Lovie: Michael Johnson Will Be Fine

August 23rd, 2014

Bucs DE Michael Johnson will be just fine, said coach Lovie Smith.

Training camp wasn’t even over yet when Joe was getting messages from loads of fans, “Why aren’t you writing about Michael Johnson?” Of course, there were other players Joe was asked about, but none more so than Johnson.

(As most readers know, Joe is about topics and happenings. Joe won’t write about a player just because he is on the roster. A guy has to do something — bad or good — in order for Joe to care.)

Joe initially thought the reason Johnson was pretty much invisible in camp was because the defense had strict orders not to drill people. Practice is for improving, not trying to end careers. That’s partially why quarterbacks are not allowed to be touched.

Soon, when the preseason games began, Johnson’s play very much mirrored his practices; He was out on the field but that was about it.

Joe contends one reason Johnson recovered a fumble versus Miami, a ball jarred loose by Gerald McCoy, is he was in perfect position to recover the ball — three or four yards away from Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill.

Partly because the Bucs, outside of GMC, have stunk old tuna fish in rushing the passer, and because Lovie Smith has put such an emphasis on rushing the quarterback, and the Bucs rushed to throw bags of cash in the lap of Johnson to produce sacks, folks have a high standard established for Johnson, fair or unfair.

Earlier this week, Lovie cautioned fans that he is convinced the Johnson they expect will show up in the regular season.

“I’ve seen good play from Michael,” Lovie said. “But the dominating play that I feel like we’re going to get? No we haven’t seen that. But we haven’t seen that from any guys on our football team. Gerald McCoy has been dominating. But I would say, around the league, a lot of the players that will end up playing great ball during the season haven’t played this great ball during the preseason. So I don’t look into too much from the preseason on how guys play. One thing, of course, is stay healthy and get the defense down and we’ll turn them loose from there. Very pleased. No disappointment in Michael Johnson.”

Joe sure hopes that is the case. However, Joe is suspicious of any NFL player who allegedly can just flip a switch. It is somewhat dangerous to believe in that. Easy to say, much more difficult to do.

Lovie always talks about how the Bucs need sacks, and that sacks and quarterback pressure are keys to his defense. So pardon Joe and other fans if we wonder if the Bucs truly got what they paid for in Johnson.

Yes, of course, time will tell.

8 Responses to “Lovie: Michael Johnson Will Be Fine”

  1. Brandon Says:

    Oh, so Lovie isn’t going to cut him and replace him with preseason super star George Johnson? Smart move. I wish some of these fans that think the sky is falling because of preseason games need to get a grip. The Detroit Lions went 4-0 in the preseason not too long ago and then went 0-16 in the regular season. Preseason is COMPLETELY meaningless.

  2. SAMCRO Says:

    I find it humorous how Joe defends being critical by using the word “fan” like a human shield. That’s the most key and operative word in media circles. That single word is supposed to completely exonerate a scribe from the wrath that they receive when they have recently or continually publicly scorn a player to no end. It’s that secret word that is used to deflect personal attachment and to devoid their involvement as being the most vocal ringleader. “Fan” essentially means “not me” … “them”. lol

  3. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Let’s see…..Michael Johnson has played the equivalent of one half of a game….so we are judging him on that?
    So, he has no sacks and 1 fumble recovery….that projects to no sacks and 32 fumble recoveries on the year…..I’ll take that.
    How ’bout we give the guy at least a couple of full games.

  4. Architek Says:

    I said it once and I will say it again, what had Johnson done to warrant the ire of media types, about pre-season performance?

    There is something to be said for a player that’s admittedly working on adjusting to a alignment hurdle.

    At least he’s transparent and open versus denying there is a problem. Let him evolve – if Lovie is okay with him then you all should back off!

  5. Joseph Mamma Says:

    The preseason is meaningless crap was spout off last year when Freeman couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn with the ball. Turns out that was pretty telling don’t ya think.

  6. Jeagan1999 Says:

    Pre-season is pre-season….doesn’t really mean anything in the long run, but it would have been nice to see Johnson at least flash a bit of the playmaking ability we know he has. GMC has been in the offensive backfield, dragging down RBs and harassing QBs all preseason…we know what he can do because he’s shown us all preseason. We just haven’t seen the same from Johnson at that makes me nervous…is he out of shape? Is he injured? Was he told to not do too much in this preseason games? Or was the 11 sacks a couple years ago just an aberration, and what we are seeing now the real Michael Johnson? I suppose we will find out in just a couple of weeks.

  7. Brandon Says:

    Joseph Mamma Says:
    August 23rd, 2014 at 10:24 am
    The preseason is meaningless crap was spout off last year when Freeman couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn with the ball. Turns out that was pretty telling don’t ya think.


    QBs are a totally different story. Building a rhythm with receivers and making accurate throws are quite a bit different than running, blocking, and tackling….or do you really think QBs and DEs are pretty much the same?

  8. d-money Says:

    I sometimes dream of a day In the not so distant future when the Bucs are good enough that fans don’t hang all of their hopes and dreams on preseason games.