Arizona Cardinals: Jonathan Gannon will enter 2023 with a boulder on his shoulder

Arizona Cardinals head coach Jonathan Gannon during voluntary Organized Team Activities at the
Arizona Cardinals head coach Jonathan Gannon during voluntary Organized Team Activities at the / Rob Schumacher/The Republic / USA TODAY

No head coach in the NFL has taken more heat than Arizona Cardinals head coach Jonathan Gannon. And you have to ask yourself what the guy did to deserve it?

As a new head coach in the NFL, Jonathan Gannon was not going to rank highly in any head coach power rankings, but Ross Tucker of The 33rd Team ranked him dead last in their rankings behind the likes of Demeco Ryans, Shane Steichen, and even Josh McDaniels, the latter of whom you can argue is one of the worst head coaches in recent memory. 

Or what about Todd Bowles? Who despite his 34-50 career record, continues to sneak his way into getting another chance.

It seems like Gannon’s been getting unfair treatment from the NFL universe even before the Arizona Cardinals hired him to be their latest head coach. First, they criticized his defense scheme when he was with the Philadelphia Eagles, despite the unit’s high output. 

Then, he took so much blame for the Eagles second-half collapse in the Super Bowl, you’d have thought Nick Sirianni handed the future Cardinals coach the headset, made him interim coach, and took the entire second half off. Yeah, forget the fact that football is a team sport. 

While it’s true Gannon’s defense couldn’t hold, it’s not like Jalen Hurts and Company gave him much help.They’re every bit as guilty as blowing that lead as Gannon’s defense. And finally, how many teams has Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes done this to? Yeah, quite a few. That said, Gannon is no outlier. 

Arizona Cardinals head coach has all the motivation he needs

At this point, I’d be unsurprised if in some alternate universe, the Cardinals hired Jeff Saturday to be their head coach and he attained less criticism than Gannon. Sure, Saturday would rank 32nd in just about every ranking out there, but it’s easy to wonder if there would be any less criticism in our own world if the Cards rolled with Saturday-not saying it would have been a good idea, might I add, but it wouldn’t surprise me in the slightest if they were more lenient on the former interim coach of the Indianapolis Colts

What’s the upside here? Gannon will have motivation unlike any other NFL head coach. The media has literally counted Gannon out before he’s even been dealt his first hand, but that hasn’t stopped the high-energy coach from oozing confidence, something we’ve seen in plenty of interviews since he took the job. 

While it would be farfetched to see Gannon’s Arizona Cardinals shock the NFL this season, it shouldn’t surprise you if the team exceeded expectations. This isn’t a playoff-caliber roster, but it looks like a young group that will nonetheless enter each game this season with some added motivation, especially when you have a coach like Gannon that demands such an atmosphere and who is simultaneously taking an unfair share of heat. 

But honestly, if I were Gannon, I’d let the media keep talking. A little extra motivation has never hurt anyone. 

Hot. It’s imminent that Isaiah Simmons will leave the Arizona Cardinals. It’s imminent that Isaiah Simmons will leave the Arizona Cardinals. dark

Source: NFL Head Coaching Rankings: Which Team’s Coach Reigns Supreme? by Ross Tucker,