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Free-agent safety Rashad Johnson has reasoned response to analyst's critique

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- On Wednesday on my Nashville radio show, The Midday 180, we asked weekly guest Greg Cosell of NFL Films about Rashad Johnson.

The free-agent safety recently visited the Tennessee Titans and probably ranks as the top veteran option to fill the free safety role that opened when the team recently released Michael Griffin.

Cosell said that Johnson is at his best in a highly-schemed defense, like the Cardinals', but that he would not be as high on him in a more straight-up base defense, like the one the Titans tend to run.

I tweeted that, perhaps indelicately, and Johnson found the tweet and replied to it -- with evidence as to why he disagrees with the sentiment and seemingly with good humor (at least the "confused" emjoi made me hope it was good humor). He thought twice about it, however, deleting the tweet. I found it to be a reasonable response, and still seek to clarify it all with this post.

I apologize for a less-than-effective effort to cull Cosell’s thoughts into 140 characters.

Here’s a full recount of what he said.

“Rashad Johnson in Arizona has been a starter for a couple years. I always felt that he’s a solid player in a good defense, or in a schemed defense, let’s put it that way. I don’t think their defense has great talent, it’s highly schemed. So I think that’s to me what Rashad Johnson is. He needs that.

“I’m not sure if he’d be seen in sort of a more base-type defense -- because Arizona’s been a high-percentage blitz defense over the last number of years -- my guess is he would not be seen as a starter, as a quality starter, in kind of a base-type defense.

"I don’t think (Titans assistant head coach/ defensive coordinator) Dick LeBeau at this point in normal down and distance is going to give you crazy things. There is always the blitz element when he’s in sub packages. Arizona is a lot more multiple in their approach. And I think they are more multiple not only because of the coaching philosophy that they had, first with Todd Bowles and now with James Bettcher, but their personnel as well. I think they had to create and manufacture, because I don’t think they had a ton of talent on defense.”

Later, when I asked about how Johnson would look as Griffin’s replacement, Cosell added:

“He’d fill that spot. I’m not sure to what level. He’s an NFL starter, clearly. He’s done that. I don’t think that he is exactly what you want. But now you’re at the point where you are looking for a safety and, unless you draft one as well, you need to find someone to play that position.”

The exchange continued into the night:

Those couple tweets sure make him seem like the kind of guy the Titans need.