Josh Johnson has been all over the place.
The 28-year-old quarterback has been a member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, San Francisco 49ers, Cleveland Browns and Cincinnati Bengals. At one point, he even took snaps for the Sacramento Mountain Lions of the now defunct United Football League. Now, Johnson is back for his second go-around with the 49ers.
The former Oakland Tech standout is one of five quarterbacks on the roster, but he speaks with a quiet confidence that suggests he’s ready to win a spot on the team. Johnson is also plenty familiar with head coach Jim Harbaugh. The two worked together at the University of San Diego where Johnson was a four-time All-Americn.
Here are some highlights from Johnson’s recent conversation with reporters at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara.
Note: Questions are paraphrased but Johnson’s answers are directly transcribed.
When did you find out you might be coming back?
Actually, right after it was official that I got released, coach Harbaugh reached out to me. So, it was fairly simple.
What’s it like to have this whirlwind tour of the NFL?
Honestly, it’s really the nature of this business. Unless you’re a guy, who really is like a superstar, a lot of guys go through this. The best thing you can do is keeping putting it on tape to where teams know you’re capable of playing.
Why do you think you got a second chance here?
I’m a better player. I had a better year last year. I put a lot of different things on tape. They noticed that. What they do now kind of fits my skill set more so than the first time around.
Were you surprised you didn’t make the team in 2012?
It was a bit surprising. I thought I played well, but it was give or take. I could have done a lot that I look forward to doing better this time around. So, all it really did was motivate me to work harder and get better and I feel I’ve been able to do that.
What did you learn from that first camp that will give you a better chance to make the team this time around?
I was able to reflect on a lot of the things that I did wrong and see how I can make it better. And my time out in Cincinnati, being out there, becoming a No. 2, I was able to work on a lot of different things and credit to those coaches out there.
I felt like they developed me. Coming here the last time, I felt like I was in the process of still developing as a quarterback. Last year, I felt like I really got to develop. Now, I feel like I’m really past the developmental stage of my career and now it’s just going out there and putting it on the field every time.
Considering that the 49ers have four other quarterbacks on the roster did you think about looking around at other teams?
Realistically…any team I would have went to would have been like this. The opportunity was here to come and compete. So, that’s what I was looking for. I’ve got some familiarity with the system here and I saw it as the best opportunity to come try to compete for a job.
Chris Borland (Video)