Defensive backs that have thrived under new Eagles DC Jonathan Gannon
As reported earlier today, the Eagles have agreed to terms with former Colts defensive backs coach Jonathan Gannon to be their new defensive coordinator. Gannon spent the past three seasons with Indianapolis and the four seasons prior to that with Minnesota as a defensive assistant and quality control coach.
Gannon has had tremendous success with developing young defensive backs over the years and will look to improve an Eagles pass defense that has struggled in that category:
Eagles passing defense this past season:
- Completion percentage allowed: 68.7% (27th)
- QB rating allowed: 102.4 (28th)
- INTs: 8 (29th)
- Passes defended: 43 (32nd)
- Yards per passing attempt: 7.8 (26th)
Even after acquiring Pro Bowl corner Darius Slay, the Eagles had a tough time stopping opposing offenses through the air. Luckily, Gannon has a great track record of young players excelling under his tutelage:
Desir had standout years under Gannon in 2018 and 2019. Over the two years combined, he racked up 129 tackles, 19 pass breakups, and 4 INTs. He even locked down DeAndre Hopkins in their postseason matchup a few years ago, holding him to just 3 catches on 6 targets for 14 yards when lined up against him.
Colts safety Julian Blackmon had a promising rookie season under Gallon. He played in 89% of the defensive snaps for Indianapolis this season, finishing the year with 42 tackles, 6 passes defended, 2 INTs, and a forced fumble. For those that put stock into PFF, Blackmon was rated as one of the NFL’s top 25 rookies and was the highest-graded defender for much of the season. Not bad for the 85th overall pick.
Going back to the #Colts–#Titans tape…— Matt Bowen (@MattBowen41) November 14, 2020
Rookie safety Julian Blackmon —
I always talk about DBs “playing with a sense of urgency.” Can see that here.
Downhill with speed — to eliminate the distance to the ball carrier. No hesitation. Go make the play. @NFLMatchup pic.twitter.com/SILghDwoMx
Waynes developed into a productive corner opposite Xavier Rhodes during Gannon’s tenure in Minnesota. In his 2016 & 2017 seasons combined, Waynes recorded 155 tackles, 22 passes defended, and 5 interceptions.
Trae Waynes yesterday:— Nick Olson (@NickOlsonNFL) October 22, 2018
• Four pass deflections
• One interception
• Three stops
• Gave up just one catch for four yards on six targets
• Allowed a passer rating in coverage of 0.0. pic.twitter.com/BE0cc1CSIk
Rhodes was selected to two Pro Bowls under Gannon before his play started to decline. After being cut by the Vikings following his subpar 2019 season, Rhodes reunited with Gannon when signed a one-year deal with the Colts. Rhodes enjoyed a bounce-back season in 2020, only allowing a 52.4% completion percentage when targeted and an 84.6 passer rating. Gannon played a big role in the resurgence of Rhodes:
“Xavier had a heck of a year. He really bought into what we were doing. I give Jonathan Gannon a lot of credit for that. He had a relationship with Xavier coming in from Minnesota. Xavier worked and bought into everything we were doing.”Colts General Manager Chris Ballard
Mandatory Credit: Colts.com