The Philadelphia Eagles are set to hire Florida offensive coordinator Brian Johnson as their new quarterbacks coach, per multiple reports. Johnson, in a bit of an ironic twist, has largely been credited for developing Dak Prescott into a future NFL starter in college.
The Dallas Cowboys signal-caller flourished under Johnson in two years at Mississippi State where he served as quarterbacks coach. Prescott threw for 7,242 yards and 56 touchdowns (16 interceptions) during that time span while posting an insane 66.2% completion percentage in 2015. He also ran for 1,574 yards and 24 touchdowns, prompting Johnson to call him the “best player” in the 2016 draft.
At Florida, Johnson was credited for turning quarterback Kyle Trask into a Heisman Trophy finalist in 2020. He completed 552-of-813 passes for 7,386 yards and 69 touchdowns in 28 games en route to a 92.4 passing grade from Pro Football Focus. He’s expected to get drafted in the late first round or second round.
I’ve heard a lot of very good things about Brian Johnson https://t.co/qIeGKVgKFj
— Brian Westbrook (@36westbrook) January 27, 2021
Johnson had been a hot name in coaching circles and interviewed for the head-coaching gig at Boise State earlier this month. He’s a rising star in the industry.
“He’s a natural leader and knows how to score points and he’s played in big games,” Trask said of Johnson, via FanNation. “He’s played against I think Alabama when he was at Utah, he’s played in big games in college and has proved that he can be a great coach at the highest level in college, so I think he would make a great head coach.”
Brian is going to do an amazing job. Not only is he super smart & understand the position but does an amazing job of making sure his guys know he cares about them. https://t.co/8Ca9sJbMAM
— quincy_avery (@Quincy_Avery) January 27, 2021
Wait, there’s more to the story: Johnson is very familiar with Jalen Hurts. The dual-threat quarterback has known the coach since he was four years old stemming from a family relationship with Hurts’ father, Averion. According to The Inquirer’s Mike Sielski, Johnson tried to recruit Hurts when he was coaching at Mississippi State but the quarterback chose Alabama instead. Something else to monitor.
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New Coordinator Shane Steichen Criticized
The Eagles are supposed to hire Los Angeles Chargers offensive coordinator Shane Steichen to the same title in Philly. The 35-year-old worked with new head coach Nick Sirianni for four seasons out west. He is thought to know Steichen’s strengths and weaknesses, including his ability to develop (resurrect?) quarterbacks.
However, there are concerning reports emerging about “frustrating” play-calling from Steichen for a Chargers squad that finished 15th overall in DVOA. Meanwhile, the guys at Bleeding Green Nation noted that Chargers fans were “fairly relieved” that Steichen was leaving Los Angeles.
In all honesty, Chargers fans were fairly relieved that he would not be returning. Fans wanted a new face and they felt Steichen was a bit underwhelming as an OC. The majority will tell you Justin Herbert’s development was 99 percent thanks to [former Chargers quarterbacks coach] Pep Hamilton, so very few saw any real value in Steichen as the potential OC of the future.
“In all honesty, Chargers fans were fairly relieved that he would not be returning.”
— Brandon Lee Gowton (@BrandonGowton) January 26, 2021
Sirianni Focused on Wide Receiver Position
This nugget should make Eagles fans happy, right? According to NJ Advance Media’s Mike Kaye, Sirianni is “very focused” on wide receivers since it’s the position he has the most experience coaching up in the NFL. The 39-year-old served as Chiefs wide receivers coach in 2012 and coached the position for three seasons (2016-18) for the Chargers. He watched future stars like Dwayne Bowe, Keenan Allen, T.Y. Hilton all excel under his tutelage.
He and Haley still exchange videos of WR routes. Just a few weeks ago, they exchanged videos featuring fade routes run by Larry Fitzgerald (as coached by Haley) and TY Hilton (as coached by Sirianni).
— Mike Kaye (@mike_e_kaye) January 24, 2021
Sirianni also played receiver in college at Mount Union so it stands to reason he would want to be involved in developing that group. The Eagles have struggled mightily to churn out standout players despite dumping a first-round pick (Jalen Reagor) and second-rounder (J.J. Arcega-Whiteside) at the position in back-to-back years. They are expected to take a receiver with the sixth overall pick (LSU’s Ja’Marr Chase or Alabama’s DeVonta Smith), although they have also been linked to a tight end (Florida’s Kyle Pitts).
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