How Far Michael Johnson Has Fallen

November 28th, 2014

ESPN has stunning data

Based just on the first 11 games, it is clear the Bucs swung and missed on just about every free agent they bagged in the offseason. It is really depressing.

And don’t get Joe started on that slug Mike Jenkins.

Perhaps none stands out for missing the mark more than Michael Johnson. The defensive end was brought in to deliver consistent heat from the outside. He has done nothing of the sort. And a guy like Jacquies Smith, plucked from the streets earlier this season, has been far more productive.

Joe remembers the Bucs’ explanation for Johnson having but 3.5 sacks last year; he was asked to do other things in Cincinnati because Geno Atkins was hurt. OK, fair enough.

However, Adrian Clayborn, a Bucs’ first round pick at defensive end, also was asked to do other things last year (like the idiocy of having him guard Darren Sproles in pass coverage), but Clayborn, coming off major knee surgery, managed 5.5 sacks in 2013, so Joe was always suspicious of that reasoning for Johnson’s drop off in production.

Coley Harvey of BSPN has dug up another are in which Johnson has been a Bucs disappointment.

When the Bengals travel to Tampa this Sunday, they will be facing another defensive end with long, pass-batting arms. Former Bengals defensive end Michael Johnson, signed in the offseason by the Buccaneers, will be looking for his first pass deflection when he gets paired with veteran Bengals tackle Andrew Whitworth. That’s right, first. Johnson doesn’t have any pass deflections this season, according to ESPN Stats & Information, but he was tied for the league lead with eight last year.

How about that? A key element to stopping quarterbacks with a three-step drop is to bat down passes. The guy who led the NFL in that item last season has yet to register one with the end of the 2014 season nearing.

Now Joe will be fair and write the following: Joe believes, contrary to what others have written, Johnson does hustle. Case in point a play at Chicago.

Joe is angry for not jotting the information down as to where and when this, but Bears running back Matt Forte was running to his left off tackle where Johnson was filling the hole. Forte tried to juke Johnson, which didn’t work and Forte moved to his left, to the outside. Forte tried another move on Johnson, which didn’t shake the Bucs defender. Johnson was unable to corral Forte but his hustle forced Forte to the outside long enough for the cavalry to race in and save the day, dropping Forte for a minimal gain.

In some circles, this is also called “disruption.”

Had Johnson not been hustling, Forte could have had an easy first down. But Johnson did his best to slow Forte down for help to arrive, which is exactly what happened.

A guy dogging it wouldn’t have hustled that much.

27 Responses to “How Far Michael Johnson Has Fallen”

  1. SteveK Says:

    Shoulda kept Revis.

    Lol we effing suck, and our FAs blow.

    Johnson and EDS should give the Bucs fans a refund.

  2. MGM4Life Says:

    Any team that is not trying to re-sign a player….stay away – buyer beware. Also, never make deals with Bill belichek. 2015 season cannot get here soon enough. To make matters worse the wife and kids got me my Christmas gift already,they are all excited for me. You know what the present is????? Tickets to the Bucs-Saints game. “Tis the season to be jolly”…………

  3. OB Says:

    I wonder if the line coach is telling him to put his hands up to block passes or is telling him to keep them down so he can tackle and he is confused and keeps them down during passes and up during runs since he isn’t making many tackles either? Just a thought.

  4. MGM4Life Says:

    In reading more about our two biggest FA busts I found this –

    How do you go from being the 8th best in the league to the 32nd best in less than one year?

  5. Bill Says:

    @MGM The Bengals didn’t let Johnson walk, the Bucs overpaid for him the season after the Bengals made him their franchise player.

  6. gotbbucs Says:

    He doesnt have the motor and quick twitch reflexes that the great speed rushers have and he doesnt have the strength to over power either. He’s got slow hands as far as using moves and he plays with horrible leverage for as tall as he is. He is an average at best DE. He is a left defensive end, not right.

  7. billy buckaroo Says:

    The way they used and positioned Johnson didn’t help anything either.
    Poor game planning

  8. bucrightoff Says:

    He got paid, he stopped caring. Outside VJax, pretty much sums up every recent FA we’ve gotten. Green Bay is 8-3 with 48/53 players having only played for Green Bay. We need to go with that approach, FA is for loser franchises like us.

  9. Pete 422 Says:

    Draft a QB & then 2 OL. Target a pass rusher in ’16

  10. Joseph Mamma Says:

    There was some rumblings before the season that Johnson was going to be our new Simeon Rice. God, was that prediction way off at this point.

  11. DallasBuc Says:

    That’s a long way to go to convince us this bag hustles. It’s like saying that this guy is trying to win football games because one time you saw him try to do his job. Stop making excuses. Johnson alone is enough evidence to clean house, forget the fact that the entirety of his wholly owned sht sandwich of a football sucks right along with it. I’m pist. I wish other Bucs fans were too. This product is unbearable

  12. StPeteBucsFan Says:

    Agree with all that has been said about Johnson’s dismal performance. Except for the wild card in the equation, his physical condition. Perhaps his injuries have slowed him more than anybody wishes to admit. A broken hand for example might prevent somebody from using that hand to block or bat a pass just out of the hand of an NFL Q.B.

    Yes injuries could simply be an excuse, or they could be a mitigating factor. Just sayin’.

    Agree that he hasn’t done squat this year, perhaps he’ll return to form next year. But I wouldn’t make a Daquan Bowers mistake and count on him as our starting DE. He may improve and make a decent contribution to the rotation however IF his health has been a major issue.

  13. Pickgrin Says:

    Watching Jarred Allen yesterday – I wish we had brought him in instead of Johnson.

    In watching Johnson this year – I have noticed quite a few times that he does not seem to give maximal effort on a # of plays so this knock on him is definitely justified. Not sure why you are trying to give an example of when he did hustle – once – on 1 play that you saw Joe. What is that supposed to prove? That he doesn’t ALWAYS loaf?

    Unfortunately – Johnson is the 1 Free Agent that we can’t just walk away from because of the amount of guaranteed $ Licht included in his deal. It would cost too much dead $ to just cut him – and no one will trade for his over-priced contract – so lucky us. We are stuck with Johnson for at least another year or 2. Hope he comes around and starts playing up to his “potential”.

  14. CLW JB Says:

    He does not have an explosive first step, nor the leverage to bull rush like the great rushers do, plain and simple. He is a LE or spot RE, we swung and missed bad. Let the Smith guy start here, he is light years better

  15. DallasBuc Says:

    Cut his ass, eat the money and take the very public abuse and critisism. It is what a stand up man would do that has made a series of huge mistakes, this being paramount among them.
    LovieDovie&Co are not stand up cats so expect them to trot this stinkhole and his fellow FA stinkhole class out there next season. There is no hope left in this Bucs fan.

  16. DallasBuc Says:

    …but wait a minute, he is the second coming of Simeon Rice. Look at his body, the guy is a beast. He has great lean off the edge. Our Dline is unstoppable with him next to McCoy. Go Michael Johnson and go Lovie.

  17. Buccfan37 Says:

    Geesh, the Bucs searched high and low through the scrap heap to bring in talent to improve this team under new coaching. Obviously there was’nt much coveted talent out there to pick through. In this case another team’s trash did’nt pan out to be this team’s treasure. A second stab at getting it right is in order. It makes Lovie and company look like poor talent evaluators.

  18. SteveK Says:

    Schiano was on blast for making the D-Line stunt…

    SMH, Schiano got something from nothing.. Even GMC has 9.5 sacks under Schiano.

    Additionally, look at Josh Freeman, was his best statistical year under Schiano’s watch?

    Let’s go Lovie, make it happen…

    If we lost out, maybe we can pull a Cleveland, and hire Harbaugh as HC and Trestman as OC…

  19. 911bucs Says:

    Could be attributed to coaching. If he’s not producing then bench his @ss.

  20. ddneast Says:

    In the past the Bucs were blasted because they didn’t sign any FA’s. This year they did and they still get blasted.
    That’s why TB is known for having the laziest, stupidest fans in pro sports.
    We’re the only team in the NFL where the fans do a wave when our offense has the ball and is attempting a game winning drive.
    It is always an unknown factor of how a player will perform once he gets a fat contract with guaranteed money. See Albert Haynesworth.
    Unfortunately, in an honest attempt to better the team and put a better product on the field, choices like Johnson and Smith haven’t worked out.
    As for Jenkins, he didn’t cost much and although Joe holds a middle eastern type grudge against him, it isn’t like he is a millstone around this teams neck.

  21. Zam Says:

    time for a new D-line coach?

  22. THETRUTH Says:

    Joe , I made it a point to watch Johnson last game and at the start he was being disruptive on many plays he was in and hustling. Than I notice him jumping up and down after the team and his pressure caused a tackle for loss and he seemed to injure himself again cause you could see him limp off w/ Hurt ankle. Than he was out for a little while and didn’t come back the same. I would like to see him healthy but don’t know if that makes financial since.

  23. DB55 Says:

    Bennett, Peppers and Allen were all available but… Peppers played for Lovie for years and Allen played for frazier for years and we had the $8mil a year to pay them but… The real question is why did Peppers and Allen refuse to sign with us? Is it bc they want a ring before they retire or did they not want to play for their former coach? I vote they didn’t want to play for him.

    It’s just weird to me how some many people say Lovie is a player coach and is highly respected yet none of the Bears FA (except for the least coveted one Major Wright) signed with him. It’s interesting to say the least.

    Things that make you go hmmmmm!!!

  24. Joe Says:

    The real question is why did Peppers and Allen refuse to sign with us?

    The Bucs went after Johnson; not the other way around. The Bucs targeted Johnson as the highest priority signing.

  25. DB55 Says:

    Let’s say that is the case there’s still Hester, Tillman and I believe Jennings who were all available but only wright signs. Just seems weird. You would “assume” that players would beg to follow this “outstanding” coach/leader. Idk just food for thought I guess.

    I feel special, joe responded to me! 🙂

  26. Trubucfan22 Says:

    Peppers and Allen let it be known they wanted to play for a team that was championship caliber, and even the biggest homer didn’t expect the bucs to be championship material this season. Also Allen hasn’t really done anything this year. Peppers is still good, but the packers have Mathews on the other side making his job a lot easier.

  27. Phillip Says:

    McCoy has 7.5 sacks this year with how many games left?

    The people that actually defend Schiano need to look up stats before they open their mouth…

    Freeman’s best year was 2010.

    Can’t believe people live in the past when it comes to coaches so much… They’re gone get over it, and every coach we have fired we have had a legit reason to. Go have wet dreams about something over than a previous HC coming back and leading us to glory.