Houston Texans quarterbacks coach and former Steelers offensive coordinator candidate Jerrod Johnson is staying with the Houston Texans to keep the operation together. Along with Bobby Slowik, that entire operation will return for a second season under DeMeco Ryans.
Johnson interviewed for the Pittsburgh Steelers’ OC position on Friday and then had a second interview in-person with the New Orleans Saints for their vacancy on Saturday. Johnson has also interviewed with the New England Patriots, Philadelphia Eagles and Cleveland Browns before finally deciding to return.
Johnson, a one-time Steelers preseason quarterback, is just 35 years old and the youngest and least experienced of the Steelers’ candidates identified so far. But his performance in helping develop Stroud into a bona fide star has made him a hot commodity in the offensive coordinator market.
Stroud spoke glowingly of Johnson when reflecting on his rookie season.
“I’ve known Jerrod since I was 16. I was in Elite 11 with him. He was my quarterback coach there,” Stroud said, via the Texans team website. “One thing I can say about Jerrod, you talk about somebody who knows how to play the position of quarterback and knows how to relay something, but also just a great person who loves football.”
But if there was a hope that they could add another title like ‘pass game coordinator’ to Johnson’s title to try and lure him to Pittsburgh with Smith, that seems to not be happening.
Before Johnson went to Houston, he was the assistant quarterbacks coach under Kevin O’Connell in Minnesota. So, yet again, there’s a connection to Los Angels Rams head coach Sean McVay’s coaching tree. More than that, he doubled that up in Houston by coming to work under Slowik from the Kyle Shanahan tree.
In other words, Johnson became a quick-rising star in the league because he develops quarterbacks and just so happens to come from the two most potent branches of offensive thought the league wants now. Pittsburgh could still look to add someone like Johnson with that title, but it won’t be him.