Mike Johnson Fine with Defensive Attention

Mike Johnson Fine with Defensive Attention

Jay Adams

Published September 20, 2012 at 10:01 AM

It was a crucial time during Monday night’s game when offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter called his top three wide receivers — Roddy White, Julio Jones and Harry Douglas — off the field.

On first-and-goal at the 1-yard line in the second quarter of Monday’s 27-21 win over the Broncos, the Falcons looked primed to run the ball to cross the goal line. Instead, Matt Ryan faked the handoff and stood firm in the pocket while tight end Tony Gonzalez and guard/tackle Mike Johnson — declared an eligible receiver before the play — rolled out into their patterns.

Gonzalez — a 12-time Pro Bowler at that position with 1,000 catches — garnered absolutely no attention from the Broncos defense. Mike Johnson, however, might as well have been wearing a No. 11 jersey with the attention he received.

“We got to the line — and it wasn’t the exact look we were looking for in practice — but I noticed the (defender) was kind of sitting off the ball and was waiting for me,” Johnson said with a smile during Wednesday’s open locker room session. “I just blocked the end a little bit and tried to get out as much as I could. I even put my hand up for a minute, trying to say I was open to Matt, but I think he went with the better option to get it to Tony.”

Watch the play by clicking here

Ryan threw a dart and found a wide-open Gonzalez in the back of the end zone before Gonzalez finished the scoring play off with his trademark dunk.

Johnson said that play continues to evolve and the Falcons can do a lot of different things out of it. But should the time ever come where he gets a look from Ryan, he wants his quarterback that he can trust him.

“My hands are pretty good. I like to think so,” Johnson said with a laugh. “I guess we’ll find out if I ever get in that situation.”

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