New Orleans Saints: Brian Johnson has stepped in nicely at kicker
The New Orleans Saints have had a problem at the kicker position this year but Brian Johnson — who is the team’s fourth kicker this season — seems to be the answer for the rest of the season. Wil Lutz is obviously the regular kicker for this team but he was placed on IR over the summer and announced a few weeks ago that he wouldn’t be returning in 2021.
While Lutz has been out, the Saints have given Brett Maher, Aldrick Rosas, Cody Parkey, and now Brian Johnson a chance to step in and make it count in the kicking game. Johnson has been the only respectable kicker for New Orleans to this point.
Johnson joined the team during the Week 6 BYE and kicked in a Saints uniform for the first time in Week 7 against Seattle. Since joining the team, Johnson has gone a perfect 7-for-7 on field goals and has missed just one of his six extra-point attempts (good for an 83.3% extra-point percentage).
Johnson had a difficult task stepping in to do something that no other Saints kickers could and he’s delivered. He had one missed extra point last week but otherwise, has done everything that’s been asked of him. Considering he’s a rookie kicker stepping into what seemed like an impossible situation, I’d say Johnson’s been a pleasant surprise.
Brian Johnson has delivered as New Orleans Saints kicker
Johnson could potentially kick his way into a job for the 2022 season but it likely wouldn’t be with New Orleans. Hopefully, Lutz is able to return next year and will look like he did pre-injury. Still, teams are always looking for an upgrade at kicker and Johnson has shown that he can handle the job
Something to note with Johnson, however, is that he’s attempted one field goal past 40 yards and he banged it through from 52 yards out. That happened in the loss to Atlanta and that field goal helped make the game competitive down the stretch.
While there’s still a lot of season to go and plenty of opportunities for Johnson to change our minds, for now, the Virginia Tech product is doing a nice job in the Big Easy.