Eagles Defensive Coordinator Jim Johnson Succumbs To Cancer

Jim Johnson, the architect of the Philadelphia Eagles blitzing defense for over a decade lost his battle with cancer today. He was 68.

Widely regarded as one of the best defensive coordinators in the NFL, Johnson was known as being a master architect of blitzes, disguising them skillfully and keeping offenses constantly off-balance. On July 24, 2009, Johnson took an indefinite leave of absence as defensive coordinator of the Philadelphia Eagles to battle melanoma.

On Saturday, the Eagles removed the interim tag from Sean McDermott’s title, making him the Bird’s full-time coordinator.

In ten seasons, ten of Johnson’s defenders went to 26 Pro Bowls.

8 Responses to “Eagles Defensive Coordinator Jim Johnson Succumbs To Cancer”

  1. Jim Johnson took very good players from the Ray Rhodes/Emmitt Thomas regime and turned them into great players.

    Brian Dawkins, Troy Vincent, Bobby Taylor Jeremiah Trotter and Hugh Douglas were just a few players who shined in his defensive schemes.

    One of his great defensive calls was the decision to put two speed rushers (Trent Cole & Jevon Kearse) on the ends to keep Michael Vick in the pocket in the 2004 NFC Championship.

    There were plenty of games when you weren’t sure about the offense but you knew the “D” was going to show up.

  2. HarveyDent says:

    RIP to JJ and his family.

    With Lebeau and Kiffin, Jim Johnson made a triumvirate of the three best defensive NFL minds since Buddy Ryan patrolled the sidelines for the last time in Arizona. His defenses were maddenng to me because they were never concerned with stopping the run as much as blitzing and fielding the best secondaries in the the whole league but it was a very rare game when the Eagles’ D was caught flat-footed and blown out of the water by any offense.

    McDermott has some big shoes to fill but JJ left the blueprint behind for him but more important he left a legacy of hard-nosed, aggressive football on the field and impeccable class off of it.

    **Quick correction, TBR, but it was Derrick Burgess not Trent Cole in that NFCCG.

  3. michelle says:

    RIP Jim….

  4. Mizzo says:

    On of the most chill entities in sports I’ve ever spoken with. In the locker room when pr would shoo us away, he would answer ever question until there was none.

    He was one of the few people you actually felt honored to talk to, but of course he had none of that. So matter of fact but also way down to earth.

    Just saw him riding on the practice field making sure everybody was doing their do. They had to kick him out of there. He would have died on the field if he was allowed to.

    Great man. R.I.P. Jimmy Johnson.

  5. HD, You’re right, I knew it was someone with Kearse. Thanks.

  6. Temple3 says:

    Wow. Sad news. RIP JJ.

    Damn sure one of the best coordinators EVER!

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