New Arizona head coach Jonathan Gannon said the Eagles made him a counteroffer of more money than the Cardinals are paying him if he would stay on as defensive coordinator in Philadelphia.
Gannon made the comments to NBC Sports in an interview published Monday. In essence, Gannon took a pay cut to become a first-time head coach in the NFL and work with quarterback Kyler Murray.
“They came back and they were like, ‘Here’s a new offer. It’s gonna pay you more than being a head coach,'” Gannon told NBC Sports. “That’s cool and I loved it there but I wanted to be a head coach and I was excited about this because of (owner) Mr. Bidwill — Michael, as he would say – (GM) Monti Ossenfort, and Kyler.”
The Cardinals introduced Gannon as head coach on Thursday. Financial terms of his deal were not announced. The money might not have been a factor for Gannon in taking the Arizona job but Murray certainly was.
“If Kyler Murray isn’t here, I don’t take this job,” Gannon told NBC Sports.
“This guy does things that it completely handcuffs you how you play defense — at times,” Gannon went on about Murray. “I think we can take him to another level and unleash his full skill set. We’re not gonna put him in gun all the time, I’ll tell you that. The way to take pressure off the quarterback and the O-line is to put him under center at times. That’s the missing piece I thought they had with Kyler. They were in gun all the time. When you’re in gun all the time, you don’t make the defense defend certain play types.”
Gannon, just 40, also discussed his hiring of coordinators: 29-year-old Nick Rallis as DC and 35-year-old Drew Petzing as OC.
“Age isn’t a prerequisite for firepower,” Gannon told NBC. “When we got to Philly, we had the youngest staff in the NFL. There’s a reason that our (players) ran into the building to come to work. I love that. I’m gonna have some guys with major, major experience worked into the staff because I value that, too. But as far as who’s running the offense and the defense, age was never a factor for me — what was in their brain and what was in their heart is.” –Field Level Media