For as much flak as Charlie Johnson has received over the course of the past year, he really seems to be taking it all in stride. Johnson was signed by the Vikings to help along the offensive line last season, but got pushed into the starting left tackle spot when the team released Bryant McKinnie for reporting to camp at approximately 700 pounds (or whatever the figure was. . .it might have been slightly less than that).
The Vikings' selection of offensive tackle Matt Kalil meant that something was going to happen with Johnson, and it appears that something is going to be a move to left guard. This didn't come as a surprise to the man from Oklahoma State that's entering his seventh NFL season. . .it's something that has been in the works for a while.
But it didn't take long for Davidson to begin recognizing that Johnson might be best suited to move inside to guard. He said he started talking with Johnson about a move back in Week 3 of last season.
"This was something that's kind of been ongoing," Davidson said. "I'm going to try and put it as nice as I can. I'm a no-nonsense guy. And essentially when I think that I see a guy and I know what he is capable of and what he would help us most at, I'm going to let him know that. Our postseason interviews that we had when I talked to Charlie, I said, 'You may be our left tackle. You may be our left guard. I don't know yet. We're going to be better at two positions if we get a left tackle in here."
This is something we've been saying for a while now. . .Charlie Johnson is a pretty good NFL offensive lineman. He just isn't a good NFL left tackle. The ability to kick him inside and fill the hole at left guard that opened up with the release of Steve Hutchinson will help the entire left side of the offensive line, and help the entire offense as a result. Johnson might not be at the level Hutchinson was in his prime. . .and, really, who is. . .but I think he can perform up to the level that Hutchinson performed at the past couple of seasons. Here's hoping that's the case for the sake of the Vikings' offense in 2012.