Vaughan Johnson, one-fourth of the famed DOME PATROL linebacking corps of the Saints defenses in the late 80's and early 90's, will be inducted into the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame today in Natchitoches at 6:00 pm CST. (For the full schedule of induction events, go here. The festivities actually started on Thursday, folks!)
I can't believe I missed this bit last week when I was writing about Buford Jordan getting the nod. Morten Andersen will also be joining Buford and Vaughan on the dais tonight at the gala event. (Look for Morten's profile piece on CSC tomorrow.)
Make the jump to learn more about Vaughan Johnson...
With the completion of Johnson's induction later on today, the entire Dome Patrol will be ensconced in the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame (next stop, Canton?).
Jimmy Smith wrote a nice piece about Vaughan that appeared on nola.com yesterday, and in it, quotes from head coach Jim Mora and Mr. Johnson himself highlight one of my favorite aspects of his game:
"When I hit them," Johnson once said, "I like to see their eyes glaze over and roll back."
"I don't know if there was anybody who hit harder," said Jim Mora, the former Saints head coach who was the beneficiary of Johnson's defensive presence. "But he hit with some impact. He combined that size and strength and speed, and when he hit somebody, they felt it."
Yeah! Hit 'em harder!!!! (But don't forget to wrap up.)
Johnson played college ball at North Carolina State (Let's Back the 'Pack!!) and was drafted by the Saints in the 1984 Supplemental Draft, but he didn't play for the Saints until 1986, following his two years with the Jacksonville Bulls of the United States Football League.
He terrorized Saints opposing ballcarriers from his inside linebacking position from 1986-1993, collecting 669 tackles, 12 sacks, 11 forced fumbles, five fumble recoveries, and four interceptions while earning four Pro Bowl invitations (from 1989-1992). Citation.
Johnson spent a final, mostly uneventful year with the Eagles in 1994 before retiring from the game. He spends his time now working with his family's construction business in Morehead, N.C.
Johnson's segment in the following NFL Network "Dome Patrol" feature starts at about the two-minute mark...
Man alive!! Our defense was amazing back then, and part of me really misses seeing those guys play, although I don't miss seeing our pedestrian, impotent offense from those years.
Please share your Vaughan Johnson, Dome Patrol, or Jim Mora Saints memories in the comment area below. And if anyone will be there at the induction ceremony, please post a "The View From..." story for us, ok?