The Eagles lost Super Bowl LVII and then less than two days later, the Cardinals hired Jonathan Gannon as their head coach.
So we never really got many answers about what went wrong defensively in the 38-35 loss in the biggest game of the season.
But NBC Sports’ Peter King chatted with the Cards’ new head coach for his Football Morning in America column and finally got to ask Gannon about some of the things that went wrong, specifically the two second-half touchdowns from Patrick Mahomes to Kadarius Toney and Skyy Moore.
Here’s what Gannon told King about those two plays:
“Our players were prepped,” Gannon said to King. “I did not do a good enough job myself to put them in a position to make the play. I didn’t do a good enough job to get out of the call what I wanted out of the call. I didn’t give them the tools that they needed to win the down.
“On the second one, I thought [Mahomes] was gonna play that as a drop back and that was a zero [blitz]. Jesus Christ wouldn’t have covered that in a zero.”
On both plays, the receiver was wide open for a touchdown after reversing the jet motion. The first touchdown to Toney was a case of the Chiefs simply out-scheming the Eagles. They found a weakness and hammered it in the Super Bowl. The second was a losing proposition, blitzing Mahomes in that situation but the Eagles had struggled to get consistent pass rush on him all evening. It looked like the slick field thwarted the Eagles’ edge rushers in the Super Bowl.
Gannon told King the same story he told in his introductory press conference in Arizona, that he didn’t know he was interviewing for the Cardinals job until general manager Howie Roseman told him after the Super Bowl ended. Roseman told Gannon that Gannon was staying behind to interview; Gannon claims that’s the first time he knew of the official request for an interview.
The deal for Gannon to become the Cardinals’ head coach was mostly in place on Monday night but they had to “iron out” a few details on Tuesday morning, according to King.
Apparently, the Eagles tried to keep him.
“I loved Philly,” Gannon told King. “I love Mr. (Jeffrey) Lurie. I love Howie Roseman. I love Nick Sirianni. They came back and they were like, here’s a new offer. It’s gonna pay you more than being a head coach. That’s cool and I loved it there but I wanted to be a head coach and I was excited about this because of Mr. Bidwell — Michael, as he would say — Monti Ossenfort, and Kyler (Murray).”
The Eagles will now have to fill openings at both coordinator spots. In addition to the Cardinals’ hiring Gannon, the Colts hired offensive coordinator Shane Steichen.
The Eagles are expected to promote QBs coach Brian Johnson to replace Steichen but it’s a little unclear what the Eagles will do to fill that defensive coordinator job. Gannon is hiring Eagles linebackers coach Nick Rallis to be his DC. The Eagles’ top candidate is probably DBs coach Dennard Wilson, who has been with the team for the last two years.
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