Jim Johnson died of cancer yesterday at 68. He will be missed by his family and friends more than by those of us who watched the defenses he coached, but he will be missed by us too. He was a very special kind of coach. He created defenses that made offensive units tremble at the sound of their name. He didn't need a Shawne Merriman to create a defensive unit that made the ground shake and the skies darken.
You never knew quite what his defense was going to do, but you knew two things; you knew it was going to be aggressive, and you knew it was going to be unexpected. Jim Johnson's defense never sat back on its heels and waited for the opponent to bring the game to them, they took it to the opponent on their own terms.
We'll see Jim Johnson again, in the Hall of Fame.