Jim Johnson Passes Away

Jim Johnson, (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Jim Johnson, (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Jim Johnson, the former Eagles defensive coordinator, has always been a favorite here at PhilaTude.  I was sad to read the news late yesterday afternoon that Johnson passed away after a bought with cancer.  He will be greatly missed by the Eagles organization and fans.  He leaves a tremendous legacy in Philadelphia and left his mark on the entire world of football.

It was always Jim Johnson’s defense.  Andy Reid never meddled or got involved with how Johnson called his signals or lined-up his players.  Maybe that’s why we like Johnson and the defense so much – Coach Reid wasn’t involved.  (Andy Reid is not looked at favorably here at PhilaTude).  Regardless, I loved watching Johnson on the sidelines shuffling players back and forth, lining up the cornerbacks for the cornerback blitz or watching a defensive lineman drop back into coverage while a linebacker ran over a guard and a fullback to stop the running back in the backfield.  Even better were the games when Johnson would send 7 guys towards the quarterback on 50% of the game’s plays.  Johnson always stood by his players and from my perspective seemed to love to coach them.  

I recall a few years back, Johnson was considered for many head coaching positions, but chose to stay with the Eagles as the defensive coordinator.  This proves his commitment to the organization and his interest in running the defense his way – which he did.  I don’t think there will ever be a defensive blitzing mastermind like Johnson again.  I hope that the young defensive coordinators and coaches apply some of his principals to keep the other teams guessing and to provide a level of excitement to the fans.  Sean McDermott, Johnson’s replacement with the Eagles, will definitely be using a Jim Johnson style defense and I look forward to it.  

Jim Johnson will be missed as a football coach, but more importantly he will be missed as a great guy.

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