Johnson, 35, is an intriguing candidate given the unprecedented success that Texans QB C.J. Stroud had as a rookie. There were times during the 2023 season when Stroud, who passed for 23 touchdowns to five interceptions and a 100.8 passer rating, was discussed in the MVP conversation.
Of course, former Eagles offensive coordinator Brian Johnson (kinda funny that the Eagles could be going from one Johnson to another at OC) earned a lot of praise for his work with 2022 MVP contender Jalen Hurts before being promoted and then fired one season later.
Not unlike Brian, Jerrod brings some playing experience to the table. Jerrod played college football at Texas A&M before spending years trying to make a regular season NFL roster. His journey actually began with the Eagles, who signed him for a couple weeks in training camp back in 2011. He saw some preseason snaps in Philly, as seen in the picture above this article. Here’s a look at the NFL transactions he was involved in (not accounting for some stints in the UFL and CFL):
Johnson started his coaching career in 2017 with the San Francisco 49ers as part of the Bill Walsh Diversity coaching fellowship. He overlapped there with former Niners assistant and current Texans OC Bobby Slowik, who has been getting a lot of head coaching buzz this offseason. So, Johnson has some level of familiarity with Kyle Shanahan concepts.
Johnson has also previously worked closely with Nick Sirianni. He spent another year in the Bill Walsh Diversity coaching fellowship with the Indianapolis Colts in 2019 before being promoted to offensive quality control coach under Frank Reich in 2020. The Indy Star wrote a good article on Johnson’s journey back then. It includes these notes (bold emphasis mine):
The Colts coaching staff asked Johnson to do a little bit of everything. He got coffee, he used his arm to fire passes to receivers in practice, he worked right next to Sirianni on game days, rushing to Reich to get him the sheet full of the plays Brian Hoyer liked to run when Jacoby Brissett went down against Pittsburgh.
“I really like Jerrod, he does a phenomenal job,” Sirianni said. “Particularly, I’m able to bounce some things off of him, quarterback-wise.”
Johnson remained in Indy after Sirianni left to become the Eagles’ head coach in 2021. He then spent 2022 as the Minnesota Vikings’ assistant QB coach before ending up in Houston.
Johnson definitely seems like a candidate worth interviewing. As both a player and coach, he’s been exposed to different schemes, systems, and quarterbacks. That he seems to have a good working relationship with Sirianni seems like a positive and perhaps a correction to a disconnect in the Sirianni/Brian Johnson/Hurts triumvirate that was problematic for the Eagles last season.
Then again, Johnson has no experience as a play-caller. That’s not to suggest he can’t have success doing it but there is no established track record to bank on. One can wonder how much the Eagles’ offense might change from 2023 if the main change is bringing in an OC who might be too deferential to Sirianni.
Should the Eagles hire Jerrod Johnson for OC?
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