Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

29 Jul 2009

Jim Johnson: A Decade in Review

Here's a piece I did for the Washington Post about Jim Johnson's 10-year term with the Eagles -- how he brought the house and still managed to keep gap control, the respect he earned on and off the field, and the hope that his memory will finally have the Hall of Fame voters paying more attention to career assistant coaches who make enormous differences with their teams.

Posted by: Doug Farrar on 29 Jul 2009

8 comments, Last at 30 Jul 2009, 7:28pm by tuluse


by Anonymous111 (not verified) :: Wed, 07/29/2009 - 6:54pm

Link goes nowhere

by Doug Farrar :: Wed, 07/29/2009 - 7:06pm

It works for me...

by Misfit (not verified) :: Wed, 07/29/2009 - 7:10pm

Link does go nowhere. 'Under Construction' and blank page.

by Doug Farrar :: Wed, 07/29/2009 - 7:39pm

Ah, I see it now, I'll check it out.

EDIT: Okay, it should really honestly work this time.

by Pat (filler) (not verified) :: Wed, 07/29/2009 - 8:51pm

I have to think that eventually the Hall of Fame will start considering assistant coaches - or better yet, just start considering *anyone*, regardless of what they actually did, if they made a big enough contribution to the game.

I mean, in LeBeau and Johnson's case, the main reason they both weren't options for a head coaching job in the past few years is age (yes, LeBeau obviously was a HC for the Bengals, but normally great coordinators get a second chance if their first failure was with a terrible team), and keeping someone out of the Hall because their best contributions to football came when they were *old* just seems a bit odd.

by Kibbles :: Thu, 07/30/2009 - 7:03pm

On the one hand, I think that Assistant Coaches should definitely be able to make the Hall of Fame (although I think the standard of entry should be justifiably higher than the standard for a head coach). On the other hand, I don't think that Assistant Coaches should make the hall under the current setup. There's far too large of a backlog of deserving candidates, and it seems ludicrous to me that an Assistant Coach (or a Head Coach or an Owner or a Commissioner) who makes the hall takes away a spot from a player. Hell, I think it's crazy that they aren't electing the maximum number of players every year. There are over twice as many teams in the league now as there were when the HoF started, yet there are still just as many spots as there were then, which seems ludicrous.

I'd eliminate the maximum number of players allowed to be inducted in one year (or maybe just raise it to something like 12 or 14) and allow the electors to elect who they felt was deserving instead of who was MOST deserving. Barring that, I'd at least separate out players from contributors and give the contributors a different path to the hall (maybe elect one deserving contributor a year, completely independent of the player elections).

by tuluse :: Thu, 07/30/2009 - 7:28pm

Contributors are already elected separately from players.

by Sergio :: Wed, 07/29/2009 - 10:51pm

Pittsburgh probably owes its two titles this decade to LeBeau. So yeah, it's pretty dumb that assistant coaches get glossed over.

That said, I want to see Kooch in before either of these guys. That man was a... well, a man.

-- Go Phins!