Michael Johnson: No. 83

May 25th, 2014

michael johnson 0311

As Joe warned, with the summer holidays starting, the stat nerds over at Pro Football Focus have rolled out their top 101 players in the NFL. Crunching numbers and clogging up Excel spreadsheets created this list.

The second Tampa Bay Buccaneer appearing, counting up from No. 101, is defensive end Michael Johnson, who played for the Bengals last season.

Johnson was tagged at No. 83.

The Bengals’ franchise player didn’t put up the attention-catching numbers he did in 2012, but his play was (in our eyes at least) a step up. Grading out as our fourth-ranked 4-3 defensive end on the year, it was Johnson’s complete play that really impressed us. Not only did he end up with 61 quarterback disruptions (12th most of his peers), but his run grade was only bettered by Rob Ninkovich. That’s why the Buccaneers paid the big bucks for him.

Best Performance: Week 3, GB @ CIN, +8.1

Key Stat: Johnson’s 25 defensive stops against the run were 6th most of all 4-3 defensive ends.

It warms Joe’s heart to see Johnson be so strong against the run. Stopping the run makes an offense one-dimensional, which plays right into the hands of a good defense. But Johnson was signed mainly to put quarterbacks on the ground. Early and often. Two years ago Johnson had double-digit sacks. Last season those numbers plummeted to 3 1/2.

Yes, Johnson was asked to do different things on his defensive line due to injuries and such. However, the Bucs need for him to be more like his 2012 self.

19 Responses to “Michael Johnson: No. 83”

  1. VinceNY Says:

    Pro Football Focus is actually not mostly based on number/stat crunching and spreadsheets. The grading system is based on watching film of EVERY single play that player has the ENTIRE season, and each play is graded and turned into a number based on how well the player performed. Johnson graded out better in 2013 than 2012.

  2. Macabee Says:

    I think Michael Johnson will do just fine. At least we know that he can do it because he’s done it before. But he’s not the only Buccaneer that needs to reprise his past performance. Doug Martin needs to play like he played in 2012, Jamon Meredith needs to play like he played in 2012, and Carl Nicks’ return would be greatly appreciated. I would also be impressed if Lovie Smith coached us to 10 wins as he did in 2012. We’re counting on a lot of Bucs to do encore performances. While I’m busy comprising this wish list, I may as well throw McCown in the spotlight and hope he plays like he played last year. I could go on…….!

  3. OB Says:

    Joe what is your take on Johnson and GMC being on the same side and you are the OC for the other team? Oh, might I ask if Mr David is on that side also?

  4. tiny tim Says:

    I saw this list. It had david as #5 and gmc as #3. I was shocked both were so high, but they deserved it as well.

  5. Netwalker Says:

    While sacks are important, I’d rather Johnson (or any lineman) be more disruptive than get more sacks. A quarterback pressure that leads to an interception is better than a sack but no one keeps numbers on that. Anytime a defensive lineman can blow up a play he’s doing his job. Is a tackle for loss really any different in result than a sack? Loss of down, loss of yards. I’ll take either. Maybe there is a psychological boost in the sack, but not as much as in an interception.

  6. pablo Says:

    Pablp still doesn’t think Micheal Johnson is all that good. He has to prove Pablo wrong thus season. Lining up next to GMC..

  7. Piratic Says:

    Piratic thinks that for Pablo, English is a second language.

  8. Netwalker Says:

    Netwalker thinks Pablo is a troll and posts the way he does simply to jerk the chains of other posters. Isn’t it obvious by now?

  9. SteveK Says:

    SteveK likes the addition of Michael Johnson. He comes from a playoff team the past two seasons, and will hopefully bring his winning ways with him to a Tampa.

    I bet we make the playoffs this year, first year without the pop star GMing us into subparville.

  10. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    OB Says
    “Joe what is your take on Johnson and GMC being on the same side…”

    I’m not Joe, but I assumed they were on opposite sides so that offenses had to split their resources?

  11. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    I hope Lovie has the same touch with FAs as Dungy did.

  12. William Says:

    @VinceNY thanks for sharing great to know

    @macabe great points

    Once the oline is finished there is a good chance with this coaching staff for us to see great things happen
    i”m sure the players are grateful for the change in coaching staff and are looking forward to perform at their best

    I”m curious about our special team This is another key part of our team to watch in preseason

  13. Mort Says:

    @VinceNY: Yes, if by the “Film” that they watch, you mean “TV Broadcasts” because that’s literally the only piece of video they watch. By their own admission. See #13 in their FAQ. Then as Joe indicates, they compile the information (very likely in spreadsheets) and make everything into a number. That’s basically the definition of number crunching.

    Not saying their analysis doesn’t add to the conversation, but some say it’s the bible, but they don’t know the responsibilities on each play, and they can’t see a significant portion of the play (because it’s not on the TV screen) it would seem to make their analysis at least subject to inaccuracies based purely on the methodology.

    Neat that they think so highly of Mr. Johnson though.

  14. OB Says:

    “Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    May 25th, 2014 at 11:27 am

    OB Says
    “Joe what is your take on Johnson and GMC being on the same side…”

    I’m not Joe, but I assumed they were on opposite sides so that offenses had to split their resources?”

    I would guess that they both are on the left side forcing the Right handed QB to his left, which I think, it is harder for him to throw with accuracy and power.

    We shall see in about two months if then.

  15. Owlykat Says:

    I was sold on Johnson from the start. This reinforces my opinion. Thanks Joe!

  16. TheShaz Says:

    Cullen did well in Cleveland with uknowns.

    He has some great players starting with McCoy. I agree with Netwalker, sacks are not the only thing. Hurries and pressures and stopping the run are very important.

    2 frigging months! I can’t wait for camp and the season to begin.

  17. Tampamac Says:


    Johnson is slated for RDE and GMC plays undertackle, which is the DT lined up between the C and LG so he and Johnson would be lined up next to each other. Johnson would be rushing from a right handed QB’s blind side which could cause a lot of sack-fumbles. Hopefully the success can be duplicated but it’s the same set up as when Sapp and Rice played next to each other and wreaked havoc.

  18. PRBucFan Says:

    No we need the 2013 Johnson lol

    Proved much more disruptive, sacks aren’t the only measure.

    Confusing how you would point all that out than say we need the 2012 MJ lol

  19. Tristan Berry Says:

    If he can be as good at getting to the QB as he was in 2012, and as stout against the run as he was in 2013, I’ll be a happy, happy man.