How Johnson is getting over a big hurdle in new role as OC originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia
During Eagles rookie camp a couple weeks ago, Brian Johnson spent a moment watching receiver drills before he walked across the field to see the offensive linemen work.
That walk took him farther away from the quarterbacks both literally and symbolically.
Because the Eagles’ rookie camp was the first on-field work for the Eagles’ new offensive coordinator. And one of the biggest challenges Johnson, the former QBs coach, is facing will be taking over an entire side of the football, not just one position.
“I think you’re very, very intentional about connecting and having meaningful conversations,” Johnson said last week, “so I don’t think it’s one where I meticulously plan out, ‘I’m spending the day with the tight ends.’ I think having those connections be really organic is what makes them meaningful. For example, today I spent some time in the O-line meeting room and hung out with those guys a little bit today.
“I think being able to delegate your time and have the appropriate time on task with each position, make sure that things are getting covered that you need to get covered, and you’re building those relationships throughout the building.”
Johnson, 36, was an obvious replacement when Shane Steichen was hired away to be the Colts’ head coach. And in some ways, the Eagles were lucky the timing worked out the way it did. Because there was interest in Johnson as an offensive coordinator from some other teams as well.
That shouldn’t be surprising given the success of the Eagles’ offense and specifically the success of Jalen Hurts. The Eagles’ starting quarterback went from a guy trying to prove he belonged in the NFL to an MVP candidate in just a couple years with Johnson as his coach. While Hurts deserves most of that credit, it’s hard to ignore the job Johnson did.
But now Johnson is leaving that QB room to his understudy Alex Tanney…