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Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Blitz-master Jim Johnson dies

Jim Johnson, Philadelphia Eagles defensive coordinator extraordinaire, has passed away due to cancer. Johnson coached some great defenses, and of course his legacy will be carried on by guys like Steve Spagnuolo who learned under him.

Johnson was a 4-3 guy, and while his protégés took many lessons from him, he will be remember for his aggressive, blitzing defenses. Spagnuolo is more of a zone-blitz guy, but Johnson was always willing to play man defense and blitz safeties and linebackers from anywhere. Indeed, as I've mentioned before, Johnson essentially put the first nail in Steve Spurrier's coffin when his Eagles defense blitzed Spurrier's Redskins -- fresh off a thirty-point game in their opener -- into utter oblivion. From then on, every coach in the league had that tape to put in. Johnson figured out exactly what protections Spurrier was using, and dialed up the right blitzes. But Spurrier was hardly alone in being schooled by Johnson.

He will be missed.



UPDATE: Brophy passes along some great game film (below), and Rock M Nation tips me off to this.





5 comments:

JM said...

Godspeed, Coach, you'll be missed.

Anonymous said...

RIP coach......as an aside, cannot believe that Favre's BS is getting more pub from the sports networks than Johnson's death, really sad state of affairs.

He, Lebeau and Monte were probably the best DCs of this decade (dunno where to put Belichick)

Anonymous said...

Even though I never truly saw what he did different schematically from the rest of the league (every defense uses the exact same things), what he got out of his players was unparalleled (with the exception of the Steelers, under various DCs)
Look at what his players did when leaving Philly (I can't think of one that made any impact elsewhere.

Anyway, here are some vids of philly defense you might be able to use here, from their their heyday in 2005
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-4089397019221471574
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-891202082954588164
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-2140543434961357137

brophy said...

Even though I never truly saw what he did different schematically from the rest of the league (every defense uses the exact same things), what he got out of his players was unparalleled (with the exception of the Steelers, under various DCs)
Look at what his players did when leaving Philly (I can't think of one that made any impact elsewhere.

Anyway, here are some vids of philly defense you might be able to use here, from their their heyday in 2005
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-4089397019221471574
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-891202082954588164
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-2140543434961357137

Mr.Murder said...

He always knew what a team could do with protections, and knew how they would change when he broke those down, so he had a plan ahead of the learn curve. Johnson knew when to time the call change.

Thanks for being a great part of football, coach Johnson.