Weekend recap: Jonathon Gannon’s back, while Eagles throw down at Pro Bowl

Posted on February 8, 2022

For Eagles fans, it was a pretty eventful weekend. From the stars showing up (and disappointing many) in Las Vegas to the Birds getting confirmation that a certain coach will be back next season, let’s check in on went down.

Jonathon Gannon Loses Out On The Houston Texans Job

The big news of the weekend, and it’s definitely a tough pill for some to swallow. On Sunday, it was reported that Jonathon Gannon had been informed he was out of the seemingly three-headed race for the Houston Texans’ HC gig.

Sure enough, on Monday, the Texans announced they promoted defensive coordinator Lovie Smith to head coach. Smith’s hire is a tad surprising, and it developed insanely quickly. Up until then, Gannon, Brian Flores, and Josh McGown had all been presumed the only finalists.

Of course, all three had flaws. Gannon doesn’t seem to have high upside, McGown’s never held a prominent coaching role, and Flores’ lawsuit would’ve made for an insane amount of distractions that a young team doesn’t need. Smith knows the team well already, but one has to wonder why they didn’t just keep David Culley for a second straight season if this is the end result. Definitely feels like a lateral move.

In a hiring period that has seen several prominent defensive coordinators hit the market, Gannon’s return is a mixed bag. His schemes left a lot to be desired at times. However, it’s equally possible some fans have been too hard on him. After all, the Eagles were laughingly underarmed at linebacker, and the defense did have a solid year (even when considering the quarterbacks they faced).

For Gannon, it’s almost certain he sees more head coaching interest — and a job — next year if the defense continues to show an above-average performance. For right now, it’ll be interesting to see if the continuity amounts to anything heading into the 2022 season.

Eagles “Shine” At Pro Bowl

If you didn’t catch the game, consider yourself unbelievably lucky. Or maybe you should be angry at yourself for missing the world’s most expensive game of two hand touch football.

In his fourth Pro Bowl appearance (first with the Eagles) cornerback Darius Slay had three “tackles” (two solo) while first-timer Jake Elliott went three-for-three on extra points. If you’re a fan of throwing, it was a great game. The NFC had just one rushing yard as opposed to 303 passing yards.

The big talk, however, was the obvious lack of effort at times, as well as the sudden unspoken no-tackling rule. Many former NFL stars — such as Deion Sanders — questioned where the passion has gone, while other fans slammed the event. The backlash prompted several players to speak out, including Slay.

Both Slay and the fans make valid points. It’s no question that the Pro Bowl is the worst All-Star game of the four major sports for the exact reason Slay listed – it’s at the end of the year as opposed to the middle. No NFL players have any incentive for hustling with the offseason at hand.

At this point, I don’t think you can actually “fix” it. Nothing would ever make the players try hard and risk injury, and the NFL would never can it because — like it or not — it does make money and provides some entertainment in the week between the conference championships and Super Bowl. It’ll remain as is, and we’ve probably seen the last of tackling during the game.

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Drew Rhoades

If there’s one thing you need to know about Drew Rhoades, it’s that he knows Philadelphia sports. A graduate from Saint Joseph’s University, Rhoades has previously written about Hawk sports for The Hawk Newspaper and covered baseball at Phillies Nation. In his spare time, he loves to volunteer at his local animal shelter and bike.

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