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Bleacher Report – Vikings

Tom Johnson taking unexpected return to Minnesota ‘in stride’

By Matthew Coller

You know how when you first leave home and then come back for a visit and notice that there’s a new gas station or they’ve turned old Target into Super Target? Well, imagine how Tom Johnson felt coming back to find the $125 million TCO Performance Center in the place of run-down Winter Park.

“Man, it’s crazy,” Johnson said Wednesday. “Rick had no problem walking me around for an hour and half yesterday, showing me every detail, and the lights and what they do. From the [chiropractic] place to the turf, man, it’s A1 the best place I’ve seen. It’s a great attraction for the community, for the team, for the owners. So, definitely motivates you to continue to win and do big things.”

Johnson was signed by the Vikings after the Seattle Seahawks unexpectedly released him last week — though NFL Network reported the Seahawks had planned to immediately re-sign him this week.

He also returns to find star defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson in his three-technique position. Instead of playing 68 percent of snaps as he did last year, now it’s highly the 34-year-old D-lineman will be part of a rotation to keep Richardson fresh.

“They’ve got a good rotation in here,” You’re going to get plays. You’ve got to take advantage of the plays you get. So I’m not looking at it as a starter or backup type deal, you know? The league knows who I am. Guys in the locker room know who I am. So I’m not here because I’m trying to prove I’m a starter or if I’m coming in a rotation. I’m going to come in, do my job, contribute as much as possible and hopefully we win.”

Johnson signed with the Vikings in 2014 following a stint with the New Orleans Saints and in the CFL. He picked up 16 sacks over four seasons, two of which were largely as a rotational player. When Richardson signed, GM Rich Spielman said the team was interested in keeping Johnson.

“We obviously didn’t want to let him go,” head coach Mike Zimmer said. “Tom’s a good football player. He’s been great for us in the time we’ve been here, so that’s all been good.”

Johnson said he should be able to step back in with little adjustment needed.

“I’m just taking it in stride right now,” Johnson said. “It’s something that I wasn’t expecting, as far the better situation that I’m in. I’m taking full advantage of it, if I was going to land somewhere. We had a couple more offers from other teams or whatever, and out of the other teams I felt like this was the best fit.”

The post Tom Johnson taking unexpected return to Minnesota ‘in stride’ appeared first on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.

Source:: 1500 ESPN Sportswire

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