Eagles' Former Defensive Coordinator Jim Johnson Dies

By Mark Maske
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, July 28, 2009; 6:57 PM

Former Philadelphia Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Johnson died Tuesday afternoon, the Eagles announced.

Johnson was 68 and had been on a leave of absence from the team to undergo cancer treatments.

He was regarded as one of the NFL's top defensive minds during 22 years as an assistant coach and joined the staff of Eagles Coach Andy Reid in January 1999. Opponents were befuddled by his creative blitz packages, and his players praised his straightforward approach.

But his health deteriorated in recent months and he was relegated to coaching from a motorized cart. The Eagles announced in the offseason that he was taking a leave of absence and named secondary coach Sean McDermott their interim defensive coordinator. The interim tag was removed from McDermott's title just before training camp opened.

According to the Eagles, Johnson is survived by his wife Vicky, two children and four grandchildren.

© 2009 The Washington Post Company