Thoughts on Johnson's Passing

Fans, NFL reacting to Jim Johnson's death

Jim Johnson was a giant, not only in Philadelphia sports, but all of football. Reaction to his death is quickly pouring in from across the NFL and on the Internet.

“For ten years, Jim Johnson was an exceptional coach for the Philadelphia Eagles, but more importantly, he was an outstanding human being. 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. He positively touched the lives of so many people in and out of the Eagles organization. It was easy to feel close to him. Our hearts go out to his wife, Vicky and his wonderful family. We will miss him greatly.”
-- Jeffrey Lurie, Eagles Chairman and Owner

“I loved Jim Johnson. This is a sad day for so many people who were touched by this great man. Ingrid and I, the Harbaugh family, and the Ravens have Jim’s wife, Vicky, and the Johnson family in our thoughts and prayers. Jim was a tremendous teacher of football and life. He had a special ability to bring out the best in people while getting you to see the best in yourself. He saw potential and developed it. He made me believe I could coach at this level. In football, he was a pioneering and brilliant strategist, changing the way defense is played in the NFL. For me, he was a father-type mentor, and above all, a cherished friend. He belongs in the Hall of Fame. I will miss him so much.”
-- John Harbaugh, Baltimore Ravens head coach and former defensive assistant to Johnson
 “It is a sad, very sad, day. I talked recently to (Eagles video director) Mike Dougherty and asked him to let Jim know that I was thinking about him, and I had dropped Jim a note to let him know as well. Forget about what kind of coach he was…he was an excellent, excellent defensive coach, and he trained others to be the same. We know what Steve Spagnuolo meant to us. We had great respect for Jim, and he had great respect for us. I didn’t know Jim personally, but we would always talk to each other, mostly about the NFC East and what a great, competitive division it is. It was a respectful critique about what great players, coaches and organizations there are within the division. In talking with people who worked with Jim, you sense what a class act Jim was. He was great to work with and for, and he had his priorities in order. His players loved to play for him and his coaches loved to coach with him. It is a sad day for the National Football League to lose somebody the quality of Jim Johnson. It is a sad note on which to start the season. He coached right up to the very end.”
-- Tom Coughlin, New York Giants head coach

"What haven't I learned from Jim? I don't think it would be fair to Jim, in this setting, to try and limit in one statement, one press conference, the effect that Jim has had on my life."
-- Sean McDermott, Eagles defensive coordinator

"He was a dear friend and a special person. Our prayers and thoughts go out to his wife Vicki and their family. Jim meant the world to me, both personally and professionally. I am very blessed to have had the privilege to work for him and with him. The NFL has lost a good man."
-- Steve Spagnuolo, St. Louis Rams head coach and former defensive assistant to Johnson

Our thoughts are with the Eagles and Jim Johnson's family and friends. Rest in peace, Jim.
-- Philadelphia Union Soccer Team via Twitter

Here is what Johnson's fans are saying on Twitter:

It's not a good year for Philly sports. We lost Harry Kalas, then a good friend of mine, Gary Papa last month. Now we've lost Jim Johnson... -- BarryHarris1991
Jim Johnson, you are already missed. Rest in peace. Every Eagles fan has you and your family in their hearts.  -- travismount

What an emotional week... Vick gets reinstated, Favre stays retired and Jim Johnson passes away. Insane. -- adiekins
Jim Johnson, long-time Eagles defensive coordinator, has died. A real shame--he was an excellent person and a fantastic football mind. -- theklondar

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