Michael Johnson’s Dwindling Numbers

November 7th, 2014

Lovie Smith’s $24 million (guaranteed) man, defensive end Michael Johnson, is having a scary season in his first year in pewter and red. Scary in a very, very bad way.

Johnson, brought in to be the edge rusher necessary for defensive tackle Gerald McCoy to roam unabated, has been anything but a rusher. Or a tackler. Or anything, frankly.

He started out slow, incurred an ankle injury, got two sacks against Pittsburgh (on one he was unblocked) and has vanished since.

Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times has the disturbing numbers, or lack thereof.

Man, 15 players! That means there are guys coming off the bench who are more productive than your starting right defensive end. Joe has no words.

Look, Joe knows Johnson was playing with a bum ankle for a while. Joe knows for a fact he re-injured the ankle against Pittsburgh but sucked it up. And produced. If that ankle is the reason Johnson has become this useless, then get him off the field. Now.

As this point, halfway through Johnson’s first Bucs season, Lovie’s main target in free agency is looking to be the worst free agent signing in the history of the Bucs, surpassing Alvin Harper of all people.

26 Responses to “Michael Johnson’s Dwindling Numbers”

  1. WalkdaPlank Says:

    You know, I didn’t like Dom, but he was at least good at coming up with clauses and getting good deals with little guaranteed money, even if he did always overpay.

    Johnson blows. He needs to be cut, but since Lovie and his lapdog are such terrible front office men, they will probably keep him. Lovie because he is stubborn, lapdog because if the blown cash on this guy.

    Send him packing with Collins, McClown, EDS, Goldson, lapdog, and almost the entire coaching staff.

    But they won’t.

  2. meh Says:

    He won’t be the worst signing ever. We have Collins for that.


    Another wad of cash WASTED!

  4. Patrick in VA Says:

    Hopefully his number of snaps stays dwindling significantly as well

  5. LutzBuczFan Says:

    It bothers me that many of the free agents they brought in are playing like garbage. Weak QB, oline, pass rush, etc. I am not calling for Lovie’s head (yet) because I believe we need stability for players to grow in the system, but I’m concerned about this regimes ability to acquire players for the system.

  6. Touch_Down_Tampa_Bay Says:

    Jacquis Smith #56 should get more playing time with Gholston replacing Johnson…

  7. CC Says:

    This regime is ridiculous. How can anybody still defend them? Sucks to be a Bucs fan.

  8. Patrick in VA Says:

    Let’s not act like we’re the only team to go bust when dabbling in free agency. It happens regularly. The big money signings are more high profile flops but there are a whole lot of instances of players picked up from other teams that lay goose eggs on their new team. That’s why it’s a fool’s errand to try to build a team through FA. You get value role players in FA that won’t break the bank and won’t be a team killer if they don’t work out. You draft well and establish your team that way. Building through FA is a classic example of the grass being greener on the other side.

  9. Harry Says:

    What you said is spot on. FA is for filling in role players the team needs, and every team has FA flops. The concern I have is I feel we have had more than our share of flops; almost 100%. So my concern is these are the same guys that are going to be the talent evaluators to build our team thru the draft.

    Freaking scary.

  10. Patrick in VA Says:

    @Harry – I don’t know that we’ve had as many flops as our fan base lets on. We haven’t brought in a FA that’s been a superstar. That’s a certainty. VJax is as close as we’ve gotten with that and his VDrops moniker that he’s been labeled with tells you how well that went. What’s made them flops to our fanbase is the amount of money we had to pay them to get them to come here. that’s not the product of a bad front office so much as it’s a product of a bad team and high front office turnover not attracting quality free agents. We pay them like they’re going to be saviors but in reality they’re just well compensated role players. When looked at through that lens, Collins is just that, a role player. He’s had some good games and some bad ones. Nothing special. Just like a role player. EDS has been ok but not great. Verner has done fine but isn’t lighting our world on fire. These are words to describe role players. The only flop that we’ve had in FA, to my mind, is Johnson. He hasn’t played a role at all other than keeping Joe’s gastroenterologist employed.

  11. SAMCRO Says:

    If only performance was tied into the guaranteed money agreement, there would be less complacency and more urgency. This business of giving free agents guaranteed money up front before services are rendered reeks of manipulation by the players. When some already got paid, they become complacent, and go into self preservation mode. Lose their drive and hunger to put their best product on the field.

    I mean really, Why should any risk getting themselves hurt? When they already got paid!

  12. DallasBuc Says:

    If Lovie were a stand up man with a shred of humility he would cut this bum and his twin FA mistake on the oline, Collins. He isn’t and he doesn’t so he won’t.
    That being the case the Glazers have serious cause (malpractice with their money and 1-7) to intervene in ways otherwise not understood in their business contract. Being this wrong at such a high price on the field and in the wallet permits intervention since the HC is unwilling to acknowledge the mistakes and unwilling to cut bait.
    Do no wrong Lovie and his lapdog GM need to step up here for the sake of the team and the fans. Oh and it is not like these guys blowing hard wasn’t foreseeable…check nearly every post on this site by DallasBuc from March until present! For all the crap I took on here all offseason the “I told you so” card will used with regularity until these losers are gone.

  13. Patrick in VA Says:

    @DallasBuc – You’re calling for Lovie to do something that no coach would ever do and no team would ever allow a coach to do it. It’s not indicative of what kind of coach or man he is. And as far as your “I told you so” campaign, you really went out on a limb calling that a new coaching staff with a nearly entirely new roster would struggle up til now. You need to start posting lottery numbers because you clearly have a gift. Just make sure that when they start doing well and our fortunes turn around that you take a look at all those negative posts that you’re pointing us toward now.

  14. DallasBuc Says:

    Adrian Clayborn’s chances of remaining a Buccaneer next year have gone up and Donald Penn can be found laughing his ass off even as he sits on the winless Raiders! All those offseason moves with zero position upgrades. That is all the media should be talking about right now. That feat is nearly impossible yet no one media source, present company included, dares to point it out. Shame.

  15. DallasBuc Says:

    Patrick- I didn’t say that the new coaching staff would struggle, you did. I said repeatedly that the players evaluation and decision making with regard to the players that were sent packing and new FAs were all bad for which I endured merciless criticism on this very site for months. Big difference pal.

  16. Hawk Says:

    @ DallasBuc

    I have no problem with you now changing your name to IToldYouSo. Whether genius or luck, you were right about this year. Let us hope that Lovie, and crew, have learned something and we won’t see a repeat next year. If you start off next year with the same prognostication, I will be cautiously optimistic, at best, for an improved team. :^)
    Even though I didn’t like the choice of Lovie as the HC, I give Lovie a break, on his first year, because I have no doubt that he didn’t get all the assistants he wanted(tied up in contracts elsewhere). AND a new coach rarely has the team(players) he wants until his third year.
    *I* was hoping for an 8-8 season, but would not have been disappointed with 6-10. It looks like I’m going to be disappointed. The first year, I am disappointed in the team. A second year, like this, and I’ll be disappointed in the coach.

  17. Joseph Mamma Says:

    Is it really that surprising? Do teams let real difference maker’s off their roster? Most of time no, sometimes it is just a salary cap thing, but usually if they are producers, there is alway’s a way to adjust the cap to fit them in.

  18. Hawk Says:

    @ Joseph Mamma
    Not just salary cap issues. Sometimes a player doesn’t fit the scheme of a new HC, or there is a ‘personal’ issue. Usually, the HC/GM will try to trade the player, but sometimes, the salary makes it difficult-to-impossible. But, you are right, in that you rarely get a “difference maker” through free agency.

  19. OB Says:


    You have pointed out a problem that continually evades the coaches, are they healthy enough to pay at or near their best or not. DE like HBs don’t do well on a bad ankle period, they can’t cut off that ankle. Ours, I believe, are frightened and want them to play because of the pay/draft position they have.

  20. bucrightoff Says:


  21. DallasBuc Says:

    OB- when always address Joe does he ever address you back?

  22. Fort Myers Dave Says:

    Apparently the guy is a bust, probably will not be the last one the Bucs sign as they tend to land more busts then bonafide contributors….

  23. teacherman777 Says:

    Can we put Gerald Mccoy at RDE?

    And start McDonald, Spence and Gholston?

  24. Matt Says:

    Johnson is a speed rusher who uses his agility to make plays. He hasnt been 100% all season with a bum ankle which is one of the most important parts of his body to be productive. He wants to provehe is worth his contract and play butvin reality he needs to sit a few weeks and full heal.

  25. DallasBuc Says:

    Matt- are you related to that bum or is he paying you to carry his water? It’s do-no-wrong Lovie not do-no-wrong Michael Johnson!

  26. Buctebow Says:

    I would say the Dashon Gloldson with his lack of impact plays along with his penchant for penalties and suspension ranks as one of the worst FA signings, as well as Revis Island, that spent a good share of the year rehabbing for $16m and not delivering the results we desired either. Bert Emmanuel would be another high pick, 63 catches in 22 games, including being involved in the infamous Shaun King “non-catch” in the NFL Championship game.