“Felt Myself Creeping Down”

August 22nd, 2014
Michael Johnson explains one of his technical adjustments that need work

Michael Johnson explains one of his technical adjustments that needs work

Big money free agent Michael Johnson is adjusting to his new role in a new defense.

Yes, it seems odd that an athletic defensive end like Johnson is finding it challenging to start wide at the line of scrimmage and get up the field, but that’s what’s happening.

Johnson first talked about this a couple weeks ago, but elaborated this week to Jenna Laine, of SportsTalkFlorida.com. He explained, via the video below, that staying wide and getting vertical isn’t always so easy.

“I have to constantly remind myself to do that,” Johnson said. “I even felt myself creeping down, getting tighter in the game. It’s just an old habit that, you know, I’m going to continue to work on in practice and then carry over into the game. The way we play here, they want us wider and getting upfield and getting vertical, you know, not squeezing stuff as much. It allows you to be a better rusher like that because you can be wide.”

Johnson went on to explain that his wider start is “trying to create space, and trying to create better angles to rush,” so the offensive tackle “can’t just jump you from the line of scrimmage.”

Perhaps Johnson just needs a little more time to adjust after a lackluster two preseason games and a nothing-special training camp? That seems reasonable. But it’s still hard to believe a sixth-year veteran edge rusher hasn’t dialed in faster, especially with ferocious Gerald McCoy alongside him.

(You can enjoy the full Johnson interview below.

16 Responses to ““Felt Myself Creeping Down””

  1. robert9 Says:

    very concerning! a DE that says he has to adjust to starting wide and going vertically after the QB. thats what he’s built for…..he’s not a DT, and after 6 years?

    sounds like a pretty weak excuse for a lackluster start

  2. Legarrettes Blunt Says:

    So you don’t feel the need to write an article about us signing a former first round draft pick Larry English but you write about this? Questionable…

  3. Bucwild007 Says:

    Wow you guys are ridiculous Google or Bing or whatever you want to search for Simeon Rice preseason stats for 2001 if you can find it…. This proves that preseason stats are meaningless!

  4. DallasBuc Says:

    Questionable?…Larry English was just cut and most likely will not make this team. What is there to write about? Our overpaid starting FA RDE is struggling to show up. That is a much bigger and relevant topic.

  5. BucsfaninChina Says:

    He will be fine. Much more worried about who is playing LDE and the other DT spot next to Gerald. And the Slowborn jokes are already stale.

  6. Tom Edrington Says:

    It’s amazing. Can anyone out there imagine a VERY highly compensated individual in any business setting having to learn how to do his job properly?

    What this guy needs to do is break out the film on Simeon Rice and just watch and learn.

  7. LutzBuczFan Says:

    When I hear “It’s trying to create space”, I can’t help but thing of Lavonte David lurking back there, even though MJ is talking about rushing the passer.

  8. robert9 Says:

    eggzactly tom. Simeon just friggin beat his man when it mattered. 3rd and long. sack

    almost anytime we needed him he was there. the definition of money!

  9. Louis Friend Says:

    I’m not judging any starter based on preseason performance – unless they sucked before they got here (Cousins, Meredith, etc).

    Let’s see if he gets his brain in gear by Weeks 1-2 before we get too panicked about it.

  10. Capt.Tim,Back from Davie Jones's locker Says:

    Not a big deal. All he’s saying, is that he lining up in a new spot, and it’s taking some adjustment. Let’s not panic and overreact to every single word that’s said.
    Johnson has speed of the end. Like Simeon before him- I believe Johnson is focusing on technique during the preseason. Think he turns on the speed, when the games start counting!

    And why not? Why give our opponents ape on his best moves- in games that mean nothing? I think Johnson will wreak havoc next to McCoy.
    I’m excited to see them- once the games start for real

  11. Capt.Tim,Back from Davie Jones's locker Says:

    “Tape” not “ape”
    Damn big fingers!

  12. Big Marlon B Says:

    Everyone needs to chill. He is used to “squeezing down” a bit, because he happens to be a very good run stopper as well. He spent 5 years playing that way, so making some minor adjustments and staying wider to create rush lanes really isn’t alarming. He will be fine, and everyone will be on his d!ck by midseason saying how they loved this signing from day 1. He is not a 1 trick pony. It all just depends on what a coach asks a player to do within a particular system.

  13. FLBoyInDallas Says:

    Zimmer ran a much different defense in Cincy than what Lovie is running here. Of course there’s going to be an adjustment period for Johnson. He’s talented and a smart player. He will get it, and it won’t take too long.

  14. Orca Says:

    People love to b!tch. Simple as that. It’s two meaningless glorified practices into preseason and people are already declaring their verdict on the Johnson signing. That’s just plain stupid. Seriously, some of you need to be medicated.

  15. tiny tim Says:

    I am sure none of you guys even remember this, but Simeon Rice’s first year in this system did not start out so great. He only had one sack in the first 8 games and people were wondering if he was a bust. He was not use to the way the bucs lined up either. Once he got used to the system, he had 10 sacks over the next 8 games to finish with 11 on the season. The following years he was at 15 sacks per. I am one who questioned the signing of Johnson at that price, but the fact that he is having trouble adjusting is not hard to comprehend. It happened to the great Simeon Rice so for this guy to struggle should not be unexpected.

  16. Brandon Says: