Philadelphia Eagles and Former Cards Coach Johnson Succumbs to Cancer


An NFL great died today.  A true man and a true warrior of the NFL.

Jim Johnson, Philadelphia Eagles defensive coordinator and former Arizona Cardinals defensive line and defensive secondary coach, who just days ago took a leave of absence from the Eagles because of his cancer of the spine, passed away at the age of 68 today.

Although he was diagnosed six months ago and just ook a leave of absence, it is still a shock to see one of the great coaches of my time pass away.  I remember Johnson when he was with the Cardinals.  I had the great pleasure of meeting the man when I worked for the Cards in 1989 and 1990 as a ballboy.  Each of us was assigned a position coach to follow.  Although I supported the offensive line and the kickers, Johnson was someone I still had the chance to converse with.  He was a true gentleman and always made me feel welcome as part of the team.

He was known for his tenacious defensive teams.  He was even interviewed in 2004 for the Cardinals head coach opening at the time.  I always thought he would make a great head coach, but always felt that his calling was a defensive coordinator.

May he rest in peace and hopefully the Eagles and the NFL will find a way to honor his memory.

Scott Allen