Former Florida quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator Brian Johnson has interviewed for offensive coordinator roles with the New York Jets and Los Angeles Rams this offseason, according to numerous reports.
Johnson, 35, is currently the quarterbacks coach for No. 1 seed Philadelphia but took advantage of the Eagles’ first-round bye in the playoffs to speak with the Jets about their open play-calling position, according to Dianna Russini of ESPN.
Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated shared on Monday that Johnson interviewed for the same job with the Rams recently, as well.
Johnson spent three seasons at Florida under former head coach Dan Mullen, his play-caller as a quarterback at Utah in 2004, from 2018-20. Johnson was promoted to offensive coordinator for the 2020 season, becoming the first African American to hold the position in school history.
“I didn’t realize that,” Johnson said at the time of his promotion. “If that is the case, it’s obviously something to be very, very proud of.”
Johnson helped Mullen rejuvenate UF’s quarterback position after nearly a decade of lackluster performance, most notably developing Kyle Trask into a Heisman Trophy finalist in 2020. Trask passed for 4,283 yards and 43 touchdowns that year, leading the Gators to a third consecutive New Year’s Six Bowl before the Tampa Bay Buccaneers selected him in the second round of the 2021 NFL Draft.
Johnson proceeded to earn interviews for the formerly-vacant South Carolina and Boise State head coaching positions that postseason, and on Jan. 27, 2021, he accepted the Eagles’ quarterback coaching position under then-new head coach Nick Sirianni.
In Philadelphia, Johnson has soared to new heights paired with quarterback Jalen Hurts.
Hurts took over as the Eagles’ full-time starting quarterback under Sirianni and Johnson in 2021 and performed admirably as a former second-round pick, posting 3,144 passing yards, 16 touchdowns and nine interceptions with 784 yards and 10 scores on the ground.
He took his play to another level in 2022, however, throwing for 3,701 yards, 22 touchdowns and six interceptions with 760 yards and 13 touchdowns rushing. In his 15 starts, the Eagles compiled a 14-1 record and clinched home-field advantage for the postseason.
After defeating the New York Giants, 38-7, in the divisional round, Johnson and the Eagles will host the No. 2 San Francisco 49ers for the NFC Championship on Sunday, Jan. 29 at 3 p.m. ET. Should Johnson take a promotion with another team, he would be expected to remain with Philadelphia through the end of its playoff run.
While the opportunity has yet to arise this offseason, ESPN reporter Adam Schefter shared in a November interview with 97.5 The Fanatic Philadelphia that he expects Johnson to receive NFL head coaching interview opportunities sooner rather than later.
“I had the honor of having [the Eagles’] quarterbacks coach, Brian Johnson, on my podcast yesterday talking about Jalen Hurts and the team. That guy’s got such a good vibe to him. He may be a head coaching candidate this year. How about that? This year. I’m not telling you he’ll get a job, but I think he’s going to get interviewed for a head coaching job this year.”
With teams preparing for second rounds of head coaching interviews, it appears unlikely that Johnson will find himself in that position for now. However, the potential for Johnson to secure play-calling duties elsewhere remains.
Along with the Jets and Rams, the Buccaneers, Arizona Cardinals, Baltimore Ravens, Indianapolis Colts, Los Angeles Chargers, Tennessee Titans and Washington Commanders currently have openings at their offensive coordinator position.
The New England Patriots were the first team to hire an offensive coordinator this offseason, reuniting with former play-caller Bill O’Brien on Tuesday, who spent the last two seasons in the same role with the Alabama Crimson Tide.
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