LOCALS IN THE NFL

Eagles QB Coach Brian Johnson Credits Kyle Whittingham For Coaching Start

Nov 11, 2022, 3:31 PM
Kyle-Whittingham-Brian-Johnson-Utah-Utes...
Kyle Whittingham, left, and Brian Johnson watch during University of Utah football practice in Salt Lake City, Thursday, April 18, 2013. (Courtesy of Deseret News)
(Courtesy of Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITYFormer University of Utah standout and current Philadelphia Eagles quarterbacks coach Brian Johnson credits Utes head coach Kyle Whittingham for getting him into coaching.

Johnson recently discussed his coaching career during an interview with ESPN‘s Adam Schefter.

“I really didn’t know what I wanted to do, you know, once I finished school,” Johnson told the NFL insider. “Luckily Coach Whittingham gave me an opportunity and I jumped right into coaching, and I’ve never looked back. It’s been a huge blessing and I’ve been fortunate enough to be around some some great coaches who were also great men who taught me so much about this game and so much about life.”

Schefter asked the former Utah star what lessons he’s learned from the coaching he’s been around, including Whittingham.

“The biggest thing that I’ve learned is that you can be successful in a bunch of different ways,” Johnson replied. “Being able to adapt to situations that are beyond your control. That’s a really, really important quality to have. But I think that the biggest thing in coaching, really, is you have to be adaptable. You have to be willing to learn, continue to learn and grow, no matter how long you’ve been in it.”

The former Ute plans to take the lessons he’s learned and share them with others.

“Hopefully I can just pass those lessons down to the younger guys that are coming up,” Johnson said.

Before the start of the interview, Schefter highlighted Johnson’s rise in the profession and praised him as a future NFL head coach.

Schefter believes the Eagles QB coach will become a head coach whether its during the upcoming cycle or another season in the near future.


During their conversation, Johnson and Schefter also discussed the Utah standout’s relationship with fellow former Ute, Alex Smith, and the success of Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts. To hear their entire conversation, listen to the episode of The Adam Schefter podcast found above.

About Brian Johnson

Prior to his coaching career, the Barrett Station, Texas native was a standout player for the Utes. Johnson played at Utah from 2004-08.

During his four seasons in Salt Lake City, the former quarterback threw for 7,853 yards, 57 touchdowns, and 27 interceptions with a 66.2 percent completion rate.

Johnson had a program-best 26-7 record as Utah’s starting quarterback. His career was highlighted by a special undefeated senior season that was capped with a Sugar Bowl victory over the Alabama Crimson Tide.

Following his playing career, Johnson returned to Utah in 2010 as the Utes’ quarterbacks coach. In 2012, Whittingham promoted Johnson to offensive coordinator.

Two years later, Johnson was hired as Mississippi State’s quarterbacks coach. He was with the Bulldogs through the 2016 season. In 2017, the former Ute spent one season as Houston’s offensive coordinator and QBs coach before taking a coach with Florida. Former Mississippi State and Florida head coach Dan Mullen hired Johnson as his quarterbacks coach for the second time, this time with the Gators.

After two seasons, Mullen promoted Johnson to Florida’s offensive coordinator. Johnson held that position for one season. IN 2021, the former Utah star jumped to the NFL. First-year Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni hired Johnson as Philadelphia’s quarterbacks coach.

During his two seasons in the NFL, Johnson has coached former Alabama and Oklahoma star Jalen Hurts. Johnson told Pelissero that he’s known Hurts since the Eagles QB was about four years old.

This season under Johnson’s coaching, Hurts has thrown for 2,042 yards, 12 touchdowns, and two interceptions with a 68.2 completion percentage. He’s also run for 326 yards and six touchdowns. The Eagles are currently the NFL’s only undefeated team with an 8-0 record.

Philadelphia’s next game is at home against the Washington Commanders on Monday, November 14 at 6:15 p.m. (MDT). The game will be broadcast on ESPN.

Kyle Ireland is a Locals in the NFL Insider for KSLSports.com and co-host of the Yards After College Podcast. Follow him on Twitter (@kyleireland) and Instagram (@kyleirelandksl).

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