Tice, in fact, liked Johnson so much that he made him the starter for the first four games of his rookie season at right guard. When that didn't pan out, Johnson was moved to right tackle and started four games at that position before sitting out the final two games because of an ankle injury.
While Tice is no longer around as the Vikings coach, Johnson's potential hasn't been overlooked by new coach Brad Childress.
The Vikings' second-round pick in 2005 remains atop the depth chart at right tackle as the team prepares to open training camp. The feeling among all involved is Johnson is best suited to play tackle because of his long arms.
He did struggle at times with false-start penalties as a rookie, but the hope among the coaching staff is a more mature Johnson will be able to avoid such miscues.
A successful season from Johnson would be a big boost to a line that figures to be very strong on the left side with Pro Bowl guard Steve Hutchinson and tackle Bryant McKinnie.
Johnson will lineup alongside right guard Artis Hicks, who was acquired in a draft-weekend trade with Philadelphia. Hicks is highly thought of by Childress, the Eagles' former offensive coordinator.
CAMP CALENDAR: Rookies and selected veterans will report on July 27; the remainder of the veterans will report July 30; training camp officially will open July 1. Training camp will break from Mankato, Minn., on Aug. 18. There will be an evening practice against the Kansas City Chiefs on Aug. 4.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "I think it's a key to any offense. I think it's going to be a key to being a better player." -- Tight end Jermaine Wiggins on the importance of him having added quickness in the Vikings' offense as a result of his noticeable weight loss this offseason.