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Sullivan/Johnson (PFW)

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; Patriots send WR Johnson to Saints for DT Sullivan PFW asks associate editor Jeff Reynolds for his take on the NFL’s hottest topics. Deal would give two underachieving talents a clean slate Two players with a lot of potential but ...

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Old 06-08-2006, 01:28 PM   #1
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Sullivan/Johnson (PFW)

Patriots send WR Johnson to Saints for DT Sullivan

PFW asks associate editor Jeff Reynolds for his take on the NFL’s hottest topics.



Deal would give two underachieving talents a clean slate

Two players with a lot of potential but few pro accomplishments traded places on Monday. The Patriots dealt WR Bethel Johnson to New Orleans for DT Johnathan Sullivan, the sixth overall pick in the 2003 draft. Both players have taken some heat for failing to live up to expectations. Each has flashed some ability to contribute, but neither was consistent enough to earn a major role with his former team. The Saints originally dealt the 17th and 18th overall picks in 2003 to the Cardinals for the sixth pick in order to draft Sullivan. Johnson was the 45th overall draft choice in 2003 and led the AFC with a 28.2-yard kick-return average.



PFW: Which player has the potential to help his new team more?

Reynolds: Sullivan can be a regular in the Patriots’ defense if the coaching staff is successful in keeping him motivated. His first obstacle is conditioning. New England takes little risk in dumping Johnson for Sullivan. The Patriots weren’t likely to keep Johnson for the upcoming season and have an interest in special-team cover ace Alex Bannister, whom the Seahawks released Friday. New Orleans had already done the heavy lifting on Sullivan’s contract, paying the $11.5 million in guarantees the deal called for and absorbing the initial signing bonus of more than $7 million. Johnson’s role, undefined because of poor work habits, questionable intelligence and injury in New England, might not expand with the Saints. If Johnson stays healthy, though, he could be the secondary return man alongside Michael Lewis, thus allowing the Saints to preserve Reggie Bush by using him solely on offense. Whether either player has the drive or the love for the game to fight through his own obstacles is the biggest question in both cases. Neither has the self-motivation or supreme competitiveness to develop into a superstar. Sean Payton is a no-nonsense coach, but the clean slate gives Johnson’s career new life. At best, he’ll emerge as a No. 3 or No. 4 receiver in New Orleans. In New England, Sullivan, at best, will rotate with Vince Wilfork at nose tackle or play in the base 4-3 should the Patriots decide to implement that front more frequently.


http://www.profootballweekly.com/PFW...pins060606.htm

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Old 06-08-2006, 03:29 PM   #2
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Vic Carucci's Tuesday Huddle

Vic Carucci By Vic Carucci
National Editor, NFL.com

(June 6, 2006) -- There's at least a reasonable chance that the player-for-player swap that saw defensive tackle Johnathan Sullivan go from New Orleans to New England in exchange for wide receiver Bethel Johnson could end up benefiting both underachieving players and their new teams.


More of the focus will be on Sullivan, of course, because he entered the league as the sixth overall pick of the 2003 draft. Overweight and out of shape, he seems like an ideal candidate for an attitude makeover by one of the best motivators in all of sports, Bill Belichick.

Sullivan also might be inspired by the surroundings of an organization that has set a lofty standard of excellence and teammates who, like their coaches, have a low tolerance for anyone who isn't aboard with the commitment and sacrifice needed to be a perennial contender.

Despite his bulk, the 6-foot-3, 328-pound Sullivan has good quickness to go along with considerable strength and leverage. With a little more discipline, he could prove to be an upgrade to the middle of the Patriots' 3-4 scheme.



I've heard some Patriots fans lament the loss of Johnson's blazing speed, but his tendency to run sloppy routes made him a bad fit for New England's passing game, which requires great precision and timing between Tom Brady and his receivers.

With the Patriots, it was more important for him to find openings underneath coverage and turn a catch into a long gain In New Orleans, Johnson should be able to take better advantage of his ability to simply blow past defenders. That's a staple of the type of passing game that new Saints coach Sean Payton used as passing game coordinator of the Dallas Cowboys -- with the obvious blessings of vertical-pass-oriented coach Bill Parcells -- and will employ in New Orleans.



http://www.nfl.com/news/story/9482648

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Old 06-08-2006, 04:29 PM   #3
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NE is in dire need of receivers... they have no depth. If he couldn't make it there, he won't be much more than a Desmond Howard type return man divided by 2. I hope he can prove me wrong... it's obvious Payton sees something in him I guess.
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Old 06-08-2006, 07:02 PM   #4
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maybe he thought he was a safety???
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