The Return Of Michael Johnson

September 30th, 2014

One of the bright spots Sunday, aside from the glorious win over the Steelers, was the first appearance of defensive end Michael Johnson. Sure, the big-moneyed free agent was on the Bucs roster all season. But he finally showed up in the win.

Johnson had two sacks and five tackles. Cynics might say Johnson should have had a sack if he wasn’t blocked. Well, what is Johnson supposed to do, lie down on the ground because no Steelers offensive lineman put a body on him?

Yesterday, Bucs coach Lovie Smith discussed Johnson’s big day.

“What we brought him here to do: rush the passer,” Lovie said. “But not just rush the passer; play the run. You look at just about every one of his plays – to me, as I look at a player, every time you get an opportunity to strip the football, we want you going for the ball. Michael is doing that for the most part. I just liked his overall play. He tweaked his ankle a little bit early. Got rolled up again. Wasn’t lucky with that, but shook it off, came back in. We’ll need play like that from Michael throughout.”

The thing that impressed Joe was that Johnson not just played through an injury, he may have aggravated his ankle injury further. It was on the Steelers first possession Johnson got caught in a pile-up and he was on the ground, face-first. Three or four players, including Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell and two or three Bucs tacklers, landed on top of Johnson, including Johnson’s bum ankle.

Joe could see Johnson react in pain. He stayed on the ground for a while and Joe thought he might have to leave. But Johnson sucked it up and stayed in the game. And played well.

Below is Joe’s interview with Johnson after the game. Audio courtesy of Joe’s friends at WDAE-AM 620.

15 Responses to “The Return Of Michael Johnson”

  1. mpmalloy Says:

    Michael Johnson is not a poser!
    He’s the real deal!

  2. foghead407 Says:

    Lets see it again before you ket him off the hook. Still not worth the money yet

  3. Buddhaboy Says:

    we shall see. Let it play out. He has been invisible. Then he made a few plays.

  4. gatrbuc17 Says:

    Gatr told Joe and all that could see his type that Glennon would be starting by week 4

  5. biff barker Says:

    nothing like a historic beat down to help these guys find some pride.

    Johnson really showed some heart Sunday.

  6. MGMob Exterminator Says:

    I know before this game there was a lot of hating on Johnson, but watching him play in Cincy I was confident that at the very worst he will still be an upgrade over Slowborn. The pressure from left side however was MIA, AWOL and FUBAR. Gholston better step it up, too many expectations riding on him.

  7. JonBuc Says:

    As far as the “unblocked” sack goes…keep in mind Big Ben has made many o’ oncoming rushed either whiff or fail to make the tackle. I’m happy for Johnson…he was quickly becoming a scape goat up in here.

  8. Buccfan37 Says:

    Nice play Johnson. Replicate that effort along with the rest of the team’s improved effort and the Bucs can knock the Aints into last place in the division. I don’t think anyone will be picking the Bucs to win at New Orleans being 11 point dogs. Them getting handled at Dallas and coming home fighting to stay out of the cellar seems a tall mountain for the Bucs to climb. A win there would vault the Bucs future possibilities to the moon. Do it Bucs!

  9. Ray Rice Says:

    Remember Gaines Adams showed heart in a couple games too. Lets reserve judgement until he does it consecutively.

  10. SeanyMac in SC Says:

    I wish that sports medicine could make some sort of brace that would better protect ankles. Getting rolled up on happens far too often due to no fault of the player getting hurt.

  11. Dan Says:

    that was a low blow… ‘shows heart’. ouch. he died of a heart condition in 2010.

  12. Dan Says:

    * i meant “showed heart”

  13. unbelievable Says:

    Exactly its only 1 game… Let’s see some consistency and then the man can get his due praise.

  14. ddneast Says:

    I remember one game where Simeon Rice got 3 or 4 sacks against Washington refused to put in a back to help block him because The ‘ole ball coach, Steve Spurrier, kept wanting to pass out of an empty backfield. Nobody dissed Rice for getting those sacks.
    Besides, on that particular play, the Steelers had a back in to block, he just did’t do the job.

  15. BoJim Says:

    biff barker Said:

    “nothing like a historic beat down to help these guys find some pride.

    Johnson really showed some heart Sunday.”