The Drive with Jody Oehler

The Drive with Jody Oehler

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Should the Cardinals Still Hire Jonathan Gannon?

Super Bowl 57 was an epic conclusion to an epic week that featured two epic performances for the opposing quarterbacks.

It was not an epic night for the Eagles defense. The much ballyhooed unit arrived in Glendale with one of the most feared pass rushes in NFL history and left with 0 sacks, 31 points allowed and two red zone TD’s where the WR was what Bruce Arians would describe as “wide ass open”.

Should this performance impact the Cardinals reported decision to hire the Eagles 2nd year Defensive Coordinator Jonathan Gannon?

The 40 year old had a full deck of cards to deal with but kept hitting on 15 all night as he watched Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs hit pay dirt on every single possession in the 2nd half.

Was the performance so bad, the Cardinals should pivot away from him as a head coach hire?

The short answer is no, it shouldn’t impact the Cardinals decision.

Not only was this Andy Reid and Patrick Mahomes at their absolute apex, it was one game. A really important one but one game nonetheless.

How about the reports Vic Fangio was brought in to help build the game plan to attack Mahomes? 

Some have viewed it as hand holding but I look at it as a reflection of his confidence and leadership. Gannon wasn’t worried about the optics of the move; he was just worried about doing whatever it takes to win. While it didn’t work out, its hardly a knock against him.

Truth be told, I have not been enamored with Gannon as a candidate before the Super Bowl. He has a loaded roster, is relatively unproven and isn’t Big Lou, Lou Anarumo.

But Sunday night should not disqualify him. 

The Cardinals are not making a schematic hire, they are making a leadership hire.

There is no need to come in and wow with your innovation, the Cardinals just need you to wow with your communication, presence and ability to demand accountability.

If Gannon possesses the rapport with new GM Monti Ossenfort that allows for immediate organizational alignment, it’s a strong hire. This team and its culture desperately need some attention. A head coach who understands this has the best chance to succeed.

By all accounts, Gannon connects with players, leads with authority and can command a room. All areas the Cardinals have been desperately lacking.

Sunday night, Jonathan Gannon did not have a good night in Glendale but that doesn’t mean he can’t have any good nights in Glendale.

If the Cardinals make the hire, he’ll have plenty more chances to get it right.

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