Jonathan Gannon’s confidence on display in 1st real day on Cards’ job

Feb 17, 2023, 10:02 AM
Arizona Cardinals head coach Jonathan Gannon (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports)...
Arizona Cardinals head coach Jonathan Gannon (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports)
(Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports)

TEMPE — Adaptable. Violent. Explosive. Smart.

New Arizona Cardinals head coach Jonathan Gannon was straight to the point during his introductory press conference when talking about what he envisions from his team.

In what was a refreshing change of pace from the previous regime, Gannon didn’t look for the easy way out of questions or leave things vaguer than they need to be — even with a few changes in lighting or his kid Angelo trying to steal the show.

Instead, he sat front and center and confidently lined out his blueprint for what he wants this organization to be.

And unlike the old head coach, the new one seemed in lockstep with owner Michael Bidwill and GM Monti Ossenfort.

“I would say I’m the guy for the job,” Gannon said Thursday when asked why he was the right fit for Arizona. “Just talking with Michael and Monti, I’m very excited to get started and on our vision of how we want to run the football team.

“I would say that any job I’ve ever taken, there’s always a big-time challenge ahead of you and I’ve succeeded in all of those, starting from the ground floor of the business all the way up until this seat. What I don’t know about the job, I’ll figure out fast and I’ll lean on the people that I can trust and lean on and we’re going to get it rolling.”

During the course of Gannon’s press conference that spanned more than 40 minutes, the head coach provided what he could no more than three days into his new role.

Topics ranged from his time in Philadelphia — and his infamous quote on not having a scheme — the whirlwind of the past week or so, his coming up through the NFL ranks as a coach, his life as a scout, his family and mentors and everything else in between.

And above all else, what he expects out of his players and the standard he wants across the board.

“When people do the right thing that shows that’s winning behavior. You’re going to see that in our guys. … As hard as we’re going to be on our guys, we’re going to love them up even more. That’s how you win games. I think that ultimately, we’re going to show them the way that we want things done.

“The players sitting here right now are going to take it over, because the ultimate accountability comes from not wanting to let your teammate down and how you’re going about your business. There are a lot of different ways to get that done and I look forward to doing that with our guys. That’ll be one of the major things that we hold our hat on.”

Aside from content of Gannon’s answers throughout his press conference, one thing stood out more than the rest:

His confident demeanor.

For being a first-time NFL head coach with the task of turning around the record and culture of a franchise, Gannon acted like he had been there before. He’s not oblivious to the challenge, but rather determined to hit the ground running.

“That’s how I’ve been shaped my whole life growing up and had some success playing and coaching,” Gannon said when asked about the confidence he carries. “I’ve been on some good teams, I’ve been on some bad teams, too. But just the belief in myself and what’s in my brain and what’s in my heart. I know it to be true.

“I also think I’m not afraid to learn and change. That’s what I mean when taking everyone’s opinion into consideration. … There’s a lot of people that know a lot more than me and once you realize that, you have the ability to improve your game and grow. I actively seek that out. That’s how I’ve always been.”

First impressions from an introductory press conference can do one of two things: instill confidence in the hire or pile on even more negativity for a franchise.

In his first real day on the job, Gannon accomplished the former.

Now, it’s onto filling out the coaching staff, diving into the early stages of free agency and looking toward the draft.

As Gannon would say, “buckle up.”

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