Michael Johnson: A “Success Story”

October 22nd, 2014


Right now, when Bucs fans broil in the sun at the Stadium on Dale Mabry Highway, they just slam their souvenir beer cups on the concrete floor of the stadium in disgust when they watch opposing quarterbacks loft passes without a Bucs jersey in the same zip code.

It has become a long-standing Bucs tradition.

Though it hasn’t boiled over yet, there is a bubbling irritation with first-year Bucs defensive end Michael Johnson.

The $24-million-guaranteed man came to the Bucs with the expectation of bringing heat off the edge. So far Johnson has brought little. He had two sacks against Pittsburgh (one where he wasn’t blocked), his sack total for the season. To be fair, Johnson injured his right ankle early in the season opener against the Stinking Panthers.

For Bucs fans, Johnson has failed. Vikings coach Mike Zimmer, Johnson’s coordinator at Cincinnati, spoke otherwise during his teleconference with the Tampa Bay pen and mic club this morning.

“I have a lot of admiration for Mike, that’s No. 1,” Zimmer said. “He was a guy that we drafted in the third round, had tremendous ability, intelligence and unbelievable character and he was really one of the great success stories in my coaching career as far as where he was able to go and the things he was able to do. I know that he’s had that injury that’s nagging him, but I’m sure he’s much better and healthy this week with the time off that he had. He’s a good kid and he’ll continue to do what’s best, not for Mike, but what’s best for the team.

“I think [the Bucs] defensive line is excellent with Gerald McCoy [who] could be the best three-technique in the NFL and obviously I like Michael Johnson a lot.”

Whatever pixie dust Zimmer used on Johnson Joe sure hopes he tells Lovie. After the game will be just fine.

Look, the Bucs — even Johnson — will tell folks, hey, everybody is dinged up this time of the year. While Joe is willing to accept Johnson is less than 100 percent, the Bucs cannot have it both ways. If Johnson’s injury is hampering him this much, either get him off the field or fess up that he may have been a major misfire in player evaluation.

Or bribe Zimmer to find out how he got Johnson to be a feared pass rusher.

24 Responses to “Michael Johnson: A “Success Story””

  1. RastaMon Says:


  2. bucrightoff Says:

    We paid him $17 million more in his contract ($43 million total) than he had total sacks (26). It was always a gamble giving a guy with middling production a huge deal. And clearly it appears to have backfired.

  3. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    The eternal “Bucoptimist” in me tells me that it’s too soon to pronounce him a bust….the “Buc Realist” in me tells me that he is on a long list of FA failures…..Goldson, McCown, Collins are also on this year’s list. There are others but they aren’t being paid the big bucks….

  4. ElioT Says:

    Funny how Zimmer didn’t bring “Klennex” to Minnesota?

    Go Sucs!

  5. Wombat Says:

    Looks like Tarzan, plays like Jane… nuff said!!

  6. DB55 Says:

    “He’s a good kid”- zimmer

    And there lies the problem. Simeon, Brooks, sapp, and lynch were never described as good kids. If you asked me about either one id tell you “he’s a baaaad man”.

  7. ddneast Says:

    I hope Zimmerman is right.
    After two weeks in which Johnson had plenty of time to get treatment, rest and rehab his ankle, I doubt if he will me any healthier than he will be this week,
    I’m not comparing Johnson to Reggie White, but when the Packers first gave the bank away to him, it took him five or six games to get his first sack.
    I do know it’s near impossible to get a sack on a QB who continually takes 3 step drops, which, the reason they are doing them is to avoid the sack by getting the ball out quickly.
    It’s up to the DB’s to engage the receivers and get them out of the rhythm of the 3 step drop. Ours didn’t.

  8. OneLove Says:

    “If Johnson’s injury is hampering him this much, either get him off the field ” AND REPLACE HIM WITH WHO!?!?! They have given multiple people shots to step up and make plays, but no one has.

    Oh I forgot, it’s because of coaching… Pardon me, I forgot to think like an idiot again…

  9. lightningbuc Says:

    If last year’s lack of production from the D-Line was on coaching, which many Schiano haters said it was, then this years even worse lack of production has to go to coaching as well. Only an “idiot” would blame coaching one year, and then the next year, with pretty much the same players, not blame the coaching.

  10. OneLove Says:

    I mean if you change coaches and you have “pretty much the same players” not performing, then only an “IDIOT” would think it’s the coaching.

  11. BUC4LIFE79 Says:

    BRIBE ZIMMER PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He obviously knows something about Johnson that his current coaching staff doesn’t.

  12. BUC4LIFE79 Says:

    EVEN BETTER!!!! BRIBE ZIMMER to find out how his players have picked up his defensive scheme so quickly as compared to how Lovie’s staff has taught theirs.

  13. OneLove Says:

    Yeap, those Vikings picked that new defensive scheme up REAL QUICK!!! That must be why their 2-5!!

  14. The Fox Says:

    I feel weird suggesting it but Michael Sam is available and at least had a couple of sacks in the pre-season. (QB tackles for loss that is)

  15. Zam Says:

    It was a terrible off-season for the Bucs not to have a DE. Look at the free agents who were out there and actually signed with a different team. There were no Reggie White’s.

    Then look at the draft, after Clowney there was nobody.

    Paying Johnson guaranteed ef-you money was super dumb, but I’m glad I wasn’t in Lovie’s shoes. Bowers? Clayborn? Teo-Nesheim? Not a whole lot of options.

    Time for the Bucs to switch to a 1-6 defense.

  16. james Says:

    mr Johnson is on a long list of pay me for what I did on a good year, on a different team, now that I got my money, hey maybe I don’t need to work so damn hard anyway, ala carl gone fishing nicks. he is a bust ,a high dollar failure, and a non factor for the rest of his stinking tenure on this horrific club we call the bucs

  17. pick6 Says:

    you never heard a word about the vikings having interest in johnson, despite the zimmerman connection and them waving goodbye to Jared Allen. things that make you go hmmm….

  18. DB55 Says:

    BBUC4LIFE79 Says:
    October 22nd, 2014 at 5:26 pm
    EVEN BETTER!!!! BRIBE ZIMMER to find out how his players have picked up his defensive scheme so quickly as compared to how Lovie’s staff has taught theirs.
    Zimmer will stick his foot up your a$$ without hesitation, that could be why. Our staff buys ice cream and talks about the problem.

  19. PRBucFan Says:

    MJ article number 1,000,000,000

    I don’t think I have ever heard of one man with such a hard on for another.

  20. DallasBuc Says:

    Stop criticizing Michael Johnson. He is the second coming of Simeon Rice. My fellow fanboys on this site repeated it ad nauseum all off season so it was definitely true. Also, he looks like Rice which is what really counts anyway. But don’t look at all the years where he was really unproductive because the real Michael Johnson is the guy that had one good season. Ditto for McCown and any other Lovie FA.
    Finally I just want to tell all you haters to go away because you are bringing me down and I am a real fan and you are not so I hate you and wish Joe would just ban you all.

  21. Schianowasaninsidejob Says:

    “Whatever pixie dust Zimmer used on Johnson Joe sure hopes he tells Lovie.”

    A little less pixie dust and a little more angel dust might help his sack total.

  22. BucBob1 Says:

    Building a team through the draft produces hungrier players. After you hit paydirt the hunger is gone. Need I say more?

  23. MTM Says:

    Johnson just needs some time to figure out how to play this year. The guy has been injured since opening day. You know like the rest of the NFL. There are certain players that on their way up play great to get the big contract. Then once yhey get the guaranteed money they become injury prone. The Bucs organization has signed too many of these individuals. They have the highest paid injury reserve every friggin year!

  24. iamkingsu Says:

    Its this thing called disguise that zimmer uses. You threaten the A gaps with linebackers atthe LOS you let one drop back in coverage then you send a safety off the edge. I wanted zimmer even before Chip kelly stood us up. He knows how to get free rushers