AFC East: Tebow Time

NFL video chat preview

June, 14, 2013
We have a video chat extravaganza coming up this afternoon at 1 p.m. ET. I will join NFC East blogger Dan Graziano and NFC West blogger Mike Sando to discuss a variety of topics around the NFL.

Here is the link to join the party via Spreecast.

We can even discuss Tim Tebow's signing with the New England Patriots if you like, or we can keep it a Tebow-free zone. The choice is yours. But do not miss out on all the fun.
The 2013 mandatory minicamps are in the books in the AFC East. The Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins, New England Patriots and New York Jets all wrapped up their three-day sessions on Thursday. The Patriots, in fact, cancelled their third and final practice as a reward for the team’s hard work.

But there were several interesting developments throughout the division this week. Here are four things we learned during AFC East minicamps:

No. 1: Jets QB Mark Sanchez has a slight edge

Analysis: The Jets' quarterback job is there for the taking. Incumbent veteran Mark Sanchez led the NFL in turnovers the past two years, but he is doing enough for now to hold off rookie second-round pick Geno Smith, who still has a lot to learn. Smith’s inexperience in the NFL and running a West Coast offense continued to show this week in minicamp. He’s going to have to do extra to supplant Sanchez, who now enters training camp as the favorite to win the quarterback job and start in Week 1.

No. 2: Tim Tebow’s role still up in the air

Analysis: Tebow-mania made its New England debut this week with plenty of media in Foxborough. However, Patriots coach Bill Belichick remained tight-lipped on how the team plans to use Tebow this season. Is Tebow simply a third-string quarterback? Will New England insert a Wildcat package for Tebow and take Hall of Fame quarterback Tom Brady off the field? Can Tebow play another position for New England, such as tight end, running back or special teams? The Patriots did not answer any of these questions this week. Expect plenty of speculation and debate on Tebow until training camp.

No. 3: Dolphins’ defense has improved

Analysis: The Dolphins spent a lot of money and resources to upgrade the defense. Miami signed free agents Dannell Ellerbe and Philip Wheeler to upgrade the linebacking corps and cornerback Brent Grimes to fix the pass defense. The Dolphins also drafted defensive end Dion Jordan No. 3 overall to fix the pass rush. It was evident in minicamp this week that this is an improved defense with much more speed and the ability to force turnovers. For example, Miami’s defense had four interceptions on Wednesday, including two against Dolphins starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill. The Dolphins are already good at stopping the run. If they can rush the passer and force turnovers, this will be a tough defense to handle in 2013.

No. 4: Bills’ offense still work in progress

Analysis: Buffalo’s offense struggled this week, and particularly the passing game. Quarterbacks Kevin Kolb and EJ Manuel did not perform well against the various and complex blitz packages of new defensive coordinator Mike Pettine. The pass protection also was shaky. Pettine is bringing the same formula that’s worked for the Jets the past several years, and Buffalo’s defense certainly had the advantage this week. New Bills offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett has about a month to fix some of their issues from minicamp.

Quarterback Tim Tebow is one of the most popular players in the NFL. That is not why the New England Patriots signed Tebow, but it’s hard to deny the large following and fan base he now brings to Foxborough.

How much of an impact does Tim Tebow have on New England’s bottom line? ESPN business analyst Darren Rovell provides insight.
Tim TebowAP Photo/Charles KrupaCaption this photo of Tim Tebow (front), Tom Brady and Josh McDaniels (right).

The New England Patriots made huge headlines by signing popular quarterback Tim Tebow to a two-year contract this week. Tebow had his first practice with the team Tuesday during the start of mandatory minicamp.

That brings us to our latest “Caption This” post in the AFC East. We found an interesting photo involving Tebow with starting quarterback Tom Brady and offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels.

Use your creativity to determine what Brady and McDaniels are talking about. And what’s going on in Tebow’s mind?

As always, have fun and keep it clean.
Here are the most interesting stories Wednesday in the AFC East: Morning take: New York is very thin at tight end after losing former starter Dustin Keller in free agency. Winslow has been a playmaker his entire career, and it would make a lot of sense for New York to sign him to a struggling offense.
Morning take: This is promising because Buffalo’s defense wasn’t very good last year. Stopping the run will be most important, because that is where the Bills mainly struggled in 2012.
Morning take: Miami lost a lot of leaders in free agency, such as Reggie Bush, Jake Long and Karlos Dansby. Someone internally must step up and Wallace should be one of those players.
Morning take: Unless Tebow plans on playing another position, I don’t see how he could contribute at quarterback. Tom Brady should not come out the game for any reason other than injury, and if that happens second stringer Ryan Mallett is still a better option.
New England Patriots quarterback Tim Tebow met with Boston media for the first time Tuesday. Tebow didn’t field questions but made a statement that he is “thankful” and “honored” to play for the Patriots and head coach Bill Belichick.

Tebow signed a two-year contract with no guaranteed money, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Tebow must first make the 53-man roster this summer and earn a role on the reigning AFC East champs.

Bill Belichick talks Tim Tebow

June, 11, 2013

The much-anticipated Bill Belichick news conference took place Tuesday, less than 24 hours after the New England Patriots signed popular quarterback Tim Tebow.

Dozens of media members showed up to Foxborough, Mass., to ask the Patriots why they made the much-hyped signing of Tebow.

Here is a transcript from the Patriots of Belichick’s question and answer session with the media.

What can you tell us about your decision to sign Tim Tebow? What is it about his personality or attitude that leads you to believe that he can contribute to the team?

Belichick: Anything we do is what we feel is in the best interests of the team. Tim is a talented player that is smart and works hard. We’ll see how it goes.

How much of a consideration was the attention that was going to come before making the decision to sign him?

Belichick: None, we try to do what’s best for the team.

How do you deal with a player coming in with all this fanfare and celebrity? Do you have to sit him down and talk to him?

Belichick: In all honesty, we’ve been in front of bigger crowds than this before. We’ll just keep doing what our job is. We’re going to try to get better as a football team, individually and collectively, and that’s what we’re going to do.

How do you plan to use him? What position?

Belichick: We’ll try to do what we think is best for our football team. I don’t know, we’ll see.

Is it possible he could be used on special teams or defense in addition to offense?

Belichick: We’ll see, I don’t know.

Specific to his off-field traits, what are some things you liked about Tim Tebow when you evaluated him?

Belichick: He’s a talented guy, he’s smart, he works hard. We’ve all seen him play. He can do a lot of things -- we’ve seen that.

Can you talk about your relationship with Tim? You’ve known him a long time, obviously there are things you like.

Belichick: Yeah, I like Tim. I have a lot of respect for Tim.

Have you had a close relationship with him over the years?

Belichick: I’ve never coached him before so I wouldn’t … I’m certainly closer with a lot of the players that I’ve coached through my career.

People around the league question his ability to play quarterback in the NFL. How do you feel about that?

Belichick: I’ve already said that.

I’m talking about specifically at quarterback.

Belichick: I’ve answered the question twice. He’s a talented player who is smart and works hard.

Will you discuss with him some of the ancillary stuff that seems to come with him? You know, the way his training camp was covered last year with the Jets and what he’ll be doing outside of football.

Belichick: We have a team full of players. Everybody has a job to do and I’m sure he’ll try to do it the best that he can. We’ll all try to do our jobs the best that we can.

As you can see, Belichick wasn’t extremely forthcoming. But this is the kind of persistent questioning and media attention the Patriots signed up for when signing Tebow. This is only Day 1 of Tebow and the Patriots.
Don't do it, New England Patriots!

Do not even think about adding a Wildcat package to last year's top-rated offense after signing popular quarterback Tim Tebow.


Which position will Tim Tebow play most in New England?


Discuss (Total votes: 3,410)

In fact, any offensive formation that involves taking future Hall of Fame quarterback Tom Brady off the field is an awful move by New England. I would also use the terms "dumb," "stupid" and "silly." What opposing defense wouldn't love to see more Tebow and less Brady for several plays per game?

Sometimes coaches have too much time on their hands in the summer. I can imagine Patriots head coach Bill Belichick and offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels having discussions over the next several weeks about the possibility of adding the Wildcat package with Tebow under center.

According to ESPN Stats & Information, 53 of Tebow's 71 offensive snaps last season with the New York Jets were at quarterback. That's 53 offensive plays the Jets took away from starting quarterback Mark Sanchez, usually to run up the middle for a 2- or 3-yard gain. Maybe that made sense for New York. But it would be ridiculous for the Patriots to take even a fraction of those plays away from Brady this upcoming season.

It's still to be determined what Tebow's role will be in New England's offense. But it definitely should not be at quarterback at Brady's expense.

I wrote on Monday that adding Tebow does not make the Patriots a better team. If anything, it only brings a huge distraction and more questions than answers.

Tim Tebow: Five games to watch

June, 11, 2013
Tim Tebow is back in the AFC East. I'm sure everyone in our community is excited and couldn't get enough of Round 1 of Tebow-mania last season with the New York Jets. So now it's time for Round 2 of Tebow with the New England Patriots.

Of course, Tebow first must compete this summer and make the 53-man roster. In the event he does, here are five games worth highlighting this season:

Game No. 1: vs. New York Jets, Week 2

Date: Sept. 12

Tebow tie-in: Rest assured that Tebow would love to get some revenge against the Jets. Last season was a disaster, and a strong case can be made that Tebow never got a fair shake from New York and coach Rex Ryan. Tebow could show the Jets what they're missing by contributing. The Jets have a chance to lose to former players Darrelle Revis and Tebow in Games 1 and 2. That would be an awful way for the Jets to start the 2013 season.

Game No. 2: at Jets, Week 7

Date: Oct. 20

Tebow tie-in: Tebow returns to New York. This is where Tebow-mania was on steroids last year. Many Jets fans wanted Tebow to play in place of Mark Sanchez, but that never materialized. They could get a chance to see Tebow on the field in another uniform.

Game No. 3: vs. Pittsburgh Steelers, Week 9

Date: Nov. 3

Tebow tie-in: The biggest win of Tebow's NFL career came against the Steelers in the wild-card round of the 2011 playoffs while he was with Denver. Tebow threw for 316 yards and two touchdowns in a 29-23 overtime victory. Some Steelers players say they respect Tebow because he proved himself on the field in a big playoff game. Tebow may get to face Pittsburgh's physical defense for the first time since that memorable game.

Game No. 4: vs. Denver Broncos, Week 12

Date: Nov. 24

Tebow tie-in: This is another game Tebow should circle on his calendar. Tebow was riding high in Denver after the 2011 season until Peyton Manning came to town. The Broncos quickly traded Tebow to the Jets and went with the future Hall of Famer. Tebow’s career arc began to drop after that. He wouldn’t mind performing well against Manning and Denver in some capacity this season. The Broncos will have Wes Welker going to Foxborough in this game, and he will be looking for his own measure of revenge.

Game No. 5: at Miami Dolphins, Week 15

Date: Dec. 15

Tebow tie-in: This is the second game between the Patriots and Dolphins this season. But why is this game more important? First, it’s a December matchup between the top two teams (on paper) in the AFC East. That means playoff positioning and possibly a division title might be at stake. Second, Tebow had one of his best moments in Miami in 2011, when he played poorly for three quarters, then staged a miraculous fourth-quarter and overtime comeback. Tebow went on to lead Denver to the postseason and the playoff win over Pittsburgh.
Here are the most interesting stories Tuesday in the AFC East:
  • Popular quarterback Tim Tebow will also learn how to play tight end for the New England Patriots, according to Mike Freeman of
Morning take: With injuries to Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez, the Patriots need extra skill players. But based on what I saw from Tebow last year, he has a lot to learn running routes and catches passes.
  • ESPNNewYork’s Rich Cimini thinks the New York Jets could go after quarterback Tarvaris Jackson, who was just released by the Buffalo Bills?
Morning take: I wouldn’t rule it out considering Jets general manager John Idzik’s ties to Jackson with the Seattle Seahawks. Mark Sanchez and Geno Smith aren’t necessarily lighting up spring workouts for the Jets. So the Jets may want to add more competition.
  • Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network reports that Buffalo Bills Pro Bowl safety Jairus Byrd will not show up for mandatory minicamp.
Morning take: Byrd cannot get fined because he has not signed his franchise tender. But Byrd is making a major statement that he’s taking a hard-line stance on this contract situation.
  • Miami Dolphins defensive tackle Randy Starks does plan on showing up for mandatory minicamp, according to Adam Beasley of the Miami Herald.
Morning take: Starks also is looking for a long-term contract, but he appears more willing to earn his $8.5 million this year. Miami spent a lot of money this offseason and may not spend on another huge contract extension.
The New England Patriots are set to take a step back offensively in 2013. They lost both starting receivers -- Wes Welker and Brandon Lloyd -- from last year’s group that led the NFL in scoring and replaced them with mostly unproven players and rookies.

New England also has huge question marks at tight end. Rob Gronkowski has had five surgeries on his arm and back since last November and may not be fully recovered for Week 1, and fellow tight end Aaron Hernandez also had major shoulder surgery and missed six games last season.

The Patriots signing quarterback Tim Tebow off the scrap heap isn't the answer to New England’s offensive woes. If anything, it shows an unexpected sign of desperation for a New England offense searching for answers.

This is yet another sign that New England’s run of Super Bowl appearances and NFL dominance is coming to an end. Future Hall of Fame quarterback Tom Brady and coach Bill Belichick have made it to five Super Bowls -- winning three. But it looks more and more like last year may have been the Belichick/Brady-era Patriots’ final shot to win a fourth championship when they lost at home to the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC title game.

To put it bluntly, New England simply is not good enough to win a Super Bowl this year. Last year’s team was better, especially on offense. Brady, who will be 36 in August, is a year older and has less firepower. Adding Tebow to the mix doesn’t fix anything. It simply brings more media and a huge distraction, which is something Belichick usually tries to avoid.

And what exactly is Tebow’s role in New England?

Tebow is certainly not playing quarterback. Brady is clearly the franchise starter in New England, and I would take my chances with the strong arm of Ryan Mallett over the inaccuracy and poor mechanics of Tebow any day. Tebow is the No. 3 quarterback at best.

Would the Patriots really take Brady off the field to insert Tebow in a Wildcat package? Taking an elite quarterback like Brady off the field for any amount of plays is a huge mistake. Opposing defenses would love to see less Brady and more Tebow on a weekly basis. Would the Patriots be silly enough to oblige?

Maybe Tebow can play H-back or on special teams in New England. But that is nothing more than what he did with the New York Jets last year when things went awry. Is all of that worth the extra attention that Tebow brings? The Jets got their answer last year. Now, it's New England's turn to make the same mistake.

I do not see how adding Tebow makes the Patriots a better team. This is a franchise which prides itself on competing for championships. But New England took yet another step backward on Monday.

I completely believe New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick when he says he doesn't "hate" Tim Tebow. Hate is a strong word to use about anybody, especially with a person as nice and grounded as the former New York Jets and Denver Broncos quarterback.

Belichick was stern this week in his rebuttal of a Yahoo! Sports report. He rarely takes the time to refute anything, true or not. So it’s notable when the tight-lipped Patriots coach publicly decries an article about the popular free-agent quarterback.

"I wouldn't get into the probability of us pursuing any free agent. Every single player has strengths and weaknesses, but regardless of that, for anyone to have represented that is the way I feel about Tim Tebow is completely untrue, baseless and irresponsible," Belichick told "It is unfortunate that something so inaccurate was reported."

But I think Belichick slyly avoided the million-dollar question: While Belichick may not hate Tebow, does Belichick like Tebow as a player?

That is the void Belichick left unfulfilled in his response to the Yahoo! report. It's one thing not to hate Tebow. But there's plenty of evidence that Belichick isn't high on Tebow or in a rush to add Tebow to New England's roster.

For starters, Tebow has been on the market for weeks and there is zero interest from New England or any other team. Money certainly isn’t an issue, because Tebow is looking for work and would play for a low wage. There also would be zero quarterback controversy in New England because of future Hall of Famer Tom Brady.

One of Tebow’s biggest NFL supporters is also New England’s offensive coordinator: Josh McDaniels. He drafted Tebow three years ago in the first round. It’s a safe assumption that McDaniels wouldn’t mind getting his creative hands on Tebow again. But the person in charge of all personnel moves in New England is Belichick, and everything must first go by his desk.

Forget about hating Tebow. Belichick set the record straight there. But if Belichick truly likes Tebow, the Patriots' coach can prove it at any time by signing Tebow to a contract for next to nothing.
All this week the AFC East blog posted its "Show and Prove" series for 2013. This highlighted eight players in the division with a lot to prove this season. You can see the full lineup here.

But let’s take a look back at the “Show and Prove” Class of 2012 and see if they flopped or graduated with flying colors.


No. 1: LT Nate Solder, New England Patriots

What he must prove: “Solder has huge shoes to fill,” I wrote before the 2012 season. “He has to prove that he can replace a Patriots legend in Matt Light, who recently retired after a stellar career with New England. Light was a reliable force at left tackle protecting quarterback Tom Brady's blind side most of Brady's career. The change will put a huge spotlight on Solder.”

Analysis: Solder passed with good results. The Patriots pushed the tempo and led the NFL in total offense and points score. Brady also stayed healthy and played all 16 games. New England’s running game also was stronger than it had been in previous seasons. Solder helped pave the way for 1,200-yard rusher Stevan Ridley and proved to be New England’s long-term solution at left tackle.

Result: Thumbs up


No. 2: WR Brian Hartline, Miami Dolphins

What he must prove: “Hartline, by default, must prove he is a legitimate No. 1 receiver,” I wrote last year. “Miami traded Pro Bowl receiver Brandon Marshall to the Chicago Bears for two third-round picks this offseason. The Dolphins didn't take a receiver high in the draft or make any significant additions in free agency. That leaves Hartline trying to make the jump from a complementary receiver to a No. 1 threat.”

Analysis: Perhaps no player in the AFC East made a bigger jump from training camp to the end of the 2012 season than Hartline. He was injured and actually on the roster bubble for much of the offseason. Hartline was on the sidelines and couldn’t show his worth to a new coaching staff. Fortunately for Hartline, other receivers in Miami were struggling, as well. Therefore, first-year head coach Joe Philbin stuck with Hartline, who finally got healthy and came around in the regular season. It wasn’t long before he became rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill’s biggest playmaker. Hartline led the Dolphins with 1,083 receiving yards and turned it into a five-year, $31 million extension with the team.

Result: Thumbs up


No. 3: QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, Buffalo Bills

What he must prove: “Fitzpatrick must prove that he is a franchise quarterback. The Bills certainly are paying him like one,” I wrote last year. “Fitzpatrick received a $59 million contract extension during the 2011 season. But he struggled down the stretch, got injured and lost eight of his last nine starts.”

Analysis: The 2012 season was a no-excuse year for Fitzpatrick, and he never lived up to his contract. Fitzpatrick was the same inconsistent, streaky player he’s always been and led Buffalo to another 6-10 record. Fitzpatrick had a knack for turning over the football at the worst possible times. Fitzpatrick simply wasn’t a franchise quarterback, and the Bills made a huge error. Fitzpatrick was released this offseason and signed to be a backup with the Tennessee Titans.

Result: Thumbs down


No. 4: Shawne Merriman, Bills

What he must prove: “First, Merriman must stay healthy,” I wrote last year. “He suffered back-to-back season-ending Achilles injuries, and Merriman must prove he's fully recovered and can play close to a full season for the first time since 2009.”

Analysis: Despite Achilles issues the previous two seasons, the Bills brought back Merriman in hopes that “Lights Out” could add something to their pass rush. It turned out Merriman still lacked the explosiveness that once made him a good player. He was a bench player for the Bills who didn’t offer much. He retired after the season.

Result: Thumbs down


No. 5: QB Tim Tebow, New York Jets

What he must prove: “Tebow, first and foremost, has to prove he can be an asset to the Jets, who acquired him in a trade with the Denver Broncos this offseason,” I wrote last year. “New York's coaching staff is behind Mark Sanchez as the starting quarterback, but the team wants to find creative ways to get the most out of Tebow's abilities. That includes the Wildcat, special teams and maybe a few surprises.”

Analysis: The hype was immense. Tebow was coming off a playoff victory with Denver and was expected to push Sanchez in New York, but that never materialized. Instead, Tebow had a strange year in New York where he was used poorly at Wildcat, H-back and special teams. When Sanchez struggled, Tebow also was passed over for third-string quarterback Greg McElroy, which was a sign that Jets’ coaching staff didn't think Tebow was capable of leading the team. He was a bust in New York and eventually released.

Result: Thumbs down


No. 6: DE Jared Odrick, Dolphins

What he must prove: “Odrick must prove that he's ready to be a full-time starter,” I wrote last year. “Odrick, a former first-round pick, has eight starts the past two seasons.”

Analysis: Odrick is a former first-round pick, who is solid at several things, but not really special at anything. Odrick played all 16 games and started 12 at defensive end for the Dolphins last year. He was solid against the run, but didn’t offer much of a pass-rushing threat. That led to Miami drafting No. 3 overall pick Dion Jordan in this year’s draft. Odrick has some versatility and is getting a look inside at defensive tackle. He’s a good piece to have on your team. But Odrick proved last year that he’s not a game-changer.

Result: Thumbs down


No. 7: DB Devin McCourty, Patriots

What he must prove: “McCourty must prove his stellar rookie year wasn’t a fluke,” I wrote last year. “New England’s 2010 first-round pick took the NFL by storm as a rookie with 82 tackles, seven interceptions and two forced fumbles. McCourty looked like a genius pick by the Patriots and made the Pro Bowl. But McCourty had a huge sophomore slump in 2011.”

Analysis: McCourty struggled at cornerback so much that Patriots head coach Bill Belichick made him a full-time safety. McCourty had a few ups and downs, but actually proved to be a decent safety. McCourty may not be a shutdown corner some thought he would be after his rookie year. But McCourty’s versatility to play all positions in the secondary makes him a valuable asset in New England’s defense.

Result: Thumbs up


No. 8: RT Wayne Hunter, Jets

What he must prove: “Hunter must prove he's a starting right tackle,” I wrote last year. “The 2011 season was his first as a full-time starter, and it was a disaster.”

Analysis: Hunter became infamous with Jets fans. In terms of balance, strength and lack of consistency, he was arguably the worst starting offensive tackle in football in 2011. Hunter’s struggles continued in camp with the Jets, who eventually cut ties and made a trade with the St. Louis Rams for another bust in Justin Smith. The trade, as expected, didn’t work out well for either team. But at least it got Hunter out of New York, where he was eaten alive by the Jets fans and media. It also allowed the Jets to discover relative unknown Austin Howard, who played decent football at right tackle last season.

Result: Thumbs down
Now that the 2013 NFL draft is in the books, the New York Jets are undergoing a major makeover in their front office.

The latest report comes from Jason La Canfora of, who reports New York will hire former Arizona Cardinals general manager Rod Graves to join the team's front office. New York also didn’t renew the contracts of former Jets assistant GM Scott Cohen and former director of football administration Ari Nassim this week, according to

Changes to New York’s front office should not come as a surprise. First-year general manager John Idzik has made an immediate impact since joining the Jets. He started by cutting overpaid veterans to get under the salary cap. Then, Idzik made two major decisions: he traded star cornerback Darrelle Revis and cut popular backup quarterback Tim Tebow. Remaking the front office now is Idzik's next focus.

Graves brings a lot of experience to the Jets. He starting in the NFL in 1982 and worked with the Chicago Bears, Philadelphia Eagles and most recently the Cardinals.
New York Jets owner Woody Johnson is back in the spotlight after his team made a series of controversial quarterback moves. In the past couple of weeks, the Jets drafted West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith in the second round and released Tim Tebow, who was recently voted the most influential athlete by

Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News caught up with Johnson in Philadelphia, and the owner addressed both quarterbacks. Johnson liked the pick of Smith and said the quarterback competition in New York is "going to be fun."

"He was the highest-rated player (left) on our board," Johnson said of his rookie quarterback. "I'm extremely happy to have him. ... Great body of work. He was a gifted athlete from Day 1. I guess they identified him very, very early when he was a little kid as being something special."

Johnson also talked about the decision to cut Tebow. The Jets initially wanted to trade Tebow for a 2013 draft pick but could not find a suitor. As a result, New York released the popular quarterback after the draft.

"It was something that didn't work," Johnson explained. "It didn't work for us. That doesn't mean it won't work somewhere else."

Johnson also added that he doesn't regret the Tebow trade last year with the Denver Broncos. The team just has to move forward.

"There's nothing bad about trying to make yourself better," Johnson said. "The fit obviously wasn't perfect or he'd still be here. ... A lot of decisions in football are not helpful. And you have to move on from those decisions."