Skip to main content

Learn from your players

Pepper Johnson played in the league for over a decade as a linebacker before eventually becoming an assistant with the Patriots, where he has spent his entire coaching career. Johnson started out with the outside linebackers before spending the past 8 seasons working with the defensive line.

Just like riding a bike, Johnson got back in the groove of things with the linebackers without skipping a beat this off season. Part of the reason he's made a smooth transition back is because of his thirst for knowledge during his time as a player, and also by not being afraid to ask players for valuable insight.

“As a player I learned everything I possibly could about football. Coaching the defensive line as close as I was working with them as a player, I felt I know a lot about it. The things I had questions about I asked players, and I had long conversations with a lot of players I highly respect while I was playing the game.”

Johnson added that moving from coaching defensive linemen to linebackers was simply, "Instead of coaching guys going forward, I’m coaching guys running backwards in coverage." Clever.