PDA

View Full Version : Johnson Still Has That Fresh Feeling



singersp
11-27-2005, 01:52 PM
Johnson Still Has That Fresh Feeling

From Scout.com
By Tim Yotter
Date: Nov 26, 2005

Quarterback Brad Johnson hasn’t avoided the sack any more than Daunte Culpepper was able to in his action before injury, but Johnson says his body still feels good. Plus, get news and quotes on running back Ciatrick Fason, guards Toniu Fonoti and Anthony Herrera and the defense.

Quarterback Brad Johnson hasn’t put up the yardage – or interceptions – that Daunte Culpepper did before he got hurt, but one thing the two quarterbacks have in common is getting sacked. Each has been sacked an average of roughly four times per game this season.

Culpepper took 31 sacks in 6-1/2 games. But after taking 14 sacks and numerous other hits in 3-1/2 games of action, Johnson is no worse for the wear.

“I feel very fresh right now. My legs feel fresh, my arm feels fresh,� Johnson said. “We’ve played against some very good defensive fronts and some good teams. A lot of the sacks become coverage sacks. We try to take some shots and sometimes you have to hold onto the ball for that extra count.�

Johnson’s completion percentage is 57.1 with a 5.7-yard average per pass attempt, while Culpepper completed 64.4 percent of his passes for a 7.24-yard average before his season ended with three torn ligaments in his knee. But the stat that matters most: Johnson is 3-0 since becoming the starter.

The Vikings have won four of their last five games and three in a row, including two on the road outdoors. After starting the season 1-4 and climbing back to 5-5, Minnesota remains two games behind the NFC North-leading Chicago Bears.

Still, for all of their recent success, Johnson is not about to assume they are on their way.

“It’s not over. We’ve got a lot of football to play. I was part of a team that was 8-2 back in ’97 and we ended up 9-7,� he said of first stint with the Vikings. “Crazy things happen in this league. You look at Oakland three years ago when they went to the Super Bowl, they were 4-0, went 4-4 and then made a run. However you get the wins, you get the wins. Hopefully you get off to a hot start – we didn’t and hopefully we can finish strong now.�

FASON FROWNING NO MORE

Last week, running back Ciatrick Fason was visibly and audibly depressed when he didn’t play as much as he was expecting against the New York Giants. It was the first game since Moe Williams was placed on injured reserve, and Fason was expecting to be the Vikings’ short-yardage back.

“Moe gets in on short-yardage and everybody says I’ve got the Moe Williams role,� Fason said.

Last week it was frowns. This week it was smiles as he recounted his 1-yard touchdown run on Monday Night Football against the Green Bay Packers.

“We ran the (same play the) first play. The first time they shifted and the second time they didn’t shift,� Fason said of his dive over left guard. “We gave them the same exact look, but we knew that they thought it was going to be a play-action. Richard (Owens) just made a hole and I ran through it.�

The first play came when Toniu Fonoti was in the game, the second one with Anthony Herrera at left guard when Fonoti injured his groin on the first play.

“If you watch Herrera, he played with a lot of passion. He’s going to be real aggressive and do whatever it takes to get the win,� Fason said. “I told him before the game that he was going to get his shot, just be ready. When he got the opportunity, he told me to run behind him and he was going to get me into the end zone.�

Now, with the short-yardage role seemingly secured, Fason is hoping to take the next step sometime in the near future. Eventually, he would like a crack at the featured back role, just like he worked into being the leading rusher at the University of Florida by his junior season.

“Little roles lead to big roles. Getting your first couple of carries can lead to getting a lot of carries,� he said.

FUNKY COLD FONOTI

Head coach Mike Tice all but ruled out Fonoti playing on Sunday after the guard, who was acquired last month in a trade with San Diego, injured his left groin at Lambeau Field.

Fonoti said his conditioning and lack of playing time because of a broken bone in his hand may have had something to do with the groin injury.

“Game situations are a lot different from practice, just some of the steps and some of the technique that I had to do probably had to be a little bit longer in a game situation than in practice. It probably had something to do with it,� he said.

“I didn’t play for five or six weeks (because of the hand injury), so just being able to come back and play with these guys, a bunch of brand new guys, was fun. It was something I was looking forward to.�

Despite being labeled “a beast� most of last week by Tice, Fonoti is humble about his game.

“I’ve got to work on my passing game, I’ve got to work on my running game. I’m never, ever going to tell you I’m solid, I’m perfect,� he said.

Fonoti’s replacement, Herrera, said he was generally pleased with his performance.

“I thought I did OK. Once I got into it, I just took my first hit and then I was alright,� Herrera said of his most extensive action in the NFL.

Now he is slated to make his first start at left guard against Cleveland on Sunday.

“They’ve got a defensive head coach (Romeo Crennel), so they’re going to be ready on defense. They’re going to have a good game plan,� Herrera said.

COMMUNICATION COMING

The consensus among Vikings defenders is that the improved defense is due in part to better communication. Players and coaches had been saying all offseason and early in the season that they expected it might take awhile for the defense to jell.

After solid performances against Detroit, the Giants and Green Bay in successive weeks, they feel the early-season miscommunications should be a thing of the past.

“The defense has been communicating over the last three or four weeks, so I think that’s been the key to our victories,� defensive end Erasmus James said. “We expected to play like that in the first game, but we weren’t all on the same page. Now that we’re all on the same page, everyone can see the talent and the leadership that we have on the team.�

NordicNed
11-27-2005, 02:09 PM
As usual, nice read singer...........

Should be a great game today...

singersp
11-27-2005, 02:14 PM
“The defense has been communicating over the last three or four weeks, so I think that’s been the key to our victories,� defensive end Erasmus James said. “We expected to play like that in the first game, but we weren’t all on the same page. Now that we’re all on the same page, everyone can see the talent and the leadership that we have on the team.�

I'm predicting Erasmus will have a big day today! :grin:

Freya
11-27-2005, 03:33 PM
Skol Big J!

josdin00
11-27-2005, 04:26 PM
I definately like that part at the end about the communication on the defensive side of the ball. I know that I too was hoping that the defense would gel earlier, but I also remember being worried about having so many new starters. Better late than never, I guess.

tosstomoss
11-27-2005, 04:58 PM
can we win 4 in a row, I feel we can. One game at a time!!!1

Wiggles67
11-27-2005, 05:43 PM
“If you watch Herrera, he played with a lot of passion. He’s going to be real aggressive and do whatever it takes to get the win,� Fason said. “I told him before the game that he was going to get his shot, just be ready. When he got the opportunity, he told me to run behind him and he was going to get me into the end zone.�

that was my favorite part about the article. It is so good to hear some determination and desire coming from someone on the O line

snowinapril
11-27-2005, 05:48 PM
"Wiggles67" wrote:


“If you watch Herrera, he played with a lot of passion. He’s going to be real aggressive and do whatever it takes to get the win,� Fason said. “I told him before the game that he was going to get his shot, just be ready. When he got the opportunity, he told me to run behind him and he was going to get me into the end zone.�

that was my favorite part about the article. It is so good to hear some determination and desire coming from someone on the O line

I heard this about this guy in an early season article. In the article, they asked him if he knew some player(?), a dirty player. He said, no I don't know who he is, but if that is his reputation, it can't be all that bad.

Something like that, he doesn't mind doing what is necessary to win. I will have to see if I can dredge that thread.

snowinapril
11-27-2005, 06:01 PM
Johnson’s completion percentage is 57.1 with a 5.7-yard average per pass attempt, while Culpepper completed 64.4 percent of his passes for a 7.24-yard average before his season ended with three torn ligaments in his knee. But the stat that matters most: Johnson is 3-0 since becoming the starter.

This is why I think that DC would have fared well. DC and BJ's stats are comparable.

The difference is the play of the rest of the team. The D, K-Rob and MeMo are the difference makers, players that have stepped it up.

Storm
11-27-2005, 11:56 PM
Number of ints, anyone?

VKG4LFE
11-28-2005, 12:00 AM
Johnson has thrown something like 3 I think?

sharper42
11-28-2005, 12:02 AM
2 interceptions this year

VKG4LFE
11-28-2005, 12:10 AM
3....2... what's the difference!! lol maybe I was thinking turnovers. I know he's fumbled once at least. Oh well, the key stat is 4 and 0.

magicci
11-28-2005, 01:12 AM
Im glad with what johnson has done for us. I also like that Herrera brings an attitude.

cajunvike
11-28-2005, 01:18 AM
This says it all:

“It’s not over. We’ve got a lot of football to play. I was part of a team that was 8-2 back in ’97 and we ended up 9-7,� he said of first stint with the Vikings. “Crazy things happen in this league. You look at Oakland three years ago when they went to the Super Bowl, they were 4-0, went 4-4 and then made a run. However you get the wins, you get the wins. Hopefully you get off to a hot start – we didn’t and hopefully we can finish strong now.�

ONE GAME AT A TIME!!!

magicci
11-28-2005, 01:40 AM
"cajunvike" wrote:

This says it all:

“It’s not over. We’ve got a lot of football to play. I was part of a team that was 8-2 back in ’97 and we ended up 9-7,� he said of first stint with the Vikings. “Crazy things happen in this league. You look at Oakland three years ago when they went to the Super Bowl, they were 4-0, went 4-4 and then made a run. However you get the wins, you get the wins. Hopefully you get off to a hot start – we didn’t and hopefully we can finish strong now.�

ONE GAME AT A TIME!!!
Did the vikings really have a breakdown like that under coach green? Wow and you think Tice has some major breakdowns during a season. I guess it was a real surprise that the vikings ended up 15-1 the next year.

singersp
12-14-2005, 01:58 PM
Johnson winning, having fun with Vikings

By RICK STROUD, Times Staff Writer
St. Petersburg Times
Published December 14, 2005

TAMPA - Once unappreciated, Brad Johnson now is simply undefeated.

Since taking over at quarterback for the Minnesota Vikings for injured starter Daunte Culpepper, Johnson has won six straight games and is in position to take his fourth different team to the playoffs.

"I've been rejuvenated," said the 37-year-old Johnson. "I've been in this system before, so it's easy to come back. It's been fun for me. I love watching film and getting ready for the game as much as I ever have. I enjoy everything about it."

Why not? Johnson is the ninth-ranked passer in the NFL with a rating of 90.9. He has completed 61.7 percent of his passes with eight touchdowns and two interceptions.

Culpepper, a three-time Pro Bowl player, had thrown 12 interceptions and six touchdowns and lost three fumbles in the first seven games before tearing three knee ligaments in a loss to Carolina Oct.30.

From a 2-5 mess, Johnson has resurrected the Vikings (8-5) along with his career. Entering Sunday's game against the Steelers, Minnesota is one game behind Chicago in the NFC North.

The former Bucs Super Bowl quarterback had hoped to find a job as a starter when he was released by Tampa Bay at the end of the 2004 season. But workouts with the Lions, Dolphins and Bears never produced a contract, so Johnson returned to Minnesota, where he spent his first five pro seasons and was 23-15 as a starter from 1996-98.

"I didn't like the situation I was in, but I had nowhere else to go," Johnson said. "I didn't get what I wanted, which was to be a starter. Everybody went with their guy. (Steve) Mariucci went with Jeff Garcia, (Dolphins offensive coordinator Scott) Linahan went with Gus Frerotte. So this was the best situation for me. Even when I wasn't playing, we loved being here."

Johnson still is tagged with labels such as "journeyman quarterback" and "efficient passer," adept at "managing the game." He never has gotten much credit for arm strength or athleticism.

"Dominoes," Johnson said. "One person said something, now everyone is saying it, too."

But the only moniker that would seem to apply to Johnson is winner. He already has taken the Vikings, Redskins and Bucs to the postseason.

In fact, it's not too farfetched to think that Johnson's Vikings may face the Bucs in the playoffs.

"They've really let me take off with this thing," Johnson said. "It's been fun.

"Guess we won't know the end of the story until it happens. The Super Bowl will always be No.1, but this has a another story to it. It's funny how things work out."