Last year Tyler Johnson was the focus of a then-Bucs Super Bowl-winning coach Bucco Bruce Arians’ training camp press conference.
And not in a good way.
Arians, now a — Joe isn’t fully sure — in the Bucs front office, was a huge supporter of Johnson. In fact, ever since watching Johnson tear up Auburn at the 2020 Outback Bowl, Arians began hounding Bucs AC/DC-loving general manager Jason Licht to draft him.
But after winning the Super Bowl, it appeared Johnson either spent too much time on the rubber chicken circuit or did a lot of loafing on a Bahamas beach resort. Arians early in last year’s training camp blasted Johnson in a post-practice press confrence for showing up out of shape.
Johnson heeded Arians’ words this offseason.
Johnson has had a decent camp through seven practices. He’s been targeted a lot, caught quite a few balls and had some drops. That’s been sort of his two-year career. But this summer, Johnson made sure no coach was going to out him for not being in shape.
Joe asked Johnson to name his summer goal. Johnson didn’t blink an eye.
“Be a professional,” Johnson said looking directly into Joe’s eyes. “I came back in shape knowing I have a lot to work on. I am still learning as a receiver.”
Johnson is in quite a battle for a crowded Bucs receiver room. As if the room didn’t have talent to begin with, the Bucs added Russell Gage and Julio Jones. The way Joe sees it, out of Breshad Perriman, Scotty Miller, the immortal Cyril Grayson, Jaelon Darden and Johnson, two or three of those guys will make the team.
Johnson knows he’s got it good here in Tampa Bay. He’s on a winner and he has Tom Brady throwing him accurate passes, and he’s getting good coin to play football.
“I am enjoying it,” Johnson said. “I am controlling what I can control. I am having a good time, though. It always feels good to be out here. I am getting to work [by] playing a child’s game. So I am having fun.”
Consistency seems to be Johnson’s only hurdle to sticking with the Bucs. He’s already demonstrated he can make sick catches. But those are followed by head-scratching drops of easy throws.
If Johnson can demonstrate better consistency, it would no shock to see him remain with the Bucs.
This content was originally published here.