View Full Version : Vikings' players express confidence in Johnson - for now

03-15-2006, 12:46 PM
Posted on Tue, Mar. 14, 2006

Vikings' players express confidence in Johnson - for now

Knight Ridder Newspapers

ST. PAUL, Minn. - Though they were disappointed quarterback Daunte Culpepper was traded to the Miami Dolphins on Tuesday, Vikings veterans Bryant McKinnie and Fred Smoot said they have confidence in Brad Johnson.

At least over the short term.

"He's won a Super Bowl," McKinnie said of Johnson, who led the Vikings to a 7-2 record last season after taking over for the injured Culpepper. "I have confidence in Brad, but I'm not going to say for the next three years."

Smoot said Johnson, 37, has the experience and talent to thrive as the Vikings' starter, especially in coach Brad Childress' new West Coast offense.

"I have no doubt that Brad can carry us," Smoot said. "Plus, my head coach, I know his offense, and his offense is guaranteed to move the ball, no matter who is the quarterback. I feel good about how Brad will play in the offense.

"Brad will master it in no time."

Johnson wasn't available for comment Tuesday, and his agent, Phil Williams, declined comment. Childress did not speak to local reporters, but he spoke glowingly of Johnson in an interview with Sirius NFL Radio.

"He's played in this system before and he understands some of the verbiage in it," Childress said. "He's a great preparation guy. A great professional. He knows how to get rid of the football and he knows how to make plays. And he's got something I want: one of those world championship rings. He's got one on his finger, he's found a way to do it, and that's certainly all of our goal."

Thursday, Vikings owner Zygi Wilf told the St. Paul Pioneer Press that he has no reservations about starting Johnson. But he added that he would leave decisions to the "professionals."

Monday, the Vikings entertained Craig Nall, the Green Bay Packers' third-string quarterback, and discussed contract parameters with his agent, Robb Nelson. Nelson did not return phone calls Tuesday.

If Nall signs, the Vikings could part with J.T. O'Sullivan, the only other quarterback on their roster.

The Vikings also could look to supplement their stable of quarterbacks through the draft. During Childress' interview on Sirius NFL Radio, former Vikings receiver Cris Carter asked him about packaging multiple draft picks to move up and snag one of the top three quarterbacks, Matt Leinart, Vince Young or Jay Cutler.

"Well, you know, you look at all those eventualities and see if you feel like there's something," Childress said. "Matter of fact we were just looking through some numbers, what you can add them up to, those three picks, and how far you can move up and so on and so forth.

"When you do those mock drafts, you have to kind of consider all those things because there's a lot of things that come across your plate on draft day. There's no doubt we'd like to get a developmental guy, somebody we can teach this system to and kind of nurse along and then have him get out on the field. We've done that with a couple guys in Philadelphia, a guy like A.J. Feely, who we were able to develop a little bit. I'd like to be able to do that with somebody."

Other rookie quarterbacks available: Omar Jacobs of Bowling Green, Brodie Croyle of Alabama and Charlie Whitehurst of Clemson.

Pending the completion of the Culpepper trade, the Vikings would have the 17th pick in the first round and two picks in the second round.

Vikings' players express confidence in Johnson - for now (http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercurynews/sports/14099254.htm)

03-15-2006, 08:17 PM
I have faith in BJ as well, he proved he can do the job last year, my main concern is can they keep him healthy all year. By the looks of things the Viking coaching staff share the same concerns with what there doing with the O-line.

03-15-2006, 08:22 PM
Same old stuff. I don't think you have to be very bright to know that BJ is capable (been there, done that) and the BJ is not the long-term answer. The new coaching staff may overlook the need for having a backup place-kick holder, but rest assured they will be addressing the long-term quarterback issue at some point.

03-15-2006, 08:23 PM
I am ready for BJ at the helm. Good comments by Smoot.

03-15-2006, 09:54 PM
Omar Jacobs in the 2nd round FTW