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Eagles’ coordinator Jim Johnson dead at 68

By Shawn Kauffman

There’s something else in the news today concerning the Philadelphia Eagles and it doesn’t involve Donovan McNabb’s contract or this year’s edition of the sexy Eagles Cheerleaders calendar either.

But if only it was.

The Philadelphia Eagles announced today that Jim Johnson, 68, died this afternoon. His cancer battle has seen the end. The renowned architect of the defense that for years has dominated in the defensive category lists led the Eagles to be one of the top teams in the NFC for the past decade. Since joining Coach Andy Reid, Johnson helped lead the Eagles to seven playoff berths, five trips to the NFC Championship game, and a Super Bowl appearance.

During his ten-year tenure in Philadelphia, Johnson's defense produced 26 Pro Bowl selections: Brian Dawkins (7), Troy Vincent (5), Jeremiah Trotter (4), Hugh Douglas (3), Lito Sheppard (2), Asante Samuel (1), Trent Cole (1), Michael Lewis (1), Corey Simon (1), and Bobby Taylor (1).

I consider myself a lucky man to have been able to witness the mastery and genius of the man’s crazy defensive schemes and ploys.

While new defensive chief Sean McDermott is set to take the reigns, it just won’t be the same. He considered Johnson his mentor, and while he is going to follow with many of Johnson’s proven tactics, he also is going to put his own flavor in the mix.

When asked about advice he’s received from Johnson, McDermott could only smile.

"Blitz," he said. "And then blitz some more."

Jim Johnson is survived by his wife, Vicky, two children, Scott and Michelle, and four grandchildren, Katie, Justin, Brandon, and Jax.

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