Rashad Johnson Making Pro Bowl Push
Former Alabama safety Rashad Johnson has had an eventful career with the Arizona Cardinals. After being drafted by Arizona in the 3rd round of the 2009 NFL Draft, the former college walk-on has become a helped the Cardinals develop one of the best secondaries in the NFL. Last season, Johnson made headlines when he lost part of his middle finger in a game against the New Orleans Saints. This season, he is making headlines as one of the best safeties in the NFC, and his name is getting more and more momentum for Pro Bowl honors.
Johnson's stats certainly help his case for such honors. Through 14 games this season, Johnson has recorded 81 tackles, including one sack. As a pass defender, he has 8 passes defended and 4 interceptions, two of which he returned for touchdowns. His pick-six against Washington in Week 6 secured a win for the Cardinals, and his 88-yard pick-six against Atlanta helped Arizona get back into the game when it looked like they would be blown out.
His four interceptions place him two behind league leader Tashaun Gipson from Cleveland. Gipson and Detroit's Glover Quin are the only free safeties with more interceptions than Johnson. The Giants' Quintin Demps and Minnesota's Harrison Smith are tied with Johnson for interceptions. However, none of these players have more tackles than Johnson. In fact, among the top 42 interception leaders in the NFL, only strong safety Charles Woodson of Oakland has more tackles. Also, Danny Lansanah of Tampa Bay is the only other player in the top 42 with two touchdowns on defense.
The "Bird Gang", as the Cardinals have begun calling themselves, are 11-3 this season despite being down to their third-string quarterback due to injuries. A ton of credit for that record is due to Arizona's incredible secondary, which includes stars such as Patrick Peterson, Antonio Cromartie, Jerraud Powers and Tyrann Mathieu. Johnson has become a leader on this unit, and it's about time the league recognized the season he's having.
But don't just take our word for Johnson's play. Here are his teammates pushing his case as well: