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Eagles' Brian Johnson interviews for Falcons head coaching job

Eagles' Brian Johnson interviews for Falcons head coaching job originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

Eagles offensive coordinator Brian Johnson, already identified as a candidate for head coaching openings with the Titans and Panthers, interviewed Thursday for the Falcons’ opening, the team announced on its social media accounts.

Johnson, 36, spent this past year as the Eagles’ offensive coordinator after two years as Nick Sirianni’s quarterbacks coach. He’s been widely credited for Jalen Hurts’ development from a raw 22-year-old 2nd-round pick who replaced Carson Wentz late in 2020 to a Pro Bowler and record-setting Super Bowl star last year.

But both Johnson and Hurts had down years in 2023, culminating in the Eagles’ 32-9 wild-card loss to the Buccaneers on Monday.

Johnson is an odd position. He’s still working for the Eagles but there’s a good chance that even if Sirianni returns to the Eagles in 2024 Johnson won’t. But he’s still an in-demand head coaching candidate even though he may soon be unemployed.

Johnson was in a difficult spot this year, calling plays for an offense that wasn’t his. But despite the Eagles losing five of their last six regular-season games and a wild-card game, the offense finished the regular season ranked seventh in the NFL in scoring, eighth in yards, fourth in first downs, third in 3rd-down conversions and ninth in the red zone.

Johnson has known Hurts since he was a toddler. Hurts’ father, Averion, coached Johnson at Robert E. Lee High School in Baytown, Texas.

Johnson played quarterback at Utah – he backed up Alex Smith in 2004 – and had an outstanding senior year, with 27 touchdowns and nine interceptions and an upset over Alabama in the Sugar Bowl in the Superdome.

He began his coaching career as offensive coordinator at Utah in 2012 and then had stints at Mississippi State and Houston before joining Dan Mullen’s Florida Gator staff in 2018. He spent 2020 as Florida’s offensive coordinator – the Gators averaged 40 points per game – and that earned him the quarterbacks coaching job with the Eagles when Sirianni took over.

The Falcons have already held two interviews with Bill Belichick, and according to various reports, they’ve also interviewed Bengals offensive coordinator Brian Callahan, Michigan head coach John Harbaugh, Panthers defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero, Ravens defensive coordinator Mike MacDonald, Ravens assistant head coach and defensive line coach Anthony Weaver and 49ers defensive coordinator Steve Wilks.

The Falcons fired head coach Arthur Smith on Jan. 8 after three consecutive 7-10 seasons. The Falcons have had six straight losing seasons.

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