Will Tyrell Johnson Have A Breakout Season?

Posted by Mike Wobschall on June 2, 2010 – 7:14 am

Using WRs such as the Vikings Sidney Rice and the Dallas Cowboys Miles Austin as examples of breakout players from 2009,’s Pat Kirwan recently identified 20 players who are candidates in his mind to have a breakout season in 2010.

And he included another Vikings player in this year’s group.

Vikings S Tyrell Johnson, entering his 3rd season in the NFL, was on Kirwan’s list. Kirwan said Johnson is “still learning the pro game” after being selected in the 2nd round of the 2008 NFL Draft out of Arkansas State. But he also said Johnson is an excellent athlete whose already faced a lot of pressure because opposing offenses attack the Vikings via the pass so often.

I found Kirwan’s inclusion of Johnson on this list particularly interesting because of the high volume of emails I’ve received lately from fans who want the Vikings to pursue unrestricted free agent (UFA) S O.J. Atogwe. So I took a more detailed look at the Vikings safety situation – click here to read it.

This entire issue is a good Vikings talker that sparks thoughtful debate and conversation. Fans, what do you think?

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Posted in All, Mike Wobschall | 26 Comments »

26 Responses to “Will Tyrell Johnson Have A Breakout Season?”

  1. By Clark on Jun 2, 2010 | Reply

    The safety problem is big in the league alot of teams are seeing what kind of problems can develop without a good one for example darren sharper was a real good safety and was released and since that occured we have had nothing but problems in that area we have to get it fixed

  2. By mikewobschall on Jun 2, 2010 | Reply

    I think you’re overstating the situation by calling the Johnson/Williams tandem a “problem.” They need to improve, but they aren’t problems.

  3. By Mike E on Jun 2, 2010 | Reply

    even with sharper we had these problems… our defensive scheme focuses on the front 7 while our secondary tends to play softer… this will always leave the safeties and corners vulnerable. Some people… like the saints use safeties (I.e. Sharper)… to float. This can cause a huge play, or it can leave a hole somewhere on the field. Unless the back four are all named Derrelle Revis, its Hard to say that our safeties are under achieving… The Stats are skewed because we are constantly passed against.

  4. By Phil Lines on Jun 2, 2010 | Reply

    The safety situation is OK but the Vikings are hostages to fortune if Williams or Johnson get injured.

    The safeties seem to work to a more conservative defensive scheme which is why a safety has achieved over 4 interceptions in a season only once since 2005. Sharper reportedly wasn’t a fan of the conservative approach and his ints increased with the Saints. Atogwe might feel the same way if he came to Minnesota.

  5. By MGR4FUN on Jun 2, 2010 | Reply

    when you are the best in the NFL against the rush “forever” … the db’s are gonna feel the effect a get lots of action … with #26 on one corner used to be opponents would “try” and pick on #23 guess what #23 got pretty darn good and is gettin better all the time … so that leaves the safties also the newest members to the best defense in the universe … so johnson and williams got picked on the last couple of seasons … my money says mr johnson and mr williams will make a few teams pay for that this year as they hav another years expierence together and are now ready to make their impact felt … oh and i would be wrong not to mention mr sanford who is ready willin and able to step up at any given time … as are sheppard / allen and the rookie cross has yet to be heard from … the purple secondary is in exceelent hands as coach frazier knows just a little about playin db himself and his assistant coach mason will hav the purple db’s good to go!!!!!!!

  6. By al on Jun 2, 2010 | Reply

    Where is the OTA update from yesterday?

  7. By FAVRE4EVER on Jun 2, 2010 | Reply

    Somebody wake me up when these guys come back from never never land. Our safeties were a major problem last season. We fought from behind in several games because of their play. I say if this is the year they go foe ATOGWE.Then they need to pick up Pierre Thomas to work with Peterson.Think they would make a great one two punch. If not then go for Westbrook, but tou can’t give Geyhart that kind of role his first year.

  8. By marcus on Jun 2, 2010 | Reply

    peterson had to take the learn on the fly roll? what make him any diffrent….he is ready to be pluged in!! this is not the Qb spot it easy at running back slot all you need is to know the gaps?

  9. By FAVRE4EVER on Jun 2, 2010 | Reply

    Yes, but geyhart will be asked to pass protect and catch the ball out of the backfield. Sorry, but there,s quite abit more than just hand me the ball and run. Do you want to get Favre killed. Pick up a veteran. Toby will get his reps in time.

  10. By Brownicus on Jun 2, 2010 | Reply

    Safeties were a weaker spot for the Vikings last year. That could be partly to blame because of the defensive scheme or possibly being thrown against more. I’d love for Johnson to have a breakout year, Spielman and the draft team have done fairly well at spotting talent over the last few years in my opinion, but I am not sold he will be a solid safety yet.

  11. By Justin on Jun 2, 2010 | Reply

    If push comes to shove… they should try and get Antogwe or whatever from the Rams… He is pretty decent

  12. By FAVRE4EVER on Jun 2, 2010 | Reply

    I’m with you justin. Otogwe is a ball hawk and would fill in awesome on other side of sheppard. Enough of the what ifs. Lets win now!!!!!

  13. By rovibe on Jun 2, 2010 | Reply

    One thing that never gets discussed: Pass defense rankings are determined by yardage given up, not TD’s, not wins and losses. The Vikings had the #2 ranked rush defense last year, and the #1 ranking the three previous seasons. Opponents know they can’t reliably run against the Vikings, so they pass more. That piles up more yardage that would normally have been given up in the run game, and their pass defense ranking suffers. I’m not saying they’re great – not by a long shot. However, if their rush defense ranking went down 10 spots, I’d bet their pass defense ranking comes up at least 5 spots. Point being, their pass-D ranking is skewed to some degree by the dominance of their run-D that forces opponents to push the passing game.

  14. By marcus on Jun 2, 2010 | Reply

    rovibe you are so right! if otogwe can even be as half or fully of what we expect of him. it change how team prepare for this team..most team fear to run the ball on the vikes any way. but if they can step the pass defense up! it open a flood gate of things for the vikes? like the team don’t have to focus on out scoring the other team for one,it forces the other team to run more than they would like. and it keep your defense fresh for late game runs and ect!!!! if vikings want to another serious run at the championship again….this is a no brainer deal!!! let make trades and offer for this guy. and maybe if the vikings can finally close the chapter of almost getting done to bed…they might get rewarded a knew homefield for the vikes?

  15. By vikings4ever on Jun 2, 2010 | Reply

    I think the vikings will already have an unbelievable pass defense in the 2010-2011 season. they have added height(chris cook) to cover bigger recievers and veterens(lito sheppard) for their knowledge.. to get otogwe we will add icing and candles to the cake… but seriously I thimk we sould defintatly sign him now that he is a free agent because we wont have to give anything up for him….if we can get him we will win a superbowl no doubt in my mind.. I have watched the vikings for many years and they are improving in this area I think if we take it 1 game at a time we have a chance to go undefeated, seriously we are the most talented team by far… Oh yea, saints fans you may make it out of hurricane season this year but you don’t know what will hit you come september 9th(which is my birthday) GO VIKES

  16. By Thad on Jun 2, 2010 | Reply

    do you guys not know the type of scheme the vikings run? they run a cover 2 which requires safeties to be a safety for the defense, meaning they stay in their positions without taking risks because there is nobody left after them. Atogwe is a great player, fact. but his playing style doesn’t fit well with the vikings and, based on what i’ve heard, his personality wouldn’t allow him to perform his job in the conservative manner that the coaches want. something along the lines of D.Sharper a few years ago. he played too aggressively and he did make a few plays but more often than not he allowed a big first down or missed a tackle trying to force a fumble or make an interception, and we as fans chalked it up to sharper getting old, but in reality it was the scheme that was hindering sharper’s playmaking ability. and another point about Atogwe’s personality… he was the star player on a p.o.s. defense… he’d be an afterthought in our defense considering the potential for 6 probowlers starting on our defense… do you really think he’d want to just sit there and be forgotten? no he’s another one of those players who wants the fame, the money, and everything that goes with it…
    so, to make a short story long, i would say the vikings stay away from Atogwe. Johnson is entering his 3rd season, traditionally a show and tell season for players in the NFL and its not like he played terribly last season. same goes for Williams. we have above average safeties, but due to our really good linebackers, good corners and elite D-line, they seem underwhelming. i could keep going on why we shouldn’t get Atogwe but i’ll hold it for another day

  17. By vikings4ever on Jun 2, 2010 | Reply

    Thad it’s true what you are saying but frazier is trying to switch our defense to a more shifty and confusing defense or known as a ballhawking defense.. We had a great defense but this is a passing league now and as much as stopping the run is important that is kind of a cliche because this is a quarterback driven league.. if everyone looks at our loses last year we gave up way to much big plays from the air and running plays dont give team big plays on 3rd and 10… Trust me we need this guy… did you ever realize how excited and pumped up a defense got when they could get an interception or turn over… that is blowing to an offense and we need to have offenses fear our defense and they need to worry about giving up a big play rather than our defense giving up huge plays..

  18. By Candyman on Jun 2, 2010 | Reply

    My question is did we have any defensive touchdowns last year…I am trying to think of one and I can not. Bottom line it we need to get some defensive touchdowns to swing those 50/50 games in the Vikings direction.

  19. By vikings4ever on Jun 2, 2010 | Reply

    yes, candyman your right we need to swing momentum back to us in those close games like pittsburg did to us last year and new orleans.. by the way we will beat new orleans this next year, im not worried.. and yes we had 1 if i can recall and that was against the rams(ha whats that do for us.) overall we need more turnovers if we want to win the superbowl.. we have everything where it sould be but we need more turnovers especially in our tough schedule. if we want to pull the close games out we need a big play at the end of the game because it will not be easy but we could have a perfect season….GO VIKES

  20. By FAVRE4EVER on Jun 2, 2010 | Reply

    Thats what I’m talking about Vikings4ever! Frazier knows this is the year with Favre coming back. Lets load this team with all the playmakers we can get. Atogwe would be awesome and i could sit here all night to defend why. This guy was a stanford graduate and is definetly no dumby. He has went under everyones radar cause he was stuck playing for the Rams. This guy would be humbled to get a chance to be part of something big like a superbowl. I say go get him!!!!!

  21. By vikings4ever on Jun 2, 2010 | Reply

    Favre4ever i guess me and you are the only ones who can see the message of trying to load this team up, as you said. I know rick spielman and he told me that favre was coming to the vikings before anyone knew about it. Why do you think we picked up lito sheppard and chris cook, well because frazier wants turnovers and wants to help the offense out.. this is our year, to have some luck just as the saints did last year..

  22. By FAVRE4EVER on Jun 2, 2010 | Reply

    Amen brother. Text Rick and tell him to pull the trigger on Otogwe and Pierre Thomas. Lets stack this team and get it done! You know what happened when Winfield got hurt. We were stuck putting our Rookies out there and they got burnt. We need some vets who just by their presence on the field can change a play call. Get er done!!!!And anyone who thinks our safeties did a good job last year needs to stop watching reruns from 5 years ago.

  23. By tradjety on Jun 3, 2010 | Reply

    I would accept the idea of johnson having a breakout year if he could tackle does anyone remember how many missed tackles he had last year … he plays strong safety and they are know as tacklers … johnson sux ….. also 1 ting about sharper we played him at strong safety where he was atackler and the saints played him at free safety his natural position

  24. By CA Norwegian on Jun 3, 2010 | Reply

    Consider the NFC Championship game. The Saints threw all over this league, but our D often had them stagnant and punting. I thought our 2ndary had much to do with it considering the quick release nature of NO. The problem was not our secondary in the end. Winfield, thanks for coming back in time to stick it to the Bengals. Like Adrian’s Cleveland game, some HOF highlights!! Sometimes the people actually paid to do the team building, know and understand aspects that are not released to us. I find it fascinating that the Vikes seem to pick up rookies with who some may pass on like Moss, Harvin. And turn them into the greatest players. We will hurt next season, where the injuries happen. Any prophets out there?

  25. By carlk on Jun 5, 2010 | Reply

    Atogwe is a proven play maker, but he is also asking for a truck load of money. He will be on the market for a while longer. Once the contact/hitting around the NFL starts happening, someone will get hurt and some team will have a strong enough need to give him the heavy contract. It doesn’t look like any team has a stong enough interest for Atogwe right now.

  26. By MGR4FUN on Jun 5, 2010 | Reply

    sometimes ya just gotta believe in the concept … trust in what got you this far … bringin outsiders like Otogwe and Pierre Thomas or even that wide load from the redskins messes with the balance and natural order of things … the purple are back to back nfc north champs and goin for the threepete … and that can and will be done just as we now see the team … barrin any unforscene injuries and even with an injury or two we hav things still goin in the purple favor … keep the faith and trust in the proccess … dance with the girl that brung ya … as they say … and … just incase of that rare injury we do hav some athletes that would be of considerable value ifin a trade became neccessary

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