Rookie Eagles Report Card: The Frustration of Jonathan Gannon

The Eagles started their season with a big win over the Lions! But there are more questions than answers when it comes to developing a beginner class.

Jordan Davis: b

It’s hard to rate Jordan Davis’ performance against Lions, because his use (or lack thereof) was a head-scratcher. Davis saw the field in just over 30% of the shots, and there was little to no rhyme or reasoning behind when or why he saw the field.

The Lions’ offensive line is one of the best units in the league and Dan Campbell was content to run the ball as he pleased. Fletcher Cox and Javon Hargrave struggled with running in their way while Jordan Davis was on the field a few times when the Eagles’ defense managed to chain Detroit to the ground.

Davis’ influence is obvious to most people when he’s on the court, but not so obvious to Jonathan Gannon. While there is a possibility that the Eagles will be concerned about setting up the rookie, it is more likely that the second-year defensive coordinator has no idea what to do with his new batch of talent in defense.

Last year, Jonathan Gannon was frustratingly conservative in defense, but it also took him a long time to really adjust to who he should put on the field. Remember how long it took before TJ Edwards saw the footage instead of Eric Wilson? Or all the pictures of Derek Barnett?

While the first week of the season shouldn’t dictate expectations for the next 17 weeks, Sunday was more of the same stubborn, uninventive use of people and play from Gannon. The defense suffered because of it and Davis’ rookie debut could have been much better if Gannon had been more content to use his pick in the first round. Hopefully that will change with the next Explosive Vikings attack.

I am dean: N/A

Nakobi Dean didn’t see the field much in defense and that seems like a mistake. Conventional wisdom suggests that Nickel packages in defense would have Kyzir White and TJ Edwards as their midfielders with Haason Reddick stepping up the line as a passing forward. Instead, Riddick was playing off the ball with nickels in confrontations against the lions and they were able to pick him up in coverage. Given that he’s had 23.5 sacks in the past two seasons, it would make a lot of sense to let him rush through in clear passing situations…

In any case! If the Eagles don’t want Edwards on the field to pass the ball clearly because of speed, but want someone to play the ball that can threaten as a blitzer force, Nakobi Dean feels fit for the role.

Again, these are the things Gannon needs to discover soon. He has a diverse group of players at his disposal and early signs are that he has no idea what to do with them.

Cam Jurgens: N/A

Some special teams settle down.

Kieron Johnson: b

I watched some action on private teams and it looked solid.

Grant Calcatera: N/A

Healthy Scratch as a narrow-finish fourth option.

Josh Joby: b

Already own core teams player.

Red Blankship: N/A

Healthy scratch.

Britannia Coffee: b

She seemed solid in some of the attempts to return the boat. Perhaps the Eagles should keep him on the active list moving forward.