One of the things that’s hard to evaluate is the influence of a quarterback coach on a signal caller. Brian Johnson doesn’t call the plays, nor does he speak to the media with the regularity of Nick Sirianni or Shane Steichen, so in the development of Jalen Hurts, we really don’t know how much credit or blame he deserves.
We did get a nugget about him, though, during Wednesday’s press conference. Nick Sirianni was asked about Johnson and said this:
Q. What’s been Eagles Quarterbacks Coach Brian Johnson’s influence in terms of Jalen Hurts and how we’ve seen the offense kind of cater more to his skill set? (Jeff McLane)
NICK SIRIANNI: I don’t know if you guys have noticed this, but Brian has been on the field the last two weeks with us to be able to talk to Jalen on the sidelines so [Eagles Offensive Coordinator] Shane [Steichen] and I can talk through the next series and this and that.
So, I think he’s been a great influence on Jalen on the sideline. And then, yeah, I mean, Brian just brings a wealth of knowledge in a lot of different areas; blitz protection, quarterback play, different styles of quarterbacks.
So, yeah, Brian’s a major, major key. And I just think we have a really good offensive staff. Can’t say enough about our offensive staff and who we have in that room.
There’s just a lot of guys that have called plays. And Brian’s just another contributor, he contributes a lot to a lot of different aspects.
Q. Why did you decide to move Brian downstairs? (Jeff McLane)
NICK SIRIANNI: Again, so Shane and I — really, in between a set, I have to be there with the defense and looking at the defense. And anything that’s going on right there, and Shane and I are talking in communication.
And so, for the first couple weeks, Shane was — again, we adjust things to make it work, the best process. Shane would be spending time with Jalen on the sideline, looking at the pictures, and was, you know — we weren’t able to get to some talks every time, like, if it was a quicker three and out or whatever it was.
And so, now Brian can look at the pictures with him, Brian can talk to him about things they talked about all week. And Shane and I are in every quarterback meeting, too.
So, we’re all in the — but Brian can have that main communication with him. We can say things to Jalen when we need to, and Shane and I can really talk about the next set. And so, that’s the why behind it. And that’s what we’ve been doing these last two weeks.
Seems like a common sense adjustment. Sirianni has a lot on his plate in year one. He’s learning how to be a head coach and play caller AT THE SAME TIME, which is insane to me. I don’t think people talk about that enough. He’s doing both of that stuff concurrently, and without a veteran coach on the staff to help him through it.
With this setup, Steichen can aid Sirianni a little bit more, help him with the offense and game management, and then Johnson is downstairs to spend time with Hurts while the defense is on the field. They can go over the images on the pad and talk over plays and sequences and things like that. Makes sense.