6 under-the-radar candidates to be the next Vikings head coach

(Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) DeMeco Ryans
(Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) DeMeco Ryans /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) Jonathan Gannon /

Jonathan Gannon

Current Role:

  • Philadelphia Eagles defensive coordinator

Some might be turned off by this candidate after the Eagles fell to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday by a final score of 31-15 in the first round of the 2021 playoffs. But Jonathan Gannon did a really solid job in his first season as the defensive coordinator for Philadelphia.

Led by Gannon in 2021, the Eagles finished the regular season ranked 11th in the NFL in passing yards allowed per game, ninth in rushing yards allowed per matchup, and fifth in rushing yards allowed per carry.

The 39-year-old Gannon is among the coaches that the Vikings have reportedly requested to meet with to replace Mike Zimmer and his past with the franchise is something that could give him an edge over other potential head-coaching candidates.

Gannon was actually a member of the first coaching staff Zimmer assembled in 2014 with Minnesota as he was brought on as an assistant defensive backs coach. Gannon remained with the Vikings until 2018 when he left to become the defensive backs coach for the Indianapolis Colts.

When the Eagles hired former Colts offensive coordinator Nick Sirianni to be their new head coach, Gannon followed him to Philadelphia to be the team’s defensive coordinator.

It feels like Gannon still might need a little more fine-tuning before he’s ready to become a head coach in the NFL. But with Minnesota already putting in a request to interview him, it’s clear the team has a significant amount of interest in the young defensive mind.