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Jonathan Gannon suggests Philadelphia media wanted him fired for not blitzing enough

Mike Florio and Peter King review the Cardinals’ new jerseys and spell out why Arizona must nail the NFL draft, after choosing to focus on new uniforms at such a pivotal time.

Last night’s uniform reveal was preceded by a question-and-answer session with new Cardinals coach Jonathan Gannon, who has taken the helm of arguably the most dysfunctional team currently in the NFL.

One of the hosts credited Gannon for his ability to deal with the media, that he’s comfortable and not nervous at all in talking to reporters. The host also raised whether this arises from the fact that he had to deal with the media in Philadelphia.

“I’m very comfortable talking to the media,” Gannon said, without mentioning that he avoided talking to the media after the Eagles defense he ran fell apart in the second half of Super Bowl LVII. “Philly is a very hard media market. We were 9-0 and I did my presser and they say, ‘Coach, we want you fired.’ And I said, ‘We’re the number one defense in the NFL right now, in every statistical category. Why do you want me fired?’ ‘You don’t blitz enough.’ I said, ‘Well we lead the league in sacks by thirty-plus sacks, so if you want to come call the defense, then you can have at it.’”

The Eagles send out every transcript of every assistant-coach press conference, and we couldn’t find any exchange like the one Gannon referenced. One week, the point was made by a reporter that Gannon was sending six or more defenders at a higher rate than in 2021. Gannon seemed to disagree with the premise of the question, saying “fact-check that” to start his response.

Another week, Gannon was asked why the team’s blitzing was “so effective.” Another week, he acknowledged that the same amount of blitzes are in the game plan each wee, and that the number that are called depends on the situation.

While there was some online criticism of the perceived lack of blitzing in 2022, we can’t find an exchange that devolved into Gannon acting like a little-league coach dealing with a complaining parent. And even if there was, it’s odd that Gannon would regard that as some sort of mic-drop moment demonstrating his comfort level with the media.

If anything, it shows that he’s possibly a little too thin-skinned regarding the criticism and scrutiny that are inherent to the job he holds.