The Eagles lost defensive coordinator Jim Johnson to melanoma on July 28th, but he had been battling it since the beginning of the year, and was also treated for it in 2001. Johnson did a great job of prepping new defensive coordinator Sean McDermott, so Andy Reid points out below that he feels pretty lucky with the way things have transitioned. The loss of Stewart Bradley for the season will obviously make things a lot more difficult for McDermott, but I can’t help think Johnson did an incredible job in enlightening his pupil. Rest in peace Jim Johnson, I know you were loved greatly but the many who knew you. Andy Reid joined 610 WIP in Philadelphia to discuss Maclin’s late arrival to camp, his policy on injuries, and not having Johnson around.
Will signing late impact Maclin’s playing time to start the season?
“First, I’m glad he’s here. I’m glad this thing didn’t drag on any longer… On the other hand, he’s got to catch up now and that’s a tough thing to do. He’s a very gifted guy so we’ll see how he does. That’s a challenge for him though right now, getting in the mix, staying healthy and getting rolling here… He’s got to catch up and there’s where the challenge is. If he doesn’t know what he’s doing and he’s not in the right kind of shape and all that stuff, then he’s going to struggle to get in there.”
His policy on injuries:
“Before I got here, it was a little bit chaotic with people running around and following players around to doctor’s office and grabbing doctors. If we flew a player to a second opinion, they were meeting them at the airport. It was a mess and it put a lot of pressure on the players that I didn’t think needed to be done. To relieve the players from that part of it, from trying to sneak around and do this and that, and to the media frankly from sneaking around, to help you guys do your job better, I would disclose the injuries and it would eliminate some headaches there and keep it more organized. Well, that didn’t happen (with Bradley’s injury). This wasn’t something that I imagined happened. That’s not what happened here. A couple of people called right into the training room to the player who is actually being examined.”
On not having Jim Johnson around this year:
“I called him right after the Pro Bowl and said, ‘Doggone man, it’s way different look looking down the sidelines.’ Especially not having him in my headset just growling at the defense. What has been a short-term thing for the fans and even for the teammates has kind of evolved for us as a football team. We saw Jim fighting so we kind of got used to seeing the other part of it. I’m not going to tell you it’s an easy thing. We’re very fortunate that Jim took Sean McDermott and tutored this kid, and Sean has the work ethic that he does, and the want to that he does to be able to fit in.”