Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Why Reid wanted Johnson to join Eagles

Andy Reid tonight told an interesting story about why he wanted Jim Johnson as his defensive coordinator when he became head coach of the Eagles.

Why Reid wanted Johnson to join Eagles


Andy Reid tonight told an interesting story about why he wanted Jim Johnson as his defensive coordinator when he became head coach of the Eagles.

"We met at the Pro Bowl. I had been a fan of his when I was in Green Bay because they completely dismantled us with the Colts," he said. "We went in there sky high, I think we were undefeated at the time, we played 'em a little after halfway point of the season and I'm not sure they had won a game at that point. They just slamdangoed us. And I said, you know what, I want to know that guy right there. And this was before head coaching thoughts or anything. I said I'm gonna study this guy."

Per Bob Brookover of the Inquirer, the game was a 1997 matchup between Green Bay and Indianapolis. Reid was the Packers' quarterbacks coach, and Johnson the Colts' defensive coordinator.

I looked up the teams and the game on Pro Football Reference. The Colts were 0-10 and the Packers 8-2.

Indy won on a field goal, 41-38. Brett Favre threw for 363 yards but was picked off twice. The Colts' defense forced three turnovers, sacked Favre three times and scored a TD on a fumble recovery.

Kind of amazing that Reid's quarterback completed 18 of 25 passes for over 300 yards, but Johnson's blitzing defense still made such a great impression on him.

Reid continued his story:

"Well then we go to the Pro Bowl, a year or so later, and he's now on the AFC staff and as you know, we stay at the same hotel, go to the same functions and everything else over there so that's where I got to know him," he said. "And I was lucky enough when I became a head coach, that name stuck in the back of my mind. When Jeffrey [Lurie] and Joe [Banner] asked me who I wanted as my defensive coordinator, he was at the top of the list."

You can hear him tell the story below.
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Sheil Kapadia is in his fifth season writing about the Eagles and the NFL for His earliest memories as a sports fan include several trips to Veterans Stadium with his Dad. He's not a beat writer or an Insider, but is here to discuss the NFL 365 days a year. E-mail him at or by clicking here

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