Cardinals hire Eagles defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon as head coach

The Arizona Cardinals have hired Philadelphia Eagles defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon as their head coach.

The Cardinals announced on Tuesday that they reached a five-year deal with Gannon. Terms of the deal weren't announced. Cincinnati Bengals defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo and New York Giants offensive coordinator Mike Kafka were also finalists for the job, per ESPN's Adam Schefter.

Gannon, 39, has been an NFL assistant for 15 years. He joined the Eagles alongside head coach Nick Sirianni in 2021. He previously worked as a defensive assistant or scout with the Indianapolis Colts, Minnesota Vikings, Tennessee Titans, St. Louis Rams and Atlanta Falcons.

The Cardinals hired Gannon two days after he coached in Super Bowl LVII, where his Eagles lost to the Kansas City Chiefs, 38-35. He fills the last remaining NFL head coaching vacancy of the offseason. The Eagles now have two coordinator vacancies to fill after the Colts hired offensive coordinator Shane Steichen as their head coach. Indianapolis made that transaction official earlier Tuesday.

Defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon during the second half of an NFL football game against the Detroit Lions, Sunday, Oct. 31, 2021, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Duane Burleson)
Jonathan Gannon will be the next head coach of the Arizona Cardinals. (AP Photo/Duane Burleson) (ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Gannon tasked with turnaround from Kingsbury era

Gannon's arrival completes an offseason overhaul in Arizona that also included the arrival of new general manager Monti Ossenfort in January. Ossenfort was immediately tasked with helping the Cardinals find a new head coach. Gannon replaces Kliff Kingsbury, who was fired after leading the Cardinals to one playoff berth in four seasons. Ossenfort replaces Steve Keim, who resigned alongside the dismissal of Kingsbury.

Gannon's arrival represents a shift in focus in Arizona after Kingsbury was tasked with developing an offense around quarterback Kyler Murray, whom the Cardinals drafted first overall alongside Kingsbury's arrival in 2019. That regime failed and culminated with a 4-13 2022 campaign accompanied by Murray regressing from his Pro Bowl form the previous two seasons.

A Cardinals team that finished 22nd in the league in total offense and 21st in defense has work to do on both sides of the ball. Gannon oversaw an Eagles defense that finished second in yards allowed (301.5) and eighth in points allowed (20.2) per game this season.

Philadelphia boasted a dominant pass rush that tallied 70 sacks during the regular season, the third-most all time and 15 more than than the Chiefs, who were second in the league with 55. Gannon's defense had few answers for the Chiefs in the Super Bowl. The Eagles failed to sack Patrick Mahomes and allowed 24 points after halftime as the Chiefs rallied from a 10-point halftime deficit for victory.