49ers wide receivers Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk might have something to say to the Cardinals’ new head coach, former Eagles coordinator Jonathan Gannon.
Prior to being fired at the conclusion of the 2022 regular season, Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury regularly received the brunt of coaching jokes from San Francisco 49ers fans when it came to stacking up the coaches in the NFC West.
Simply put, it was Kingsbury and then the coaches who were actually good, including the Niners’ own, Kyle Shanahan.
At any rate, Arizona wisely parted ways with Kingsbury in the wake of its disastrous 4-13 finish but waited until after Super Bowl LVII to find a replacement.
The Cardinals’ selection should raise some eyebrows from San Francisco’s roster, particularly wide receivers Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk.
Cardinals to name Eagles defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon as their next head coach
On Wednesday, according to a report from NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the Red Birds are working out a deal to sign soon-to-be former Philadelphia Eagles defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon to be their next head coach in the wake of Kingsbury’s departure:
This is the same coordinator who told Philly fans, “We’re gonna f***ing gut these guys,” just before Philadelphia defeated the 49ers in the NFC Championship game.
Granted, that final score was 31-7, so perhaps Gannon had a point. But that didn’t change how some of the Niners’ bigger offensive weapons felt about the Eagles defense.
Namely, Samuel and Aiyuk.
49ers WRs Deebo Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk must be thrilled at Cardinals hiring Jonathan Gannon
For no other reason than a grudge match twice a year, San Francisco’s wide receiver duo has some smack-talk to back up.
Aiyuk pointed out how the 49ers never got to expose some serious weaknesses that existed in Philly’s defense under Gannon, particularly due to the early injury to quarterback Brock Purdy that effectively ended the Niners’ chances right there in the first quarter.
“I don’t know fully about that defense,” Aiyuk said after the NFC Championship game, via Grant Cohn of Sports Illustrated. “They talk about them being a good defense. I’m not sure.”
Samuel, meanwhile, didn’t mince words either.
“I feel like if Brock was in as our quarterback and how our offense moves, I don’t think it would have been close,” Samuel told Sirius XM (h/t CBS Sports).
Either way, Gannon will be expected to bring the kind of effort that resulted in the Eagles having a top-10 defense all the way out to Arizona, where the Cardinals finished with the NFL’s second-worst scoring offense in 2022.
Samuel and Aiyuk would probably prefer things stay that way out in Arizona, especially with Gannon at the helm.