Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Sad News - JJ Passes


Jim Johnson died today. He battled cancer for the last several months, but got worse as the days moved along. Jim was a strong, forceful man and great football coach, but we're all fair game when it comes to cancer. No one is immune to that dreaded disease.

I'm going to write a long article on Jim and what he meant to the Eagles and us in his decade as our Defensive Coordinator. The last ten years wouldn't have been the same without him. I'm grateful that I was able to see his defenses play. I learned a lot from Jim. I didn't always agree with his way of doing things, but I sure as heck respected the man and his ideas.

I am glad that Jim was able to go out following a season where the defense played so well. The unit peaked in 2004 and then got torn apart and rebuilt. I'm sure 2005 and 2006 were tough years for Jim. It can't be easy to watch your side of the ball struggle. Things got better in '07, but last year is when the new guys finally started to pay real dividends. I'm sure Jim loved last season's group. He had young guys step up. He got to see Quintin Mikell play at a near Pro Bowl level. Darren Howard emerged from his 2-year slumber and became a terrific role player. Jim got to coach Dawk for one final year. And he saw new players like Asante Samuel and Chris Clemons do their part. That was probably a lot of fun.

Now, our journey with Jim has come to an end. We must part ways.

Here is a snippet from a poem I like.

Now night arrives with her purple legion
Retire now to your tents and to your dreams
Tomorrow we enter the town of my birth
I want to be ready

Thanks for the memories, Jim


Prem Prakash said...

Rest in peace, Coach. Thanks so much for everything.

Damn, are those tears in my eyes...

rick said...

Well said Tommy and Prem. Andy hasn't always made me proud but JJ always has. And more importantly, he was a class act. He will be missed.

Dollar Brand said...

Sad news indeed. He will most assuredly be missed.

And thanks for Mr. James Douglas Morrison's words Tommy.

T_S_O_P said...

I'm presently on holiday touring Europe, and it was with great adness that I read this article. I hopehis passing was as peaceful as it could be under the circumstances and join you in thanking him for the memories.