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Johnson Knows His Place


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http://www.hometownannapolis.com/cgi-bin/read/2003/07_31-25/SPO

Redskins: Quarterback Johnson knows his place

By MIKE GERTON For The Capital

ASHBURN, Va. - With Patrick Ramsey set to take over the reigns as the team's permanent starting quarterback, the Washington Redskins focused their free agent sights last offseason on backup QB's who could mentor the 24-year-old prodigy as well as comfortably step into an emergency starting role. In Rob Johnson, they get both.

Currently entering his ninth NFL season, Johnson will serve both as Ramsey's backup and personal tutor, according to head coach Steve Spurrier.

While the 30-year-old enjoyed a measure of success as a starter in Buffalo (1998-2001), second-string is a role he is used to.

In his first three years as a pro quarterback in Jacksonville, Johnson held the clipboard on a regular basis as he watched Mark Brunell take the bulk of the snaps for the Jaguars. After finishing his tenure in Buffalo two season ago, Johnson spent 2002 with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at No. 2 on the depth chart.

But when Tampa Bay starter Brad Johnson went down in October with a rib injury, Johnson was ready to assume control of the offense. As if he hadn't missed a beat, Johnson guided the Bucs to a pair of crucial wins in his only starts of the season against Carolina and Chicago. Tampa Bay would go on to become Super Bowl XXXVII champs thanks in part to the crutch Johnson provided when the team was in danger of tripping up.

"I bring experience. Out of the eight years I've played, my teams have been to the playoffs five times," Johnson said. "I've been in some playoff games and know what it's like to win when you get there."

Should a scenario arise at some point this season in which Ramsey is unable to carry out his duties as QB, Redskin players and coaches are confident that Johnson is fully capable of stepping in and keeping the squad competitive. But the Redskin braintrust would be content if he never removes his headset, as the coaching staff is committed to not repeating the quarterback carousel mistakes of last year.

"Rob's proved himself over his career. If Pat went down I'd have more than enough confidence in Rob to get the job done," said second-year wide receiver Rod Gardner.

Just three days into training camp, Johnson and Ramsey have already developed the healthy and open rapport that is vital to quarterbacks attempting to coexist in the NFL.

"He's very mature for his age. He has a wealth of talent and the sky's the limit for him," Johnson said of his younger protege.

Johnson sees his primary role as prepping Ramsey during

practices and making sure he is focused and ready to play when Sunday rolls around.

"My job is to help Patrick as much as I can during the week and tell him what I see," he said. "I've obviously been around a little more than he has, so I'll try to help him out as much as I can."

With Ramsey at the helm, Johnson believes that the Redskins are a team capable of reaching the postseason this year. "I wouldn't have come here if I didn't think we could win," he said.

CAMP NOTES: During yesterday morning's session, a violent collision between safety Matt Bowen and running back Trung Canidate caused a minor stir among players and coaches.

As Bowen crept toward Canidate along the sideline at the tail-end of a 25-yeard scamper, a simple nudge out of bounds would have sufficed within the context of the training camp setting. But Bowen popped the former St. Louis Ram at game speed, sending him hard to the ground. Canidate was slow to get up from the hit but sustained no injuries.

"We had a collision we didn't need to have and we talked about it, so hopefully we'll put an end to that," Spurrier said. "We don't ever hit a teammate where it could hurt him. [bowen

was wrong and hopefully it won't happen again."

Among the many new faces at training camp this season is wide receiver Richmond Flowers III. A collegiate standout at Duke and Tennessee-Chattanooga and son of a former NFL safety, Flowers is perhaps best known for his featured role on last year's popular HBO series, "Hard Knocks: Training Camp with the Dallas Cowboys." Viewers watched Flowers battle for a roster spot by day and then sing his heart out at night alongside guitar strumming Cowboys QB Chad Hutchinson. But his on- and off-the-field performances did not impress the Dallas coaching staff enough, as Flowers was cut in late August.

"There's a lot of people fighting for jobs, trying to fulfill their destiny and goals and dreams. That's what it's all about. You come out here and lay it all out on the line every single time you put the pads on," Flowers said.

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Among the many new faces at training camp this season is wide receiver Richmond Flowers III. A collegiate standout at Duke and Tennessee-Chattanooga and son of a former NFL safety, Flowers is perhaps best known for his featured role on last year's popular HBO series, "Hard Knocks: Training Camp with the Dallas Cowboys." Viewers watched Flowers battle for a roster spot by day and then sing his heart out at night alongside guitar strumming Cowboys QB Chad Hutchinson. But his on- and off-the-field performances did not impress the Dallas coaching staff enough, as Flowers was cut in late August.

"There's a lot of people fighting for jobs, trying to fulfill their destiny and goals and dreams. That's what it's all about. You come out here and lay it all out on the line every single time you put the pads on," Flowers said.

why is this guy (guy?) still here? :doh:

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"Currently entering his ninth NFL season, Johnson will serve both as Ramsey's backup and personal tutor, according to head coach Steve Spurrier."

Johnson: Now don't forget to hold on to the ball as long as humanly possible....

My only question is who is going to tutor Johnson? Quick, somone call DW and tell him we need an extra QB coach!

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Hate to be the one to say this ... but you just gotta believe RJ's gonna play SOME this year. How many QB's around the league start 16 games any more? Not many.

Me, I'm looking for ANY positive signs that this guy is getting plenty of looks and attention from the staff. And anything that even remotely smacks of positives, like this piece does, is welcome news.

Now if only someone would post a camp report that said "damn, I gotta admit, old Rob Johnson didn't look half bad today."

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Why should we expect him to struggle?

All he has to do is be a solid assist man not magic Johnson.

If he has the time to go thru progressions he should be fine.

R Johnson starting will help local Circuit city when its time to replace remotes

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