After an impressive preseason performance, kick returner Albert Johnson was less than stellar in the season-opening victory over the Detroit Lions. That was one of the few disappointments in the 49-21 victory on Sunday.

The list of Johnson's miscues, who made the final roster over Jeff Ogden because of his explosiveness on kick returns, unfortunately was a long one.

• He bobbled the opening kickoff before kneeling in the end zone for a touchback.

• He fumbled on a punt return, but was bailed out when Arturo Freeman recovered the loose ball at the Miami 32-yard line.

• He backed up on a booming John Jett punt and called for a fair catch at the Miami 6-yard line with plenty of room to return the kick.

• He called for another fair catch in the second half despite having a lot of room in front of him.

Johnson said first-game jitters had nothing to do with his problems on Sunday, but Coach Dave Wannstedt obviously wasn't happy about the situation.

"I was concerned," Wannstedt said Monday. "Am I concerned about it? Yes. Have I lost faith in him? No. We've got to protect the ball; he knows that and he'll work hard at it. And I'm confident after he gets the work in practice that he'll make that improvement from the first to the second week."

On the bright side, Johnson did have a decent punt return (although it was brought back because of a penalty) and a 35-yard kickoff return in the second half.

But Wannstedt won't tolerate fumbles, so Johnson will need to hang on to the ball if he wants to hang on to his job.

Wannstedt made the point last week that he had other options on kick returns, with Dedric Ward the next guy on punt returns and Travis Minor the next alternative on kickoffs.

So Johnson, perhaps more than anybody on the team, needs a strong performance next Sunday against the Colts.

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