LSU coach Ed Orgeron plans to add longtime NFL assistant Bill Johnson to the staff as defensive line coach after current defensive line coach Dennis Johnson tore both patella tendons playing basketball this summer, according to a report by Bruce Feldman of the Athletic on Thursday.
LSU had to wait two days to make the hire of Johnson official due to a background check, but despite the short wait, Johnson was in attendance at LSU practice helping with the defensive line on Friday.
"We are excited to have Bill join our staff," Orgeron said in a press release Saturday. "Bill has a long track record of coaching and developing some of the top defensive linemen at both the NFL and collegiate levels. He will do a great job for us as we continue to prepare for our season opener."
Orgeron had announced defensive analyst Kenechi Udeze was coaching the defensive line after the NCAA granted the team a waiver to allow Udeze to coach on the sidelines. Udeze, who played under Orgeron at USC from 2001-2003, and graduate assistant Christian LaCouture, a LSU defensive lineman from 2013-2017, were going to handle on-filed duties while Dennis Johnson ran the meetings.
With the addition of Bill Johnson, both Udeze and Dennis Johnson, who is still in a wheelchair recovering from his injuries, will be moved into analyst roles. Bill Johnson began his coaching career as a defensive assistant in the early 1980s at Northwestern State when Orgeron was a player there.
He eventually worked his way to the NFL where he spent 18 season as a defensive line coach for four teams. He replaced Orgeron as the New Orleans Saints defensive line coach in 2009 and spent seven seasons with the team before moving on to the Los Angeles Rams for the last two seasons. Johnson won a Super Bowl with the Saints in 2009 and coached in last season’s Super Bowl with the Rams, but he was not retained on the coaching staff by Rams’ head coach Sean McVay.