Philadelphia Eagles 2009 Odds Hurt By Johnson Passing

Written by:
Don Shapiro
Published on:
Jim Johnson

Just when it looked as if the Philadelphia Eagles might have their best shot of making the Super Bowl, bad luck struck the team in the form of an untimely death.  Their 2009 odds of winning anything could be in jeopardy as a result.

Jim Johnson, whose attacking defenses helped the Eagles to one Super Bowl appearance and five NFC title games, passed away two weeks ago after battling spinal cancer.

Make no mistake about it, the loss of Johnson will have an impact on the team's performance, requiring them to step it up a notch.

From 2000-08, Johnson's Philadelphia defenses ranked second in the NFL in sacks (390). During his 10-year tenure, the Eagles made the playoffs seven times and he produced 26 Pro Bowl selections.

"For 10 years, Jim Johnson was an exceptional coach for the Philadelphia Eagles, but more importantly, he was an outstanding human being," said Eagles chairman Jeffrey Lurie. "As an integral part of the Eagles family, Jim epitomized the traits of what a great coach should be -- a teacher, a leader, and a winner... It was easy to feel close to him."

The prospects for Philadelphia were very good heading into this season and still are. 

They have the 5th shortest odds after New England, Pittsburgh, San Diego and the New York Giants.  Both the Eagles and Indianapolis Colts were listed with +1200 odds at SBG Global.

New Philadelphia Eagles defensive co-ordinator Sean McDermott will take over for Johnson.

McDermott first joined the Eagles in 1998 as a scouting administrative assistant. He spent two seasons as an assistant to the head coach before joining the defensive coaching staff.

"He just gives you that confidence that he's got it under control," Coach Andy Reid said.

"There is one thing I know, and that is that this system, it works," McDermott said. "Jim has spent a considerable amount of time in his coaching career researching and finding things that work and finding things that didn't work, quite frankly, and I'm going to respect that and we're going to build on that.

"From there, we'll add wrinkles."


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