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Al Joseph Johnson (born January 27, 1979) is a former American football center in the National Football League (NFL) for the Dallas Cowboys, Arizona Cardinals and Miami Dolphins. He played college football at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. He is currently the head football coach of the East Central University.

Al Johnson
No. 62, 52, 50, 60
Position:Center, guard
Personal information
Born: (1979-01-27) January 27, 1979 (age 40)
Brussels, Wisconsin
Height:6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)
Weight:305 lb (138 kg)
Career information
High school:Southern Door
(Brussels, Wisconsin)
College:Wisconsin
NFL Draft:2003 / Round: 2 / Pick: 38
Career history
 * Offseason and/or practice squad member only
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Games played:66
Games started:45
Fumble recoveries:2
Player stats at NFL.com
Player stats at PFR

Contents

Early yearsEdit

Johnson attended Southern Door High School in Brussels, Wisconsin, where he was two-way football player, earning second-team All-American from Prep Football Report, Packerland conference player of the year and All-State honors. He played in the Wisconsin Shrine Game.

As a senior, he won the state title in the shot put and was named the conference player of the year in basketball.

College careerEdit

Johnson accepted a football scholarship from the University of Wisconsin–Madison along with his cousin Ben Johnson. As a redshirt freshman, he appeared in 7 games, playing mainly on the field goal and extra point conversion lines.

He became a starter at center in the second game of his sophomore season, when All-American Casey Rabach was moved to right guard. He started every game as a junior. He was named team captain and received second-team All-Big Ten honors as a senior.

Professional careerEdit

Dallas CowboysEdit

One of the priorities in Bill Parcells first season as the head coach of the Dallas Cowboys was improving the center position play. To that end, he made Andre Gurode concentrate on playing guard and selected Johnson in the second round (38th overall) of the 2003 NFL Draft.[1] In training camp he was named the starter, but suffered a right knee injury during a practice that required microfracture surgery, which was thought to be career-threatening, because at the time not many players fully recovered from this medical procedure.[2]

In 2004, Tyson Walter was named the starter at center, but suffered a sprained left knee in the second quarter of the season opener against the Minnesota Vikings, opening the door for Johnson to start in the rest of the games.

The next year, after facing competition in training camp from Gurode, he went on to start all 16 games, but still split time at center.

In 2006, he lost the starting position to Gurode, who went on to become a Pro Bowler. The Cowboys didn't re-sign him in free agency at the end of the season.

Arizona CardinalsEdit

On March 5, 2007, the Arizona Cardinals signed him to a contract as a free agent.[3] He started 14 games at center (missing weeks 2 and 3 with a left knee injury), as part of an offensive line that allowed the team's fewest sacks (24) in 20 years and that helped Edgerrin James rush for 1,222 yards.

In the 2008 off-season, Johnson underwent two surgeries on his left knee and was placed on the injured reserve list. On October 21, he was released with an injury settlement, after the team couldn't reach an agreement to restructure his contract.[4]

Miami DolphinsEdit

On November 29, 2008, Johnson was signed by the Miami Dolphins, reuniting with Bill Parcells, who was the Executive Vice President of Football Operations. He played as a reserve center and guard in only four games, because he experienced recurring problems with his left knee.

New England PatriotsEdit

On March 16, 2009, Johnson signed with the New England Patriots as an unrestricted free agent.[5] He was waived with an injury settlement on August 6, to make room for Derrick Burgess.[6]

Coaching careerEdit

In 2013, Johnson was hired as the offensive coordinator at Southern Door High School. In 2014, he was an assistant football coach and offensive coordinator at NCAA Division III St. Norbert College. He also was an assistant coach at Southern Door High School in Brussels and a morning show personality on WQDC, which he owned. In 2016, he joined the University of Wisconsin football staff as an assistant offensive line coach.[7] In December 2017, he was named the head football coach at East Central University in Ada, Oklahoma.[8]

Head coaching recordEdit

Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs
East Central Tigers (Great American Conference) (2018–present)
2018 East Central 3–8 3–8 T–9th
East Central: 3–8 3–8
Total: 3–8

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Parcells Puts His Brand on the Cowboys' Draft". Retrieved February 19, 2018.
  2. ^ "Al Johnson offers hope on comeback for Cowboys' Anthony Spencer - NFL Nation - ESPN". ESPN.com. Retrieved 30 June 2018.
  3. ^ "OL Mitchell, TE Bienemann sign with Cardinals". Retrieved February 19, 2018.
  4. ^ "Cards center out for season". azcentral.com. Retrieved 30 June 2018.
  5. ^ "Pats announce five signings". Boston.com. Retrieved 30 June 2018.
  6. ^ "Patriots trade for Derrick Burgess". Boston.com. Retrieved 30 June 2018.
  7. ^ "Al Johnson returning to UW football program". Retrieved February 19, 2018.
  8. ^ "Johnson Named ECU Head Football Coach". Retrieved February 19, 2018.

External linksEdit