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Interview with Head Coach Jon Gruden about Rookie QB Josh Johnson

Dave Gardner of New Era Scouting recently relayed an interview he had with Head Coach Jon Gruden about his Rookie Quarterback from San Diego, Josh Johnson. Here's a couple quotes from the interview:

New Era: How much film did you watch on Josh Johnson before deciding that you liked him? What skill sets does he have that enticed you?

Chuckie: We watched several films on him as a junior and a senior, and we watched all of his practices and his game film at the East-West Shrine Game, so we had a lot of exposure to him. And we knew the guys who coached him. We felt that late in the fifth round, it was a good gamble for us.

New Era: He had a solid coaching staff in college with head coach Jim Harbaugh. Does getting a positive review from a respected quarterbacks coach like him really encourage you? He did claim that — fittingly enough — Johnson had "Rich Gannon’s" mind.

Chuckie: Yeah, the positions coaches John Murtha (?) and David Shaw that did his daily coaches were actually on my staff in Oakland. Josh has been running a system that is similar to ours, so I felt that the development process would actually be quicker. You see him having to make a lot of throws that you would have to make in our offense. Whether or not he can play at this level, we’ll have to see; but he does have promise, and we’re excited about him

New Era: What do you think is the weakest area of his game, what area will take the most work to get to a pro level?

Chuckie: Well first of all, he has to improve as a passer tremendously. He’s got to become much more accurate, and that starts with where he needs to get better. He’s got to throw the ball consistently better all the time, and he’s got to get himself acclimated to this game. The corners that he’s going to see in the NFC South are going to be quite a bit different than what he’s seen in Division 3. He’s going to need some reps, and he’s going to take some time, but the number one thing he’s going to need to do is throw the ball more consistently — and that includes all the throws.

New Era: What is the typical time frame to develop a quarterback? Does Johnson coming from a smaller school affect his rate of development?

Chuckie: Well, we don’t have much time to develop these guys. We’ve got three quarterbacks on our roster right now who have won games for us: Garcia, Griese, and McCown. It better not take him very long. We’ll see where he is. It’s a difficult prediction, some guys will take a year or two, sometimes they burst onto the scene really quickly. But he’s got to improve his passing. He’s in the fight for his life right now.

New Era: Because the injury bug hit the team pretty hard last season, would you be hesitant to take four quarterbacks all the way to the 53-man roster?

Chuckie: If they are four of our best players, we will. I just want to have one good quarterback, I’m getting tired of talking about all of these quarterbacks. We’ve got a Pro Bowl guy here who wins for us. We’ve got to have great play at this position. We don’t really foresee ourselves keeping four guys at that position, but you never know. If Josh comes out… who knows what will happen based on the next three or four months?

For more of the interview please head over to New Era Scouting. Dave did a fantastic job picking Gruden's brain. Through three games this Pre-Season QB Josh Johnson has amassed 2 passes for 21 yards. Not exactly earth shattering numbers, but you don't draft a guy in the 5th Round to give up on him this early. Look for Gruden to take four Quarterbacks into the season: Garcia, Griese, McCown, and Johnson. Look for QB Chris Simms to get cut in the coming weeks and I'm pretty certain Josh Johnson will be relegated to Sabby Piscitelli duties from a year ago aka Clipboard holding and Playbook deciphering. The Rookie did look good in Training Camp and the little we saw in Pre-Season showed that he has the poise, the arm strength, and the agility to work well in Gruden's offense. We shall see...