New York Jets News: Pepper Johnson Named Defensive Line Coach


New York Jets News: Pepper Johnson Is Hired As New Defensive Line Coach

The New York Jets continued to fill out their coaching staff Saturday, filling one of the vacancies that were still remaining in defensive line coach. The man that will be taking over the job is Pepper Johnson. He will be replacing their former coach, Karl Dunbar, who followed Rex Ryan to Buffalo to join his staff there.

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Johnson may ring a bell for some people in the New York area because he recently interviewed for the New York Giants defensive coordinator position that was ultimately given to Steve Spagnuolo. He recovered quickly though, as he will join what is shaping up to be a very strong Jets’ coaching staff, headlined by Todd Bowles at head coach, after being spurned by the Giants.

Johnson did not mince his words when talking about not being hired by the Giants. He was very frustrated about being passed over, saying, “Moving away from the Patriots, spending a year in Buffalo, I was hoping it would open doors and open some eyes, that more people would be watching, and [that some team] will give me a call before all this is said and done.”

The Giants job is one that Johnson coveted, but was ultimately passed over for. While moving up from defensive line coach to defensive coordinator is something that he was hoping for, the defensive line coach job that he landed with the Jets is one of the best in the business.

“I feel bottled up. I have a lot of knowledge and a lot of information that I feel like I just have to keep to myself.” – Pepper Johnson

Defensive line is the strongest unit on the Jets, as Johnson will have plenty of talent to work with at his disposal. After working with the likes of Mario Williams, Jerry Hughes and Marcell Darues in Buffalo, Johnson will arguably be upgrading going to Muhammad Wilkerson and Sheldon Richardson as the main cogs on the Jets’ defensive line, both of whom will be taking part in the NFL Pro Bowl on Sunday night.

Johnson has no previous working experience with Bowles, but the two do share the same mentor in Bill Parcells. Johnson played for Parcells when he was head coach of both the Giants and Jets, while Bowles coached under the Big Tuna with the Jets, Miami Dolphins and Dallas Cowboys.

Johnson ended his playing career with the Jets, playing two seasons with the team before getting into coaching. Johnson has plenty of experience as a defensive line coach, as he did it with the Patriots for 14 years before moving onto the Bills last season.

The Jets will give him a great chance to showcase his talents as a coach once again to potentially interview for promotions again next season.

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