“Career Backup” Doesn’t Suit JohnsonApril 6th, 2011
Writers from the other Bay area just won’t let those Josh Johnson-to-the-Niners rumors die.
And this time Johnson himself hardly threw a bucket of cold water on the idea of him playing for San Francisco and his former coach, Jim Harbaugh.
Oakland Tribune columnist Carl Steward caught up with hometown hero Johnson before a charity basketball game this week.
“I feel like one day I will have my opportunity, but I enjoyed last year a lot,” he said. “Even though I wasn’t playing much, it was a very successful year on my end I feel because my development has increased.”
If rumors are true about the 49ers’ interest in Johnson, nothing can happen now since player trades can’t be made during the lockout. Whatever happens, Johnson is confident Harbaugh will guide the Niners to a new era of glory.
“He’s a great teacher who gets the best out of his players,” he said. “He’s going to push you, but from a player’s perspective, he isn’t over-the-top. He’s just very straightforward, for the most part, in what he expects. At the same time, he was a player, so he understands both sides of it.
Johson’s enters his fourth season and likely will become an unrestricted free agent in 2012, depending on the new labor agreement. At 25 years old when the 2011 ends, Joe can’t imagine Johnson will be content to sign a multiyear deal with the Bucs to try and reach Danny White or Don Strock status behind Josh Freeman — even if Raheem Morris already tagged him as a “career backup.”
Joe would have no problem if the Bucs set Johnson free now for a fifth-round pick and found a veteran QB who has won football games.