By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher
Vaughan Johnson, a former NFL player, has died. He was 57.
According to NOLA.com, he died at his come in North Carolina. His story said he was battling kidney disease recently.
When Johnson played for the Saints, he was part of a defensive unit “Dome Patrol.” He played in New Orleans from 1986 through 1993.
“Vaughan was a special guy,” said Pat Swilling, one of the other members of the Dome Patrol. “You always hear that about people, but Vaughan really was. For a guy who would knock your head off on the field, his demeanor wasn’t like that. He always had a great smile on his face and was just a great guy. He will be missed.”
Before signing with the Saints, he played two seasons with the Jacksonville Bulls in the defunct United States Football League (USFL). He played for the Bulls in 1984 and 1985.
He also played for the Philadelphia Eagles during the 1994 season.
Johnson was a four-time Pro Bowler with the Saints. He is also part of the Saints Hall of Fame.
The “Dome Patrol” consisted of Swiling, Johnson, Rickey Jackson, and the late Sam Mills. In 2005, Mills passed away.
“I don’t know if there was anybody who hit harder,” former Saints coach Jim Mora said in 2011 when Johnson went into the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame, according to NOLA.com. “But he hit with some impact. He combined that size and strength and speed, and when he hit somebody, they felt it.
“Vaughan was equally as good as those other three guys that most of the publicity and attention went to. Rickey and Pat were great players, but those two guys were playing a position, where they were able to sack the quarterback. When you sack the quarterback, you acquire a lot of focus and media attention. They were great players, as was Sam, who called all our defensive plays and was a team leader. But Vaughan was just as good as the other three. I mean, physically, he might have been as gifted as any of them.”