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Tyrell Johnson: Poor Play Or Poor Scheme?

Tyrell Johnson has received a lot of criticism on this site this season.  In an effort to find out just how bad the starting strong safety has played, I ventured to one of my new favorite stats sites,, to look at the numbers.

This year Tyrell Johnson’s regular season breaks down like this:

  • Snaps played:  887
  • Penalties Responsible For:  0
  • Sacks:  0
  • QB Hits:  1
  • Tackles:  46
  • Missed Tackles:  6
  • Forced Fumbles:  0
  • Interceptions:  1

Now, lets take a look at last year’s starter at strong safety, Darren Sharper:

  • Snaps Played:  1002
  • Penalties Responsible For:  1
  • Sacks:  0
  • QB Hits: 0
  • Tackles:  60
  • Missed Tackles:  5
  • Forced Fumbles:  0
  • Interceptions:  1

Sharper played 115 more snaps in 2008 than Johnson did in 2009.  However, their numbers are incredibly similar.  The Vikings bailed on Sharper because of his lack of production, while Sharper took some shots upon his departure, insinuating that the Vikings scheme handcuffed safeties in a way that did not allow him to make any plays. 

Considering the what the stats above suggest combined with the incredible season that Sharper has had in New Orleans, one can’t help but wonder if Tyrell Johnson is as bad as we all think he is.

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12 Responses to “Tyrell Johnson: Poor Play Or Poor Scheme?”

  1. bigjohnny84 says:

    Adam, the one thing I see is that when Sanford is in, he’s making plays and alot more intensity.

  2. starrc10 says:

    Doesnt Terrell have a pick this year. I think it happened in the Red Zone against the Rams maybe? I can’t remember.

  3. Mervin says:

    Johnson does have a pick this year, but I agree with bigjohnny, when Sanford is in he plays with HUGE passion on every snap. I hardly even notice when Johnson is playing, it’s like he’s the invisible man.

    • RJ says:

      Its eay to judge when you are on the outside looking in. Sanford’s a fighter, that’s a fact but Johnson’s a boxer…ask yourself do you want to win the ROUND or do you want to win the BOUT?

  4. krugjr says:

    highly rated during the draft, best or second best, I was glad we got him…….my overall view of this year was he became a “play it safe” defender……I assumed he was being coached that way……first half of the season I tired of seeing him “trailing” a big play, or showing up after the tackle…..second half I stopped looking for the game-changing play from him and figured he’s going to live up to his potential in year two!

    GO VIKES!!!!!

  5. Purple Charlie says:

    Johnson starts this week, I hope he has a great game, I like Sanford allot, He hits like a rock and plays with passion and heart. I just hope if Johnson’s play start to diminish rapidly the Coaching Staff makes the adjustments right away…

  6. Adam Warwas says:

    Thanks for the catch guys, I put in the 1 INT for Johnson.

    RJ & Mervin, welcome to the Gab! Hope you stick around!

    I will be curious to see if we lose Frazier, what type of defensive attitude is brought in, and if our safeties play better under another scheme.

  7. olderthandirt says:

    That’s a very surprising comparison Adam. I agree with you that it very well could be the scheme that holds these safeties back.

    I think we need to tighten things up in order to advance in the playoffs. The results of the wildcard games this weekend are excellent cases in point. Secondary coverage was nearly nonexistent in yesterday’s games.

    I don’t think we care to have a shootout in order to win our match with Dallas. We need a strong defense, with sure tackling and pressure on Romo. Go with the spread offense, with the pass loosening up the defense in order to then establish the run. Time for AD and Chester to have a huge game, spiced up with No Mercy Percy.

    GO VIKES!!

  8. Fran the Man says:

    I’d have to say with all other factors included, it points to coaching and game planning.

    If Sharper hadn’t said it (Vikings scheme handcuffed safeties) last year, after signing with NO, this probably wouldn’t be getting that much scrutiny. But he did say it and Johnson had a similar season as Sharper had the year before and Sharper exploded this year in NO.
    So yeah, I’d have to pin it on the coaching staff.

    I was really bummed when we didn’t resign Sharper last year and said so.
    At the very least, if in fact he had lost a step (He didn’t) he would have been a great asset for Johnson and Sanford during their rookie season.

    By the way, I think we beat Dallas next weekend easily.

  9. Adam Warwas says:

    For the record, according to PFF, Johnson missed another tackle on special teams this year.

    However, Johnson had the same or less missed tackles on defense as guys like Ed Reed, Dawan Landry, Antrell Rolle, Brian Dawkins, Brandon Merriweather, Darren Sharper, & LaRon Landry… just sayin.

    • Tomb says:

      That just doesn’t feel right, though.

      Can’t we skew the numbers so we can continue to furrow our collective brow at Johnson?

  10. Fragile Freds says:

    Tyrone has had a very solid year. Very solid!

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