Lee Johnson (punter)

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Lee Johnson
refer to caption
Johnson in Leadville in 2010.
No. 10, 11
Position: Punter
Personal information
Born: (1961-11-27) November 27, 1961 (age 56)
Conroe, Texas
Height: 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Weight: 202 lb (92 kg)
Career information
High school: McCullough
(The Woodlands, Texas)
College: Brigham Young
NFL Draft: 1985 / Round: 5 / Pick: 138
Career history
Career NFL statistics as of 2002
Punts: 1,226
Punt Yards: 51,979
Punt Average: 42.4
Player stats at NFL.com

Leland Eric Johnson (born November 27, 1961) is a retired United States professional American-football punter who played 18 seasons in the National Football League. Throughout the course of his career, he played for the Houston Oilers (1985–1987), the Cleveland Browns (1987–1988), the Cincinnati Bengals (1988–1998), the New England Patriots (1999–2001), the Minnesota Vikings (2001), and the Philadelphia Eagles (2002). Before his NFL career, Johnson played college football for Brigham Young University.

Early years[edit]

Johnson was born in Conroe, Texas and was a punter and kicker for McCullough High School in The Woodlands, Texas.

College career[edit]

Johnson was a punter for Brigham Young University and was a member of the 1984 National Champion team. He was nicknamed "Thunderfoot" while at BYU. Johnson was an All-American selection in 1984.

Professional career[edit]

After graduating college, Johnson was selected by the Houston Oilers in the fifth round of the 1985 NFL Draft.

In his 18 seasons, Johnson played in 259 games and recorded 1,226 punts for 51,979 yards and 317 punts in the 20, with 142 touchbacks. His 70-yard punt in 1990 was the longest of the season, and he led the NFL with a 38.5 net yard average in 1995. At the time of his retirement, his 51,979 punting yards were the third most in NFL history behind Sean Landeta and Jeff Feagles.

Johnson's most successful years in the NFL were with the Bengals, where he spent 11 of his 18 seasons and made an NFL championship appearance in Super Bowl XXIII. In that game, Johnson set a record for the longest punt in Super Bowl history (63 yards). By 1998, Johnson had become extremely frustrated with Cincinnati, which had not recorded a winning season since 1990. After a 33-20 loss at home during the 1998 season, Johnson publicly denounced the Bengals management and said if he was a Cincinnati fan with season tickets, he would probably sell them. Johnson was cut by the Bengals the following day, and subsequently signed with the Patriots in the following season. He left the Bengals as their all-time leading punter with 746 punts for 32,196 yards and 186 punts in the 20.

Johnson was the Patriots punter for the next two years, but was cut by the team five games into the 2001 season. He spent the rest of the year with the Vikings and played his final season with the Eagles before retiring from the NFL at age 40.


Johnson is an elite mountain cyclist, having competed in the Leadville 100 nine times, with a personal best time of 9 hours 27 minutes. Johnson has a son who is a professional DJ with the stage name "COMMIX", and an adopted child from Africa who is serving a full-time 2-year mission for the Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter Day Saints. Johnson currently owns a barbecue restaurant, Five Star BBQ, with two friends, Kevin Santiago and Ty Mattingly, in Orem, Utah.

Further reading[edit]

  • Ludwig, Chick. Cincinnati Bengals, The Legends. Willmington, Ohio: Orange Frazer P, 2004. ISBN 1-882203-38-0

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Sean Landeta
Philadelphia Eagles Punters
2002 season
Succeeded by
Dirk Johnson