In the Bengals preseason opener, it was Johnson who made the big first impression, as he made big plays as a passer and runner. Johnson passed for 100 yards, including a 21-yard touchdown to Brandon Tate, and ran for 64 yards. Johnson led the Bengals to 17 second-quarter points and another field goal in the third quarter.
“I was impressed overall with what he did out there,” said Bengals coach Marvin Lewis of Johnson. “We know he can make plays with his legs, but throwing the ball is how a quarterback has to make a living in this league, and it was a real nice play to Brandon Tate.”
“I played pretty well,” Johnson said. “I was able to move the ball.”
For his career Johnson has completed just 54.2% of his throws for 1,1042 yards passing, five touchdowns and ten interceptions. With his prior experience with Jay Gruden in Tampa, that gave him a slight edge entering camp, and it looks as though he’s maintaining that edge.