|Date of birth:||September 13 1968|
|Place of birth:||Marietta Georgia|
|Height: 6 ft 5 in||Weight: 237 lbs|
|National Football League Debut|
|Debut: 1992 for the Minnesota Vikings|
|High school:||Charles Owens (NC)|
|NFL Draft:||1992 / Rnd: 9 / Pck: 227th|
|* = offseason / practice squad only|
|Career highlights and awards|
}}James Bradley Johnson (born September 13, 1968 in Marietta, Georgia) is a former American football quarterback. He was drafted by the Minnesota Vikings in the ninth round of the 1992 NFL Draft. He played college football at Florida State.
Early years Edit
NFL career Edit
Brad has one of the top 20 career passer ratings in NFL history. Johnson holds a 67-44 career record as a starter, currently the 3rd best win-loss ratio among active QBs with over 50 starting games. He has also connected on over 60% of his passes for last 12 straight seasons, the first quarterback in NFL history to do this (Joe Montana & Steve Young previously held the record with eight straight seasons).
He has been twice selected to Pro Bowl: in 1999 and 2002. In 2003 he was named to USA Today's All-Joe team which recognizes the NFL's most unsung players.
He has eclipsed the 3,000-yard passing mark five times. In 1999, he became only the second Washington Redskin in franchise history to eclipse 4,000 yards. He had the top passer rating in the NFC in 2002 and he has earned NFC Offensive Player of the Week honors 7 times in his career. He has also broken almost every passer record at Tampa Bay. To date, Brad Johnson is the only NFL quarterback to have thrown a touchdown pass to himself. Against the Carolina Panthers in 1997, Johnson caught his deflected pass, juked, and ran three yards for a touchdown.
In 2003 he won the NFL's "Quarterback Challenge" competition, in which he beat Pro Bowl QBs Tom Brady, Matt Hasselbeck, Jeff Garcia, Mark Brunell, Marc Bulger and others like Byron Leftwich and Joey Harrington in a skills competition with four parts involving accuracy, speed and mobility, long distance throw, and "No Huddle." Former teammate Sean Salisbury said that despite having big, strong arms and a great deep ball, Brad always played it safe and went for the fast and easy completion which earned him the nickname "Checkdown Charlie" among friends.
Early Minnesota yearsEdit
Brad Johnson wasn't a full-time starter in college and was more interested in playing basketball. In 1992 he was drafted out of the Florida State University in the 9th round as the 227th overall pick by the Minnesota Vikings with a pick they obtained from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He was the backup quarterback, only playing in a few games, and a season in NFL Europe until starting QB Warren Moon was injured in 1996. He started eight of twelve games that year earning NFC Offensive Player of the Week twice and finishing third in the NFC with an 89.4 passer rating. The next year in 1997 he started again and was rated fourth in the NFC with 20 TDs and 3,036 passing yards, but suffered a season-ending neck injury in the 13th game.
In 1998 he started the first two games for the Vikings before breaking his leg in week 2. After his leg healed, Johnson resumed his starting role in week 10, but broke his thumb in the third quarter of that game. After that, Johnson's playing time was limited to one appearance in week 16. QB Randall Cunningham started the other games. That year, the Vikings went 15-1 and Cunningham had the best passer rating in the league, an incredible 106.0, the second-most touchdown passes with 34, the fifth-most passing yards with 3,704, and was awarded NFL's MVP award by the Maxwell Club.
After this, Vikings coach Dennis Green decided to start Cunningham and trade Johnson to the Washington Redskins for a first, a future second, and a third-round draft pick. This was to be regretted the next year because Johnson went on to have his best season yet in Washington, while the Vikings began at 2-4 with Cunningham throwing more interceptions than touchdowns and getting benched and replaced by his backup, Jeff George, who helped the team to an 8-2 finish and a playoff spot. George was unable to be resigned as a Viking, with Washington offering a more lucrative deal. Green decided in favor of starting untested second-year QB Daunte Culpepper in his first year as starter.
Washington Redskins Edit
In 1999 Brad had the best season yet at Washington, making the Pro Bowl for the first time in his career with a 90.0 passer rating with 4,005 yards, 24 TDs and 13 INTs. His 316 completions set a Washington team record and his 4,005 passing yards ranks second all-time in Redskins history. He was also NFC Offensive Player of the Week twice that year again. He led the Washington Redskins to the playoffs and defeated the Detroit Lions in the first-round before falling to Tampa Bay by a single point the following week. The following year in 2000 the Redskins went 8-8, Johnson threw more interceptions than touchdowns, and he was traded to the Bucs while Jeff George started in Washington for 2001. They immediately regretted this when George had the worst stats in the league and was benched for Tony Banks after the second game with a 0-2 start while Johnson again had another great season in Tampa Bay.
Tampa Bay and the Super Bowl Edit
In 2001 Johnson was reunited with former Vikings assistant-coach Tony Dungy for his first season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. That year he broke Tampa Bay team records for passing yards with 3,406, completions with 340, and attempts with 540. In his 2002-2003 season he led the Buccaneers to their first ever Super Bowl championship and earned his 2nd Pro Bowl appearance. He was helped in the Super Bowl by a defense that scored 21 of their 48 points. That year Johnson also became the first ever Bucs QB to lead the NFC in passer rating at 92.9, and set new team records for touchdowns with 22, completion percentage at 62.3, consecutive passes without an interception with 187, and lowest intererception percentage with 1.3%. He was NFC Offensive Player of the Week twice again against Minnesota and Atlanta.
After the Super Bowl the Bucs ran into some problems. Although Johnson had good passing stats in 2003-2004 the year after the Super Bowl (3,811 yards, 26 touchdowns to break the Buc record again, 21 interceptions, named 2003 Buc MVP by the Tampa Sports Club) and 2004 (63% completion rate) they benched him the fourth game into the 2004 season because the team had gone 4-11 for the last 15 games Johnson started. When the backup quarterback, Chris Simms was injured they started 3rd string quarterback Brian Griese instead of Johnson partly because of salary cap problems. Johnson asked out and was cut from the team at the end of the season. When he couldn't find a starting quarterback job he signed with the Minnesota Vikings to be the backup quarterback, the same exact spot where he began his NFL career.
Back in Minnesota Edit
In 2005 Minnesota was struggling with now three-time Pro Bowler Daunte Culpepper starting at quarterback. Randy Moss had been traded in 2004, and four-time Pro Bowl Center Matt Birk was injured so Daunte was expected to carry the offense against the top defenses in the NFL. While playing without any offensive weapons, and falling behind early in games the Vikings began the season at 2-5 with Culpepper throwing twice as many interceptions - twelve - as touchdowns - six - and five fumbles (three lost) before tearing his MCL, ACL, and PCL in the seventh game.
Johnson then took over as starting quarterback and the team then finished the season 7-2 with a six-game winning streak needing only one more win to go to the playoffs. However this was mostly due to entering the soft part of the schedule and an improved defense/special teams which set an NFL record for returning an interception, kickoff, and punt for touchdowns all in one game. Brad played very well and set a team record for lowest interception to attempt ratio (1.3% - same as his record in Tampa) which was the lowest in the NFL among starting QBs. While starting against teams that included the second (Bears), fourth (Ravens), fifth (Steelers), and seventh (Packers) ranked defenses in the NFL his passer rating was the third best in the NFC among starting quarterbacks, and was also better than three QBs selected to the Pro Bowl. But he struggled in those particular games with the exception of the Bears game in which the Bears had already clinched the division and played all of their 2nd and 3rd stringers. He also scored more touchdowns per game than four selected to the Pro Bowl. And despite his age he threw just as many 40+ yard passes as top 29 yr old QB Peyton Manning - six - in seven fewer games, which was the same amount as his Super Bowl year which had four more games.
Johnson was starting quarterback the 2006 season for the Vikings, and a few days before the second game he turned 38 which makes him the oldest starting quarterback in the league. Many feel his quick-release style is a good fit for new coach Brad Childress's highly touted West Coast system. The knowledge he's acquired from going to the playoffs under four different coaching systems and having winning records with seven different head coaches is an asset for first time head coach Childress too. In the pre-season Johnson had a passer rating of 110.7, one of the top 10 in the league out of more than 100 quarterbacks who performed.
However in the regular season Johnson has struggled almost as much as Daunte Culpepper did in 2005, throwing eight touchdowns to fourteen interceptions. Midway through the season, he has already set an NFL record for passes completed short of a first down on third down in a season. Many fans have gotten restless for the benching of Johnson because of his conservative checkdowns, immobility, and at the same time reckless decisions coupled with a #1 receiver Troy Williamson who is among the league leaders in dropped passes which have plagued the Vikings offense. Also his quarterback-rating on 3rd downs, with a lead, from behind, and in the redzone are the worst in the entire league. 26 QBs have thrown more touchdown passes than Johnson in the 2006 NFL season.