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  1. #1
    Nick's Avatar
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    Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Johnson, 68, dead

    Eagles' Former Defensive Coordinator Jim Johnson Dies
    By Mark Maske
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Tuesday, July 28, 2009; 6:57 PM

    Former Philadelphia Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Johnson died Tuesday afternoon, the Eagles announced.

    Johnson was 68 and had been on a leave of absence from the team to undergo cancer treatments.

    He was regarded as one of the NFL's top defensive minds during 22 years as an assistant coach and joined the staff of Eagles Coach Andy Reid in January 1999. Opponents were befuddled by his creative blitz packages, and his players praised his straightforward approach.

    But his health deteriorated in recent months and he was relegated to coaching from a motorized cart. The Eagles announced in the offseason that he was taking a leave of absence and named secondary coach Sean McDermott their interim defensive coordinator. The interim tag was removed from McDermott's title just before training camp opened.

    According to the Eagles, Johnson is survived by his wife Vicky, two children and four grandchildren.


  2. #2
    evil disco man's Avatar
    evil disco man is offline Pro Bowl Ram
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    Re: Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Johnson, 68, dead

    Spagnuolo mourns loss of friend, mentor Johnson
    by Jim Thomas
    St. Louis Post-Dispatch

    For Steve Spagnuolo, the anticipation of his first training camp as an NFL head coach was tempered Tuesday by the death of a dear friend. Jim Johnson

    Johnson, a University of Missouri graduate, and the highly-respected defensive coordinator of the Philadelphia Eagles, died of cancer Tuesday. Spagnuolo spent his first eight seasons as an NFL assistant _ from 1999 through 2006 _ working with Johnson in Philadelphia.

    “My wife Maria and I are deeply saddened to hear of Jim’s passing,” Spagnuolo said in a statement Tuesday. “He was a dear friend and a special person. Our prayers and thoughts go out to his wife Vicki and their family. Jim meant the world to me, both personally and professionally. I am very blessed to have had the privilege to work for him and with him. The NFL has lost a good man.”

    As defensive coordinator of the New York Giants in 2007 and 2008, Spagnuolo ran a variation of the aggressive, blitzing defensive scheme that he learned from Johnson in Philadelphia.

    “Jim was a mentor, and is a mentor for me, because of who he is and how he coaches defensive football,” Spagnuolo said, after being named St. Louis Rams head coach in January. “I wouldn’t be the coach that I am, I wouldn’t have had even a chance to have any kind of success as a defensive coordinator, had I not worked for Jim. Just his passion for the game, the way he goes about it, his aggressive style, certainly is something that I’d like to adopt.”

  3. #3
    RAMarkable is offline Registered User
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    Re: Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Johnson, 68, dead

    I know that this conflicts with the start of training camp and all, but I wonder if Spags will attend the funeral. Couldn't really blame him though; Johnson was the closest thing to a mentor that Steve has ever had.
    Thoughts anyone?

    WHAT SAY YE?

  4. #4
    RamOfDenmark is offline Registered User
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    Re: Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Johnson, 68, dead

    A great defensive coordinator, one of the best. It sure was entertaining watching his defenses, aggressive attitude, concealed coverages, blitzes coming from everywhere - and he had great success with that scheme too. Along with Monte Kiffin I think he's the best defensive coordinator that I've seen in my time as a fan.

    Sad to see him die so young.

    I think Spags should feel free to excuse himself from camp for a day and go to the funeral.

  5. #5
    CaliGirlRamsFan's Avatar
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    Re: Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Johnson, 68, dead

    Of course he should. It is a loss of life of a wonderful man and friend, not football.
    Quote Originally Posted by RAMarkable View Post
    I know that this conflicts with the start of training camp and all, but I wonder if Spags will attend the funeral. Couldn't really blame him though; Johnson was the closest thing to a mentor that Steve has ever had.
    Thoughts anyone?

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  6. #6
    laram0's Avatar
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    Re: Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Johnson, 68, dead

    This is very sad news. JJ was one of the best. Even though I'm not an Eagles fan I used to enjoy watching JJ prowl the sidelines.

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