PDA

View Full Version : Vikings will adjust for new QB starter Johnson



singersp
11-01-2005, 05:31 AM
From the San Jose Mercury News;

Posted on Mon, Oct. 31, 2005

Vikings will adjust for new QB starter Johnson

BY DON SEEHOLZER

Knight Ridder Newspapers


EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. - During a 14-year NFL career, Brad Johnson has led three teams to the playoffs and won a Super Bowl, but he never has stepped into a situation quite like this.

With Daunte Culpepper lost to a season-ending knee injury, Johnson has moved up to No. 1 on the Minnesota Vikings' quarterback depth chart of a team that's 2-5 and in danger of sinking out of sight, but he isn't coming in with any speeches about what it will take to turn this season around.

"The most important thing is just be yourself," Johnson said Monday. "You can't fake it. The proof is putting up points; the proof is winning ballgames. . . . I have respect for the guys here, and I think it goes both ways. You earn leadership by making plays, so that's where we're at."

Before playing the final three quarters of Sunday's 38-13 loss at Carolina in relief of Culpepper, Johnson hadn't appeared in a regular-season game since Oct. 3, 2004, with Tampa Bay.

That 16-13 loss also was the last NFL start for Johnson, who signed with the Vikings during the offseason after being released by the Buccaneers, but he said he isn't going into Sunday's game against Detroit with anything to prove.

"When I work out in the spring, I'm not in it for my health," he said. "Careers are very short. You're not promised tomorrow. I enjoy playing the game. If it takes proving somebody wrong, then so be it for those people."

Coach Mike Tice said the Vikings feel fortunate to have Johnson, who passed for 162 yards and a touchdown against the Panthers, raising his career totals to 24,075 and 144, respectively.

"He's smart, going to get the ball out real quick," Tice said. "We'll probably have to adjust the style a little bit, but he's a competitor. He's well liked, well thought of. He had a great offseason, tremendous training camp and played real well in preseason. Now he's the guy. We put the ball in his hands and have to rally around Brad."

Vikings players, while still trying to come to terms with the loss of Culpepper, began the process Monday of moving on.

"Brad has won a Super Bowl and is a great quarterback," wide receiver Marcus Robinson said. "We brought him in here for that reason. He's definitely going to come in and do a fine job for us, I think."

Free safety and longtime Green Bay starter Darren Sharper, who played against Johnson many times while Johnson was with Tampa Bay, said the team has a lot of confidence in its new starting quarterback.

"You know one thing, he's definitely had a lot of experience," Sharper said. "Playing in a Super Bowl, playing in the league so many years, he knows how to deal with crowd noise and he knows the offense. He knows all the reads. I just hope he can go out there and lead us to a win."

Even though he rushed for 30 yards on four carries Sunday, Johnson isn't the running threat Culpepper is and the Vikings' offense obviously won't be the same without No. 11 under center.

"Brad's more of a rhythm thrower," Tice said. "He's going to get that thing out real fast. You'll see a lot of throws where he'll get the ball out and guys won't have been turned around. In layman's terms, those are called timing routes. That suits his style more."

Johnson doesn't have Culpepper's big arm, either, and isn't as mobile in the pocket, which probably means even more blitzing by opposing defenses, but the Vikings are keeping any other possible changes to themselves.

"I think that's going to play itself out this week," offensive coordinator Steve Loney said. "You have to look at the things he's comfortable with. You can't make 10 other people change for one, but you can take those strengths and say, what do we have in the system that fits those strengths?"

One point in Johnson's favor is that the Vikings' offense is very similar to the one he ran during the 1996 and '97 seasons in Minnesota.

What he has gained in experience since then could offset whatever he has lost in athleticism, but Johnson joked he never was all that athletic to begin with.

"I think that's the greatness about my game," he said. "I played the same game at 26 as I am at 37."

If that means the Vikings will be more of a pocket passing team without Culpepper, that's fine with Johnson. Whatever it takes to win.

"There's a lot of guys in the league who play the way I do," he said. "The biggest thing in the game of football is to get the ball out of your hands and into playmakers' hands and let people make plays for you. . . . There's a lot of different ways to skin a cat."

PurplePeopleEaters
11-01-2005, 05:49 AM
Please.. oh please brad.. win us at least one game.

gregair13
11-01-2005, 07:42 AM
i would rather win no games and get reggie bush.

cajunvike
11-01-2005, 07:51 AM
You tell 'em, Brad!!!

Vikes
11-01-2005, 08:02 AM
We are going to be okay. It will be a GREAT comeback. We need this game against the Lions. But i think we REALLY need to beat the Giants at home. If we do this the switch will click and the divison will be ours. Brad is a decent QB. Look at what Brunell is doing for Washington, even I need to take a step back and reread what I just posted about Mark Brunell. We are fine and the division is still ours to lose.

"MEN WE STAY THE COURSE"

http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y127/lotza119/vikescopy.jpg

Vikes
11-01-2005, 08:12 AM
"gregair13" wrote:

i would rather win no games and get reggie bush.

Please don't EVER talk about quitting to get a draft pick. This is a quitters mentality. We play the HAND WE ARE DELT. What makes this such a great sport to watch is the adjuments need to survive week in and week out. Do NOT CHEAT THE GAME with talk of quitting on a season that we are still much alive in.

This post is saying to me and the rest of your Viking Brothers and Sisters is
:binky: "I WOULD RATHER LAY DOWN AND CRY" :binky:


"MEN WE STAY THE COURSE"

http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y127/lotza119/vikescopy.jpg

ajefx
11-01-2005, 09:37 AM
"gregair13" wrote:

i would rather win no games and get reggie bush.
we have to at least beat GB one more time for pride's sake.

DeathtoDenny
11-01-2005, 12:41 PM
"gregair13" wrote:

i would rather win no games and get reggie bush.

We're not getting Reggie Bush. Ever. Get over it, folks. They're looking at QB if anything in the first round because Daunte is out at least 10 months, meaning he can practice around the end of preseason TOPS. Getting a good QB in the draft is their only insurance. Hopefully, Maroney is still around for our Smoot/pick trade.

singersp
11-01-2005, 01:04 PM
"DeathtoDenny" wrote:

"gregair13" wrote:

i would rather win no games and get reggie bush.

We're not getting Reggie Bush. Ever. Get over it, folks. They're looking at QB if anything in the first round because Daunte is out at least 10 months, meaning he can practice around the end of preseason TOPS. Getting a good QB in the draft is their only insurance. Hopefully, Maroney is still around for our Smoot/pick trade.

Pep will be back! Have faith.

What good does drafting any QB early do for us. The help we need 1st & foremost is on O-line. I doesn't matter if you put the best QB in the NFL behind our center. If you haven't got an O-line, he get pummled.

NordicNed
11-01-2005, 01:14 PM
I think Brad is going to come in and really suprise some of you.....Not me, I think he is a good vet player, and if our coaches make the right decisions and taylor our offensive play to help him out we will be okay..

Can you say Wiggins? Brad likes to let the ball fly quickly, perfect for TE routes, Screens, and short to medium routes for our recievers..

Also, this might make us get back to the run more and yes, it will open up some of those deeper pass routes for us....I'm sure he can still toss that skin 30 to 40 yards, and we have some guys that can run after the catch...

I say it comes down to the coaching and O-line....

Brad will be fine...

singersp
11-01-2005, 01:33 PM
"VikingNed" wrote:

Brad likes to let the ball fly quickly, perfect for TE routes, Screens, and short to medium routes for our recievers..

Also, this might make us get back to the run more and yes, it will open up some of those deeper pass routes for us....I'm sure he can still toss that skin 30 to 40 yards, and we have some guys that can run after the catch...

I say it comes down to the coaching and O-line....

Brad will be fine...

Brads ability to let the ball fly quickly will certainly be aplus with the o-line we have.

spdolphs
11-01-2005, 01:40 PM
If the Vikes can beat Green Bay and the Giants, that will be some consolation. :wav:

Prophet
11-01-2005, 01:43 PM
"VikingNed" wrote:

I think Brad is going to come in and really suprise some of you.....Not me, I think he is a good vet player, and if our coaches make the right decisions and taylor our offensive play to help him out we will be okay...

I agree that Brad could get the job done....but I have no reason to believe that our coaches will make the right decisions.

singersp
11-01-2005, 01:50 PM
The Giants scare the hell out of me. They always manage to kill us at home. On the road will be really tough!

I'd like the boys to give them a taste of their own medicine! :twisted:

StillPurple
11-01-2005, 07:42 PM
I am still optimistic. Here are my reasons:

- Now that C-pepper and Moss are gone, the expectations are now so low, that we can sneak up on a lot of people, and the pressure is off to "be the 4th best offense of all time", etc.

- Brad Johnson will force us to use short routes, which is GOOD !
- Brad Johnson won't make dumb INTs, and he reads the defense fast and he releases fast (was I the only one who noticed this on Sunday ?).

- We still have plenty of talent on this team (Winfield, Sharper, Chavous, K.Williams, Burleson, Mewelde, Wiggins, etc.).

- Brad Johnson is an experienced QB. I personally would rather have an experienced QB with a ring on his finger, who knows how to manage a game, than a young guy woh will throw picks and take too many risks.

... I am totally happy with us winning games 17-14.

Jviking
11-01-2005, 07:45 PM
Brad will be fine, its the o-line and coaching that scare me.

whiteboy
11-01-2005, 08:04 PM
"singersp" wrote:

The Giants scare the hell out of me. They always manage to kill us at home. On the road will be really tough!

I'd like the boys to give them a taste of their own medicine! :twisted:

you know, i was dreading that game too when i saw the schedule. we all know that anything can happen on any given sunday, so i wouldn't be surprised if we did beat them at home. they just came off of huge win against wash, will destroy san fran, and i'm sure they'll be licking their chops when the see us. i wouldn't be surprised if nyg thought the had the game won already. if we can go out there and score on our opening drive, i think we'll be fine.

besides, every streak has to come to an end, we are do a win, on the road, on grass

StillPurple
11-01-2005, 08:22 PM
I agree that coaching and the offensive line are the issue, not the QB. There are people like Bill Parcells, who thinks that QBs are overrated in general, and that you can plug some guy in and you will be ok. I think that is true for most NFL teams. I mean, does it really matter if Frerotte or Feely starts for the Dolphins ? Or if Warner or McCown for Arizona ? The main thing in the NFL is winning the game in the trenches, and executing. If you can't execute a drive and win the physical side of the game, all the exotic stuff and throwing and running won't work.

COJOMAY
11-01-2005, 08:29 PM
Quote from the story...

One point in Johnson's favor is that the Vikings' offense is very similar to the one he ran during the 1996 and '97 seasons in Minnesota.
It's no wonder every team we play knows virtually our offense and can blitz effectively and the lousy offensive line compounds the problems.

Big C
11-01-2005, 08:33 PM
- The Bears are on top of the NFC North with a rookie QB.
- The Lions are in second place with a washed up QB that stinks.
- The Pack is at the bottom of the NFC North with a hall-of-fame QB.

I don't see why we can't win a few games with a decent QB that knows the offense. He did engineer two TDs against the Panthers. He overthrew a couple of recievers but that's just rust. He was aware in the pocket, moved around and bought time nicely. He ran for his life when the O-Line let blitzers through.

I don't see what the problem is. Brad will bring us a few wins.

PurplePackerEater
11-01-2005, 08:49 PM
"VikingNed" wrote:

I think Brad is going to come in and really suprise some of you.....Not me, I think he is a good vet player, and if our coaches make the right decisions and taylor our offensive play to help him out we will be okay..

Can you say Wiggins? Brad likes to let the ball fly quickly, perfect for TE routes, Screens, and short to medium routes for our recievers..

Also, this might make us get back to the run more and yes, it will open up some of those deeper pass routes for us....I'm sure he can still toss that skin 30 to 40 yards, and we have some guys that can run after the catch...

I say it comes down to the coaching and O-line....

Brad will be fine...

Great post! My words exactly.

tastywaves
11-01-2005, 09:24 PM
Brad will probably not be the reason why we lose games, however, if the o-line and playcalling aren't up to snuff, I don't see Brad being able to "win" games (unless, he starts engineering the playcalling). Culpepper was being asked to win games on a team that was failing in many ways to represent an NFL team. He had the tools to uniquely perform where other qb's cannot, unfortunately we didn't see much of those capabilities this year. Looked like he was coming around though before the injury.

However, with Brad being there, I think the Vikings can have some success. No longer can they expect the qb to scramble when things break down (50% of the time), long developing plays just aren't going to be in their repertoire. It will be simple, but if Brad can sustain drives and keep the offense on the field for adequate periods of time running a more mundane style of offense, maybe this defense will have something to rally around.

The offensive line has to be priority one (better coaching isn't an option), Without better protection and some running lanes, 3 and outs will continue. Have they found a purple jersey big enough for the hawaiin dude yet?

StillPurple
11-01-2005, 10:56 PM
This is from the "NFL Prospectus, 2005", by Aaron Schatz et. al.:

"For years, Johnson has been steady if unexciting but last season he suddenly looked completely lost. Assuming he can get back up after plummeting off the cliff, he should make a good fit for the role of Minnesota's unspectacular veteran backup who could fall out of bed and be ready to play in 10 minutes".

BBQ Platypus
11-02-2005, 01:40 AM
I thought I'd post this again. Here is my master plan:

"BBQ Platypus" wrote:

I'd like to begin this post by emphasizing that it is A JOKE. I just want to liven up the mood and express my frustration at the same time. Although I still have hope for the Vikings, I'm not feeling very optimistic right now. With Culpepper out for the season, we'll need to reshape our entire offense. Here's an overview of how that might turn out:

A good offense plays to its players' strengths and works around their weaknesses. For example, our weaknesses include a horrible offensive line, a half-retarded coordinator, and an old, slow, weak-armed quarterback who couldn't hit water if he fell out of a boat. Our strengths include, er, um...hang on...our quarterback, while he is incapable of completing a pass, he...uh, doesn't throw many interceptions, and we have a good punter. Any offensive scheme must be built around a general play-calling philosophy that fits these strengths and weaknesses. It must have a catchy name, like "Run 'n' Shoot" or "Fun 'n' Gun." With this in mind, I have developed the Vikings' new, revamped "Three 'n' Out" offense.

The general philosophy of the Three 'n' Out offense is simple: Hand the ball off to Mewelde Moore twice, blocking only with our inept offensive line. When we reach third down, throw a fifty-yard bomb to one of our receivers (probably Troy Williamson, as he'll need to get there REALLY fast). Due to Brad Johnson's incredible ability to not throw interceptions, the ball will fall harmlessly to the ground 15 yards short of the receiver instead of being intercepted. A spread offense will probably be necessary, to make it more likely that the ball lands near a receiver. Otherwise, the refs may accuse Johnson of intentional grounding, even though it seems likely that he could not hit the ground if he aimed for it. On fourth down, we play to our strength: the mighty leg of Chris Kluwe. This will put the opposing offense deeper into their own territory, meaning it will take a slightly longer drive for them to penetrate our horribly-coordinated defense. This way, we won't lose by quite as much.

This will most certainly work better than any offense with Culpepper in it, who was incapable of reading defenses (except for last week and for the duration of the drive in which he was injured, which would have led to a touchdown, but not a field goal, because Brad Johnson would have mishandled the snap). I mean, what team CAN'T win a football game when they put up 13 points?

I'll add another joke to the end of this post. Let's see if you can get it:

Q: How do you kill Ted Cottrell?
A: Drive spikes through his shoulders and ask him a question.

BBQ Platypus
11-02-2005, 01:44 AM
"StillPurple" wrote:

I agree that coaching and the offensive line are the issue, not the QB. There are people like Bill Parcells, who thinks that QBs are overrated in general, and that you can plug some guy in and you will be ok. I think that is true for most NFL teams. I mean, does it really matter if Frerotte or Feely starts for the Dolphins ? Or if Warner or McCown for Arizona ? The main thing in the NFL is winning the game in the trenches, and executing. If you can't execute a drive and win the physical side of the game, all the exotic stuff and throwing and running won't work.

True. The coaches are morons and the trenches are more imporant than the QB. However, there comes a point (i.e. less than 50% completion percentage) when a bad QB (i.e. Brad "Spaghetti Arm" Johnson) can harm a team. He's bad enough to lose a lot of games for us. Unfortunately, the rest of the team is playing so badly that he doesn't make too much of an impact.

FuadFan
11-02-2005, 02:10 AM
Since we do have Johnson in there I hope they try to use some screen plays across to Troy, Nate, and Koren that in my opinion would be a great idea to get a spark going in the offense and won't need as much time to set up.

Lotza
11-02-2005, 02:14 AM
im glad that we got a good backup. its better than most teams backups. he was a huge pickup which is evident now......

singersp
11-03-2005, 01:57 PM
From the San Jose Mercury News;

Posted on Wed, Nov. 02, 2005

Vikings adapt to Brad Johnson
BY SEAN JENSEN

Knight Ridder Newspapers

ST. PAUL, Minn. - The Vikings' once-potent offense has been searching for an identity without Pro Bowl wide receiver Randy Moss.

Now, seven games into the season, the team is forced to continue its quest without Pro Bowl quarterback Daunte Culpepper, out for the year with tears in three tendons of his right knee.

How successful the offense will be with backup Brad Johnson at quarterback is unknown. But how the unit will operate behind Johnson is easier to predict.

The Vikings declined to comment specifically on adjustments. But interviews with an NFL personnel director who recruited Johnson, a former MVP quarterback and others project how the offense is likely to adjust without Culpepper.

Expect more quick passes and three-step drops, the experts said. Expect fewer scrambles into sacks and scrambles for big gains.

During the offseason, the Seattle Seahawks aggressively pursued free-agent Johnson after they traded backup Trent Dilfer to the Cleveland Browns. Confident in Pro Bowl quarterback Matt Hasselbeck, the Seahawks coveted a veteran backup.

"We thought he'd be good in the locker room, and a good steadying force for Matt," Will Lewis, the Seahawks director of pro personnel, said of Johnson. "He's a very experienced guy, he takes what's given to him, he's good at distributing the ball to the playmakers."

Familiar with the Vikings' offense behind Culpepper, Lewis said Johnson will not be an effective option on sprintouts and quarterback draws. Johnson can handle anything else in the playbook, Lewis said, because of his experience in different offensive schemes.

In addition to playing in the Vikings' vertical offense in the 1990s under Dennis Green, Johnson led the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to a Super Bowl at the end of the 2002 season under Jon Gruden's hybrid West Coast offense.

"I wouldn't pigeonhole (Johnson)," said Tim Ruskell, who was the Buccaneers' director of pro personnel when they won the Super Bowl and is now the Seahawks' president of football operations. "He's been in so many offenses.

"He'll adapt to the Vikings' system. But he won't do something he can't do, and he won't stuff a certain style (on the coaching staff)."

Said Lewis, "He's experienced and smart enough that you don't have to dumb down your offense for him."

Given his limited mobility, Johnson demands protection and relies heavily on short slant passes and hitches to get him into a rhythm, Lewis said. But Johnson also has a solid enough arm to make the deep throws, according to Lewis.

"He's more a touch passer, not a guy with a rocket arm," Lewis said. "The biggest thing there is giving him time. A lot of it is on the offensive line."

Through seven games, the Vikings have given up 33 sacks, the second-highest total in the NFL. That rate is likely to decrease with Johnson at quarterback because he tends to make quick decisions in the pocket and does not try to run to buy himself time.

"I would say that defensive coordinators, every time that they played Daunte, they always had to account for him (running)," Vikings offensive coordinator Steve Loney said. "It's speculation, but I'm not sure that you'll see that as much with Brad, of having defensive linemen spying on him. That's the nature of the beast. But there's pluses and minuses to that.

"Sometimes, Daunte would show up someplace that an offensive linemen didn't expect him to be, because of his mobility."

Loney and Johnson discussed preferences Tuesday. But Loney said the Vikings would not overhaul their offense.

"It'll be subtle things, emphasis things," Loney said.

Vikings receiver Nate Burleson said there have not been dramatic changes this week in practice with Johnson running the offense. But Burleson noted one alteration.

"An emphasis on getting open earlier is important to us, just because we know he has a quick release," Burleson said of Johnson. "The shorter routes might get the first look instead of waiting for the longer plays to open up."

During a news conference Wednesday, Johnson complimented Culpepper's handling of the offense and his leadership. Johnson noted stylistic differences between the quarterbacks.

"Daunte has been unbelievable with what he has done in the past with big playmaking ability and the things he brings to the table," Johnson said. "With me, I am a pocket guy. I like to make the read, make the throw, and get the ball out of my hand quick. That's the way I operate. I'm going to try to stay away from the turnovers, but I like to make decisive decisions, make the offense roll and call the play."

Former NFL MVP quarterback Rich Gannon said Johnson's experience and decision making will benefit the offense.

"Brad is a wily, crafty veteran," Gannon said. "He's been in a lot of big games, and he's going to beat you in different ways. He'll make good decisions, and he won't turn the ball over a lot."

Ruskell said Johnson provides another key element: leadership.

"He was instrumental in our Super Bowl drive," Ruskell said. "He kept everyone on the same page, and he's got a strong presence in the huddle. He's not going to panic.

"(His leadership) was a key ingredient to that season."

Lewis said the Vikings should be grateful that Johnson signed with them.

"It's a scenario you didn't want to happen," Lewis said. "But when it comes to fruition, you're happy to have him."

StillPurple
11-03-2005, 04:27 PM
I personally would much rather have an experienced 37-year old QB with a Super Bowl ring, who maybe can't throw as hard anymore, than some guy who has been "riding the pine" for like 4 years and has no experience. Brad I think went through NFL Europe, played many years in the NFL, and then won a Super Bowl. You just can't discount that. Sure, he is not Peyton Manning, but Peyton also doesn't have a ring.

I think Brad will be ok. We don't have much of a choice right now...

Another thing is, I personally, through Weeks 1-7 have been saying mostly to myself, that our QB was holding the ball too long (not really his fault, either). We need shorter routes and slants. I think Brad will force the offense to throw shorter routes, which is not a bad thing.

Re arm strength, I mean, you don't need to have a strong arm to have a great year throwing. You also don't need to be a great runner. You need to have good timing and guys who block and run the routes. But you can have a very mediocre arm...

Ask Rich Gannon.