American Football

Jonathan Gannon recalls the last time he coached an NFC Championship Game at The Linc

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The Eagles’ defensive coordinator was on the Vikings coaching staff in 2017 season when the teams faced off for a division title, and he called it the best environment he’s ever been at or apart of.

The Eagles 38-7 victory over the Giants to advance to the NFC Championship came on the 5-year anniversary of the 38-7 win over the Vikings that put the Eagles in the Super Bowl. Philadelphia’s Defensive Coordinator, Jonathan Gannon, was the Defensive Quality Control/Assistant Defensive Backs coach for Minnesota at the time, and the DC mentioned on Tuesday, how much the environment in The Linc impacted the game.

“Yeah, I thought the energy in the building was just phenomenal. Before kickoff, as the game got going, and it’s a tough place to play, and it’s a big advantage for us.”

Gannon explained that the matchup was during the early years of the Vikings’ new stadium, so the team was used to a really good atmosphere. At the time, he didn’t think anything could be as electric as U.S. Bank Stadium after the Minnesota Miracle, but when Gannon got to The Linc for the NFC Championship, he quipped that it was that electric during warmups, and he knew it would be on a different level.

“In warmups, a guy that I was coaching, he looked at me with a look in his eye like, whoa. Harrison Smith. I said, whoa, back. You could feel the energy, and it’s awesome. This is one of the best atmospheres that you’re going to get in the National Football League, and obviously being the championship game, it’ll be heightened.”

And while he was on the losing end of that particular NFC Championship game, the environment was top notch.

“Expect it to be electric in there. I was here for a final four game and it was electric, best environment I’ve ever been at or apart of and we’re excited.”

Gannon said that he jokes with Jeff Lurie and Howie Roseman about how he’s always wanted to be part of a Philly team to play a playoff game at The Linc.

Heading into the big game against the 49ers, Gannon acknowledged that the environment and noise can be a factor in certain situations, but he doesn’t think it would affect a young QB like Brock Purdy any more or less than a veteran quarterback.

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