Jonathan Gannon won’t talk about the distraction of interviewing during playoffs

NFL: NOV 14 Commanders at Eagles
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It’s impossible for an assistant coach to be fully focused on his current job when he’s actively under consideration for a head-coaching job during the playoffs. In the past, some assistant coaches have tried to explain that it’s a non-issue — even if it isn’t.

On Wednesday, Eagles defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon, who interviewed with the Texans on Saturday, was asked about the intersection between interviewing for bigger jobs at a time when their current jobs are as big as they can be.

“Yeah, New York Giants,” Gannon said. Which apparently means that, even though he is under consideration (again) for a head-coaching job, Gannon is fully focused on the upcoming playoff game against the Giants.

But is he? How can he be? The 40-year-old has been grinding away as an assistant since 2006, at Louisville then Atlanta (yes, he has ties to Bobby Petrino) and then the Titans (after one year out of football and three years as a scout with the Rams) and then the Vikings followed by the Colts and most recently the Eagles, as defensive coordinator in 2021 and 2022.

This is his time, his opportunity. His football ship is coming in. He can say, “Yeah, New York Giants” but he’s surely thinking, “Yeah! Houston Texans!”

And that’s fine. He’s human. It’s natural. The problem is that the rules create split loyalties by allowing interviews for coaching vacancies before the season has ended. And it’s why no interviews should happen until after the Super Bowl.

12 responses to “Jonathan Gannon won’t talk about the distraction of interviewing during playoffs

  1. True its a distraction but it can be an added motivation as you also want to do well so you look good to prospective employers.

    If you can’t cope with that distraction as a coordinator then you won’t be too great as a HC with a whole team full of distractions

  2. It’s not like this is some new phenomenon, what was the last playoff game where it looked like one of the coordinators wasn’t as dialed in and the team lost because of it?

  3. Can no one in this country multitask? Interview for jobs all the time and can still perform better than my peers. It is why I interview for better jobs. This is so over blown it isn’t funny. Make them sign a no compete before hiring them if you want to control how they interview, see where that gets you. We don’t need rules suppressing people from advancing.

  4. Is he a legit DC? I feel like the Eagles D is more a product of having a lot of talent (kuddos to the front office over there) rather than scheme.

    Put Gannon on a team bereft of any talent, like the Texans, and I’m not sure how he’ll do.

    Would like to see him have a few stellar seasons as DC…since rosters turn over pretty quickly in the in the NFL. Then you can get a better idea of his coaching ability (i.e. can he get more/different players up to speed on his D scheme)

  5. Misguided loyalties? Maybe. But, not split loyalties. Ultimately, a coach interviewing with another team, while their current team’s in the playoffs, needs to be loyal to himself (i.e. his values). Ideally, this ensures his loyalty to his current team, while reinforcing the interviewing team’s belief that the coach is potentially the right man for the job. I’d much rather see a rule prohibiting coaches from either interviewing with other teams, or moving to other teams during the season, applied to college football (an institution which is in desperate need of a strong demonstration of loyalty, nowadays).

  6. The Eagles had a bye week, during that time the coaches seeking to get higher positions in other organizations did so. Now they are at this time supposed to be fully occupied with the Eagles planning until they are eliminated or until after the Super Bowl.

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