Johnson Dominated, Then Humiliated

December 8th, 2014
Michael Johnson may have finally hit rock bottom

Michael Johnson may have finally hit rock bottom

Check the film, the Bucs’ in-house apparition, defensive end Michael Johnson, was thoroughly dominated through the first half yesterday, capped off by a shameful humiliation early in the second half.

Joe scrutinizes Johnson’s performance over and over every week, and Joe sees a guy who is either disinterested or incapable. He’s not playing as hard or fast as the Buccaneers around him.

The “want-to” doesn’t show up. And it’s really in all phases of his game.

In the first half yesterday, Johnson was shown little respect by the Lions, and he couldn’t win repeated 1-on-1 battles. On 4th-and-1 early in the game, where did the Lions run? Right at Johnson, who was blown back while others made the play. Thank you, Orie Lemon.

Johnson dropped in coverage once in that half, and promptly missed a tackle on Golden Tate. The big money defensive end also saw Matthew Stafford hold the ball a little long and drift toward Johnson on one play. Johnson disengaged his man (hooray!) on a spin move but then whiffed on Stafford, as if he was surprised to see a QB with the ball. Stafford got off the deep throw easily.

In addition to getting put on the ground too often, Johnson gets to watch his occasional replacements, undrafted rookie T.J. Fatinikun and notorious bust Larry English, simply look stronger, quicker and hungrier.

But the icing on this rotten cake came in the third quarter. The Lions ran a reverse and Matthew Stafford squared up and blocked Johnson and drove him a yard backwards. Johnson had a clean shot on an engaged quarterback and brought nothing to the table. “Soft,” comes to mind. What an embarrassing slap in the face.

Joe knows the Bucs hierarchy is watching film of Johnson. Joe hopes they have the strength to make a hard decision — on that should be easy.

47 Responses to “Johnson Dominated, Then Humiliated”

  1. AK Says:

    Joe, if they cut him, isn’t the cap hit the entire amount of his contract? ($9million).

  2. Tom Edrington Says:

    Yeah, so who made the “decision” to bring this bum here anyway? Will the “hierarchy” admit to their lack of talent-evaluation skills?

    Watched him just a couple of times and yes, Joe, this guy is totally worthless.

  3. bucs4lyfe Says:

    Did he not look like one of those soft pretty boy wanna be’s during his introduction press conference….you should have been able to smell it on him when he came in for a visit. but you gotta hand it to him, no wonder he took the first offer thrown his way because im sure he was well aware of who and what he is and took the payday because he’ll never get another one playing like that, he’ll be forever branded as weak simply because he’s in his prime

  4. sho nuff Says:

    another gutless hire

  5. biff barker Says:

    Save McDonald and maybe Louis Murphy, the L&L team simply swung and missed on all their FA signings.


  6. biff barker Says:

    Ooops, missed Verner.

  7. BuccaneerBonzai Says:


  8. Soggy Says:

    Johnson should be benched by lovie, that play really showed what johnson is made of..Not just the QB blocking him but his do nothing afterwards, He just gives up on the play, he was still standing there when the play was still going on..At least act like that block did not completely shut you down… Crap show indeed..

  9. Phillip Says:

    What a waste… It’s a shame players do this after they get paid… Happens too much in professional sports.

    You get paid millions to play a game and go out there and play like that? Disgraceful and pathetic

  10. ruggyup Says:

    Do you like the sound of LA Bucs?

  11. Phillip Says:

    We would have 7 million in dead money next year if we cut him but would save 2 million… He might be gone.

  12. bucs4lyfe Says:

    the guy was no perennial allstar but he wasn’t a garbage player for cincy either I mean seriously daquan bowers was never blocked by a quarterback before, he’s never around the quarterback. to think that this guy was evaluated by what was seen on tape no one in the entire nfl would have predicted this guy play this bad, you can be a bust free agent but a bust to this degree? people can dog lovie for that all they want but we weren’t the only team trying to employ his services, we were just lucky enough to get him.

    now I see why cincy didn’t want to give him the big payday, they knew how soft he was

  13. DHutch Says:

    I agree Bucs4lyfe. I could sense his worthlessness the first time he was introduced to us. I was hoping to be wrong with my assessment. Last year was also an indication. He only had 3 sacks.

  14. bucrightoff Says:

    Keeping Revis + Jacquies Smith >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Verner + Michael “Invisible” Johnson.

  15. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    Well, like it or not, he is staying at least one more year. Michael Johnson’s cap hit next year is $9m.

    And you don’t bench a guy that is getting a million per game this year.

    Philip, according to Spotrac, we would have to pay him the full $9m.

  16. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    Personally, I think he’ll improve with someone other than Frazier coaching him.

    And Verner was worth it.

  17. meh Says:

    Good thing we got rid of Revis or else we wouldn’t have starters like Collins and Johnson.

  18. MTM Says:

    There’s a reason the Bengals did not want to pay Collins and Johnson. Apparently the scouting around league versus the Bucs scouting is far superior. When it comes to free agency at this point the Bucs have no business playing in it. They absolutely suck at it. They throw guaranteed money at anybody with 5 good games. Hungry players produce period.

  19. Phillip Says:

    Remaining big money players with horrible contracts

    Goldson – No penalty.. Restructure or cut bait

    EDS – Will be gone has no penalty to cut him next year

    Collins – $3 million in dead money but we would be saving $3 million.. He’s if we draft one in the 2nd round he’s probably gone.

    Mankins – No penalty.. Restructure or gone

    Koenen – No penalty.. How in the world he is still on this team year after year with that contract just literally boggles my mind.

    Vjax – Hope he restructures but he needs to stay…

  20. pick6 Says:

    this was the FIRST decision lovie had a chance make in terms of who to bring to his new team. he scouted for an entire offseason, considers RE to be one of the crucial positions on the team for his scheme, and he decided that this lump could do more for him than everson griffen or any other DE in the draft or free agency.

  21. Hawk Says:

    There’s a pattern here, Joe.
    Lovie’s big-hyped FA Johnson shouldn’t be playing, but is.
    Lovie’s big-hyped FA McCown shouldn’t be playing, but is.
    Lovie’s big-hyped FA Jenkins shouldn’t be playing, and isn’t ONLY because Lovie isn’t allowed to wheel him out onto the field.
    I believe Lovie needs to think about changing the way he’s trying to win ball games.

  22. Phillip Says:

    Sorry but your website is wrong… is the best place for contract details…

    $7 of his 9 million he makes next year is guaranteed… We would save 2 million…

    He might stay because of the embarrassment Lovie would have (again missing on a DE) if we cut bait on our RDE that was supposed to harass QB’s for the next 5 years but we would still save money if we did cut bait… He should be cut as well

  23. 87ForJameisOrMariota Says:

    Uninspiring just like his head coach.

  24. bucs4lyfe Says:


  25. 87ForJameisOrMariota Says:

    Bonzai…so Frazier’s you’re fall guy?

    or is it Arroyo?

    or is it Greg Schiano

    or is it Jeff Tedford?

    or is it, or is it,

    No it can’t ever be Lovie.

  26. Brandon Says:

    He was the highest rated free agent DE according to most of the experts. So far it is a big whiff, but to criticize the Bucs for paying him $8 mil a season a season after the Bengals used the franchise tag on him, that is on Johnson and Johnson only. We can measure his sacks, we can measure his contract, but you can never measure the size of a player’s heart, especially after he breaks the bank (Haynesworth, Russell). There are always warning signs, but there were very few with Johnson.

  27. Architek Says:

    This signing explicitly concerns me of Lovie’s ability to evaluate talent and personnel. Coupled with his Chicago track record he had MANY misses on the draft.

    Having Urlacher, Harris, Tillman, and Mike Brown hid many of the misses but that OL was the biggest repeated offense. He’s doing the same in Tampa!

  28. Bucsfanman Says:

    Yeah 87, I don’t understand the Frazier reference. Bottom line is they swung and missed badly on this guy. That ONE play says everything you need to know.
    Look, everybody wanted Schiano’s guys out. We went out and threw a bunch of money at a bunch of scrubs when we should have bit the bullet and R-E-B-U-I-L-T, the dreaded ‘r’ word. We would be in far better shape had we kept a few of Greg’s guys and built through the draft. Perhaps the regime catered a little too much to the fans outcry for change. I don’t blame them, I blame these bums that have the gall to cash a paycheck.

  29. billy buckaroo Says:

    This guy is a bust allright
    he is busting a gut all the way to the bank

  30. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    Johnson is the biggest disappointment in a season full of disappointments. He makes Anthony Collins seem like the free agent acquisition of the year. I can deal with a player not being good. Hell, I’m used to it, and almost expect it. However, I can’t deal with lack of effort. Every single time I watch this guy play, it looks like he’s loafing. In all my years of watching football, I really can’t think of a guy that puts forth a more piss poor effort. It’s shameful, and he should be embarrassed. Lovie needs to get his arse off the field, and even better, just cut him now to send a message. The reverse is a perfect example of a guy that doesn’t care. He could have and should have lit Stafford up. That was a lineman’s dream! However, he avoided contact – FROM A QB!!!!

  31. Snook Says:

    This franchise will never figure it out.

    DEs from ACC schools are worthless.

  32. biff barker Says:

    Hawaiian, I’m seeing the exact same thing you are but just can’t understand why Cullen can’t get through to this guy.

    Spence, Smith and Gholston are all getting better. So, unlike Warhop with the OL, this one isn’t all on coaching.

  33. Section 122 Says:

    Anyone that thinks this guy is a good player should doesn’t know a thing about football…
    I’m amazed at how lazy an inept this guy is…so often that I don’t believe my eyes and rewind on the dvr only to validate his laziness…a huge 6ft 7 piece of sh&@)….
    What kind of coach outs this guy back on the field?????!

  34. Capt.Tim Says:

    The NFL philosophy for a lot of players.
    Play really hard on your contract year, shine( with a lil help from your “opponents”, who will have contract years soon)- get the big payday!
    Then, it’s stay healthy til you retire- so you can spend that money!

    I don’t know how Kohnson can represent himself and his family name the way he has. It’s nothing short of theft.

    And why are we overpaying low character guys like this!
    Priorities are waaay out of whack.

  35. Hawk Says:

    Can you imagine what Sapp threw at his TV when Johnson was blocked by Stafford… a QB? What Sapp wouldn’t have given to have a QB DARE to try and block him. SMH

  36. bucrightoff Says:

    I know they won’t because of the dead cap money, but they really should just do it and cut him. His piss poor attitude has to go.

  37. poorglennon Says:

    C’mon with Johnson. He must have a nagging injury or something. Yes the guy has sucked this year. You can’t cut a 9M salary with a 7M penalty. Shoot the chance of a bounce back season for less than half what we play our punter…..c’mon

  38. Phillip Says:

    I think you guys are failing to realize with dead money… 7 of his 9 million is guaranteed… That means if we cut him we still SAVE $2 million… Question is if you can replace him with that $2million and that is what the draft is for in the 2nd-7th rounds as 1st is for Mariota 🙂

    It’s not a cap hit of 9 plus 7…

  39. ElioT Says:

    “Kleenex” Johnson plays ball like a GIRL!

    Dear Mike, You’re a pu**y! Thanks for nothing.


    Go Sucs!!!!

  40. DallasBuc Says:

    You all don’t know what you are watching. Michael Johnson is a total beast! He had 11 sacks one year. He is essentially Simeon Rice 2.0. Perfect prototypical RDE for Lovie’s defense. With him and McCoy on the field at the same time they set sack records. I love this guy and love Lovie’s vision! Go Bucs

  41. Walter White Says:

    Michael Johnson is like the on-field version of Lovie Smith. He’s overpaid, (was) overrated, lacks any emotion or desire…

  42. Walter White Says:

    Michael Johnson once had 7 sacks in a single game! And 28 in a single year! Course it was on Playstation on rookie mode but still… you know he walks around like he’s big *hit… even though he sucks…

    I’d rather have a guy play his heart out and lack talent than a guy who certainly APPEARS to be physically capable but has no passion or pride whatsoever.

  43. pick6 Says:

    for better or worse, the miniscule cap savings probably buy Johnson another year. DO NOT bank on him being anything more than a spot backup, but keep him on the roster and hope he is motivated to show up given he has no more financial security after the 2015 season . if he shows anything at all he is trade bait. if he slacks, he is your first player to be cut as an example to others

  44. DallasBuc Says:

    His open roster spot is worth more than his production. That’s how awful this guy is. No previous GM or HC has fouled up as bad as these guys are right now. It is inexcusable

  45. k1ngadroc Says:

    I watched MJ90 exclusively until that play. I have absolutely no idea what he’s doing out there and it’s sooooo obvious he’s LOAFING… just kinda stands up and 2 steps with whomever is in front of him OR gets blown out when the play comes to his side. Too deep of a rush because of effort… No way. Establish the edge and turn the play inside (DE 101).. Dream on!! Anyway, I digress. He got caught not rushing, not holding the edge and when Stafford blocked him into another guy threw up in my mouth. I couldn’t watch him, not one more play or I would have ripped my TV off the wall.
    Fortunately the bucs have a few youngry players working hard to get to the QB i.e. Smith and even English had better reps. Play those guys and BENCH THE GHOST before I break something I can’t afford to replace. Please and thank you.
    GO YUKS! Please get a QB. I am not a Jamo fan but at this point, I don’t give a $hit which one. Cannot get any worse than the PeeWee ball we have been subject too this year.

  46. Teacherman777 Says:

    Suh was blasting McCown all game.

    Detroit tried to hurt our QB.

    Johnson had a chance to rough up Stafford,

    And he got pushed back by a weak QB??

    Are u kidding me?


    Thank you for writing about this!

    I noticed the same play and i was horrifiied!!

    Johnson is soft!

  47. Bob in Valrico Says:

    I think he should be put in the weight room and gain about 20 lbs of muscle,then let him play interior defensive line where if he cant stand there with his hands on the defensive lineman.Make him play every play every down of presesson. He needs to toughen up.Let him learn to bullrush or be blownup.