BOSTON (CBS) — One day after linebackers coach Pepper Johnson announced he and the Patriots were parting ways after 14 seasons together, head coach Bill Belichick has released a statement about the man who played for him and coached alongside him for a quarter of a century.
“I am proud and honored to have spent more years of my career with Pepper Johnson than any other player or coach,” Belichick said. “Of all the people I coached or worked with, nobody has more passion and love for the game than Pepper. His energy and wisdom for football knows no limits. Pepper made me a better coach and person and helped create some of the greatest moments of my career.
“He is a great player, coach and lifelong friend and I am sure he will enjoy continued success as he moves forward.”
Johnson made the announcement on Tuesday, saying only that he’s moving on and he’ll continue to fulfill his dreams in football.
“Bill Belichick and I have been working together in some capacity for 26 years and I am who I am because of it,” Johnson said. “To have five Super Bowl rings (two as a player, three as a coach) and all of them with Bill has been a blessing. I could never have asked for a better coach/boss/friend in those 26 years.”