BOSTON (CBS) – Linebacker Ted Johnson spent his entire 10 year career in New England and played under three defensive minded head coaches in Bill Parcells, Pete Carroll and Bill Belichick.
However, defensive coaches come in all shapes and sizes, and there were distinct differences between the three.
Johnson, now a radio host in Houston, was a guest on the Felger & Massarotti program Tuesday afternoon down at Radio Row in Times Square for Super Bowl XLVIII, and the former Patriot explained why it was under Carroll that he enjoyed his best seasons.
“It wasn’t read-and-react (like Belichick’s philosophy). I loved playing in Pete Carroll’s defense. I had my most productive years under Pete Carroll’s defense – I think I hit 135 tackles one year. And when you go from a 3-4, read-and-react, physically demanding defense that you had with Bill Parcells to what Pete gave you, it was like ‘Oh baby, let’s go! This is fun!’. Guys like shooting the gaps, free flowing and playing over the top. I loved it. It’s a great defense. Let’s face it, Pete can coach defense.”
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Beyond the stylistic differences of a Parcells/Belichick-coached team and the difference in philosophy to a Pete Carroll-coached team, another marked distinction is the locker room culture.
Bill Parcells and Bill Belichick are thought to be disciplinarians, whereas Carroll had the reputation as an easygoing, relaxed leader.
But Pete Carroll isn’t California Pete anymore. Ted Johnson says he’s changed his ways.
One of the many topics of discussion this Super Bowl week on Felger & Mazz is if Pete Carroll has proven his legitimacy as an NFL coach, shedding that “college coach” label once and for all.
Ted Johnson weighed in to that discussion Tuesday.
“Back then [with the Patriots] he was not a pro coach. The record shows it, although Pete will remind you that when he left New England he had a winning record. But it’s tough to follow Bill Parcells, that’s not an easy thing. The difference between Pete Carroll then and Pete Carroll now is there’s more accountability. There’s this environment of your job not being safe. He’s still Type-A, he’s still hyper and positive – but he backs it up now by holding players accountable.”
Some great stuff from Ted Johnson today, including his desire to perhaps return to the area, and how much time is left in Tom Brady’s Super Bowl window – listen to the full interview below: