Why P.J. Fleck almost moved Tyler Johnson to safety at Minnesota

BleedGopher

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per Luke:

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers landed a gem in the fifth round of the 2020 NFL draft when they selected Minnesota wide receiver Tyler Johnson, just as they did when they grabbed Golden Gopher teammate Antoine Winfield Jr. in the second round.

Turns out, Johnson almost ended up playing on the back end of the defense in college alongside Winfield.

Minnesota head coach P.J. Fleck recently told Pro Football Focus that Johnson’s size, athleticism, versatility and toughness almost landed him at safety when Fleck’s staff took over the program.

Fleck went on to laud Johnson’s combination of mental and physical prowess, praising him for his overall toughness and ability to understand the “big picture” of the game.

Despite limited opportunities on a loaded depth chart, Johnson made a handful of huge plays as a rookie, grabbing key catches in clutch situations multiple times in the playoffs. His future is still extremely bright in Tampa Bay, and he’s just barely scratching the surface.


Go Gophers!!
 

60's Guy

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And Antoine Winfield almost moved to quarterback because of his ability to see the big picture and make big plays.

I’m saying they are both special athletes and could excel at most any position you need them to help the team win.
 

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And Antoine Winfield almost moved to quarterback because of his ability to see the big picture and make big plays.

I’m saying they are both special athletes and could excel at most any position you need them to help the team win.
Totally different for Winfield to move to qb. Silly.
 

60's Guy

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Totally different for Winfield to move to qb. Silly.
There are different types of offenses which Winfield could have been superior at to our QB’s at the time if we were playing for one season’s victories. We were not. Think Taysom Hill as one example.
It was not how Winfield would have the best chance to get to the NFL or the Gophers to build a program. But Winfield has offensive skill talent and Tyler just as obviously could play defense.
Left unsaid is the concern of Tyler dropping passes if the statement has any merit from PJ other than Tyler is versatile like Winfield IMO.
Who could have ever guessed we’d disagree?
And I did clarify it for you the first time.
 

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There are different types of offenses which Winfield could have been superior at to our QB’s at the time if we were playing for one season’s victories. We were not. Think Taysom Hill as one example.
It was not how Winfield would have the best chance to get to the NFL or the Gophers to build a program. But Winfield has offensive skill talent and Tyler just as obviously could play defense.
Left unsaid is the concern of Tyler dropping passes if the statement has any merit from PJ other than Tyler is versatile like Winfield IMO.
Who could have ever guessed we’d disagree?
And I did clarify it for you the first time.
A talented athlete switching from WR or QB to a defensive position is very different than a 5'9" athlete that's never played qb all of a sudden playing big ten qb. Your analogy may have worked better if you said rb or slot receiver.
 


60's Guy

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A talented athlete switching from WR or QB to a defensive position is very different than a 5'9" athlete that's never played qb all of a sudden playing big ten qb. Your analogy may have worked better if you said rb or slot receiver.
And if you had an open mind to Antoine's special athletic talent you might be able to muster a "if anyone could maybe Antoine could" or a "maybe" but you chose "silly" so you could poke at somebody on a message board.
 

#2Gopher

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Players change positions every year for one reason or another. I wonder how many players shifted to a different position and never made it to the NFL. For that matter, we'll never really know the number.
 

GopherWeatherGuy

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There are different types of offenses which Winfield could have been superior at to our QB’s at the time if we were playing for one season’s victories. We were not. Think Taysom Hill as one example.
It was not how Winfield would have the best chance to get to the NFL or the Gophers to build a program. But Winfield has offensive skill talent and Tyler just as obviously could play defense.
Left unsaid is the concern of Tyler dropping passes if the statement has any merit from PJ other than Tyler is versatile like Winfield IMO.
Who could have ever guessed we’d disagree?
And I did clarify it for you the first time.

Under Kill you might be right. Fortunately Fleck can recruit and develop competent skill position players on offense.
 




matt

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I think an offense led by Winfield could have been more effective than the one led by Rhoda and Croft. We got a taste of his playmaking as a punt returner.
 

fmlizard

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When your defense gives up a lot of big plays, everything starts to look like a Safety.

Even top 5 overall QB prospects and one of the best WRs in school history.
 

Spaulding!No!

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A talented athlete switching from WR or QB to a defensive position is very different than a 5'9" athlete that's never played qb all of a sudden playing big ten qb. Your analogy may have worked better if you said rb or slot receiver.
Or a TE playing QB….well not really playing QB with all the required skills of a QB but I digress
 

rowdaboat

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He's got the hands of a safety when it comes to third down
 






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