I thought I should indicate my primary concern since I one of the few not excited by the hire. When you pick an HC it’s usually someone who brings a special skill that often becomes the core of the team’s identity. Gannon’s claim to fame was primarily the defensive scheme of the Eagles. I’m not sure prior to the last two seasons, anyone saw him on the verge of being an HC. This is not to say he didn’t pay his dues. He clearly earned his way to the DC job.
if you aren’t familiar with his defensive theory; it’s fairly simple. He plays mostly man in pass coverage. The defense, as a whole, is designed to avoid big plays by the offense. He figures if you make them go down the field incrementally, the offense is more likely to make a mistake. He’s not a big fan of blitzing, but then he coached a DL capable of getting to the QB on their own. Turnovers are a large part of his game.
My concerns are first that the Cards’ current offensive capabilities often leave the defense on the field too long. If the Cards’ opponent’s drives tend to be long, that compounds the problem. This could leave the defense exhausted, especially late in games. This means the offense needs to be rebuilt more rapidly than may have been anticipated. Is that possible, especially with Murray out?
The second concern is the way Reid handled Gannon’s defense. Did his game plan reveal basic flaws in the defensive strategy that must be corrected so many teams can’t take advantage? Perhaps some small adjustments will correct the issue. I’m just not certain. Clearly those adjustments weren’t made in the Super Bowl. Offenses and defenses typically leapfrog each other to gain advantage. I sincerely hope the next great leap is made by Gannon, but personnel improvement must happen first. That’s mostly up to the new GM and his staff.
My hire preference was to go offense or someone with more experience. All of this doesn’t mean Gannon can‘t succeed. I would think based on his history that Carter would be his draft preference followed by a CB in round 2 unless a good one is acquired in FA. I would think he‘d prefer the rest of the draft focuses on the trenches. The question of 3-4 or 4-3 depends on the ultimate personnel accumulated. He could go either way. I think he would prefer to keep Hopkins, as he might be the best drive extending WR in the game, thus resting the defense.
Of course my hope is Gannon succeeds. I expect significant Cardinal defensive improvement. The offense’s success will depend on new personnel and better coaching. We should finally see if a better supporting cast can make Murray more successful. Better game day play selection would help as well.
I’m confident in the GM. I can only hope Gannon builds a quality staff and rises to the occasion.