Channeling Simeon RiceMarch 13th, 2014
Yes, the Bucs had a fine defense with a strong pass rusher in now Hall of Famer Warren Sapp. And that defense became legendary when it added defensive end Simeon Rice.
With Sapp creating havoc in the middle and Rice virtually unblockable on pass plays from the right side, that defense put the fear of God into opposing quarterbacks, from Brett Favre to Chris Redman. To give Bucs fans an idea how long it has been since the Bucs could regularly breathe on a quarterback, it is since Rice himself (involuntarily) left the Bucs, with Rice screaming that Chucky was “a scumbag” on his way out the door.
Why, it’s been so long since the Bucs had a decent edge rusher, going through players both drafted and bought, there’s a good chance fans won’t know what to make of a Bucs defensive end putting a quarterback on the ground more than a handful of times a season.
Newly signed Michael Johnson hopes to change that. When Joe spoke with him yesterday about how the Bucs were still trying to replace Rice, Johnson’s eyes lit up.
Not only does he know who Rice was, he wants to be like Rice.
“I have watched tape of Simeon Rice,” said Johnson, who was still at Georgia Tech when Rice played his last snap with the Bucs. “He was great at [planting quarterbacks]. I want to bring that same presence down here, no matter how I do it. I am excited to team up with Gerald McCoy and AC [Adrian Clayborn] and Da’Quan [Bowers] and all of those guys. We’re going to get after [quarterbacks]. I’m excited.”
Johnson, who came across as a really intelligent guy, a smooth talker, also discussed how he believes he can lead the way to a winning season. Johnson referenced how, as a member of the Bengals, the team went from the Bungles to an annual playoff team and why his low sacker number from last year is very, very deceiving.
Hear lots of Johnson yesterday by clicking on the orange button below, courtesy of Joe’s accomplices as WDAE-AM 620.