Steady and consistent play along the defensive line was a hallmark of Tim Johnson’s time in Washington.
Johnson came to the Redskins after three seasons with the Steelers, following a standout career at Penn State. When he arrived in 1990, Johnson began to work his way into the starting lineup at defensive tackle for a Redskins’ team that was on the brink of greatness.
Mostly a situational player in ‘90, Johnson nonetheless helped Washington to the second round of the NFC playoffs, where they fell to the defending Super Bowl champion 49ers.
The following year, Johnson was the full-time starter at tackle, and the Redskins embarked upon arguably the greatest campaign in franchise history. Johnson posted 82 tackles, three sacks, and an interception as Washington rolled to a 14-2 record and a Super Bowl victory over the Bills.
Johnson recorded a career-high six sacks in 1992 as the Redskins returned to the playoffs. Washington’s fortunes changed in 1993 after Joe Gibbs’ departure, but Johnson continued to play well in individual terms. He recorded his all-time best tackle total, with 98, and added four more sacks.
With the Redskins beginning a major rebuilding project over the next couple of seasons, Johnson found himself being cycled out of the starting lineup. By 1995, he started just five games for the Redskins. He moved on to Cincinnati in ‘96, the final season of his career.
He played a total of 91 games for the Redskins, starting 67 of those. He logged 20.5 sacks, recovered four fumbles, and piled up 354 tackles in DC. Among all players to wear #78 for the Redskins, Johnson actually ranks second in “Approximate Value” by a single point—35 to 34.
That score of 35 is owned by none other than the recently-retired Kory Lichtensteiger. I gave Johnson the nod because his contributions at DT were more impactful on the success of the Redskins during a stretch of playoff appearances.
Tim Johnson now takes his place as the Redskins all-time #78.
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