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The Arizona Cardinals are in a rough spot right now. The team’s owner is facing multiple accusations of misconduct, quarterback Kyler Murray is rehabbing a torn ACL, their best player wants out, the coach and general manager from the last several years are gone, the team went 4-13 last season, and now new head coach Jonathan Gannon just got caught lying to the media. It’s not a great time for the Cardinals.

Cardinals head coach lied to the media multiple times in one statement

Jonathan Gannon, Arizona Cardinals
Jonathan Gannon | Chris Coduto/Getty Images

With all the bad stuff going on in the desert right now, the Cardinals did have a moment for celebration recently when they released their new uniforms for the 2023 NFL season and beyond.

As part of the uniform reveal, new head coach and former Philadelphia Eagles defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon spoke with the media, and that’s when things started to go badly.

The problem actually started with a compliment from one of the hosts of the proceedings. He noted that Gannon is “comfortable and not nervous at all in talking to reporters,” per Pro Football Focus.

That’s when the lies started.

“I’m very comfortable talking to the media. Philly is a very hard media market,” Gannon said. “We were 9-0, and I did my presser, and they say, ‘Coach, we want you fired.’ And I said, ‘We’re the No. 1 defense in the NFL right now, in every statistical category. Why do you want me fired?’ ‘You don’t blitz enough.’ I said, ‘Well, we lead the league in sacks by 30-plus sacks, so if you want to come call the defense, then you can have at it.'”


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So, that’s what Gannon said. PFF and other outlets then broke down this statement, though, and found multiple inaccuracies. They were able to do this because the Eagles make transcripts of coaches’ press conferences and media statements available to all.

Let’s break this down statement by statement.

I’m very comfortable talking to the media

Gannon may feel that way, but after the Eagles defense collapsed in the second half of last year’s Super Bowl, the then-defensive coordinator refused to speak with the media after the game.

We were 9-0

This couldn’t be easier to fact-check. Anyone with Google can quickly find out that the Eagles were 8-0 before they lost to the Washington Commanders in Week 10. They were 8-1 at that point and then 9-1 the following week after they beat the Indianapolis Colts.

While this is a simple mistake to make, 9-0 never happened, and it’s a tough when the rest of the statement is also filled with inaccuracies.

They say, ‘Coach, we want you fired.’… ‘You don’t blitz enough

After Gannon’s statement, PFF poured through the transcripts of the coach’s media remarks from around the time the team was (approximately) 9-0 in November and found no evidence of an exchange like this.

There was one question about Gannon actually blitzing more, to which Gannon told the reporter to “fact-check that.” Another question was about Gannon and the Eagles’ blitzing being “so effective.” Finally, Gannon once told the Philly media “that the same amount of blitzes are in the game plan each week, and that the number that are called depends on the situation.”

That’s the extent of the mid-season media blitz-related questions for Gannon, and, as you can see, at no point did someone say they wanted him fired for not blitzing enough.

Well, we lead the league in sacks by 30-plus sacks

The Eagles had a historic season when it came to sacks. Gannon’s defense recorded 70 sacks, the third-most in NFL history only behind the 1984 Chicago Bears (72) and 1989 Minnesota Vikings (71).

Putting up 70 sacks was impressive, especially considering the second-most this season was 55 by the Kansas City Chiefs. However, that gave the Eagles 15 more than the Chiefs. And that was about as big as the team’s sack lead got in 2023. At no point did the Eagles have a 30-or-more-sack lead on the next-highest team.

In the end, these aren’t horrible, malicious lies by any means. They seem like relatively small factual errors, misremembrances, exaggerations, and straw-man arguments. That said, having so many of them in such a short answer may be concerning to some Cardinals fans.

Jonathan Gannon is supposed to be the coach to lead the Cardinals back to respectability. But if you can’t trust what comes out of his mouth, how can you trust him to lead the team?