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Eagles fill coordinator roles with Brian Johnson promotion, Sean Desai hiring

The Philadelphia Eagles filled their two major holes on Nick Sirianni’s staff, promoting a familiar face and hiring a new figure on Tuesday.

Brian Johnson was promoted to offensive coordinator while Sean Desai was hired as the team’s new defensive coordinator, the team announced Tuesday afternoon. Johnson, a former star quarterback at the University of Utah, was a three-year starter and two-time bowl MVP at Utah, finishing with the most wins (26) in school history.

He led the Utes to an undefeated 13-0 season during the 2008 campaign and finished his collegiate career with 7,853 passing yards, 848 rushing yards and 69 touchdowns. Johnson was an assistant coach at Utah, Mississippi State, Houston, and the University of Florida before moving to the Eagles as quarterback coach in 2021.

Johnson’s relationship with Jalen Hurts helped the third-year pro lead the Eagles to the Super Bowl earlier this year, and also finish as a finalist for the NFL’s MVP and Offensive Player of the Year awards.

“With [Offensive Coordinator] Brian [Johnson], I’m in there with him every single day and seeing him work every single day, seeing him with the quarterbacks, seeing him in game planning meetings, seeing him on the practice field,” Sirianni said in a press conference Tuesday.

“So, I thought that was the natural progression for us to go that route,” Sirianni added. “His relationship with [QB] Jalen [Hurts] and just Brian is a sharp, sharp dude. I lean on him for so many different things and now he’s in charge of running the offense.”

Desai comes to the Eagles after serving as the Seattle Seahawks’ associate head coach-defense in 2022. The Seahawks reached the playoffs as a Wild Card team despite finishing second in the league in both snaps and games started by rookies.

He entered the NFL in 2013 as the quality control coach-defense for the Chicago Bears, working with the defensive backs, linebackers, and special teams units. Desai was named Bears’ safeties coach in 2019 and was promoted to defensive coordinator in 2021.

“His overall knowledge of football and football IQ are extremely high,” Sirianni said about Desai. “Great detail. He’s a really sharp coach. I’m excited that he’s on our staff.”

Johnson and Desai replace Shane Steichen and Jonathan Gannon respectively, who both were hired to head coaching positions elsewhere. Steichen joined the Indianapolis Colts while Gannon headed to the Arizona Cardinals.

You can follow Larry Henry on Twitter (@lhenry019) and e-mail him at [email protected].

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