We need to talk about the one NFL Head Coach that might be spending his very first year on the hot seat.
I’m talking about you, Jonathan Gannon.
The Arizona Cardinals lost out to the Denver Broncos for the services of Sean Payton, and went with the backup plan of the Eagles defensive coordinator, who up until halftime of the Super Bowl, was putting together a historic run.
You might think it’s completely insane that a brand new coach would come in on the hot seat, but this is the Arizona Cardinals we’re talking about.
They had no problem running Steve Wilks out of town after one year. And Kliff Kingsbury had FIVE, count ’em, one, two, three, four FIVE years left on his contract when he also got the heave-ho.
Of all the job openings around the league, what makes Arizona unique is that there’a a quarterback and offensive weapons in place that Gannon, a defensive specialist, needs to make look competent right out of the gate.
Indianapolis, Houston and Carolina are starting their franchise QB searches from scratch, and Sean Payton has enough clout in Denver to where if “Mr. Unlimited“ can’t shape up, the organization will back the head coach.
That’s not the situation in Arizona, where Kyler Murray and his agent social media bullied Michael Bidwill into giving him a whopping $160 million guaranteed, and regularly criticized his previous head coach’s red zone meltdowns to the point of organizational divorce.
The Arizona Cardinals priority this offseason should have been to bring in an alpha personality that Kyler Murray can respect, and instead, they hired someone that’s much more known for imposing his will on the opposing team’s quarterback.
And so who did Jonathan Gannon bring in to fix a Cardinals offense that didn’t have a single play longer than 50 yards until their 17th game of the season last year?
Gannon’s offensive coordinator pick was Cleveland Browns QB coach Drew Petzing, who is 35-years-old and has never called an offense before. If Kyler didn’t respect Patrick Mahomes’ college coach as his playcaller, what’s he going to do when an economics major from Middlebury College is working through first-year coordinator kinks?
The Cardinals can’t afford to do a full rebuild, but the offensive line and secondary need a near-complete overhaul, and JJ Watt has announced that he’s done playing football as well.
If Kyler Murray can’t get his knee ready for the start of the season, and the Cardinals end up at the bottom of the NFC West for the fourth time in six years, we might see this carousel go for another spin.
That is, unless there’s a different standard in the NFL for guys like Jonathan Gannon than there is for guys like Steve Wilks.
Let that sink in.
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