Overrated: Meshawn Johnson

July 10th, 2013

Yes, NFL.com is breaking down the most overrated/underrated players in the NFL, going team-by-team each day without killing an otherwise good sports radio show.

Earlier this morning, Joe sent along the information that Dan Rachal believed that tight end Jimmie Giles was an underrated Bucs player, among others.

Now, for the overrated.

Among the five players Rachal listed as the most overrated was former Bucs wide receiver Meshawn Johnson.

Keyshawn Johnson — WR, 2000-03
The Bucs surrendered two first-round draft picks to acquire Johnson from the New York Jets in 2000 to improve an anemic passing attack. Johnson was the highest paid receiver in the NFL and in return, the Bucs passing offense went from bad to mediocre and they averaged a 15th place finish in scoring offense during Johnson’s tenure. His best year was 2001, when he ranked fourth in receptions and seventh in yards, but only hauled in one touchdown. After an argument with Jon Gruden, Johnson was kicked off the team in 2003 and never suited up for the Bucs again.

Outside of one great season, this is a no-brainer. Johnson was supposed to open up the Bucs’ anemic offense after the debacle in St. Louis in the NFC Championship game of the 1999 season. Yet, it was the same old ground-and-pound offense that would have made Sid Luckman roll in his grave.

Not until the Bucs obtained Keenan McCardell, Ken Dilger and Joe Jurevicius did the offense begin to open up. This of course didn’t take place until Chucky was running the show.

As Warren Sapp once asked on “America’s Game,” was Meshawn “one of those rare-air special guys? No.” But with weapons around him and with an offensive coach, Johnson was good. He didn’t necessarily make others around him that much better.

Meshawn may have been the best possession receiver in the game. He was reliable, never blinking going over the middle. Meshawn was also a helluva blocker.

Hall of Famer? No way.

Other wide receivers on that list include the immortal Alvin Harper and the notorious Hurt Emanuel.

24 Responses to “Overrated: Meshawn Johnson”

  1. Andrew 1 Says:

    my underrated bucs player= Shelton Quarles. prolly going to take some heat for that but i truly believe it.

  2. csidedave Says:

    Not a big Keyshawn fan but he was a big part of our Super Bowl season. Funny how they left that out.

  3. Buc'n Junkie Says:

    no argument here, besides what csidedave just said, he never lived up to the money and two first rounders. The Jets got us on that one.

  4. RCH Says:

    ” Johnson was supposed to open up the Bucs’ anemic offense after the debacle in St. Louis in the NFC Championship game of the 1999 season”

    I think we can all thank Shaun King for that one. You know the one of three quarterbacks that didn’t start playing till the end of the season that led the Bucs to a loss because he couldn’t put seven points on the board.

  5. Buc'n Junkie Says:

    You know, between him and Gruden, they cost us a lot of draft picks. We missed out on a lot of young high potential future players for those two.

  6. Couch Fan Says:

    I for 1 am not complaining Gruden didnt have more draft picks to phuck up. Lol, he was a decent coach but he was absolutely horrible at drafting.

  7. adamant Says:

    @Buc’n Junkie:

    “You know, between him and Gruden, they cost us a lot of draft picks. We missed out on a lot of young high potential future players for those two.”

    True, they cost us picks, but they also won a Superbowl! I will take that trade all day!

  8. J 2.0 Says:

    Keyshawn never had that break away speed to stretch the field, but he was one hell of a possession receiver. There were many passes where he put his body and health on the line to make the catch over the middle of the field. Was he overrated? Maybe. But not the most overrated Buc in my opinion.

  9. Couch Fan Says:

    J 2.0

    Who is the most over rated Buc in your opinion?

  10. Buc'n Junkie Says:



  11. the_buc_realist Says:

    Don’t forget in 2001 when we coughed up a first and second round pick to move to the 14th pick for Kenyatta Walker. To see all th probowlers after that pick will make you sick.

  12. the_buc_realist Says:

    @couch fan

    That’s easy. The Pop-star Gm!

  13. adamant Says:


    Everytime I read one of your posts, all that comes to mind is the “Debbie Downer” skits from Saturday Night Live. Wah-Wah. LOL!

  14. the_buc_realist Says:


    How about I will be positive when the we finally have a good team. Not running around saying we should have been in the playoffs if it weren’t for some Refs, Lady Luck and Bad Voodoo doctors.

  15. TrueBlue Says:

    “How about I will be positive when the we finally have a good team.”

    My how easy it is to jump on the bandwagon after the wins are in the bank. You don’t even have to do any real thinking. Let others take that risk.

  16. Oahubuc Says:

    James Wilder is so underrated he doesn’t even make the list. Probably one of the most underrated in league history. Lawrence Taylor said he was the toughest player he ever played against.

  17. Dave Says:

    Pretty obvious but good to see it in print.
    Keyshawn had the talent to be greater than he was. In his defense though, part of it was QBs and offenses.

  18. Buc1987 Says:

    I’ll go out on a limb here and say this. Since I’ve been a Buc fan 1987 there has not been a better looking offense on paper than we have this coming season. QB included. Yes the SB team had a pretty decent offense with Joe J, Meshawn, Dilger, McCardell, Johnson, Pittman, and Alstott. But nothing compared to what I’m looking at right now.

    I know this is off topic and all, but that’s how I always defend Gruden when idiots say it was Dungy’s team that won the SB. I quickly point out all the additions to the offense that was added in the offseason prior to that SB run. Gruden brought in Pittman, McCardell, Jurevicious, Dilger and what like 5 other guys. Not exactly all-pros but they did make a difference obviously. Dungy will always have a special place in my heart. I love the guy. Gruden on the other hand did bring us that trophy that brought me to tears when it was lifted in the air. Sometimes when I pop in the DVD every couple of years or so. I still shed a tear. Sorry that’s just what it does to me. I’m only stating all this because of what I typed about in the above paragraph. This current offense is better than the SB roster’s O.

  19. scubog Says:

    Well said 1987. It had to be tough becoming a fan in those years. The Bucs probably have had many more under-rated players than over-rated simply because many times the losing record made people outside the area think all of the players sucked. I always thought Jeff Faine was over-rated. Booger McFarland should be in the conversation.

  20. Buc1987 Says:

    Well scubog..I moved to the area from Cape Cod. At the time we moved I was into the Red Sox, Celtics and that’s it. The Pat’s sucked back then too. Plus I never really followed football until about 86 right before we moved. I was just learning the game and understanding it. So really I had no idea what I was getting into when I became a Buc fan or their history. I had a copy of Street & Smith’s magazine and Vinny was on the cover. Read all about how he was gonna be the saviour for the Bucs. So since I was already here I latched onto the hapless franchise. To which in hindsight was all Culverhouse’s fault, but what did I know. So now it’s Bucs, Sox, and Celtics. If baseball EVER gets a salary cap, then I will become an instant Rays fan like my mom and start watching again. If basketball stops allowing so much traveling to go on, then I’ll watch it again too. So right now I watch the baseball standings not the games and root for the Sox, (don’t hate me Joe)same goes for B-ball the standings only. As far as the Bucs though, that’s all I care about. #1 My family, #2 The Bucs. I can remember back then I first moved out of my parents house and could not afford cable. I would try everything in my power to get a good signal from the roof so I could watch the away games on channel 13. Went to a lot of home games in that blistering hot sombrero. Also listened to Gene many many times, and got used to the “TD Tampa Bay, nooo he dropped it”. My wife says Deckerhoff drives her crazy. I tell her he comes with being a Buc fan, so she might as well get used to him. Bucs, Bucs, Bucs that’s all that matters.

  21. Buc1987 Says:

    wow that was another book.

  22. Buc1987 Says:

    Also can’t wait to see the look on people’s faces when I decide to wear my Bucs jersey and Red Sox hat to a game sometime this season.

  23. scubog Says:

    Nice story 1987.

  24. C. Alaka Says:

    LMFAooo @ the “Hurt” Emmanuel, Joe you’re hilarious!!!