Brian Dawkins sheds light on Jonathan Gannon’s faults; endorses Vance Joseph as next Eagles DC
On Monday, Eagles legend and Pro Football Hall of Fame safety Brian Dawkins joined Joe Giglio and Hugh Douglas on the new-look midday show over at 94WIP.
Whenever Brian Dawkins speaks, we listen. Especially when it comes to defensive football and our Philadelphia Eagles.
When asked specifically about the team’s former defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon, Dawkins didn’t hold back. Among other things, No. 20 told the midday hosts that he would have hated playing under Gannon.
Brian Dawkins on Gannon:
“As for me, playing under this defensive coordinator—me personally? I would’ve hated it,” Brian Dawkins said. “Because none of the things that I was blessed to do blitzing would have been added to this defense under Gannon.
“He took advantage of the personnel that the front office gave him. Got a lot of dudes that can win one on one battles and so he put those guys in position to have that success through the year. The only thing that I kept saying all year is that when your fastball is not working, you have to have a changeup and you have to be used to throwing that changeup.
“You know for us [when we were playing] we’re going to blitz, we’re going to disguise, we’re going to move around…For a team that does not blitz and when you ask them to blitz, it’s a foreign subject for them. People were getting on me, ‘Well they’re getting sacks.’ Well, I love the sacks. Continue to get the sacks, but also mix in the blitz so that those guys know what to do when plan A is not working and you have to go to plan B. Plan B happens this past Sunday [in the Super Bowl] because you weren’t winning your one on one battles.
“Why? Because the field was jacked up. That was a sloppy field so you have to do other things. And [Gannon] did not do a good job of adjusting to that, to getting away from his fastball, going to changeups or different blitz packages.”
Gannon himself admitted that he was at fault for the defensive miscues on Super Bowl Sunday. In an interview with Peter King, Gannon plainly stated, “I’ll never be as smart as Andy Reid.” Astute observation, Jonny!
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After his critical comments towards Gannon and his lack of aggressiveness, Dawkins then went on to endorse Vance Joseph for the vacant DC job in Philly. Mostly because – you guessed it – of his aggressive philosophy.
Brian Dawkins on Vance Joseph:
“Me personally? I would love it to be Vance because I know that he’s aggressive, I know that he’s elaborate, I know he blitzes, I know he mixes things up in different situations,” Brian Dawkins said. “So I would love that hire.”
As Dawkins points out, Joseph is one of the most blitz-happy defensive minds in the game today. Since 2017, every defense under his watch has ranked inside the top-10 in blitz percentage. Last season as the Arizona Cardinals’ defensive coordinator, Joseph’s defense ranked second in blitz percentage (34.5 percent).
Hiring Joseph would signal a complete 180 in defensive philosophy for the Eagles. But it appears the organization is at least open to it, since they’ve requested an interview with the Cardinals DC and are expected to conduct their interview this week.
Mandatory Credit: USA Today Sports