The Secret Behind Signing Leonard Johnson

June 8th, 2012

Yeah, Joe’s a little excited about rookie cornerback Leonard Johnson’s chances with the Bucs. He’s widely regarded as the best cornerback who fell through the cracks of the 2012 draft.

Now many point to Johnson’s high-water mark in college of holding eventual No. 5 overall pick Justin Blackmon to under 100 yards receiving in Iowa State’s upset over then-undefeated Oklahoma State last year as a reason why Johnson is a good cornerback.

But Andy Benoit of the gridiron thinktank believes the Bucs selected Johnson for his run-stopping ability, not so much his pass defensive skills.

Cornerback Leonard Johnson of Iowa State was one of the best players in the draft pool to make it to free agency. Johnson is short, a half-step slow, and does not have top ball skills, but he loves contact and finds a way to cover bigger receivers. He could have a long career as a slot corner who excels in run support and when buzzing around in underneath zones.

This makes all the sense in the world to Joe, and frankly, Joe didn’t think of this angle.

Look, the Bucs last year stopped opposing rushing attacks about as well as one could stop the Hoover Dam with a shovel. Running backs ran through the Bucs defense like wild boars. It was nauseating to watch.

New Bucs coach Greg Schiano said his No. 1 priority was to improve the rush defense. So signing a free agent cornerback who loves contact and can stop the run adds up.

17 Responses to “The Secret Behind Signing Leonard Johnson”

  1. ClayBURN94 Says:

    Sounds alot Like Ronde. Hopefully he has as much heart as Ronde.

  2. T in Orlando Says:

    I agree CB94, sounds an awful lot like Ronde. I hope this kid gets to spend some one-on-one time with #20, even though Barber is learning a new position.

  3. Macabee Says:

    If the RB gets past the D-line and then the LBs, by the time he get to the CB, isn’t that a 1st down already?

  4. BigBear Says:

    @Macabee: not if its out into the flats. That’s where so many potential long runs can be stopped short by not letting the runner get to the edge and turn up field.

  5. OAR Says:

    Speaking of Blackmon, thank goodness we didn’t pick that drunk idiot!

  6. princespanky Says:

    I think the secret behind signing Leonard Johnson is that the guy shows up on game day, works hard all the time and is a humble guy. I’m not going to attribute it to anything other then his ability to come up with plays and be a good teammate.

    He’s going to earn it just like everybody else, he just does it without the flash and in more of a throwback fashion. It’s good to see for all the right reasons.

  7. Nick2 Says:

    Ryan Torains 250 half time yards was the low water mark for rush defense in the history of Buccaneer defenses. I DVR’d that and went back to watch that first half a couple of weeks ago and almost threw up my lunch watching Raheems hapless defense get completely shreaded in one half. It was pathetic completely pathetic!!!!!!

  8. The Dutcher Journal (Pete Dutcher) Says:

    OAR Says:
    June 8th, 2012 at 2:19 pm

    Speaking of Blackmon, thank goodness we didn’t pick that drunk idiot!


    What’s the latest with that? Is it confirmed he was drunk? Or could it turn out to be a Mike Williams thing?

  9. The Dutcher Journal (Pete Dutcher) Says:

    This last year was the first year I didn’t DVR the whole season…my DVR went out. Kind of glad I didn’t get it.

    This year, I plan on having a fancy new DVR with a DVD burner, along with a PC-based recording system that will record off streams…just in case.

    I can’t afford tickets this year, but get a large settlement in February…so I might be getting a season ticket then. Bought tickets to several games last year to help prevent blackouts. Was a bad investment since other fans didn’t care enough to do the same.

  10. Bricen Says:

    I believe blackmon blew a .24, so yeah, he was drunk.

  11. Nate Says:

    Wow i didnt even know this guy.. Maybe he can be really good!

  12. Jessup Says:

    It’s nice when your CBs are physical and tackle well, but it’s just a perk. They need to be great in coverage. Having a CB that can tackle but not cover is like having a receiver that can block but not catch….and we all know how that goes. Hopefully his coverage skills are being underrated. Otherwise he is useless.

  13. The Dutcher Journal (Pete Dutcher) Says:

    Yeah, Jessup…I’ll wait to see him prove himself on the field. It’s easy to say he’s the next Barber…we have a habit of saying such comparisons to players around here. Hayes was hte next brooks, GMC the next Sapp. Sabby was the next Lynch even.

  14. pewterC Says:

    I thought it was obvious to most that he was brought on because of his physical approach (especially with the run). I’m a casual football researcher at best, but every scouting report I’ve ever seen of him points to his aggressiveness in run support as one of his shining attributes. SO WHY IS THIS A BIG SECRET???

  15. DallasBuc Says:

    What? A football player that tackles? On defense? That’s terrific! Why isn’t it on the news?
    Oh yeah, because it is not news.
    We have become so deconditioned to see the slightest crack of daylight hope in any player acquisition and we dream on like little kids of what will be.
    I know it’s slow news season but saying they like a corner (undrafted) because his tackling in SOME eyes is even better than his cover skills is not interesting, much less news worthy.
    Don’t start with your hater garbage either. I for one hope this guy is the next Barber HOF tackling machine too but it’s a little early.
    Dog days of summer
    Love all of

  16. teacherman777 Says:

    I want a tough, hard nosed CB in the roster. Blitz him, keep him in goal line situations, and he will be a tough special teams player.

    I watched Iowa State a few times this past season. And his name was constantly being called.

    I hope he has a great career!

    I love the Bucs!

    We Family homey!

    One Love.

  17. BrianW Says:

    Yeah, people saying he sounds like Ronde. Let’s hope so. But I wonder if this isn’t the same article we read about CB Tandy during the draft too! Let’s hope they’re both good!