Belichick respects Pepper Johnson, who could join Texans


The long history between Patriots coach Bill Belichick and assistant coach Pepper Johnson made it surprising when Johnson left the team’s coaching staff yesterday.

And while there was no expounding on the cause of the split, Belichick did express his respect for his longtime linebacker, who played for him with the Giants and Browns and spent more than a decade coaching under him.

“I am proud and honored to have spent more years of my career with Pepper Johnson than any other player or coach,” Belichick said. “Of all the people I coached or worked with, nobody has more passion and love for the game than Pepper. His energy and wisdom for football knows no limits. Pepper made me a better coach and person and helped create some of the greatest moments of my career. He is a great player, coach and lifelong friend and I am sure he will enjoy continued success as he moves forward.”

There was a sense in coaching circles that Johnson had plateaued with the Patriots, and wasn’t getting a chance to advance himself as a coordinator.

There are also reports that he could resurface soon.

According to John McClain of the Houston Chronicle, there’s speculation that Johnson left the Patriots so he could work with Romeo Crennel again.

Crennel just signed on as defensive coordinator with the Texans, adding to the former Patriots vibe of head coach Bill O’Brien’s staff.

11 responses to “Belichick respects Pepper Johnson, who could join Texans

  1. Said the same thing yesterday. Wish Pepper the best but I find it interesting what Belichick’s feeling is about him advancing to DC which can only be surmised by decisions made.

  2. Too bad he doesn’t respect the game, instead acts like a petulant child and is a cheating troll.

  3. The name Pepper Johnson used to be very well known in America, probably even outside of football circles to some extent.

    Seeing this story, it occurred to me that I hadn’t heard the name Pepper Johnson in what seems like many years.

  4. I believe Pepper expected to be promoted to defensive coordinator long ago and became quite frustrated when the last time the gig was open BB gave it to Matt Patricia.

    I remember Bruschi crediting a drill of Pepper’s for all the INTs the Pats LBs used to get. He’s stand about 10′ away from the players and whip the ball at them as hard as he could and they learned to catch hard thrown balls with little warning.

    He’ll be missed that’s for sure.

  5. If Mike Pettine leaves Buffalo…this is who I want to replace him. Not Wade Phillips.

    I think Pepper Johnson will make for a hell of a defensive coordinator…it’s just weird he would leave after not being afforded that opportunity, to make a lateral move.

    Not to mention, he knows the Patriots (and AFC East) like nobody else that Buffalo could bring in to replace Pettine…and he could help with the young linebackers too…maybe bring Brandon Spikes with him…although I don’t care for him much, he would be a nice addition next to Kiko.

  6. Losing Pep and Scar is way way way harder to take than losing the AFCC for this fan. I love Pep. I never had one team I loved growing up and I used to love watching BB’s NYG defense play with Pep, Carson, etc. Pep and I go a long way back…I watched him in college too. His units almost always got better with him as the coach. I will miss him greatly and I wish him the best in whatever his next gig is.

  7. Pep belongs with The New York Football Giants in some capacity. Preferably as the DC, Fewell needs to go! Once a Giant always a Giant. Get the ball rolling Mara…

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