At this time of the year, QB Brad Johnson really enjoys the giving as much as the receiving
(Editor's note: Even on Christmas Eve, Buccaneers QB Brad Johnson gladly stopped by NFL.com to talk about his team's win over New Orleans, which gave them some real playoff life. Johnson also looked ahead to Saturday's clash with the Baltimore Ravens, and how he planned to spend his Christmas. As told to Dave Richard)
With what was at stake as far as getting to the playoffs, the Saints game definitely carried a playoff atmosphere. The importance of the game was that the season was on the line. With a win, it really puts us in the driver's seat with two games to go. I was really glad to see how we bounced back from such a disappointing loss against Chicago. We've won four of our last five and seem to be playing good football right now.
Ravens Head Coach Brian Billick is a very good friend of mine who I have a lot of respect for. We spent several years together at Minnesota, and he's probably had the biggest impact on my career from a coaching standpoint than anyone. What he's done in Baltimore the last three years has been incredible, but knowing him, I expected that. This year the Ravens have another good team. It'll be another playoff atmosphere on Saturday -- they're still trying to get into the playoffs as a Wild Card team, as we are. It's a big benefit for us to be playing on a short week and to be playing at home.
There were four or five teams I looked at before signing with Tampa Bay this season (and one was Baltimore). Once I made my decision to play here, I told myself I would never look back. They're doing some good things in Baltimore. I picked Tampa, which I thought was going to be the best place for my career, and a place that would fit best for me over the next four or five years. I'm happy with my decision, and I expected to play in a lot of big games, just like this one against Baltimore on Saturday.
We celebrated Christmas early on Saturday. I had all my aunts, uncles, my sister and my Mom down for Christmas, so we opened up some presents then and had a big turkey lunch. For Christmas, it will be just my wife, my son Max and me, and we will open up presents as a family. This is Max's first Christmas, and I think he'll probably enjoy the wrapping paper as much as his presents. We get a lot of joy just watching him get bigger every day.
On behalf of the Johnsons, Happy Holidays!