He's had a nice career, no doubt...high school All-American, Florida State, couple of Pro Bowls and a Super Bowl. Long career, too; fourteen years since he was drafted back in 1992 and Joe Theisman espoused last night it would be wise for the Vikings to extend the thirty-eight year old's contract. For a couple of years.
Former Redskin Joe Theisman praised Johnson for being a great game manager, and instructed that game managers made for the best quarterbacks in today's NFL. Joe-Joe ignored the overwhelmingly dominant defenses of Baltimore, Tampa Bay and Pittsburgh to suggest that Dilfer, Johnson and Roethlisberger were the pivotal cogs for past Super Bowl winners. He also ignored some really great quarterbacks.
But I don't want to crap on game managing quarterbacks. I don't even want to crap on Joe Theisman (right now). This is about Brad Johnson. Brad Johnson can no longer throw an accurate ball beyond fifteen yards. Brad Johnson can no longer move, release the ball with any quickness or create a credible threat to manage a game against a competitive team.
The Vikings, obviously, can't compete with the Patriots. Their offensive line looked overpaid and slow, their running back appeared undersized and slow, and their somewhat highly regarded defense got exposed by Tom Brady and his band of no-name receivers (they also looked slow).
But give some credit to Brad Childress, moustache and all, for understanding how to spread out a defense and offering a sniff of hope to an overmatched team. It was, after all, his play calling that still had you thinking the Vikings had a shot at victory after the Mewelde Moore kick return. His play calling kept the Patriots on their proverbial heels and allowed a group of second-stringers to compete with some of the best.
But he needed...desperately...for Brad Johnson to connect on one damned deep ball to keep New England honest.
If you go back to the Wikipedia article linked above, you'll find that my criticism of BJ's arm is in direct contravention of Sean Salisbury who claims Johnson has "big, strong arms and a great deep ball." Big, strong arms? Arms? Plural? Like Magnus Ver Magnusson? He's got big, strong arms. But it doesn't necessarily translate that he has, as Salisbury claims, a "great deep ball."
Alright, so that was a few years ago, and my whole point is that Brad Johnson is well past his prime and he is a man ready to be put out to stud. But after watching last night's pile of miserable failure, I want to paint Johnson's entire career with the suckiest brush I can find.