Posted tagged ‘Jim Johnson’

Did ya miss me?

August 15, 2009

Hello fellow PhilaTuders! I’m back. Did you miss me? Probably not, but that’s OK, you’re very busy, and likewise, so am I, but enough with excuses. There’s nothing worse than a blogger who complains that she’s too busy to post, right? Right. Anyway, Phila Dude has done such a good job with keeping up the posting. I mean, it’s summer, we want to be outside—though I haven’t been outside so much as chained to my desk working—but he’s done it: covering everything from the Phillies’ magical season, the tragic passing of Jim Johnson, and now the surprising and jaw-dropping signing of Michael Vick to the Eagles—seriously, jaw dropped and was like “Shut the front door!” Stacy London, What Not to Wear? Anyone? Anyone? I like to watch make-over shows on TLC, get over it—but I digress.

My first reaction to the signing was Good job Eagles…Way to bring in unnecessary drama. Do we really need this? Do we? Are we still in masochistic withdrawal from the franchise killing T.O.? We already have a great quarterback who doesn’t kill dogs, so why do we need Vick? But then I thought, wait Delphea, you need to work on your karma, so I thought back to a piece I heard on Morning Edition the other day. Tony Dungy, former Super Bowl-winning coach of the Indianapolis Colts (full disclosure, the only other team in the NFL that I actively root for), said that if he were still the coaching, he would sign Vick.

I’m not going to go into the whole story. You can listen for yourself here: Morning Edition NPR.org, but basically Tony and Michael met 5 years back and bonded over a love for fishing. They even talked about getting a fishing trip together—a trip that Dungy always wonders might have prevented Vick from going down the wrong path. Anyway, Tony, who has left the NFL to pursue the ministry and mentoring, went to visit Michael during his last month in prison. There he began to understand how and why Vick got into dog fighting. Tony does not condone what Michael did, but believes that he has served his time, and that perhaps it’s time for a second chance.

The thing that stuck out most to me from the interview was that he relates that although signing a player like Vick may bring distraction to an organization, a strong team who believes in second chances will be able to do it. If there is any such team, it is definitely the Eagles. I can only hope that Andy Reid is ready to be the on-field mentor to Vick that Dungy would be if he were still coaching.

OK, back to summer. Need to catch up on Mad Men before the premiere tomorrow—yes, I’ve jumped on the bandwagon—Be like me: watch the first two seasons here: Blinkx.

Jim Johnson Passes Away

July 29, 2009
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.

Jim Johnson on Leave

May 19, 2009
Jim Johnson, (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Jim Johnson, (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

PhilaTude wishes Eagles defensive coordinator, Jim Johnson, all the best during his treatment for cancer.  It is amazing how hard Johnson has worked throughout his battle with the disease.  He continued to coach and prepare for the upcoming season all while struggling with cancer.  It is unbelievable how determined and strong he has been trying to keep his life normal.  I am not going to criticize his decision to keep working, but I am not sure how many other people in his position would do the same thing.  It’s amazing and it shows tremendous dedication.

With Johnson out, this gives the Eagles a chance to see how an up and coming coach, Sean McDermott, can handle the responsibilities of a coordinator.  McDermott has been with the Eagles defense and knows many of the players.  He will continue to ensure the defensive players know the Jim Johnson defense.  In the long term, not having Johnson around could affect the guys that have been with the team for a while.  They have relied on his wisdom and expertise related to defense.  However, as a defensive unit, I predict that Johnson’s absence will be negligible on the overall production.

Best wishes and a speedy recovery to Jim Johnson.