Buffalo (WKBW/Bills Release) The Buffalo Bills tonight announced that Pepper Johnson has agreed to terms to become the team’s defensive line coach.
A five-time Super Bowl champion, Johnson will enter his 15th year coaching in the NFL in 2014. Johnson has spent the past 14 seasons working for the New England Patriots, serving in a variety of roles including eight seasons (2004-11) as the team’s defensive line coach. During his 13-year playing career, Johnson was a part of two championship teams and has been a member of three championship teams since joining New England’s coaching staff in 2000.
During Johnson's 14 seasons on the Patriots defensive coaching staff, New England finished in the top 10 in fewest points allowed per game 10 times.
As the Patriots’ defensive line coach, Johnson helped DT Vince Wilfork emerge as one of the premier defensive tackles in the NFL. Over the first 10 seasons of his career, Wilfork has been named to five Pro Bowls—four of which came directly under Johnson’s watch.
In addition to his successes coaching Wilfork, during Johnson’s stint as the Patriots’ defensive line coach he helped both DE Mark Anderson and DE Andre Carter enjoy double digit sack seasons in 2011.
In 2012, Johnson made the switch from coaching the Patriots’ defensive line to the team’s linebackers. Under his tutelage, LB Jerod Mayo and LB Brandon Spikes finished as the top two tacklers on the team.
Johnson originally entered the NFL in 2000 as defensive assistant, working primarily with the team’s linebackers. In 2001, Johnson was promoted to the team’s inside linebackers coach where he would help lead a unit that played an important role in the Patriots’ Super Bowl XXXVI championship.
A native of Detroit, MI, Johnson enjoyed an illustrious 13-year playing career after being drafted out of Ohio State by the New York Giants in the second round (51st overall) of the 1986 NFL Draft. In addition to Super Bowl championships in 1986 and 1990 with the New York Giants, Johnson earned Pro Bowl honors in 1990 and 1994.