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Jonathan Gannon Confirms Interview Request, Focus is on Bucs, Tight Ends

The Eagles DC didn't want to talk much about his potential interview in Denver, but he shed some light on why TEs have given his team trouble this season
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Yes, Jonathan Gannon is a candidate to the next head coach of the Denver Broncos, the Eagles defensive coordinator confirming that an interview request has been made.

He and about a dozen others have been mentioned as interview candidates.

The Broncos are casting a wide net, including a pair of offensive coaches from the Green Bay Packers in Nathaniel Hackett and Luke Getsy, leading to some speculation that maybe president of football operations John Elway is talking to them to entice Aaron Rodgers to the Mile High City should one be hired.

The Gannon connection to Denver is GM George Paton knows Gannon from their three-year overlap in Minnesota, so Gannon won’t be judged on only one year as the Eagles’ DC, but also on their time together and Gannon’s 15 years in the league.

Gannon, who just turned 40 on Jan. 4, didn’t have much else to say beyond confirming that the Broncos have requested an interview, other than he will sit down with GM Howie Roseman and head coach Nick Sirianni to talk about all that when the time comes.

Gannon added, “my sole focus is on Tampa Bay.”

It’s a lot to focus on as the Eagles prepare for their fourth playoff trip in the last five years, with this one featuring the not-so-envious task of matching up against the GOAT, Tom Brady, in Tampa Bay on Sunday (1 p.m./FOX).

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Brady is only half of it, though a phenomenal half he is. Now 44, the QB has seven Super Bowls and a 243-73 record.

And, while the Bucs may be light on WRs, after the Antonio Brown striptease act that led to his release two weeks ago, and Chris Godwin suffering a torn ACL last month, what Brady has is tight ends.

The top dog there is one of the best to do it for a very long time, Rob Gronkowski.

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Gronk didn’t play in the first meeting between the two teams due to an injury to his ribs. In 12 games, he has 55 catches for 802 yards on six touchdowns.

Still just 32, he seems like he’s been in the league just as long as Brady’s 20-plus seasons. He has played 143 career games with 621 receptions for 9,286 yards and 92 TDs.

Then there’s Cameron Brate, though, he aggravated a hamstring injury last week.

Also in Brady’s arsenal is O.J. Howard, who has the talent to step up and do damage if he needs to.

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Tight ends have been a handful for the Eagles all season long. Their defense has allowed 106 receptions by tight ends in 18 games for 1,033 yards and 13 touchdowns.

Gannon was asked why tight ends have given the team some trouble this season.

“I think it's sometimes we're willing to give certain things within each coverage up, but there is no question we got to do a better job controlling that position to be successful,” he said.

Especially against the talented and bountiful group the Bucs have.

“From Tampa's standpoint…it's like those guys, those tight ends are where they need to be at the right time, and they get open,” he said. “They got big catch radiuses, they're hard matchups for anybody. If you have a DB on them or a linebacker on them or when you're in zone coverage, (Brady) knows his answers, where the ball should go and how quickly.”

Ed Kracz is the publisher of SI.com’s Eagle Maven and co-host of the Eagles Unfiltered Podcast. Check out the latest Eagles news at www.SI.com/NFL/Eagles or www.eaglemaven.com and please follow him on Twitter: @kracze.