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Jim Johnson, with ties to Cards, passes

Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Johnson passed away today after battling cancer, a sad loss for the NFL. Johnson spent the last decade building a Philly defense that terrorized teams with the blitz, but at one point, he spent eight seasons coaching on the defensive staff of the Cardinals, working with both the defensive line and the secondary from 1986-93. That was before my time covering the team, although I heard about him when Aeneas Williams told me the story of making the team as a rookie. Johnson obviously could spot talent. I also talked to him briefly at Super Bowl media day the year after he and the defensive coordinator from the other Super team that year -- Romeo Crennel -- were among the four interviewed for the Cards' head coaching job that ultimately went to Dennis Green. I've been told Johnson is one of the nicest people you could meet. The NFL will miss him.

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