Eagles

Sirianni on Jonathan Gannon and NFL’s hiring cycle

Eagles

As the NFL hiring cycle is getting ready to start up again, it didn’t take long for Jonathan Gannon’s name to get thrown into the mix.

Now, will Gannon become a true head coaching candidate this offseason?

We’ll see.

But Nick Sirianni thinks he’d be great at it.

“I think Jonathan would be an awesome head coach,” Sirianni said. “I really wouldn't want to make a joke right there and be like, ‘He'd be terrible,’ because I really want to keep him here because I think so highly of him.

“But I think he would be awesome, again, for the same reasons that I hired him to be the defensive coordinator would be the same reasons I think he would be a really good head coach.”

After a pretty bad start, the Eagles’ defense has been great over the last eight weeks and, believe it or not, this is now a top 11 defense in points allowed and top five in yards allowed. So maybe it’s not crazy to think that other teams will take notice.

And, remember, when the Eagles hired Gannon as their defensive coordinator, it was not a stretch. There was interest in Gannon around the league and it certainly felt like if he didn’t become the defensive coordinator in Philly, he would have been the defensive coordinator somewhere else.

When the Eagles hired Sirianni, one of the reasons they gave was the staff he had lined up to join him. The DC was presumably a big part of that.

 

Success comes with a price in the NFL. And when a team is successful, its coaching staff is going to become a target. It happened to the Eagles throughout the Andy Reid years and it happened after the Super Bowl run in 2017 when Frank Reich was hired away by the Colts. That’s how Sirianni ended up becoming an offensive coordinator.

So he gets it.

“Obviously, when people on your staff and people in the building are getting opportunities like that or get mentioned like that, that means you're doing some good things,” Sirianni said.

“And so that's the plan. That's what you always want as a coach, for your coaches to get the opportunities because you've been doing well.

“The way I would handle it is similar to kind of – I guess I go back to those situations I went through. I always wanted to make sure, obviously, that I got my work done for the team that I was currently working for before I did anything to get ready for any head coaching opportunities.”

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Sirianni brought up a specific instance in 2018 when a team apparently wanted to interview him but the interview conflicted with a game. He didn’t mention which team but there were eight teams with head coaching vacancies that offseason. The Colts ended up losing in the divisional round of the playoffs.

That experience will guide the way Sirianni navigates these waters as a head coach and the boss of coaches who might garner interest elsewhere.

“My suggestion to our coaches has always been to make sure you're ready before the season even starts for your head coaching opportunities,” Sirianni said. “Again, because this is an experience that I was able to go through. That way when you're in the season, your sole focus is on winning that football game and doing what we need to do to help the organization we're in now. So, that's my message to these guys.”