LSU assistant suffers season-ending injury
Orgeron asks old friend to coach defensive line
LSU defensive line coach Dennis Johnson tried to work around it, even while confined to a wheelchair.
But the devastating basketball injury that injured both of the patella tendons in his knees just before fall practice began evidently proved too much to overcome.
So head coach Ed Orgeron, as he is wont to do, dipped into the retirement ranks to lure another of his former mentors onto the LSU coaching staff, presumably just for this season.
When not happy, Orgeron will still holler at Johnson, however.
As first reported by Bruce Feldman of The Athletic and confirmed by several sources, veteran NFL defensive line coach Bill Johnson will take over the position with the Tigers this season while Dennis Johnson recuperates.
Dennis Johnson will move into an analysts role, which doesn’t involve on-field coaching.
Orgeron, who’s made an improved pass rush a priority for this season, had been trying to spend more time with the defensive line with Dennis Johnson’s limitations.
The 64-year-old Bill Johnson is a Monroe native who had been with four NFL teams since 2001, most recently last year with the NFC champion Los Angeles Rams where he coached NFL Defensive Player of the Year Aaron Donald and former Tiger Michael Brockers.
He played for Northwestern State and began his coaching career there where Orgeron played for him in the defensive line.
Johnson also was at McNeese State for two seasons, as defensive line coach in 1986 (when Orgeron was a graduate assistant with the Cowboys) and linebackers coach in 1987.
His other college stops included Miami, Louisiana Tech, Texas A&M and two hitches at Arkansas.
He spent the last 18 years in the NFL, including with the Saints for their 2009 Super Bowl run.
He replaced Orgeron with the Saints after Orgeron left to join Lane Kiffin at Tennessee and stayed in New Orleans through the 2016 season when he joined the Rams. He also coached with Atlanta and Denver.
Dennis Johnson, LSU defensive line coach