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Craig Johnson
Quarterbacks

Biography

Craig Johnson is in his 11th season with the Titans and first as Assistant Head Coach – Running Backs. The previous eight years, he served as quarterbacks coach. He originally came to Tennessee as an offensive assistant/quality control coach and was promoted to quarterbacks coach prior to the 2002 season.

Johnson was elevated to his new role in late July after a coaching departure. Johnson’s knowledge of the offense and previous experience with running backs in college made him an ideal replacement.

During his tenure as quarterback coach with the team, Johnson has developed an NFL co-MVP (Steve McNair, 2003), an NFL Rookie of the Year (Vince Young, 2006) and helped an accomplished veteran recapture his high level of play (Kerry Collins). The quarterback group has totaled six Pro Bowl invitations during his time with the Titans.

Last season, Young took the reins after a 0-6 start to the season and led the team to an 8-2 record in the final 10 contests. In the process, he posted a career high passer rating (82.8) and was invited to play in his second Pro Bowl. During his tenure, Young has led the Titans to a 26-13 record as a starter.

In 2008, Kerry Collins was thrust into a starting role with the injury of Young in the season opener – a role he wouldn’t relinquish the rest of the season. Collins ended the season with the third highest passer rating of his career (80.2), lowest sack total of his career, a Pro Bowl selection and the highest win total of his career.

In 2006, Johnson mentored Young, the team’s first-round draft pick, in his transition from college phenom to rookie backup to full-time starter in the span of six months. Young became the starter in Week 4 and proceeded to post an 8-5 record, earning NFL Rookie of the Year honors and becoming the first rookie quarterback to play in the Pro Bowl. Young would establish a number of league and franchise rookie records, including the most rushing yards (552) and rushing touchdowns (7) in NFL history; he sits atop all of the Titans/Oilers offensive categories for rookie signal callers.

In his first six seasons with the team, Johnson helped develop McNair into one of the finest quarterbacks in the NFL, co-MVP of the league in 2003 and three-time Pro Bowl selection. Over the six-year period, McNair set career highs in every category, including passing yards (3,387 in 2002), completion percentage (62.6 in 2000), touchdowns (24 in 2003) and passer rating (100.4 in 2003).

Johnson also was instrumental in the progression of Billy Volek into a record-setting performer. He owns the NFL record for passing yards over the first 10 career starts (2,789 yards), and Volek also became one of just five players in NFL history to post consecutive 400-yard passing games (Fouts, Marino, Simms and Cassel) in 2004.

In 2003, McNair became the first quarterback in franchise history to earn NFL MVP honors. He also became the first AFC quarterback since 1995 to post a yards-per-attempt average of 8.0 or higher (8.04) and the only AFC quarterback to produce a touchdown in every game he started in 2003. Additionally, each of the three Titans quarterbacks (McNair, Volek and Neil O'Donnell) finished the year with passer ratings above 100.

Johnson joined the Titans staff after spending three seasons as the quarterbacks coach at the University of Maryland. During his tenure, he also served as the Terps' offensive coordinator for two years (1997-98). In his last year at Maryland, the Terps led the Atlantic Coast Conference in rushing offense (235 yards per game avg.).

He served as the quarterback coach for five seasons at Northwestern University (1992-96). At NU, he was part of the first back-to-back Big Ten Conference champions (1995-96) in the school's history. Johnson's quarterback Steve Schnur earned first-team All-Big Ten honors as a senior and posted a career-high 336 passing yards in the 1996 Rose Bowl against USC. In three of his five years at NU a Wildcats quarterback earned All-Big Ten honors. During his stint with the Wildcats (1994), Johnson spent time with the Chicago Bears as a part of the NFL’s Minority Coaching Internship program.

Prior to his stint at Northwestern, Johnson served as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach for three seasons (1989-91) at Virginia Military Institute. Under Johnson, VMI's offense ranked fifth in the nation in total offense in 1990 and first in rushing offense in 1991. He broke into college coaching as a graduate assistant at his alma mater, Wyoming, in 1983 before moving on to the University of Arkansas in 1984 in the same capacity. In 1985, he was a part-time assistant coach at Army, tutoring the fullbacks. Johnson then served as running backs coach for three seasons (1986-88) at Rutgers.

A native of Rome, N.Y. (3/3/60), Johnson grew up in Aurora, Colo., and earned three letters as a quarterback at Wyoming, throwing for more than 1,100 yards and seven touchdowns as a senior in 1982. Johnson and his wife, Darlene, are parents of two daughters, Shelby (20) and Sydney (18).

Craig Johnson Coaching Ledger
2010: Assistant Head Coach – Running Backs, Tennessee Titans
2002-09: Quarterbacks, Tennessee Titans
2000-01: Offensive Assistant/Quality Control, Tennessee Titans
1997-98: Offensive Coordinator, University of Maryland
1997-99: Quarterbacks, University of Maryland
1992-96: Quarterbacks, Northwestern University
1989-91: Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks, Virginia Military Institute
1986-88: Running Backs, Rutgers University
1985: Assistant Running Backs, Army
1984: Graduate Assistant, University of Arkansas
1983: Graduate Assistant, University of Wyoming

Craig Johnson is in his 11th season with the Titans and first as Assistant Head Coach – Running Backs. The previous eight years, he served as quarterbacks coach. He originally came to Tennessee as an offensive assistant/quality control coach and was promoted to quarterbacks coach prior to the 2002 season.

Johnson was elevated to his new role in late July after a coaching departure. Johnson’s knowledge of the offense and previous experience with running backs in college made him an ideal replacement.

During his tenure as quarterback coach with the team, Johnson has developed an NFL co-MVP (Steve McNair, 2003), an NFL Rookie of the Year (Vince Young, 2006) and helped an accomplished veteran recapture his high level of play (Kerry Collins). The quarterback group has totaled six Pro Bowl invitations during his time with the Titans.

Last season, Young took the reins after a 0-6 start to the season and led the team to an 8-2 record in the final 10 contests. In the process, he posted a career high passer rating (82.8) and was invited to play in his second Pro Bowl. During his tenure, Young has led the Titans to a 26-13 record as a starter.

In 2008, Kerry Collins was thrust into a starting role with the injury of Young in the season opener – a role he wouldn’t relinquish the rest of the season. Collins ended the season with the third highest passer rating of his career (80.2), lowest sack total of his career, a Pro Bowl selection and the highest win total of his career.

In 2006, Johnson mentored Young, the team’s first-round draft pick, in his transition from college phenom to rookie backup to full-time starter in the span of six months. Young became the starter in Week 4 and proceeded to post an 8-5 record, earning NFL Rookie of the Year honors and becoming the first rookie quarterback to play in the Pro Bowl. Young would establish a number of league and franchise rookie records, including the most rushing yards (552) and rushing touchdowns (7) in NFL history; he sits atop all of the Titans/Oilers offensive categories for rookie signal callers.

In his first six seasons with the team, Johnson helped develop McNair into one of the finest quarterbacks in the NFL, co-MVP of the league in 2003 and three-time Pro Bowl selection. Over the six-year period, McNair set career highs in every category, including passing yards (3,387 in 2002), completion percentage (62.6 in 2000), touchdowns (24 in 2003) and passer rating (100.4 in 2003).

Johnson also was instrumental in the progression of Billy Volek into a record-setting performer. He owns the NFL record for passing yards over the first 10 career starts (2,789 yards), and Volek also became one of just five players in NFL history to post consecutive 400-yard passing games (Fouts, Marino, Simms and Cassel) in 2004.

In 2003, McNair became the first quarterback in franchise history to earn NFL MVP honors. He also became the first AFC quarterback since 1995 to post a yards-per-attempt average of 8.0 or higher (8.04) and the only AFC quarterback to produce a touchdown in every game he started in 2003. Additionally, each of the three Titans quarterbacks (McNair, Volek and Neil O'Donnell) finished the year with passer ratings above 100.

Johnson joined the Titans staff after spending three seasons as the quarterbacks coach at the University of Maryland. During his tenure, he also served as the Terps' offensive coordinator for two years (1997-98). In his last year at Maryland, the Terps led the Atlantic Coast Conference in rushing offense (235 yards per game avg.).

He served as the quarterback coach for five seasons at Northwestern University (1992-96). At NU, he was part of the first back-to-back Big Ten Conference champions (1995-96) in the school's history. Johnson's quarterback Steve Schnur earned first-team All-Big Ten honors as a senior and posted a career-high 336 passing yards in the 1996 Rose Bowl against USC. In three of his five years at NU a Wildcats quarterback earned All-Big Ten honors. During his stint with the Wildcats (1994), Johnson spent time with the Chicago Bears as a part of the NFL’s Minority Coaching Internship program.

Prior to his stint at Northwestern, Johnson served as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach for three seasons (1989-91) at Virginia Military Institute. Under Johnson, VMI's offense ranked fifth in the nation in total offense in 1990 and first in rushing offense in 1991. He broke into college coaching as a graduate assistant at his alma mater, Wyoming, in 1983 before moving on to the University of Arkansas in 1984 in the same capacity. In 1985, he was a part-time assistant coach at Army, tutoring the fullbacks. Johnson then served as running backs coach for three seasons (1986-88) at Rutgers.

A native of Rome, N.Y. (3/3/60), Johnson grew up in Aurora, Colo., and earned three letters as a quarterback at Wyoming, throwing for more than 1,100 yards and seven touchdowns as a senior in 1982. Johnson and his wife, Darlene, are parents of two daughters, Shelby (20) and Sydney (18).

Craig Johnson Coaching Ledger
2010: Assistant Head Coach – Running Backs, Tennessee Titans
2002-09: Quarterbacks, Tennessee Titans
2000-01: Offensive Assistant/Quality Control, Tennessee Titans
1997-98: Offensive Coordinator, University of Maryland
1997-99: Quarterbacks, University of Maryland
1992-96: Quarterbacks, Northwestern University
1989-91: Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks, Virginia Military Institute
1986-88: Running Backs, Rutgers University
1985: Assistant Running Backs, Army
1984: Graduate Assistant, University of Arkansas
1983: Graduate Assistant, University of Wyoming

 

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