Buccaneers had plans for Josh Johnson to play receiver

Published: September 30th, 2009
By Bucs Beat

Lost in the shuffle of quarterback-related questions from reporters today was a revelation from offensive coordinator Greg Olson about Josh Johnson.

Olson, speaking about Johnson's athleticism, said today the team had plans to use Johnson at receiver prior to his promotion to starting quarterback.

"We noticed, if you watch on the practice field, he's probably one of the two or three most explosive players we have on the team," Olson said.

"When you watch him run and, even a year ago when he was on the scout team, we threw him out at wide receiver and he's played some (in practice). Our plan was initially, if we were going to have some success and continue with Byron (Leftwich), he was going to play some receiver because of that. He'd done some very nice things on the practice field playing the wide receiver position. He's a real explosive athlete."

This reminds me of how Johnson was trotting onto the field at times during the first three games, only to run off just before the snap as Leftwich settled in under center. Johnson said the Bucs were "just messing with (opponents'" heads," but maybe it was a precursor to something much more. And, remember, Johnson did line up split wide for at least one snap at Buffalo two weeks ago.

But now that Johnson is the starting quarterback, it's unlikely we'll ever get the chance to see him out on the edge. Of course, if you know Johnson, this is just fine with him. He'd prefer to be known as a pocket passer than a gimmick guy.

Now, he's got his chance.