From the Kansas City Star;

Posted on Sun, Dec. 11, 2005

[size=18px]Question and answer[/size]

Vikings QB Brad Johnson

The Vikings were once the laughingstock of the NFL for their problems on and off the field. But they are 5-0 since Johnson replaced injured Daunte Culpepper, and at 7-5, they are in the NFC playoff hunt. Johnson, who spent 1992-98 with the Vikings, returned to Minnesota this season after four years at Tampa Bay, where he helped the Buccaneers win a Super Bowl in 2002.

What enabled the Vikings to turn their season around?

“I think we just started playing better. Defensively, they were having a hard time getting off the field on third down, not creating turnovers, not getting sacks. Offensively, we were turning the ball over, we had a lot of sacks, and we had a lot of penalties. We played against some good teams and just did not get it done. When you win, guys start to believe in the system and believe in the call that’s being made and believe in each other, and that’s kind of what’s taking place.�

Do you think the Vikings can catch the Bears in the NFC North?

“I don’t know. Obviously they have a two-game lead, and we play them at the end of the season, but I don’t think we can look at the playoff picture right now. We have to keep things small-goal-oriented, and really it’s been one practice at a time, not one game at a time. Fortunately, we’ve gotten on a roll here, and we have to win if we want to have a chance to get in this thing.�

Did you feel you had to be a stabilizing force for a team about to collapse?

“No, I think the big thing is just be who you are. You can only fake it so much, so I just immersed myself in the playbook and tried to build up relationships and trust with coaches and players, and prove myself on the field.�

Did you have any concerns about returning to Minnesota?

“Very seldom does a player ever want to go back to an organization he’s been with, and very seldom does an organization want a player to come back. I left here on good terms and loved playing for (coach) Mike Tice. I didn’t get what I wanted in the offseason as far as free agency, and it just felt like it was the best fit for me. It’s worked out nice.�

How did you deal with the Vikings’ off-field controversies?

“All that stuff is really in the past now. Obviously, there were some things that took place, and I think the organization and the players have handled it extremely well. It’s unfortunate that some things happened, but I really think we’ve put that behind us and recovered from that.�