Countdown to Cannons: George Johnson Returns

With 25 days to go, we countdown the days until the Bucs' 1st preseason game, and discuss a different Bucs player at length every day.

The Bucs passed on...missed out on...Greg Hardy and most other available defensive ends this off-season. Despite it being a position of desperation for the Bucs, it seemed as if the team was content with who they had on the roster.

Just a couple of weeks before the NFL Draft, the Buccaneers made an attempt to sign restricted free agent, George Johnson, away from the Lions. The Lions would dispute some of the language in the deal. In the end, the Bucs would send the Lions a 5th round pick to acquire Johnson and his six sacks from 2014.

Johnson's six sacks were a strong statistic despite not officially starting a game for the Lions in 2014. With that said, those six sacks were also the first six sacks of Johnson's five year career. Yes, Johnson may be getting better and could be a late bloomer, but it took him into his 5th season to record his first sack. Let's also not forget he was playing on a line with Ndamukong Suh and Ziggy Ansah, both of which are more dominant players at their positions than what the Bucs currently have.

What we thought he would be is, we brought him in to be one of our defensive ends, to be able to rush the passer, to be a good run support player," Lovie Smith said of Johnson during off-season workouts. "He’s a guy that plays with a motor. All those things we have seen. Again, for the linemen, defensive linemen or offensive linemen, there is only so much you can see, but he’s bright, he shows up every day and he works the same way. He’ll be one of our guys this year. We’ve seen enough to know that.”

It's a good review, but not a glowing review for Johnson. It sounds as if Johnson will be part of the rotation, but he isn't being viewed as a difference-maker on the Bucs defensive line.

26 Days: Special Teams Boost

27 Days: No More Gilkey Please

28 Days: Sims City

29 Days: Johnson's Goodbye?

30 Days: Melton's Impact

31 Days: Murray's Big Leg

32 Days: Bell Brings Speed to Bucs Offense

33 Days: Glennon in His Proper Role

34 Days: Murphy Bonding with Young Bucs

35 Days: Masifilo Will to Do Anything to Stay

36 Days: More Focus on Fatinikun

37 Days: Verner's Quiet But Productive

38 Days: Big Hitting Swearinger

39 Days: Stocker Emerges as Top Blocker

40 Days: The Ambassador of Kwon

41 Days: Competition for Koenen

42 Days: Kadeem Edwards' Growth is Key

43 Days: Vincent Jackson's Importance

44 Days: Jacquies is Underrated

45 Days: McDonald Believes Bucs D is Close

46 Days: Questions on the Blindside

47 Days: Carter Is the Defense's Glue

48 Days: Tandy's Versatility Keeps Him Around

49 Days: Gholston's Year to Reach Potential

50 Days: Conte Brings Experience to Bucs Defense

51 Days: James in Short Yardage

52 Days: Mike Jenkins' Return from Injury

53 Days: Logan Mankins' Impact

54 Days: Lavonte David's a Star


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