota Vikings, the Denver Broncos, and the Houston Texans. Gannon probably came closest to landing in Houston, as he was at one point considered the "front-runner" for the job.

The job went to Lovie Smith, who beat out Gannon and former Eagles quarterback Josh McCown. According to a report from Aaron Wilson of KPRC in Houston, Smith's job is in jeopardy after a 2-13-1 season, with one game to play.

Per Wilson, the Texans and Gannon "have mutual interest."

Several league sources have labeled Gannon as a top candidate for the Texans’ potential opening after he made a strong impression during two interviews last season before the Texans promoted Smith from defensive coordinator after considering former NFL quarterback Josh McCown for the job.

Gannon could possibly assemble an experienced staff with his connections to former Colts coach Frank Reich and Minnesota Vikings coach Mike Zimmer and Eagles quarterbacks coach Brian Johnson...

Gannon “knocked it out of the park” and “crushed” his meetings with NFL teams, impressing them with his knowledge, creativity, detailed plans about strategy and staff and his passion for the game, according to league sources.

One member of an NFL search committee said of Gannon: “He knows the answer before you even ask him the question.”

One NFL executive described Gannon as having some similarities to Los Angeles Chargers coach Brandon Staley 2.0. Staley and Gannon are close friends who grew up competing against each other in youth sports in Ohio.

The Eagles had a great season statistically on defense in 2022. They're the No. 1 defense in the NFL in yards allowed per game, they're tied for eighth in points allowed per game, and they're tied for second in takeaways. The advanced metrics like the Eagles' defense, too. They're fifth overall in DVOA (first in pass DVOA, 20th rush DVOA).

And yet, there are valid gripes at times about Gannon's game planning and defensive schemes, and there are some who wonder if Gannon isn't doing enough with the talent the front office has assembled on defense.

NFL firings typically take place on the Monday after the conclusion of the regular season. To be determined if Smith is let go. If so, the Gannon head coaching watch should intensify.

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