Welcome back to 4 Questions. Earlier in the week, we talked Matt Cassel I sort of went off on a tangent because of it. Today, we’re kicking it low key with some new knowledge on the Lions new center, Wesley Johnson.
I love the city of New York. Outside of Detroit and Memphis, New York is very high up on my list of places I love. It really started when I saw “Home Alone 2: Lost in New York.” That Duncan’s Toy Chest looked like the coolest place on Earth, and believe me, it was. I got to go there when I was a kid. Of course, it’s really called FAO Schwarz.
The toy store closed its doors in 2015, but then reopened under new ownership in October of 2017. So naturally, I had David Vill of Gang Green Nation meet me there to talk about Wesley Johnson. After we reenacted this scene:
Here’s what he had to say about Johnson.
POD: What are your overall thoughts on Johnson time in New York?
GGN: “Wesley Johnson was a backup center who couldn’t live up to high expectations of replacing Nick Mangold. He was probably let down by a front office who didn’t provide him with better competition and a coaching staff who weren’t able to develop him properly. He had some good games, but Pro Football Focus ranking him 35th out of 35 qualified starters was not a shock to most Jets fans.”
POD: What are his strengths?
GGN: “Initially, Rex Ryan added him to the roster because he likes versatile players and Johnson had experience with the other offensive line positions. According to Todd Bowles, he is supposed to be very smart and a good leader. Nick Mangold reportedly was a very good mentor to him, and I guess the coaching staff thought he had learned enough from the All Pro.”
POD: What are his weaknesses?
GGN: “There were many times when the offensive line weren’t on the same page, and you could probably blame that on the center. Having trouble with protections is a big reason why the Jets were so hesitant to take out the experienced Josh McCown in favor of seeing what the younger Bryce Petty or Christian Hackenberg could do.”
POD: Can Johnson make a large impact in Detroit? Or is he better served as a role player?
GGN: “I highly doubt Wesley Johnson can make a large impact. With the Jets, it was too much too soon. Maybe as a role player, the Detroit Lions can bring out the intelligence and athleticism that his previous coaches saw in him.”
With Travis Swanson now on the Jets, it’s still safe to assume that the Lions are not going to move forward with Johnson as their starter. I don’t know what the Lions plan at this position is going to be. Perhaps they move Graham Glasgow back to his natural position and draft or sign a new left guard. I’m nearly 100 percent sure that Johnson, much like Kenny Wiggins, is a depth signing for an offensive line that suffered a ton of injuries in 2017.
Thanks again to David Vill and everyone over at Gang Green Nation. If you’re looking for Jets info, do check them out.