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  1. #1
    fromos is offline Rookie
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    Checkdown Charlie

    Gannon, Johnson took different paths to glory
    By Sean Salisbury
    Special to ESPN.com

    Editor's Note: ESPN analyst Sean Salisbury was a teammate of both 2003 Super Bowl quarterbacks -- Oakland's Rich Gannon and Tampa Bay's Brad Johnson -- with the Minnesota Vikings in 1992

    People ask me if it's tough to watch former teammates play in the Super Bowl, especially quarterbacks. Not really. Sure I wish I had made it to a Super Bowl, but if not me, then I am glad it's two guys I consider brothers. Plus the only reason I am not there now is that I gave all I had to those guys as the respected, wily veteran I was when I met them. So it isn't tough to watch them now because I helped get them there. Yes, I am a hero to the two starting quarterbacks in the Super Bowl. And yes, it's a heavy burden....

    ...I've never seen a player transform their game the way Rich has and I couldn't be more proud for him. He not only survived, he flourished.

    Then there is Brad, who hasn't changed a bit since the first day I met him -- back when he was a draft pick barely getting by. It's ironic because in terms of personality, these two guys couldn't be more different. Rich is East Coast Philly and Brad is Black Mountain, N.C.

    Brad could be the poster child for Southern gentlemen. He's the guy your wife wants to have over for dinner and your parents just adore. He comes from a wonderful family. I can just picture him as a kid: waking up and walking down a dirt road with a basketball to a wood backboard that's chipped. That's Brad to a tee.

    He's "Aw Shucks," and Howdy Doody -- and I mean that with great affection. Since the day he walked into training camp, he had big ears. And I mean that figuratively. He listened to everything. Brad would sit in meetings and not say a word; just absorb information.

    And on the practice field, he'd go out and get the job done. He was just a kid trying to make it. Brad has big, strong arms. And despite having a great deep ball, he'd always go for the easy completion. He just wanted to play things safe and go for the quick checkdown.

    Of course, we kidded him and called him, "Checkdown Charlie." Which was only second to "Bull," a nickname he received at Florida State when he shaved his head and bore a striking resemblance to the bailiff on the TV show "Night Court."

    To this day, he hasn't changed a bit. If you asked Brad what he wanted to do with his life, he'd tell you he'd hang it all up and become a high school basketball coach (still says so on his website). That says a lot about the man he is.

    It's ironic: Rich's career took twists and turns while Brad's was always on course, yet they simultaneously reached the same destination, Super Bowl XXXVII.
    http://espn.go.com/nfl/playoffs02/columnist/2003/0124/1498324.html

  2. #2
    MensaTice's Avatar
    MensaTice is offline Star Spokesman
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    Re: Checkdown Charlie

    I'm missing the point of this thread. If your point is that checking down is bad, it should be pointed out that this is an article written before the Super Bowl he started in and won. If that isn't your point, I'm completely lost. Salisbury is a clown but he can be very funny. I liked the article

    [color=red]

  3. #3
    Prophet Guest

    Re: Checkdown Charlie

    from Jan. 26, 2003.

  4. #4
    fromos is offline Rookie
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    Re: Checkdown Charlie

    "MensaTice" wrote:
    I'm missing the point of this thread. If your point is that checking down is bad
    No, nothing like that. I just noticed that in one of Tice's press conferences last year he called Johnson "Checkdown Charlie" and was wondering why, I looked it up and now I know. Just thought I'd share because not everybody knows what type of person Johnson is and what his nickname on the team is. They called him that in Tampa too.

    Brad could be the poster child for Southern gentlemen... He's "Aw Shucks," and Howdy Doody
    If you listen to any of his press interviews that's exactly what you'll see too.

    from Jan. 26, 2003.
    Yeah, just before the Superbowl where Gannon and Johnson matched up.

  5. #5
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    Re: Checkdown Charlie

    Ahh. It was a good read.

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