The Arizona Cardinals have already hired one of the younger head coaches in the NFL in 40-year-old Jonathan Gannon. But as the Cardinals build out their staff, Arizona has gone even younger at defensive coordinator.
The Cardinals have hired 29-year-old Nick Rallis as their new offensive coordinator, via Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network. While he is now the NFL’s youngest coordinator, Pellissero noted numerous teams around the league were interested in Rallis before he signed with the Cardinals.
After Nick Rallis’ playing career ended, he joined the coaching ranks with Wake Forest in 2017. A year later, he made the jump to the NFL, becoming a defensive quality control coach with the Vikings. By 2020 he was an assistant linebackers coach in Minnesota before becoming the Eagles’ linebackers coach in 2021.
In Philly, Rallis and Gannon’s paths crossed. With Gannon being the Eagles’ defensive coordinator, he worked closely with Rallis and saw his rapid improvement. Gannon will likely call defensive plays for Arizona. However, he clearly recognizes Rallis’ talent and sees how fast the 29-year-old is growing in the coaching world.
Both Jonathan Gannon and Rallis will be tasked with helping fix a Cardinals’ defense that was one of the worst in the NFL last season. Arizona finished the year ranked 21st in total defense, allowing 348.9 yards per game.
Rallis may be young, but he has a believer in Gannon. He will be reunited with his former defensive coordinator in Arizona. The Cardinals are hoping the pairing will be a major boon for the team’s defense.
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