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Falcons announce completed interview with Brian Johnson

What you need to know about Johnson, the Philadelphia Eagles offensive coordinator in 2023.

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FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. — The Atlanta Falcons have completed a virtual interview with Brian Johnson for the organization's head coach position, the team announced Thursday, Jan. 18.

The 36-year-old just wrapped up his third season overall with the Philadelphia Eagles, his first as the offensive coordinator with the team. His team lost, 32-9, to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the wild-card round and was therefore eliminated from the NFL playoffs. The Eagles finished 11-6 in the regular season and 0-1 in the postseason. Johnson officially became available to interview on Wednesday.

Per NFL protocols, interviews with employees of other clubs must be conducted virtually prior to the conclusion of Divisional Playoff games on Sunday, Jan. 21. If the employer club has a Wild Card bye, virtual interviews must be conducted prior to the conclusion of Wild Card games.

If the employer club was a wild-card participant, virtual interviews may begin three days after its wild-card game and must be conducted prior to the conclusion of divisional playoff games.

Beginning Monday, Jan. 22, clubs may conduct in-person or virtual interviews with candidates who are employed by other NFL clubs whose seasons have concluded and are prohibited from conducting initial interviews with candidates who are employed by clubs participating in the Conference Championship Games until the conclusion of the employer club's season.

Let's learn more about someone the Falcons are considering to become the 19th head coach in franchise history.

Interview date: Thursday, Jan. 18

Current job: Philadelphia Eagles offensive coordinator

Resume highlights:

  • University of Houston, 2017: Johnson spent a season as the offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach.
  • University of Florida, 2018-20: Johnson went on to serve as the quarterbacks coach for two seasons before he added offensive coordinator responsibilities to his final season.
  • Philadelphia Eagles, 2021-23: Johnson moved to the NFL level and started as the quarterbacks coach for two seasons before he was promoted to offensive coordinator.

Local connections: Johnson's time at Florida overlapped with Falcons tight end Kyle Pitts' three-year collegiate career with the Gators. Johnson was the quarterbacks coach, so he may have spent some but not a lot of time working directly with Pitts. Regardless, it's a tie in Atlanta.

Why he's a candidate: The Falcons are in need of new quarterback in 2024, and Johnson has a lengthy history coaching that position. Between his college and professional days, Johnson boasts 13 seasons of being a quarterbacks coach in some capacity. That could be beneficial in not only attracting talent but developing it – quickly.

Zooming out, Johnson did well in his first season as the Eagles offensive coordinator. Philadelphia finished out the regular season ranked within the top 10 in multiple statistical categories: No. 5 in rushing touchdowns (22), No. 7 in points scored (433) and then No. 8 in total yards (6,024) and rushing yards (2,190). It was No. 16 in passing yards (3,834) and touchdowns (24).

Out of those same categories, the Falcons were only within the top 10 for rushing yards, and they were No. 9 (2,159).

Johnson was the guy calling the shots for the Eagles, too, so he has experience play calling in the NFL.

The Falcons aren't the only organization showing interest in Johnson either. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Carolina Panthers want to interview Johnson. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported the same for the Tennessee Titans.

Strikes against: Regardless of what he was able to do with the offense, Johnson has only one season of coordinator work at the professional level under his belt.

Also, looking at the numbers, it seems the Eagles had more success running rather than passing the ball. The Falcons don't necessarily need help as much help in the run game as they do the pass game.

The Eagles overall did take a step back offensively in 2023, too. All the categories listed earlier were better in 2022.

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