Brad's Back Home

<b>Brad Johnson</b> is finally back home in Tallahassee. In fact, today was the first time Johnson felt like he could exhale and embrace the return of normalcy to his life. "We are finally getting everything squared away," Johnson told TheTerritory Wednesday afternoon. "It has taken that long to kind of settle back in." Click here to read about Brad's Super Bowl experience.

Brad Johnson is finally back home in Tallahassee. In fact, today was the first time Johnson felt like he could exhale and embrace the return of normalcy to his life.

"We are finally getting everything squared away," Johnson told TheTerritory Wednesday afternoon. "It has taken that long to kind of settle back in."

No wonder. Johnson has been a whirlwind of motion since leading the Tampa Bay Bucs to a Super Bowl victory over the Oakland Raiders 17 days ago. The moment he planted a kiss on the cheeks of son Max and wife Nikki on the Bucs' sideline as the final seconds ticked away in the 48-21 win, the former Florida State quarterback's life was clicked on fast-forward.

Take a deep breath and see if you can keep up as Johnson traveled more than 8,000 miles since quarterbacking the Bucs to the Super Bowl XXXVIII title.

Since hoisting the Lombardi Award trophy, Johnson attended a team party at the Hilton at Torrey Pines, appeared on Good Morning America, flown to Los Angeles where he fulfilled a commitment to ride in another parade at Disneyland in Anaheim and appeared with receiver Keyshawn Johnson on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno before catching a red-eye to Tampa.

Johnson missed the celebration at Raymond James Stadium, an event topped only by the 100,000 Bucs fans who lined Bayshore Boulevard for a victory parade two days after the Super Bowl. Johnson then flew to Hawaii for the Pro Bowl and was in Tampa Monday for the premiere of a three-hourlong NFL Films presentation of the Bucs' historic season at the Performing Arts Center.

And let's not forget Johnson helped pack the U-haul that transported his belongings from Tampa to Tally, where he resides in the offseason. The Johnson's are expecting their second child April 1 - son Max will soon turn 2. Last Sunday, Johnson finally sat down on his couch and watched the television replay of the Super Bowl.

"That was the first time I have ever watched a TV copy of a game, and it doesn't do it justice," Johnson said.

"As good as the commentators are, they are off. Now I know why fans think like they think (laughing). No one really understands the plays you are running or what you are trying to accomplish. That's what I was saying. You can't explain the feeling (of the game) and the commentators can't commentate the game. It's good for the fans but unless you are the one doing it, it doesn't do it justice."

The festivities might be coming to an end for the time being as Johnson looks to rest and recover for the next five weeks before reporting to Tampa for team meetings and orientation.

Still, he's certainly enjoying the ride.

"Everyone asks what it feels like and you can't explain it," Johnson said.

"You always sit there in the spring and talk about winning the Super Bowl but until you've done it, you don't know what it means. It's an incredible feeling. I felt like it was a football atmosphere when we played up in Philadelphia (playoffs). It was up at the Vet. It was a hostile environment. That was a football feeling. The Super Bowl is an event. The game is almost secondary because all of the parties. The concerts before, at halftime and after the game. The football feeling was more after the Philadelphia game. The celebration is more of the Super Bowl. It's a different feeling."

The Super Bowl also had an FSU feel to it.

Johnson, who threw for 215 yards and two scores, was one of four former Seminoles on the Super Bowl champion Bucs. Defensive back Dexter Jackson, who had two interceptions to earn the MVP trophy, was only the eighth defensive player -- and third defensive back -- to win the MVP award in the 37-year history of this game.

Former FSU players Derrick Brooks and Greg Spires also contributed, with Brooks returning an interception for a touchdown and Spires helping provide the pressure that rattled Oakland quarterback Rich Gannon.

Oakland also featured a quartet of former FSU players - Sebastian Janikowski, Zach Crockett, Tony Bryant (injured reserve) and Derrick Gibson.

"The guy that didn't get a lot of credit this year but made our defensive line go was Greg Spires," Johnson said.

"He had as good a year as anybody on that defensive line. So, it was special for a lot of people. I think the thing you forget about is how many people are part of your life. From your pee-wee football coaches, your school teachers, everybody. Everybody wanted to get a hold of my mom, my dad, my sister - they were doing interviews. She (mom) was in rare form (laughing). That's what you forget. I was happy but how many people are happy for you. That's kind of neat."

Johnson, who is known as the consummate professional as well as a first-class person, now wants to relax and devote quality time to his family. He hopes to play golf in the near future and catch up with friends, as well as put the finishing touches on the baby nursery.

Still, Johnson realizes the Bus' Super Bowl victory will continue to be a large part of his life, and that's just fine.

"It's funny but I've been doing this [football) forever," Johnson said. "I always said it before you always think it's the other guy, the other team. It's like all of a sudden, we are the ones. It's kind of neat. Now, we just want to (relax). It has been so hard to get home, that's the thing. For the first three days (after Super Bowl), I didn't sleep. Now we are just trying to get away, not answer the phone and enjoy ourselves."


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