Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Johnson's Next Ride with Eagles?

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Johnson's Next Ride with Eagles?

Article excerpt

Rich Kotite, the Philadelphia Eagles coach, could be looking over his shoulder this fall.

That's because Jimmy Johnson, who left the Dallas Cowboys last month, plans to return to the National Football League coaching ranks before the Super Bowl next year, and he said Friday that he has met the new Eagles owner, Jeffrey Lurie.

Johnson, who was here to film one of those pop-out-of-the-suitcase commercials for a hotel chain, didn't say when he met Lurie or whether they've talked about the Eagles job. But he said three teams have contacted him, and two of them wanted him to replace their coaches for the coming season.

"One particular team wanted me to go in and run the draft and also coach this year, and I said I'm not really ready to make that kind of commitment. Nothing against that particular team, but I wanted to take some time off and relax a bit and get back into coaching next year," he said.

When asked if the teams that wanted him this year are also interested in him for next year, he said, "We're still having discussions with one of them."

When asked if that team has a new owner, he flashed a big smile and said: "I'm not going to name any teams. I've probably stirred things up too much already."

But his comment that he has met Lurie and is impressed with him is ominous for Kotite, entering his fourth season as the Eagles coach.

"He's going to be good for Philadelphia, and he's going to be good for the league," Johnson said of Lurie.

He became vague when he was asked how he happened to meet Lurie. The Eagles didn't return a call to their office, and Lurie can't make any moves until the NFL owners officially approve the sale next month.

But it would be unusual for Johnson to have met Lurie, a Hollywood producer, unless they had been talking about the Eagles job.

Johnson does not exactly run in Hollywood circles. He is a virtual recluse away from the football field and lives alone with his fish. …

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