Growing up in Humble, Texas, Jerrod Johnson always looked up to his dad. Larry Johnson was not only his high school football coach, but also his hero. The former Texas A&M standout and NFL quarterback knew he wanted to follow in his father’s footsteps one day, even though he wasn’t sure how to start the journey.
“Once playing went the way it did for me, you know, I don’t think any player, I don’t think it ends on their time,” Johnson said. “And so I took a couple of years to figure out how I wanted to coach and how I wanted to get back.”
After an NFL career that began in 2011 and included time with Dallas, Baltimore, Chicago, Seattle, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, Johnson moved back to Texas. He began coaching at the youth level, giving quarterback lessons before eventually becoming Assistant Head Coach and Offensive Coordinator at St. Thomas High School in Houston. From there, Johnson took an internship with the Indianapolis Colts and began his ascent in the coaching ranks of the NFL.
“I kind of fell in love with the profession,” Johnson said. “And so I’m thankful for the Colts and then I got another opportunity with the Vikings and so here I am. But I am thankful that I kind of went through that route because I learned a lot from coaching high school. I learned a lot from coaching young kids and so I’m thankful for the path that got me here.”
Last week, Johnson was one of 40 coaches selected to attend the NFL’s second annual Coach Accelerator program during the Spring League Meeting in Minneapolis. Participants were chosen based on their high potential to be considered for a Head Coach position in the future.
“It was it was really cool,” Johnson said. “It was a unique experience. I’m thankful for the NFL, one to be chosen, two that they did that. I learned a lot from other coaches, a lot of older coaches who have been in the NFL for a long time. And so we had a lot of good conversations there, an opportunity to meet some of the owners, which is a unique experience in itself, but overall, I think it was great for my personal career.”
The Texans Quarterbacks Coach says he took away a lot from the experience, from making professional connections and learning how to carry himself to gathering ideas on how to run meetings.
“I don’t really know the depths of how it will help, I know it has to be a positive,” Johnson said. “But at the end of the day, what came up a lot, you do good work where you are. You pour into the players where you are and you hope your current team and people will notice. And so I took from that to take what I got from there, met some faces and just try to pour into the Texans. And then, we do good things here. The way the profession works, good things may happen for you.”
Johnson is currently in his first season with the Texans after serving as the Assistant QB coach for the Minnesota Vikings last season. Prior to that, Johnson spent three seasons (2019-21) with the Indianapolis Colts as an offensive quality control coach.