Make It 5 Interviews for Former Vikings Coach

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Former Minnesota Vikings assistant quarterbacks coach Jerrod Johnson is a hot commodity.

He’s interviewed for five offensive coordinator jobs this cycle, the most recent with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Make It 5 Interviews for Former Vikings Coach

CBS Sports’ Jonathan Jones tweeted Friday, “Texans QBs coach Jerrod Johnson is interviewing today with the Steelers for their vacant offensive coordinator position, source says. Johnson has already interviewed with the Browns, Saints, Patriots and Eagles for their OC jobs. His work with Stroud has been noticed leaguewide.”

Make It 5
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If you’re keeping score at home, these are the possible destinations for Johnson:

  • Cleveland Browns
  • New England Patriots
  • New Orleans Saints
  • Philadelphia Eagles
  • Pittsburgh Steelers

No particular spot is considered a frontrunner, although Johnson was coworkers with Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni in Indianapolis a few years ago. In February 2023, the Houston Texans pilfered Johnson from the Vikings coaching staff, promoting the young skipper to quarterbacks coach and later partnering him with rookie quarterback C.J. Stroud. The connection worked — unequivocally.

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Now, Johnson may have grander aspirations around the bend. The Steelers have soul-searching afoot at the quarterback position, deciding between sticking with Kenny Pickett, signing a free agent like Kirk Cousins, or drafting a new passer with the 20th overall pick in April. Johnson worked wonders with a young quarterback in Houston — in a hurry — so perhaps he could replicate the feat on Mike Tomlin’s staff.

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 hometown 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.

Then in 2023, Johnson and Stroud paired for rookie quarterback immortality as the Texans sprinted to the Divisional Round of the AFC’s postseason, with Stroud on deck to win Offensive Rookie of the Year. That type of production warrants a promotion, probably why five teams are knocking at Johnson’s door.

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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 pick 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 charge, the offensive DVOA climbed to 14th in 2023 and ranked 10th in passing DVOA.

The Steelers ranked 15th per offensive DVOA in 2023.

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).

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