After the 2009 NFL Draft, the Bengals believed that they had stolen third round pick Michael Johnson, a fairly productive defensive end at Georgia Tech posting 20 quarterback sacks during his collegiate career. During his second training camp in 2010, the Bengals wanted to experiment with Johnson to see if he could make the transition to outside linebacker. Due to a series of injuries, the experiment on Johnson quickly ended with the defensive end anchored at his natural positions, starting the final eight games and posting two quarterback sacks and 13 quarterback pressures during his final six starts.
Now, in his third year, Johnson is able to focus once again at defensive end during training camp. Combining the experience he gained over the course of the last year, with the ability to focus on only one position going into a season, Bengals fans just might be treated to a breakout year. Johnson was recently named the starter at right defensive end and is a key component of the so called Fisher-Price package along with Geno Atkins, Carlos Dunlap and Pat Sims; something that's starting to wage a little competition and fire inside of Johnson:
"I've got to pick up my end of it.," Johnson said. "Those guys (Dunlap and Atkins) have shown and they're going to get the attention so I'm probably going to end up getting the matchups and I've got to win those."
Having these guys create a steady pass rush will go a long way towards neutralizing the loss with Jonathon Joseph.