Leonard Johnson Will Cherish His First ‘Pick-Six’
Leonard Johnson made big mistake during the first series of the football game Sunday. He missed a key tackle on San Diego wide receiver Danario Alexander. Alexander spun out of the tackle and raced 80 yards for a touchdown that gave the Chargers an early 7-0 lead.
But Johnson made up for it in a big way in the fourth quarter when he picked off Phillip Rivers and raced 83-yards for a touchdown that totally turned the momentum of the game for Tampa and paved the way for a 34-24 win, the third straight and the Bucs’ fourth in their last five games.
“That’s my first pick six ever,” Johnson said in the locker room as he was surrounded by reporters.
What will he do with that prized football?
“I’m putting it in the front seat of my car, strapping it in with the seat belt and carefully driving it home,” said the hometown hero from nearby Largo.
San Diego had the football and was driving. On third and four from the Tampa 23, Phillip Rivers rolled to his right and as he got close to the sideline, let go a pass and it went right to Johnson.. “I hesitated for a moment,” Johnson recalled. “I was so shocked he threw it right to me but then I just took off.”
Johnson took off and covered 83 yards, the fourth longest interception return in franchise history.
Johnson, an undrafted free agent out of Iowa State, just keep getting better. “Leonard has stepped up the last three games,” said his coach, Greg Schiano. “Leonard’s working his tail off to become a good quality corner in this league.”