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6'7 266lbs DE Micael Johnson interview


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Spencer: At Georgia Tech you played 4-3 DE but many have you projected as a 3-4 OLB. Do you have a preference for which you’d like to play?

Johnson: Nah. I feel like I’d be comfortable playing either. I always did pretty good in space. I stood up on the defensive side of the ball in high school and I stood up a lot of times here. You know, it depended on what they had us doing.

Spencer: You really started to come on in your Senior year.. What was the key to your development between your junior and senior seasons?

Johnson: I just played more. I’ve made plays every year I’ve been here when I’ve had the opportunity to play on defense and I started my sophomore year. But you know, just being on the field more.

Spencer: You decided not to participate in the Senior Bowl and there are some differing opinions on that. What was reasoning behind that?

Johnson: I just felt like I had enough film. I just wanted to take that time and get prepared mentally and physically for the combine and for these next upcoming months, because my season’s started already. I won't have an offseason until next February because wherever I go, I expect to go to the playoffs and go deep. So I’m not expecting to be done until February.

Spencer: Your combine performance was solid and a lot of people expected that. Over the years, there’s been several guys that have come into the combine and performed very well, and then haven’t panned out in the NFL. How do you show teams that you’re more than just a physical specimen and that you’re an all around football player?

Johnson: Well I’ve made plays repeatedly throughout my college career and I know I haven’t even reached my potential. I’m just excited to go to the next level and keep working and keep improving everyday. Just continue to make plays. That’s really all I can do is just go out there and just make plays.

Spencer: What would you say is the strongest aspect of your game?

Johnson: Pass rush ability. Versatility.

Spencer: What would you say is an area of your game that you’d like to improve on?

Johnson: I’d like to improve on my technique against the run. Just my overall technique really. You know, in college, we had one d-line coach and he’s working with 11-12 guys and it’s hard to get it all in, you know. I think in the NFL, being able to have an individual position coach that just works with you as a d-end, d-lineman or an outside linebacker, you know, just spend more time one on one and learn and get better, that would be a great advantage.

Spencer: What would you say your greatest moment in your college career was? Was there a particular play or moment that defined you as a player?

Johnson: It wouldn‘t be anything individual I did, it‘d probably be a team effort. In my freshman year, we went down and beat Miami. They were ranked #3. We went in there on a Saturday night. No one expects us to win. And with this team, beating Georgia. We rolled! Ya know, down 16 at half-time and coming out and getting ‘em.

Spencer: Speaking of Georgia Tech, it seems like they’re a program on the rise as of late. Are there any players there that we should look out for to be future top prospects?

Johnson: Definitely Morgan Burnett and Derrick Morgan. Morgan Burnett is a safety, Derrick Morgan plays the other defensive end. They’re great players.

Spencer: Are there any NFL players that you tend to emulate or have a similar playing style to?

Johnson: Probably Jason Taylor

Spencer: I’m sure you’ve interviewed with a lot of teams at this point, but have there been any that have shown more interest than others at this point?

Johnson: I don’t know if it’s okay for me to talk about, but I’ve talked to position coaches for different teams. I’ve had some dinner meeting with some, coming up here for my pro day. I just don’t know what’s okay for me to say.

Spencer: In your college career, who would you say was the toughest offensive lineman you faced?

Johnson: In my entire time here? I’d have to say in practice going against Andrew Gardner. He’s a real technician. He’s only given up like, a sack or two in his whole career. So yeah, I’d say going against him in practice.

Spencer: Your Pro-Day is on Monday (3-9). What things would you like to do at your pro day, that you might not have been able to do at Indianapolis, that you really want show the scouts?

Johnson: Whatever they want to see. If they want to see me do defensive end stuff, I’ll do it. If they want to see me to linebacker stuff, I’ll do it. They wanna see me play like a safety that’s covering, I’ll do that too. You know, I don’t have a problem doing anything. Like this summer in 7 on 7s, it’s usually without d-line. So I’d get out there as a corner or linebacker and match up man to man.

Spencer: If you weren’t playing football, what do you see yourself doing?

Johnson: Definitely go back to my hometown of Selma and work with the kids and the community. Just try to build their vision and motivate them to be goal oriented and just believe in themselves and reach those goals. You know, I had great parents that knew how to teach me how to make goals and believe in myself and reach those goals. You know, just be goal oriented and never give up and never quit. Just always stay positive and motivated. I was very fortunate to have that, I know a lot of people around the world don’t have that.

Especially in my area. I saw that growing up and I’m just being thankful and blessed and fortunate to have that. And I’m gonna do what I want to do, whether I’m playing football or not, when it’s done I’m gonna go back down there and do that. Even in my off season, off time now, I do stuff around the community here in Georgia now.

I’ve worked with the Boy Scouts in the Atlanta area, I’ve done mentor things with kids from the elementary schools around here. It was kind of like a “Big Brothers” thing or something, you know, go out there for like a week or so, check up on them and play games with them. I’ve also coached 14 and under youth team up in the Rosswell area. So I try to stay active with the kids.

You know, I’m 22 and I know I’m not super-old, but I’ve seen a lot and just to be a part of those kid’s lives and help them out in school in stuff…sometimes they accept it more coming from someone closer to their age instead of someone 30, 40 years older than them

Spencer: I heard your father was in the military, is this true?

Johnson: Yes sir, he was in the Marines and in Vietnam. He got a Purple Heart there.

Spencer: Coming from that kind of background, how does that affect your outlook on life, football, and your work ethic?

Johnson: Well, it makes me work very hard. You take nothing for granted. You’re very thankful for you’re freedom, because freedom isn’t free. There’s people out there paying the price. You know, you don’t think about it, but the freedoms we have, we’ve got to be productive with it and just do our best and give our all.

I just keep that close to me, you know, in my thoughts and in my heart. Just knowing that people sacrificed a lot for me to be where I’m at. Also, the civil rights people. You know, the opportunities I had to go to a Georgia Tech, and to play ball, and stuff like that. You know, I’m from Selma, that’s a very poor town. So I grew up with all that around me and it made me very appreciative and hungry to go out and take advantage of my opportunities, and that’s what I’ve tried to do my whole life.

Spencer: Do you have any particular plans for draft day?

Johnson: I’ll definitely be in Selma Alabama. I’ll probably be at my house and there’s probably gonna be a lot of people there. We might be at a park or something, but I’ll just be relaxing and chilling.

Spencer: Michael, I really appreciate you taking your time out for us. It’s obvious that you have a bright future in front of you and I think you’ll fit in well with a variety of NFL teams. I hope you’re able to take your success onto the next level in the NFL and I thank you again for your time.

Johnson: Thank you for having me.

From 0:50 on .... Michael Johnson dominate

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He still sounds like a Gholston type. The type of guy who disappears for games, but shows up for some plays and the combine. I don't see us taking him unless he slips deep. Sounds too much like a project and a boom/bust type of guy. I think TD takes the more "complete" type of players that can be plugged in very quickly. I'll be very surprised if we keep him in Georgia.

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He still sounds like a Gholston type. The type of guy who disappears for games, but shows up for some plays and the combine. I don't see us taking him unless he slips deep. Sounds too much like a project and a boom/bust type of guy. I think TD takes the more "complete" type of players that can be plugged in very quickly. I'll be very surprised if we keep him in Georgia.

I wouldn't. IMO this is what i see from Micheal Johnson. He has alot of potential and could be the next Julius Peppers in a few years with good coaching and i believe that he does have a good work ethic. He would be that everydown DE at the LDE or RDE that is good against the run and even better against the pass. At worst i see him as being a pass rushing specialist, even playing some OLB in certain sets depending on the team. I would even mind him being a pass rushing specialist, heck as Atljbo has pointed out plenty of times, Robert Mathis is a pass rushing specialist and amassed 11 sacks and made it to the Probowl, team have to prepare for him, even if he doesnt play everydown.

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He still sounds like a Gholston type. The type of guy who disappears for games, but shows up for some plays and the combine. I don't see us taking him unless he slips deep. Sounds too much like a project and a boom/bust type of guy. I think TD takes the more "complete" type of players that can be plugged in very quickly. I'll be very surprised if we keep him in Georgia.

You're exactly right. I wouldnt draft that guy before the 4th round. Useless against the run, takes games off, unpredictable and undependable. But hey - he looked great at the Combine!

I'll pass.

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He still sounds like a Gholston type. The type of guy who disappears for games, but shows up for some plays and the combine. I don't see us taking him unless he slips deep. Sounds too much like a project and a boom/bust type of guy. I think TD takes the more "complete" type of players that can be plugged in very quickly. I'll be very surprised if we keep him in Georgia.

please tell me what complete player/ no concern player can we get with the 24th pick..

Clay Matthews: the guy has not started 1 full year... this is his first year being something besides a special teamer...

Louis Delmas: Louis Delmas is a little injury pron and has had multiple concussions..... Like Bob sanders i can see Delmas having trouble staying healthy.

Brian Cushing: Not only had injury problems but Brian Cushing did not play on 3rd downs at USC.... Rey Maualuga played 3rd dowbns but Brian Cushing couldn't.

Larry English: Scouts feel like English is not athletic enough to play OLB but also does not have the body to hold up at DE.... The DE statement also goes with English being a little injury pron( Tore his ACL,Tore a pectoral muscle, a broken hand).... Heck some teams view English as a 4th or 5th round pick

I like all of those guys but its concerns about all of those guys too....

He sucks. He's a 3rd down speed rusher, nothing more.

Would u take Robert Mathis (11.5 sacks last year) with the 24th pick..... If you say no u are crazy .... Plus Michael Johnson has the measurable to play stout against the run when his body devolope under our strength Coach....... If Micheal Johnson is a pass rusher right now think about when he gets up to 275lbs and is able to consistently play the run....

Who draft profile does this look like

NFL workout Stats: 40-yard dash - 4.66, 225 bench press - 35 reps, vertical jump - 40.5"

There may not be a better physical specimen at any position in the draft. has fantastic size for a defensive end, but couples that with supreme athleticism. He draws a lot of comparisons to Julius Peppers for his size and athleticism combination. has the quickness off the line, the ability to change direction, and the closing speed to be a major factor as a pass rusher.

Despite being so talented, has not dominated like he should. He just seems to disappear at times. For how big and athletic he is, he should just own opposing tackles. Perhaps that is because he still relies on his athleticism to make plays. Whatever the reason, it does cause some concern.

Thats Mario Williams draft profile........

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please tell me what complete player/ no concern player can we get with the 24th pick..

Clay Matthews: the guy has not started 1 full year... this is his first year being something besides a special teamer...

Louis Delmas: Louis Delmas is a little injury pron and has had multiple concussions..... Like Bob sanders i can see Delmas having trouble staying healthy.

Brian Cushing: Not only had injury problems but Brian Cushing did not play on 3rd downs at USC.... Rey Maualuga played 3rd dowbns but Brian Cushing couldn't.

Larry English: Scouts feel like English is not athletic enough to play OLB but also does not have the body to hold up at DE.... The DE statement also goes with English being a little injury pron( Tore his ACL,Tore a pectoral muscle, a broken hand)

I like all of those guys but its concerns about all of those guys too....

Would u take Robert Mathis (11.5 sacks last year) with the 24th pick..... If you say no u are crazy .... Plus Michael Johnson has the measurable to play stout against the run when his body devolope under our strength Coach....... If Micheal Johnson is a pass rusher right now think about when he gets up to 275lbs and is able to consistently play the run....

Who draft profile does this look like

Thats Mario Williams draft profile........

It is amazing how many times this scouting reports say that about athletic DE, that they disappear sometimes, He profile sounds just like Micheal Johnson.

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It is amazing how many times this scouting reports say that about athletic DE, that they disappear sometimes, He profile sounds just like Micheal Johnson.

Scouting reports and fans say that because if a guy have those freakish measurable.. they want the guy to be unstopable on every play.... Its not realistic but thats what they want......... I hear experts and Fans say the same thing about Julius Peppers also ..

Brian Orakpo motor runs hot and cold and ive seen him half ### it but thats not a big concern for fans and experts tho.

Its not fair but thats the way it is

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The thing is....he isnt that much of a freak outside of his height, 1/2 of which is in his neck.

He has some speed, and some upper body strength. And thats about it.

He seems like a decent enough guy, but why all the hype for a guy who couldnt crack a starting rotation until his senior season...then bails on the senior bowl because "he has enough film". No, no you dont Johnson. You could have been a top 10 pick if you lit it up in the senior bowl.

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My Main Concern is Does He have A Frame That Can Add Bulk To His Lower Body?

Him Being So Tall, I'd really Like To See Him Gain Some Leg Meat Before I Trust Him Against the Behemoths that Play OT in the NFL.

Also, Isn't it great how he hypes his teammates? Saying Gardener was the best OT he had faced?

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Spencer: At Georgia Tech you played 4-3 DE but many have you projected as a 3-4 OLB. Do you have a preference for which you’d like to play?

Johnson: As long as I get paid and have a built in excuse for failure, such as a position change, I'm down with it.

Spencer: You really started to come on in your Senior year.. What was the key to your development between your junior and senior seasons?

Johnson: I laid off smoking crack, so I could find the field for the first time

Spencer: You decided not to participate in the Senior Bowl and there are some differing opinions on that. What was reasoning behind that?

Johnson: My handlers told me not to go, because I'd just hurt my stock.

Spencer: Your combine performance was solid and a lot of people expected that. Over the years, there’s been several guys that have come into the combine and performed very well, and then haven’t panned out in the NFL. How do you show teams that you’re more than just a physical specimen and that you’re an all around football player?

Johnson: It's easy to look good when I don't have to worry about someone hitting me or yelling at me

Spencer: What would you say is the strongest aspect of your game?

Johnson: I get changed and showered faster than anyone

Spencer: What would you say is an area of your game that you’d like to improve on?

Johnson: I’d like to meet that guy with the headphones and the clipboard and find out why he's always mad at me

Spencer: What would you say your greatest moment in your college career was? Was there a particular play or moment that defined you as a player?

Johnson: It was the day they told me I could get a degree without going to class

Spencer: Speaking of Georgia Tech, it seems like they’re a program on the rise as of late. Are there any players there that we should look out for to be future top prospects?

Johnson: How should I know? Isn't this about MJ

Spencer: Are there any NFL players that you tend to emulate or have a similar playing style to?

Johnson: See my previous answer

Spencer: I’m sure you’ve interviewed with a lot of teams at this point, but have there been any that have shown more interest than others at this point?

Johnson: No one's talking dollars yet, so I don't listen

Spencer: In your college career, who would you say was the toughest offensive lineman you faced?

Johnson: Andrew Gardner. He keeps calling me "cherry" and I don't like it.

Spencer: Your Pro-Day is on Monday (3-9). What things would you like to do at your pro day, that you might not have been able to do at Indianapolis, that you really want show the scouts?

Johnson: I want to show the scouts that I'm the best 6"7" track star they have ever seen

Spencer: If you weren’t playing football, what do you see yourself doing?

Johnson: I'd be an American Gladiator

Spencer: I heard your father was in the military, is this true?

Johnson: Yes he got drafted and hid in a haystack for 3 months before they found him

Spencer: Coming from that kind of background, how does that affect your outlook on life, football, and your work ethic?

Johnson: It's me free ride bro

Spencer: Do you have any particular plans for draft day?

Johnson: If I wake up in time, I plan to watch it

Spencer: Michael, I really appreciate you taking your time out for us. It’s obvious that you have a bright future in front of you and I think you’ll fit in well with a variety of NFL teams. I hope you’re able to take your success onto the next level in the NFL and I thank you again for your time.

Johnson: Who are you again?. Why isn't my cheeseburger here yet?

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Jedi once again with the unbelievably inaccurate opinion. Michael Johnson SUCKS!

He's going to be a great NFL player and I for one would love to have him at 24. You don't have 9 sacks, 20 tackles for loss, force 3 fumbles and block 3 kicks and intercept one pass for a TD and SUCK.

You don't

And Gholston will get atleast a half a dozen sacks next year (he's not a bust - he just isnt a 3-4 OLB, he' a 4-3 end)

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Spencer: At Georgia Tech you played 4-3 DE but many have you projected as a 3-4 OLB. Do you have a preference for which you’d like to play?

Johnson: As long as I get paid and have a built in excuse for failure, such as a position change, I'm down with it.

Spencer: You really started to come on in your Senior year.. What was the key to your development between your junior and senior seasons?

Johnson: I laid off smoking crack, so I could find the field for the first time

Spencer: You decided not to participate in the Senior Bowl and there are some differing opinions on that. What was reasoning behind that?

Johnson: My handlers told me not to go, because I'd just hurt my stock.

Spencer: Your combine performance was solid and a lot of people expected that. Over the years, there’s been several guys that have come into the combine and performed very well, and then haven’t panned out in the NFL. How do you show teams that you’re more than just a physical specimen and that you’re an all around football player?

Johnson: It's easy to look good when I don't have to worry about someone hitting me or yelling at me

Spencer: What would you say is the strongest aspect of your game?

Johnson: I get changed and showered faster than anyone

Spencer: What would you say is an area of your game that you’d like to improve on?

Johnson: I’d like to meet that guy with the headphones and the clipboard and find out why he's always mad at me

Spencer: What would you say your greatest moment in your college career was? Was there a particular play or moment that defined you as a player?

Johnson: It was the day they told me I could get a degree without going to class

Spencer: Speaking of Georgia Tech, it seems like they’re a program on the rise as of late. Are there any players there that we should look out for to be future top prospects?

Johnson: How should I know? Isn't this about MJ

Spencer: Are there any NFL players that you tend to emulate or have a similar playing style to?

Johnson: See my previous answer

Spencer: I’m sure you’ve interviewed with a lot of teams at this point, but have there been any that have shown more interest than others at this point?

Johnson: No one's talking dollars yet, so I don't listen

Spencer: In your college career, who would you say was the toughest offensive lineman you faced?

Johnson: Andrew Gardner. He keeps calling me "cherry" and I don't like it.

Spencer: Your Pro-Day is on Monday (3-9). What things would you like to do at your pro day, that you might not have been able to do at Indianapolis, that you really want show the scouts?

Johnson: I want to show the scouts that I'm the best 6"7" track star they have ever seen

Spencer: If you weren’t playing football, what do you see yourself doing?

Johnson: I'd be an American Gladiator

Spencer: I heard your father was in the military, is this true?

Johnson: Yes he got drafted and hid in a haystack for 3 months before they found him

Spencer: Coming from that kind of background, how does that affect your outlook on life, football, and your work ethic?

Johnson: It's me free ride bro

Spencer: Do you have any particular plans for draft day?

Johnson: If I wake up in time, I plan to watch it

Spencer: Michael, I really appreciate you taking your time out for us. It’s obvious that you have a bright future in front of you and I think you’ll fit in well with a variety of NFL teams. I hope you’re able to take your success onto the next level in the NFL and I thank you again for your time.

Johnson: Who are you again?. Why isn't my cheeseburger here yet?

Even as an attempt at humor, that's kinda a ***** move. Especially the crack part.

Dude is a decent guy, he might not be a prospect you like, but don't sh^t on his whole life.

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He still sounds like a Gholston type. The type of guy who disappears for games, but shows up for some plays and the combine. I don't see us taking him unless he slips deep. Sounds too much like a project and a boom/bust type of guy. I think TD takes the more "complete" type of players that can be plugged in very quickly. I'll be very surprised if we keep him in Georgia.

One problem with Gholston was that he didn't love the sport and that was noted. MJ does love the sport.

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The thing is....he isnt that much of a freak outside of his height, 1/2 of which is in his neck.

He has some speed, and some upper body strength. And thats about it.

He seems like a decent enough guy, but why all the hype for a guy who couldnt crack a starting rotation until his senior season...then bails on the senior bowl because "he has enough film". No, no you dont Johnson. You could have been a top 10 pick if you lit it up in the senior bowl.

That's the thing that jumped out at me when I read that interview. Participating in the senior bowl could have gone a long way towards answering some questions about his desire and competitiveness. That part just came off to me as "I didn't feel like going." Johnson's potential is downright scary but he's just too much of a boom or bust type guy for me to take a flier on at 24. He actually reminds me a lot of Jamaal Anderson.

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That's the thing that jumped out at me when I read that interview. Participating in the senior bowl could have gone a long way towards answering some questions about his desire and competitiveness. That part just came off to me as "I didn't feel like going." Johnson's potential is downright scary but he's just too much of a boom or bust type guy for me to take a flier on at 24. He actually reminds me a lot of Jamaal Anderson.

To be fair, he did make good use of his time, by training with Chuck Smith in Atlanta.

As far as him taking his game to the next level, that seems like a good investment.

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That's the thing that jumped out at me when I read that interview. Participating in the senior bowl could have gone a long way towards answering some questions about his desire and competitiveness. That part just came off to me as "I didn't feel like going." Johnson's potential is downright scary but he's just too much of a boom or bust type guy for me to take a flier on at 24. He actually reminds me a lot of Jamaal Anderson.

So, you think Ryan made a mistake by not attending the Senior bowl last year?

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Everybody has there opinion on the guy, just like they did last year with ryan and dorsey. I thinks its safe to say the majority wanted the wrong guy. So it shows why we are not GM's. Thank GOD!!! If the FO see something in him to pick him up, I'll trust there evaluation and due process before anyone on a message board.So if this is the guy you want TD bring him home, and prove a lot of people wrong again!!!

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Spencer: At Georgia Tech you played 4-3 DE but many have you projected as a 3-4 OLB. Do you have a preference for which you’d like to play?

Johnson: As long as I get paid and have a built in excuse for failure, such as a position change, I'm down with it.

Spencer: You really started to come on in your Senior year.. What was the key to your development between your junior and senior seasons?

Johnson: I laid off smoking crack, so I could find the field for the first time

Spencer: You decided not to participate in the Senior Bowl and there are some differing opinions on that. What was reasoning behind that?

Johnson: My handlers told me not to go, because I'd just hurt my stock.

Spencer: Your combine performance was solid and a lot of people expected that. Over the years, there’s been several guys that have come into the combine and performed very well, and then haven’t panned out in the NFL. How do you show teams that you’re more than just a physical specimen and that you’re an all around football player?

Johnson: It's easy to look good when I don't have to worry about someone hitting me or yelling at me

Spencer: What would you say is the strongest aspect of your game?

Johnson: I get changed and showered faster than anyone

Spencer: What would you say is an area of your game that you’d like to improve on?

Johnson: I’d like to meet that guy with the headphones and the clipboard and find out why he's always mad at me

Spencer: What would you say your greatest moment in your college career was? Was there a particular play or moment that defined you as a player?

Johnson: It was the day they told me I could get a degree without going to class

Spencer: Speaking of Georgia Tech, it seems like they’re a program on the rise as of late. Are there any players there that we should look out for to be future top prospects?

Johnson: How should I know? Isn't this about MJ

Spencer: Are there any NFL players that you tend to emulate or have a similar playing style to?

Johnson: See my previous answer

Spencer: I’m sure you’ve interviewed with a lot of teams at this point, but have there been any that have shown more interest than others at this point?

Johnson: No one's talking dollars yet, so I don't listen

Spencer: In your college career, who would you say was the toughest offensive lineman you faced?

Johnson: Andrew Gardner. He keeps calling me "cherry" and I don't like it.

Spencer: Your Pro-Day is on Monday (3-9). What things would you like to do at your pro day, that you might not have been able to do at Indianapolis, that you really want show the scouts?

Johnson: I want to show the scouts that I'm the best 6"7" track star they have ever seen

Spencer: If you weren’t playing football, what do you see yourself doing?

Johnson: I'd be an American Gladiator

Spencer: I heard your father was in the military, is this true?

Johnson: Yes he got drafted and hid in a haystack for 3 months before they found him

Spencer: Coming from that kind of background, how does that affect your outlook on life, football, and your work ethic?

Johnson: It's me free ride bro

Spencer: Do you have any particular plans for draft day?

Johnson: If I wake up in time, I plan to watch it

Spencer: Michael, I really appreciate you taking your time out for us. It’s obvious that you have a bright future in front of you and I think you’ll fit in well with a variety of NFL teams. I hope you’re able to take your success onto the next level in the NFL and I thank you again for your time.

Johnson: Who are you again?. Why isn't my cheeseburger here yet?

You're a douch3bag and this was a stupid post. The man's father earned a purple heart and you have the audacity to make those outrageous statements? You're a fu(king loser.

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Georgia Tech DE Michael Johnson is reportedly on the "short list" of players the Bucs are considering drafting at No. 19 overall.

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Georgia Tech defensive end Michael Johnson is on the short list to be the Buccaneers' first-round pick. Johnson impressed the Bucs during his visit to Tampa, and would like to play for the Buccaneers as a professional. Johnson responded to critics, who say he takes plays off and has an inconsistent motor.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are considering drafting Georgia Tech defensive end Michael Johnson with their first pick in the 2009 NFL Draft. Johnson met with the Bucs at the combine, and the team recently brought him in for a pre-draft visit to One Buc Place. The team is said to be very high on the Selma, Alabama product.

Johnson spoke exclusively with Pewter Report this week and said his visit with the Bucs went very well. He spent a lot of time with defensive coordinator Jim Bates, head coach Raheem Morris and general manager Mark Dominik.

"It went real well," Johnson said. "I enjoyed meeting with the staff. I really enjoyed my time with Coach Bates and Coach Morris. I was mainly meeting with Coach Bates, Coach Morris and Mr. Dominik.

"I'm from the South so I enjoyed being not too far from home. It seems like a young team and a young staff. That is always real fun to be around. You have that energy, and it seems to me like they are going to be competing for a Super Bowl championship in the near future, and I would love to be part of it."

In his collegiate career, Johnson put up some huge numbers recording 107 tackles, 30.5 tackles for a loss, 19 sacks, 10 batted passes, 10 forced fumbles, and three blocked kicks. The 6-foot-7, 266-pound Johnson has tremendous physical abilities to go along with his prototype size for a 4-3 defensive end.

Johnson had one the best combine workouts among defensive linemen. He ran the 40-yard dash at 4.68 seconds, and ranked highly in a number of the drills. Some have alleged that Johnson is a workout warrior that does not translate to the field.

In the time leading up the draft, Johnson has come under criticism from a number of media pundits for taking plays off and playing with an inconsistent motor. Johnson disagrees with those sentiments, and said he cleared up those allegations for the Bucs and other teams when he was on visits.

"I sat and watched film with the staffs and we've talked about that," said Johnson. "The teams sat down and watched film with me and they saw what was going on. I explained what we were doing and what my assignment was: whether it was to play containment, rush the quarterback, dropping in coverage, or whatever it was supposed to be. I was able to explain it all, and they all were agreeable to my explanation. I don't worry about what people say because I do what coaches ask of me, and I do what teammates need me to do. That's what I did this year. My focus is to go out and win games, and have fun.

"I had a lot of responsibility in our defense, and was asked to do a lot of different things. Coming back for my senior year, I was asked to do a lot of different stuff (by the coaches), and I was told that I might have to take criticism for it and my numbers would be lower, but I was happy to do what the team needed. It is what it is, and I don't have any regrets. I enjoyed playing for Georgia Tech."

Johnson's opponents would probably disagree with the criticism as well. In his senior season Johnson recorded nine sacks, 17.5 tackles for a loss, 46 tackles, three forced fumbles, seven passes defensed, one blocked kick, and one interception returned 26 yards for a touchdown.

Virginia left tackle Eugene Monroe is expected to be drafted in the top-five picks of the first-round this year. Monroe said that Johnson was the hardest player he had to block, and was the best defensive lineman he went against. In past years Monroe practiced daily against St. Louis Rams defensive lineman Chris Long, who was the second overall selection in the draft last year. Against Monroe and Virginia, Johnson had four tackles, one sack, two tackles for a loss, and one forced fumble.

"Yeah, I don't like praising myself. I prefer people to ask my opponents what they thought of me," said Johnson. "That is more important, what they think about me. They can give a better gauge than myself. With what Eugene said, being a top guy (in the draft), that meant a lot."

Sources have told Pewter Report that Tampa Bay is high on Johnson, and is strongly considering him for the 19th overall pick in the draft. Johnson has the ability to play left and right defensive end. The Bucs spent the fourth overall pick in the 2007 draft on defensive end Gaines Adams, and are looking for a pass rusher to pair with Adams for seasons to come. Recently on NFL Network, Pewter Report's Jim Flynn projected the Bucs to take Johnson with their first-round pick. In speaking with Pewter Report, Johnson said that he would be ecstatic if that was the case.

"I sure hope you all are right because I would love to come to Tampa," Johnson said.

If Tampa Bay passes on Johnson it may have to see him regularly. Johnson is visiting with the Atlanta Falcons today, and there is talk that the Carolina Panthers are looking into trading up from their second-round pick to get Johnson. They could also draft Johnson in the first round if they trade defensive end Julius Peppers. The franchised Peppers has repeatedly stated that he wants to leave Carolina. Johnson has met with all 32 teams, and has gone on visits to a many cities. While Johnson said he would love to play for the Buccaneers, he will be happy continuing to play football as a professional.

"I've been playing football since I was 10 years old," said Johnson. "Watching football is part of my first memories. When I was a little kid I'd put pillows in my shirts and run around and crash into the wall. When I finally got to play when I was 10, I broke my arm in my very first game. I was crying after the game, and told my dad my arm was hurting. But my parents, knowing me, knew I was crying because we had lost not because of my arm. I ended up getting a cast and was able to come back to play and finish the season. It just re-enforced how much I love football.

"At Georgia Tech, I missed two games, but other than that I never missed practice or a game, regardless of what was going on. I love the game, and being with the team. I'm always focused on being a team player and doing what was required of me for my team."

For Johnson's part he plans on continuing to work hard as a professional, and do what his coaches ask of him, wherever that may be.

"When I get to Tech I was 210-pounds," Johnson said. "I've worked hard to add 50 or more pounds since then. It has been a grind of working hard and trying to be the best. All my teammates and coaches and stuff say that nobody is going to outwork me.

"I will do whatever the coaches ask me. I don't come off the field. I've covered kicks on special teams. During the week in practice I work hard, and study. I focus on the game plan install, and then the game comes easy."

The Bucs are in need of defensive linemen, and have struggled to get a consistent pass rush over the past three seasons. Not since Simeon Rice in 2005 have the Bucs had a player with double-digit sack totals. The Buccaneers hope that Bates' new scheme will help to produce more sacks for Tampa Bay. Johnson could be part of that, and the team told him that during his visit.

"Coach Bates has had a lot of success with his defensive lines," said Johnson. "He coached Jason Taylor, and said we are very similar players. Just having an extended time to speak with him on the visit was a great experience. In just a little bit of time he was able to teach me things about the game. That was very interesting and fun."

Like i said a week ago...... I heard the Bucs really like Michael Johnson also.

This is our 2nd meeting with Michael Johnson

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You're exactly right. I wouldnt draft that guy before the 4th round. Useless against the run, takes games off, unpredictable and undependable. But hey - he looked great at the Combine!

I'll pass.

come on now thats going waaaaaayyyy too far ... If he made it to our pick at 55 someone should be fired if we dont select him!!!!!!! :huh::huh::huh::huh::huh:

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Spencer: At Georgia Tech you played 4-3 DE but many have you projected as a 3-4 OLB. Do you have a preference for which you’d like to play?

Johnson: As long as I get paid and have a built in excuse for failure, such as a position change, I'm down with it.

Spencer: You really started to come on in your Senior year.. What was the key to your development between your junior and senior seasons?

Johnson: I laid off smoking crack, so I could find the field for the first time

Spencer: You decided not to participate in the Senior Bowl and there are some differing opinions on that. What was reasoning behind that?

Johnson: My handlers told me not to go, because I'd just hurt my stock.

Spencer: Your combine performance was solid and a lot of people expected that. Over the years, there’s been several guys that have come into the combine and performed very well, and then haven’t panned out in the NFL. How do you show teams that you’re more than just a physical specimen and that you’re an all around football player?

Johnson: It's easy to look good when I don't have to worry about someone hitting me or yelling at me

Spencer: What would you say is the strongest aspect of your game?

Johnson: I get changed and showered faster than anyone

Spencer: What would you say is an area of your game that you’d like to improve on?

Johnson: I’d like to meet that guy with the headphones and the clipboard and find out why he's always mad at me

Spencer: What would you say your greatest moment in your college career was? Was there a particular play or moment that defined you as a player?

Johnson: It was the day they told me I could get a degree without going to class

Spencer: Speaking of Georgia Tech, it seems like they’re a program on the rise as of late. Are there any players there that we should look out for to be future top prospects?

Johnson: How should I know? Isn't this about MJ

Spencer: Are there any NFL players that you tend to emulate or have a similar playing style to?

Johnson: See my previous answer

Spencer: I’m sure you’ve interviewed with a lot of teams at this point, but have there been any that have shown more interest than others at this point?

Johnson: No one's talking dollars yet, so I don't listen

Spencer: In your college career, who would you say was the toughest offensive lineman you faced?

Johnson: Andrew Gardner. He keeps calling me "cherry" and I don't like it.

Spencer: Your Pro-Day is on Monday (3-9). What things would you like to do at your pro day, that you might not have been able to do at Indianapolis, that you really want show the scouts?

Johnson: I want to show the scouts that I'm the best 6"7" track star they have ever seen

Spencer: If you weren’t playing football, what do you see yourself doing?

Johnson: I'd be an American Gladiator

Spencer: I heard your father was in the military, is this true?

Johnson: Yes he got drafted and hid in a haystack for 3 months before they found him

Spencer: Coming from that kind of background, how does that affect your outlook on life, football, and your work ethic?

Johnson: It's me free ride bro

Spencer: Do you have any particular plans for draft day?

Johnson: If I wake up in time, I plan to watch it

Spencer: Michael, I really appreciate you taking your time out for us. It’s obvious that you have a bright future in front of you and I think you’ll fit in well with a variety of NFL teams. I hope you’re able to take your success onto the next level in the NFL and I thank you again for your time.

Johnson: Who are you again?. Why isn't my cheeseburger here yet?

WOW if you're over the age of 18 .... Thats pretty sad....

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