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Can JG, Nick Rallis and Drew Petzing make the Words and the Music Match?

Syndication: Arizona Republic Joel Angel Juarez/The Republic / USA TODAY NETWORK

If you have not as yet viewed yesterday’s press conference with JG, Nick Rallis and Drew Petzing, the link is above and below. It is well worth your time and attention.

Since the culmination of the 2023 NFL Draft, national pundits like PFT’s Mike Florio and ESPN’s Josh Weinfuss have been drawing attention to the fact that the Cardinals did not elect to have Jonathan Gannon speak to the media about the Cardinals’ draft picks, as is the ordinary custom for NFL head coaches,

Perhaps the Cardinals wanted to delay the inevitable questions that Jonathan Gannon would be asked by the media about the tampering violation —- a violation which was reported on the first night of the draft, before any of the picks had been made —- one in which caused the Cardinals to have to swap their early 3rd round pick for the Eagles’ late third rounder and the Eagles’ 2024 5th round pick.

Likely the Cardinals wanted Monti Ossenfort and Dave Sears to pay full attention to the Cardinals’ draft picks without the added distraction of Jonathan Gannon having to explain why he took Monti Ossenfort’s phone call after the NFL Championship game.

What I believe happened is that JG was MO’s top head coaching candidate all along —- and Michael Bidwill knew this and accepted it all along.

Then after the Eagles’ impressive 31-7 drubbing of the 49ers in the NFC Championship game on January 29th in a post-game interview, when JG was asked whether he was still talking to the Texans about their head coaching job, he emphatically said no, “the Eagles are keeping me.” The implication was that the Eagles had already given JG ample financial compensation to stay on as their DC.

I believe that this interview sent Monti Ossenfort and Michael Bidwill into a bit of a panic mode. Up to this point in the HC search, Monti and Michael Bidwill had been able to work methodically through an array of interviews, in an effort to do their “due diligence.” But the methodical nature of the search also served as a stalling tactic.

Monti Ossenfort and Michael Bidwill felt they needed to know asap whether JG was fully committed to returning to the Eagles —- or not.

Therefore, Monti called JG, just as JG said, to congratulate him on the win and to offer some advice about how to handle the two week preparation for the Super Bowl —- with a chance afterward to get a feel for whether JG would be open to interviewing for the Cardinals’ job.

All that Monti and Bidwill needed to know at that point was the word “yes.”

What was very significant about the way in which JG handled the questions yesterday is how forthcoming he was about revealing that he told Monti, “yeah, I would.”

One has to wonder, therefore, what changed for JG in a day’s time after he had declared to the world that “the Eagles are keeping me.”

The way JG explained it during his introductory press conference as head coach was that he meant it when he said he was staying in Philly because he had heard that the Texans, the only team he had previously interviewed with, “were going in a different direction.” JG went on to say that he didn’t know he was going to interview with the Cardinals until Howie Roseman told him after the Super Bowl.

But, here is where things get more than a little sticky and gray. JG said at his intro presser that he had done some thoughtful research about the Cardinals heading into his interview —- how he had consulted a few of his most trusted advisors and how he took a good look at the players on the Cardinals roster.

It’s hard to imagine that having told MO of his interest in the Cardinals’ head coaching job that he wasn’t spending some time during the two week prep of the Super Bowl doing his research on the Cardinals.

This and the fact that JG did not make himself available to the national media to explain his perspectives on why the Eagles’ defense collapsed in the second half, gives us an understanding of why Eagles’ fans and executives are so irate.

Howie Roseman was asked yesterday about the situation. He is furious that pundits are still talking about the Super Bowl. When asked if he was “mad at JG”, Roseman deflected the question.

There are number of Cardinals’ fans on Twitter who are disparaging the Eagles’ fans for being so angry with JG —-

But, imagine if the tables were turned and, for example, if we found out after the Cardinals’ Super Bowl loss to the Steelers that Clancy Pendergast, during the two week prep for the Super Bowl, was doing his homework on another team not named the Steelers —-

Heck, do you remember very clearly how understandably bullsh^t Cardinals fans were when we learned after that bitter Super Bowl loss to the Steelers that assistant head coach/OL coach Russ Grimm was spotted eating a hot dog and watching the Bruce Springsteen half-time show while the team was still in the locker room?

JG said in his intro presser as head coach, “I really don’t care about other people’s opinions. The only opinions I can about are from the people on my own team. I don’t hear any outside noises. i don’t pay attention to it, because if you do that , then you are not really being where your feet are, you’re letting other people’s opinions drive your own feelings and emotions.”

Again, this is where things get a sticky and gray for JG, particularly with regard to the story he fabricated during the Cardinals’ new uniform ceremony when he claimed a member of the Philly media told him he wanted JG fired because he didn’t blitz nearly often enough —- including falsely stating that the Eagles were 7-0 at the time and had 30 more sacks than any other team.

For a coach who preaches accountability, it’s not a good look when he offers a misrepresentation of the facts, at least without offering a subsequent mea culpa or a retraction of sorts.

For a coach who has been preaching a team-first mantra, it’s not a good look when it now has become apparent that JG took an illicit phone call and was doing research on the Cardinals during the Eagles’ two week prep for the Super Bowl. ... during the Eagles’ team preparation process for which he claimed during his intro presser that “I was fully engaged in.”

Furthermore, during the entire Super Bowl weekend the speculation in the media that the Cardinals were interested in interviewing Jonathan Gannon for the head coaching job was rampant. Thus, for JG to act like he was surprised to learn that the Cardinals wanted to interview him comes across as obtuse and disingenuous.

It appears that JG is perfectly fine with burning the bridge with the Eagles. Even though he reiterated a few times on Doug and Wolf yesterday how grateful he is to the Eagles, especially for helping him be where he is today as head coach of the Cardinals, he has gone out of his way on a few occasions to throw the Eagles’ organization under the bus —- one salient example is why he chose to let everyone know that the Eagles offered him more money to stay on as their DC, than the Cardinals are paying him as head coach.

If you are Jeffrey Lurie or Howie Roseman, how would that make you feel?

And to make matters worse — now comes this speculative bombshell:

The pattern with JG that he has created for himself is that he can say something with clarity and conviction one minute and then change his mind on a dime the next. He lauds this pattern as being “adaptable in the moment.”

For me, yesterday’s press conference was encouraging, because I think JG came clean about the phone call (not a Zoom interview as some in Philly are speculating) and he admitted that he said yes to being interested in the Cardinals’ job. It felt like this time his depiction of what was said during that phone call was accurate and honest.

JG said a couple of month ago in his intro presser that as a first year head coach, he intends to try to learn on the job as quickly as he can. Therefore, one can hope that from this point forward, JG sees the value of adhering to the truth.

JG frequently talks about being perfectly honest with the players and holding them accountable. If, from here on out, he can apply those virtues of honesty and accountability to himself, then there is tangible hope for him and the Cardinals. That is, as long as Michael Bidwill puts a cease to the cheating and behind-the-scenes deception and toxicity that have gone on for years under his watch as owner and team president.

Like they say, “everything trickles down from the top.”

Organizational integrity begins and ends with the leadership.

The hope is that the superb buzz the Cardinals generated in this historical draft in Kansas City can now impel the organization forward in such a positive manner, that the sins of the past can be left like tumbleweed in the dust.

The job that Monti Ossenfort and Dave Sears did at the draft was a work of art.

It gives me goosebumps just to look at this! Same for you, or what?

Why Yesterday’s Presser was a Home Run

The young coaching leadership of the team in true alignment was in full array yesterday.

By setting the record straight on the tampering issue in a very revelatory and forthright manner, JG set a positive tone. Following that, his depictions of what he and the coaches learned about their draft prospects during the 30 visits were inspiring.

Man, I wish the media didn’t interrupt Nick Rallis during his vivid and detailed description of why he is so high on LB Owen Pappoe.

I could sit and listen to Rallis all day long.

Drew Petzing is about as clear and direct as coaches come. No wasted words with this coach whatsoever.

Gannon, Rallis and Petzing come across as precocious, passionate, well-trained teachers and motivators.

The key for all three of them is how quickly they can learn on the job and whether the words —- “we want team first guys who love the game” —- “no egos tolerated” —- “everything’s a competition” —- and the music —- match.

As is always the case with young teachers, some of the students, particularly the more veteran ones, will be apt to test the teachers’ mettle from the get-go.

Will the coaches acquiesce and compromise their standards? Or, will they have the fortitude and conviction to carry their weight and hold their ground?

Best of All

For the past decade, it seemed like following the draft, the Cardinals’ coaches had to be introduced to the draft picks —- and in many cases, even a couple of days into mini-camp, the coaches seemed to respond to working with some of the draftees like, “thanks, but no thanks.”

One coach resorted to giving draftees degrading epithets —- another coach during training camp called his personnel a “JV” team.

After what we saw and heard from this coaching staff, they are already way ahead of the game. They are fired up big-time about every player they acquired and are elated that the draftees were available when the Cardinals were able to select them.

The coaches are fired up about the un-drafted players they signed too. Did you hear Nick Rallis talking about his impressions of working with ASU LB Kyle Soelle?


Do these coaches have an honest chance?


Do Gannon, Rallis and Petzing have an honest chance to succeed with the Cardinals?

This poll is closed

  • 87%
    (220 votes)
  • 12%
    (31 votes)
251 votes total Vote Now

How did you vote, and why?

What are your thoughts about the presser?