Revisiting Reactions to Cardinals Hiring Jonathan Gannon

As Arizona Cardinals head coach Jonathan Gannon enters Year 2 in the desert, we take a look back at who said what when he was hired.
Arizona Cardinals head coach Jonathan Gannon during an NFL pre-draft news conference at the Cardinals Dignity Health Training Center in Tempe on April 18, 2024.
Arizona Cardinals head coach Jonathan Gannon during an NFL pre-draft news conference at the Cardinals Dignity Health Training Center in Tempe on April 18, 2024. / Rob Schumacher/The Republic / USA TODAY
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ARIZONA -- The Arizona Cardinals sure aren't everyone's pick to win the Super Bowl next season, though they'll be damned if there's not hope for a better tomorrow ahead under head coach Jonathan Gannon, who is set to enter his second season at the helm of the organization.

There's a few reasons why Cardinals fans are excited for the upcoming season. Kyler Murray is fully healthy this time compared to last season, and Arizona got him a shiny new weapon in Marvin Harrison Jr. to target moving forward.

However, it's the way the Cardinals fought (despite a 4-13 record) under Gannon, who delivered on his word to fans that his team would fight for every inch possible in 2023 as to why there's more buzz than normal for this time of year.

Now, the goalpost has been moved up a few notches for 2024, thanks to a better roster and overall strides Gannon made in his first season.

The future appears to be bright in Arizona thanks to their new leader, though Gannon's hire didn't come without question.

A look back on what everybody said when Gannon was the final hire of the 2023 cycle:

CBS Sports

Tyler Sullivan: "In a vacuum, Gannon is a great defensive mind that led one of the best units in the NFL last season. The Eagles defense ranked No. 6 in the NFL in DVOA and Gannon deploying his array of pass rushers was a big reason why. With the Cardinals ranking 24th in the NFL in DVOA on that side of the ball and allowing 26.4 points per game (second-most in the NFL), Gannon's arrival is a welcome sight.

"That major question that is still to be determined, however, is the offense. Gannon will now need to find the right offensive coordinator who helps cater things around Kyler Murray . Browns quarterbacks coach Drew Petzing is a leading candidate, per . No matter who gets hired for that spot, they along with Gannon need to have a cohesive relationship with Murray , who the team signed to a massive contract extension last offseason.

"Part of Arizona's undoing a year ago was the souring relationship between Murray and former head coach Kliff Kingsbury, so the chemistry between Gannon and his new QB could be the linchpin that determines if this hire is a successful one or not."

CBS Sports gave the hire a C+, which was last out of all hires.

The Draft Network

Justin Melo: "The Cardinals were the final NFL team to hire a coach. New general manager Monti Ossenfort waited for the conclusion of Super Bowl LVII to appoint the former Eagles defensive coordinator. Gannon has earned this opportunity, but I have worries regarding the situation he’s inheriting. Starting quarterback Kyler Murray suffered a torn ACL midway through the 2022 campaign and may be limited to begin the 2023 season. Superstar wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins is expected to be traded. That’s a lot for a first-time head coach to deal with.

"Gannon’s final showing in Philadelphia unfortunately did not go according to plan. The Chiefs racked up 38 points as Gannon’s defense failed to get a single second-half stop. Gannon is starting anew and must overcome several immediate obstacles in Arizona."

Gannon's B- grade was the lowest out of the cycle.

Philly Voice Predicted Gannon Would Last Just One Season

Shamus Clancey: "Is Sam Hinkie the Cardinals' shadow GM? Because this has 'tank' written all over it. Gannon is a lame-duck head coach and placeholder for a franchise that's already looking ahead to 2024.

"You're really going to stick with an iffy defense-first coach if gifted the NFL's next great QB-WR duo? I think not. That's Lincoln Riley's music or a job for next winter's hotshot play-caller entering the head coaching market.

"Gannon is a tank commander. He might not have been the long-term answer for a sad Cardinals franchise anyway, but the writing is already on the wall.

"The Eagles host Gannon in the Cardinals in Week 17 on New Year's Eve. I'd imagine Gannon receives some venom from Eagles fans at the Linc. I'm setting the over/under on him getting fired this season at the ball dropping at midnight."

Social Media Reacts

Plenty liked the hire, too, though it's clear what the majority of opinions were at the time.

We'll see if any narratives change after the dust settles on Year 2.

Donnie Druin


Donnie Druin is the Publisher for All Cardinals and Inside The Suns. Donnie moved to Arizona in 2012 and has been with Fan Nation since 2018. In college he won "Best Sports Column" in the state of Arizona for his section and has previously provided coverage for the Pittsburgh Steelers and Arizona State Sun Devils. Follow Donnie on Twitter @DonnieDruin for more news, updates, analysis and more!