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Jimmy Johnson And The House of Speed


Hello this is. ESPN senior writer. Ivan mizzle today Wednesday November. Six is the One hundred fiftieth anniversary of the first first college. Football game ever rutgers beat Princeton Sixty four and trust me pretty much. Nothing that happened that day looks like today's game except at the rutgers players wore scarlet as part of ESPN's coverage of the One hundred fiftieth anniversary of college football. We're proud to bring you the down and distance. PODCAST ask with eight stories illustrating how college football has impacted and reflected American culture over the course of one hundred fifty years. Here's an episode from the series. And we encourage you to listen and subscribe the down and distance wherever you get your podcast. When we think of the Miami Hurricanes Jimmy Johnson coached for five seasons in the nineteen eighties? We think swagger of Brashness cockiness just everything that came to be known as the youth that pretty much describes how South Beach led the worlds of fashion and entertainment in that era too. ooh especially the South beach characterized on Miami vice an hour long weekly series on NBC about a pair of detectives who captured bad guys. Our remaining cool sexy and largely wrinkle free swagger is momentary swagger is fashion fashions. Come and go in Miami vise came and went. You don't see a lot of people wearing baggy Pastel suits over t shirts. These days and a lot of ways is what we think of when we think of the U. feels like history to put it this way eighteen year olds enrolling as freshmen. This fall were born born the last year that the hurricanes won a national championship but there is one change. Jimmy Johnson made at Miami that lives on the chief catalyst and pushing his teams to win. Forty four games. In Four Seasons Johnson emphasized speed over strength. A reliance on athleticism says. Oh that spelled the end of the option the attack that had dominated the game for nearly two decades. This team's attacked Upfield on defense is teams attacks tax downfield on offense. Johnson's Miami teams dominated nearly everyone in their path. Canes were the first breakout success of the three big programs in the state of Florida alongside Florida State and Florida. Those teams would take turns top the sports for the next twenty five years. Not only that. Johnson's pivot to speed and athleticism presaged the spread the field mentality that the modern staple of the game and one very important way. We are seeing more players of more sizes performing more remarkable feats than ever before that trend had its roots in the you you welcome to down and distance a podcast about the history of college football part of ESPN's college football one and fifty commemorating the One hundred fiftieth anniversary of the sport. I'm your host Ivan Mozelle. Today's episode is Jimmy Johnson and the House of speed in it we will explore how Johnson and the Miami Hurricanes dominated not only college football in the eighties but changed how the game would be played in the years to come off throughout the history of college football. You know that every great moment has come from teams combining tireless preparation and hard work. Same for your business from hotel chains to airlines universities to healthcare facilities retailers to local auto. Oh mechanics more than one. Million businesses. Trust Sentas to help them open their doors with confidence and get ready for the workday. College football has always. It's been rooted in tradition. For example. The uniforms the Mazen blew the crimson and cream. SENTAS has apparel programs to help your employees convey the right image leading your business to the promised. Land great teams keep their goals. Top of mind. Don't waste time with distractions. It's your business focus on what you do best and leave the rest sentas yet. Sentas and get ready for the WORKDAY. Learn how CINTAS can help get your business ready at Cintos. US Dot Com. Johnson arrived at Miami in nineteen. eighty-four is a forty thirty year old coach who had spent nearly his entire football career in the southwest yet. Johnson in the city of Miami became a seamless match. They've gone into South Bend. They've gone into Norman Oklahoma. They're going to Gainesville Tallahassee owning on and they've won every time a really play hard and they've got I tell you what find reporting sometimes an idea comes along that is a perfect combination of time and place if you want to argue that the revolution started at Miami before before Jimmy Johnson arrive go ahead. It's an easy argument to make in one thousand nine hundred eighty three the year before Johnson got their Howard Schnellenberger leads to the national title. That was the first of the five national championships. That Miami one from nineteen eighty three to two thousand one but in my mind for all that Schnellenberger did he didn't make the same impact that Johnson made at Miami Schnellenberger didn't stick around. How long enough to do anything? Beyond claim that first title. It's true that Johnson also won only one title and like Schnellenberger coached at Miami for only five live seasons but Johnson reset the rules about how to succeed in college football rules that remain in place today and nothing about Jimmy. Johnson's arrival at Miami suggested that he would foment revolution in the sport. Guy From Port Arthur. Texas went to high high school with rocker. Janice Joplin played on the undefeated. Nineteen sixty four Arkansas team with Barry Switzer Jerry Jones. Nothing Johnson's background suggested the HIP vibe of south beach yet when Johnson arrived in Miami felted home immediately he came to Miami from Oklahoma state where he had been a winning. If not entirely successful coach I mean it one gains at Oklahoma state but we hadn't won anything. Johnson had a record of thirty twenty five and three and five seasons taking over a program hobbled by NCAA sanctions and he was a first time head coach in a big eight conference in which his biggest rival Oklahoma one early and often the only big eighteen to challenge jokela Homa Tom Osborne's Nebraska corn. huskers proved justice. Tough both Switzer Osborne's still emphasize option. Football is the head. The one thousand nine hundred seventy S. When the wishbone was king the big eight? The ancestral home of the big twelve away was occasionally known as the big too two. Little six. Johnson's Oklahoma state was one of the little six Oklahoma and Nebraska. It didn't leave much oxygen for any other programs but Switzerland Johnson were buddies. They'd played together at Arkansas. In the early nineteen sixties and coach together as assistance at Oklahoma. When Johnson was offered the job at Oklahoma state he called Switzer for advice? Switzer told him to take it. But I'm warning you Switzer Switzer said I'm GonNa beat your ass every single year. which he did Johnson made the cow pokes the best of everyone in the big eight who was in Oklahoma or Nebraska? A nineteen eighty-three Johnson's fifth season. They went eight and four Oak state-led Oklahoma twenty two three but lost they push number one Nebraska hard before losing fourteen to ten Johnson had grown as a coach. The the next great coach. Did anyone see that would be easy to say that Sam Jank Rich. The Miami Athletic Vladic director saw it. He hired him but Jankovic didn't make me line stillwater. Jackovitch talk half dozen or so coaches one. One of the guys he interviewed was another young head coach. In the state of Oklahoma John Cooper of Tulsa who went on a hall of fame career at Arizona State and Ohio state Defense it'd been told that Johnson was gettable but fate brought the two men together more accurately in an elevator. Did jackovitch ran into Johnson. The Elevator Bank of the Hyatt regency in downtown Dallas. The College Football Association met there every spring knows days the CFA served as a lobbying group for the major football schools within the NCAA. Johnson and Jankovic said hello and chitchatted Johnson. Nude Miami needed a coach. Johnson's predecessor Schnellenberger the architect detective the hurricanes improbable rise to number one. The previous season bugged out of Miami on Memorial Day weekend to take a job as a head coach in the USFL. The the United States football league one in a series of pro leagues that have tried and failed the play football. In the spring a June vacancy stands out in a way that up postseason vacancy wouldn't when they saw one another at the elevator. Johnson said Sam. I wouldn't mind living on the beach myself off Jankovic eyebrows. No doubt raised said you wouldn't. Let's get together and fifteen minutes. In a matter of days. Johnson had taken over the hurricanes in that first season it looked and felt as if he were leading. Someone one else's program not only did he have schnellenberger's players Yeah Schwammberger assistance three of whom applied for the head coaching job and hadn't gotten it. It was a ten season. Hurricanes finished eight and five with three straight to point losses to end the year and one of them. Miami blew a thirty one to nothing. Halftime lead against Maryland in another became fell to Boston College. When Eagles quarterback Doug flutie threw one of the most famous Ms Hail Marys in the history of the game but after the season Johnson made sure he made the Miami program his he brought in three renew assistance and he flipped schemes to play his brand of football? Next Four Seasons the hurricanes went forty four and four. They won one national championship and lost to others. By total of five point out. The Johnson emphasized speed speed speed and and more speed even if he had sacrificed size. Johnson wanted guys who could run throughout its history college. Football has been a battle of strength and speed in its earliest years. Before the forward pass force teams to play on the entire field strength dominated dominated is the game refined. It's offensive rules. Speed and quickness came more into play as late as the nineteen sixties bear Bryant Bryant one with what he called his little quick guys in that era of one platoon football players played offense and Defense Alabama average average fewer than two hundred pounds per man by the end of the nineteen seventy-one season however Bryant noticed in the Orange Bowl national championship game. That his little quick guys got mauled by Nebraska's bigger quick guys not to mention that the rise of the wishbone and other forms of option football in the late nineteen sixties and Seventies. I emphasize strength and power speed had a role in the option of course but make no mistake. The option dependent on power to Switzer used to brag about how little the sooners past the football when he had been Oklahoma's offensive coordinator the sooners wants gained. Five hundred sixteen yards against USC USC. I running the ball seventy two times and throwing once and that one throw was an incompletion to combat the option defense has got bigger you needed big corners and safeties who could take on the student body rights sweep who could disrupt the Oklahoma wishbone option. Pitch as the offense tried to turn the corner in Move Upfield. Take the nineteen eighty all America team the safeties Kenny Easley of Ucla and Ronnie Lott of USC both stood at least six to wait at least two hundred pounds granted easily and lot are both members of the college and Pro Football Hall of fame. They were really good. Their size wasn't unusual. Johnson wanted sized to. You just didn't want it. I you wanted speed and he had come to the right place. When Johnson's predecessor Howard Schnellenberger took over at Miami yet famously said that he wanted to build a fence around? Miami Johnson looked at the wealth of high school talent in the Miami in the area and throughout the state of Florida and he saw what he loved size and speed but not in that order. Here's Jimmy I think As far as me warning fast players quick. There's obviously you want the big fast players but sometimes you gotta make a choice and his face was always so important. Johnson had a couple of big fast players Jerome Brown as we will see set. A new standard ended on the defensive line at six to two hundred and eighty five pounds. Any blades. A six foot. Two hundred seven pounds safety ran so fast he was invited. Invited to the nineteen eighty-four Olympic trials in the four hundred but when Johnson had to make a choice believed his fast defenders could outmaneuver the big men Dan and the option offense he believed his passing offense would dominate. The big defense is built to stop the running game. It's almost as if he carried the torch. Bryant's philosophy of speed. I allow me to make a quick point here because those of you who know. Bryant's career know that. He never believed in in a single offensive philosophy over the course of his four decades as a head coach. Bryant threw the ball. You ran the ball. He used the t formation Asian. Use the I formation. And as an early adopter of the wishbone he won three National Championships. In the seventies Bryant said formations agents don't make players players make formations choosing speed. I Johnson Johnson is as I said essentially carrying Bryant's torch. There is a connection between Johnson and Brian Johnson played in high school football for a guy named puck shot underwood whose name if nothing else belongs in the Texas Sports Hall of Fame Actually Buck shots career as a high school. Coach earned him the hall of fame. Honor Buckshot Underwood's served in the navy with Bryant during World War Two coach for him at Kentucky Kentucky afterward buckshot believed in speed everywhere on the Field Johnson. The second fastest player on the team played on the line. Johnson believed in speed. Because that's what had gotten him that football scholarship to Arkansas. He learned at an early age. What speed could do we? He became a head coach. He recruited speed like Bryant. Johnson believes speed would be more effective than size over the entirety of a sixty minute game. Hey here's what Jimmy said. I did it editor Oklahoma State University of Miami. That's why I recruited. I didn't want the big two hundred sixty pound linebacker. I wanted to one hundred ninety five two hundred pounder that could run like a deer. The Guy Guy that can run and I've told players is time and time again if you can run and you're in great condition that fourth quarter. You're still running the fourth quarter that two hundred sixty pounder. He's starting to slow up a little bit. And so I wanted to speed on our football team. For instance Johnston's defensive offensive ends at Miami in one thousand nine hundred eighty six averaged only two hundred forty three pounds. He embraced a five foot. Nine wide receiver named Brett Perriman. He signed a linebacker from Dallas. Named Jessie Armstead. Who might have weighed? Two hundred pound. Perelman armstead went on to long careers in the NFL. Among Johnson Second Class of recruits the twenty players who signed with Miami in February nineteen eighty six eighteen of them weighed less than two hundred hundred fifty pounds. Granted players are bigger now but in that same year one thousand nine hundred eighty six Alabama signed nine players. Who weighed eight more than two hundred and fifty bar states on five? Miami signed only two. There are a couple of other points to make about Johnson and the the players he wanted the scheme to used emphasized their speed is players. Played faster as they sped up a game. They force their opponents to play faster often faster than they were able physically able but men elite to nineteen eighty. Six Johnson said our style is to caused turnovers sacks fumbles it is psychological as much as anything you know who works hard rookies. Sure they make mistakes but no one's got more to prove knowing each day's another opportunity to outworked them all earned the respect they deserve. That's why after one hundred thirty years car heart still approaches each day with the passion and Work Ethic Vic of company. That's one hundred thirty years young. Same hunger same determination same giant chip on the shoulder and in the same way a rookie needs to work hard earned the respect of their peers. Everything car heart makes has to keep earning the respect of the hardworking people who wear it. That's why car heart still works like a rookie. Okay and why Carl Hart will keep out working them all for the next one hundred thirty years to visit car heart dot com forward slash. CFP learn more and shop shop. This season's hardest working gear the best way to demonstrate the difference in Johnson's philosophy at Miami Miami and how it came to dominate college. Football is to look at Miami's three consecutive victories over Oklahoma Canes Played The sooners in one thousand nine hundred eighty five in nineteen eighty six nineteen eighty seven and one each game handily. I twelve thirteen and six points respectively. Barry Switzer had coached Oklahoma for a decade. He had won two National Championships in the seventy s in the mid eighties. Still using the wishbone attack. Oklahoma contended for the national title in four consecutive seasons. The sooners held the flag that Jimmy Johnson wanted to capture the year before the series. Nineteen eighty-four the sooners. Nearly won the national title. They did win it in one thousand nine hundred eighty five albeit with one loss offs and they also lost only one game in one thousand nine hundred eighty six both those losses their only losses in those two seasons. Were to Miami Hamming Autobiography bootleggers boy. Switzer entitled Chapter. Oh but for Miami. Miami was dominant in a twenty-seven fourteen upset at number one Oklahoma in nineteen eighty five but the result of that game turned on one play. Jerome Brown a guy who has big and fast chased. Sooner quarterback Troy Aikman to the sideline tackling. He got pinched between two hundred and thirty pound John. mcvay and two hundred seventy sixty five pound jerome round. That's no fun Aikman's ankle all did not survive the tackle in one piece now. Don't worry about Aikman is ankle healed up and he transferred to Ucla where he passed the ball in an offense. Didn't it didn't run all the time more about him later. Anyway all the sooners had behind Aikman was an ill prepared freshman quarterback Djamil Holloway Probably California outstanding in high school as a wishbone quarterback in highschool. Todd top Holloway learned enough that he led Oklahoma to the National Championship Championship game against the defense. That had the speed to neutralize his unschooled talent. Oklahoma had little chance secondhand. Call it a five five yard. Pickup Holloway Rolls Back. Throw get just pass on. He has a man it is late getting there and it is almost intercepted by Bennie blades. The freshman between guests not having the time and not enough practice is late with about one of the great hidden benefits of using the option. Option offense as Switzer did for so many years was that the methodical marches downfield chewed up the clock and kept the opposing offense off the field. It's hard underscore if your offense is on the bench but the hurricanes defense can genuinely got the ball back for Miami. And it's young quarterback talented passer named Vinny Testaverde's verdict has some open gets away Bassett. Good urban he sees the game as his opportunity to show what he could do. The Key West Testaverde's scramble concentrating downfield banning perceive testaverde's Verdy threw for two hundred seventy yards against the team that had allowed one hundred twenty one yards of total offense running and passing per game after game. Johnson Johnson said Oklahoma has good defense against running but they had not faced the kind of team we have. This is certainly no surprise to me the next year the rematch with both teams preparing for it. All year carried no elements of surprise. Oklahoma came in is number one again but this time Miami was number two in the canes were at home this game didn't turn on one and play. It never turned it all. The game started out in Miami's direction and it never changed hurricanes. One Twenty eight to sixteen testaverde in route to the heisman. Trophy through for all four Miami touchdowns Switzer talk about after the game. TESTAVERDE's arm time. No his feet his ability to move as six foot. Five quarterback in the Miami defense established itself against the sooners option. Game Him again. The fullback running up the middle is one of the basic weapons of the wishbone offense. Oklahoma fullback greg car averaged five yards per carry very coming into the game against Miami. He rushed for six yards total two decades after the game aim. The daily Oklahoman newspaper published a piece looking back at the Miami Oklahoma series any blades. The Miami Safety who was big and fast uh-huh is now in the College Football Hall of fame. He told the Oklahoma that the canes defensive speed combined with discipline shut down the wishbone We just basically built a line at eight yards and with the speed we had on defense took away. The first two options blade said remember. The wishbone also was known as the triple option. quarterback could give the ball to the fullback. Give it to the halfback or keep it himself. If a defense react so quickly that the quarterback must keep the ball at is going to be one sewer quarterback building. Doing a winning team is all about finding the right people for the job. That's why college coaches all over. The country spent so much time recruiting players. They need on the field and when it comes to hiring being for your business. There's no better tool than linked. In linked Dan provides a vast array of recommended job candidates all in one organiz place over six hundred million members visit Lincoln to make connections learn and grow as professionals and discover new job opportunities. That's how I make sure your job post gets in front of people with the right hard skills and soft skills to meet your row requirements. Things like collaboration work ethic adaptability linked. Dan Does the legwork to match view to the most qualified candidates. So you can focus on hiring the person who will transform your business to get fifty dollars off your first job post go to Lincoln Dot com slash. CFP THAT'S LINCOLN DOT com slash C. F. A.. Get fifty dollars off your first job. Post terms and conditions apply hurricane swept through the one thousand nine hundred eighty six regular season with an undefeated record only to be upset in the festival. testable by Penn state went undefeated and won the national championship in nineteen eighty seven closing it out with victory in the Orange Bowl against you guessed it. Oklahoma Oklahoma sooners scored a late touchdown on a trick play to make the final score. Twenty two fourteen closer than the game really was after the game name. His third loss in as many seasons Miami Switzer answered the obvious question with an obvious response. No I don't WanNa play them again. I never never want to play them. Never did the year after that in one thousand nine hundred eighty eight Miami lost only one game one point at At Notre Dame which went undefeated and went on to win at all. Johnson left Miami a couple of months after the season lured to the Dallas cowboys by their new owner owner. Johnson's Old Arkansas teammate. Jerry Jones the same year the Johnson left Miami Switzer got pushed out at Oklahoma Nebraska. ASKA quickly took control the big eight. In fact Johnson coached his last game at Miami in the Orange Bowl against the huskers in dominated them even worse. Then he had the sooners three years later after the nineteen ninety-one season Nebraska got outclassed again in the Orange Bowl by a Miami team on its way okay to another national championship. So husker's coach Tom. Osborne changed his defensive scheme to become more like Miami. Osborne put faster players. There's on the field especially on defense. The effect was immediate. Nine thousand nine hundred ninety three Nebraska nearly won the national championship. Huskers huskers then finished number. One in three of the next four seasons the first one nine hundred ninety four came in the Orange Bowl where the huskers gained a measure curve. Revenge by defeating Miami twenty four seventeen Jimmy Johnson by then it becomes the first coach to win a national championship and a super bowl. In fact he won consecutive super bowls with a quarterback he drafted from. UCLA by the name of Troy. AIKMAN IS ANKLE WAS JERSEY. I found Anyway National Championship or Super Bowl. Johnson has never hesitated to say which he enjoyed more. I used to say the most fun time in my life when I was at University of Miami and coaching there and we won so many games. That's why it was fun in College. Football Ball especially in college. Football Imitation is the sincerest form of coaching. When the powerhouses succeed with a new wrinkle everyone one else tries to use that wrinkle defenses got faster offenses went to the UPTEMPO? Spread in the game is way way different than it was played in the nineteen the eighties. The fact is the renewal. An emphasis on speed and athleticism has allowed more players to shine the use of UPTEMPO spread offenses offenses in the run. Pass option is giving US outstanding. quarterbacks like Baker Mayfield and Kyle Murray both of them won the heisman trophy both of them were selected as the first pick in the NFL draft and neither of them is six feet tall. Jimmy Johnson is seventy six years old. You coached his last game of any kind twenty years ago. Johnson never coached the run. Pass option offense is never spread the field the way that offense pence is due today and yet the change he instituted at Miami lives on among the best teams in college football down in distance. Maysville the down and distance is part of ESPN's college football one fifty commemorating the one hundred fiftieth anniversary of the sport. If you like this episode please subscribe on Itunes or wherever you get your podcast. Down in distance is produced by Nina with help from Scott's Sabers

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