Ex-Vikings Coach Could Land Sweet Promotion

Explained: A Saints-Vikings Week 4 Starter Kit
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Eleven and a half months ago, the Houston Texans pilfered Jerrod Johnson from the Minnesota Vikings coaching staff, promoting the young skipper to quarterbacks coach and later partnering him with rookie quarterback C.J. Stroud.

The connection worked.

Ex-Vikings Coach Could Land Sweet Promotion

Now, Johnson may have grander aspirations on the horizon. CBS Sports’ Jonathan Jones tweeted Sunday, “The Saints have requested permission to interview Texans quarterbacks coach Jerrod Johnson for their vacant offensive coordinator position, source says.”

Could Land Sweet
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New Orleans currently employs Derek Carr at quarterback, and the Saints will look for new solutions this offseason to unlock his potential in 2024. If all goes well for Johnson, he could be the guy running the Saints’ offense next year.

Various Vikings coaches received attention around the league for offensive coordinator consideration in 2023. Brian Angelichio and Keenan McCardell interviewed for jobs with the Baltimore Ravens, Los Angeles Chargers, New England Patriots, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Johnson was the big catch, accepting the Texans gig, while Angelichio and McCardell stayed with the Vikings in 2023.

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Johnson also interviewed with the Los Angeles Chargers in January 2023 after former Chargers skipper Brandon Staley fired 2022 offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi.

The homegrown Houstonian, Johnson, joined the Vikings staff in 2022 when Minnesota welcomed new head coach Kevin O’Connell from the Los Angeles Rams. Before the Vikings gig, Johnson was the Indianapolis Colts offensive quality control coach.

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Then in 2023, Johnson and Stroud paired for marvelousness as the Texans sprinted the Divisional Round of the AFC’s postseason, with Stroud on tap to win Offensive Rookie of the Year. That type of production warrants a promotion, probably why the Saints’ are doing the diligence on Johnson.

Johnson played eight years of quasi-professional football (NFL, CFL, IFL, and UFL) before turning to coaching. He last appeared in the NFL during practice-squad stops with the Baltimore Ravens and Dallas Cowboys in 2016. And at Texas A&M over a decade ago, Johnson was a Consensus 2nd-Team All-Big 12 in 2009. He played basketball for the Aggies, as well.

With Johnson’s assistance, the Vikings’ passing game ranked 15th leaguewide in 2022 per passing DVOA. The Texans’ offense ranked 31st in the same metric and 31st per overall offense DVOA during the same season. With Stroud and Johnson in the saddle, the offensive DVOA climbed to 14th in 2023 and ranked 10th in passing DVOA.

Houston Texans quarterback C.J. Stroud (7) throws the ball against the Tennessee Titans during the second quarter at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas., Sunday, Dec. 31, 2023.

Meanwhile, Texans offensive coordinator Bobby Slowik recently interviewed for the Atlanta Falcons head coaching job. In theory, if he were hired in Atlanta, Johnson could be on tap for a promotion from within Houston. We shall see.

Johnson will turn 36 this summer.

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ Basset Hounds, and The Doors (the band).

All statistics provided by Pro Football Reference / Stathead; all contractual information provided by OverTheCap.com.