Houston Roughnecks head coach CJ Johnson visits ABC13 ahead of UFL training camp

Friday, January 26, 2024
Houston Roughnecks head coach CJ Johnson discusses role and newly-launched United Football League with ABC13
The rebranded Houston Roughnecks of the United Football League will kick off their 10-game season in late March. Roughnecks head coach C.J. Johnson stopped by ABC13 to talk about the beginning of a new era.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- It's been said that in Texas, there are really only two seasons: football season and spring football season. Once again, Space City will enjoy professional football in the spring.

In late March, the rebooted Houston Roughnecks of the newly-launched United Football League will open their 10-game season. Roughnecks head coach C.J. Johnson, a coaching veteran of four decades, visited ABC13 on Thursday along with his wife, Angel.

"It's a new avenue," Johnson said of his role as head coach of the Roughnecks. "It's going to be great. We'll have guys that have been in the NFL, guys coming from the NFL going to the NFL. This is a chance for them to get more tape, get more exposure, and just to be in a place like Houston is wonderful."

Within the last two years, two spring football leagues have launched: the XFL and USFL. Recently, those two leagues merged to form the United Football League. The Houston Gamblers of the USFL rebranded as the Roughnecks of the UFL and tabbed Johnson, who won a Super Bowl as an assistant coach with the New Orleans Saints, to lead the squad.

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"You see so many young men that come through," Johnson noted of the UFL players. "They just need another opportunity, just need a chance - another chance just like me. The opportunity will be there, and with the fan support - I think we'll have a great product."

As of this writing, it's unclear where the Roughnecks will play their home games. It will not be at TDECU Stadium on the campus of the University of Houston, as that venue is undergoing construction.

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