The Philadelphia Eagles had an efficient and versatile offense in 2022, and most of it centered around the improvements from Jalen Hurts’ rookie season to now. Well, Brian Johnson has been the Philadelphia Eagles QB coach for the past two seasons, aiding in Hurts’ development. And while the jump from QB coach to head coach is farfetched, at least one person believes he’ll be receiving interviews this offseason.
And while we won’t know whether the interviews are legitimate or simply to satisfy the NFL’s Rooney Rule unless a team hires him, it certainly doesn’t appear like it will take long for Johnson to be a perennial candidate. With Shane Steichen likely departing for a head coaching job somewhere, Johnson will likely take over as Eagles play-caller in 2023.
Who Is Eagles QB Coach Brian Johnson?
Brian Johnson, 35, has spent the last decade coaching after having his own successful college career at the University of Utah from 2004-2008. As a senior, the Ute threw for 2,972 yards, 27 TDs, and 9 INTs before being drafted by the New York Sentinels in 2009.
In 2010, he returned to Utah as the quarterbacks coach, eventually becoming their offensive coordinator in 2012. Utah ranked 75th of 124 teams and 66th of 125 in points per game in his two seasons as their offensive coordinator. They finished 5-7 in both seasons under Kyle Whittingham.
From 2014-2016, he acted as the Mississippi State quarterbacks coach before becoming Houston’s offensive coordinator under Major Applewhite for the 2017 season. But Dan Mullen came calling after receiving the head coaching job at Florida, where Johnson remained QBs coach for two seasons before being their offensive coordinator in 2020.
That’s when the Eagles came calling. Johnson had known Hurts since he was a toddler, but his hire wasn’t just about being a mentor to Hurts.
Johnson has spent time with many, many dual-threat quarterbacks in his time as a QBs coach and coordinator, and his pulse on the college game is a positive for a league stealing more and more concepts from the college level.
He was Dak Prescott’s QB coach as a Bulldog in his junior and senior seasons. Johnson coached Kyle Allen and D’Eriq King at Houston. But he also has experience with traditional pocket passers like Kyle Trask from his time at Florida.
What Salary Could Brian Johnson Receive?
If Johnson doesn’t receive a head-coaching job heading into 2023 but Steichen does, Johnson could end up being the Eagles OC in 2023. Most NFL coordinators make somewhere around $1 million in average salary.
However, if a team does give him the Andy Reid jump from QBs coach to head coach, he could make anywhere from $2 million to $5 million as a young head coach.
Teams Who Should Be Interested in Johnson
With only three head-coaching jobs open as of the new year, it’s tough to find a spot where Johnson’s expertise could be maximized as a head coach.
Indianapolis just fired Frank Reich, and it might be a bit awkward drinking from the Eagles’ offensive-minded well for their second straight hire. Carolina will probably look for at least some experience at head coach after the Matt Rhule experiment.
And the same goes for the Denver Broncos, although they may have to pull teeth to find someone willing to take that job, even if there are only 32 of them.
Given Johnson’s relationship with Hurts and the success they’re seeing, it feels unlikely that he’d leave Philadelphia unless it’s for a head-coaching job.