Ted Johnson

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For other people named Ted Johnson, see Ted Johnson (disambiguation).
Ted Johnson
No. 52
Position: Linebacker
Personal information
Date of birth: (1972-12-04) December 4, 1972 (age 42)
Place of birth: Alameda, California
Career information
College: Colorado
NFL draft: 1995 / Round: 2 / Pick: 57
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Tackles: 763
Sacks: 11.5
Interceptions: 1
Stats at NFL.com

Ted Curtis Johnson[1] (born December 4, 1972) is a former American football player in the National Football League. He grew up in Carlsbad, California where he graduated from Carlsbad High School in 1991. From there he attended the University of Colorado and was drafted by the Patriots in the second round of the 1995 NFL Draft with the 57th overall selection.

Playing career[edit]

In his ten-year professional career, Johnson played in 125 regular season games and recorded 763 tackles, 11.5 sacks, one interception, 16 passes defensed, six forced fumbles, and seven fumble recoveries. He was noted for his ability to generate many tackles and for his smart play at the linebacker position. He also was able to make an impact for the Patriots without tackling the ballcarrier, as former Fox Network analyst and NFL player Matt Millen states, "What you didn't see is Ted Johnson stoning the guard, getting off the guard, taking on the fullback and freeing up (Todd) Collins to make the tackle. That play does not get made except for Ted Johnson."[2]

Johnson retired before the 2005 NFL season after sustaining many documented and undocumented concussions during his career.

Post-playing career[edit]

In an interview with USA Today in 2005, Johnson indicated he would know the opposing team's private signals or audibles prior to the game in order to have a competitive advantage. He claims that he never knew the source of the confidential information.[3]

Every now and then I'd get a sheet, one hour before the game, with a list of audibles for our opponent. I don't know how, but they just showed up."
— Ted Johnson (November 2005), [4]

On February 1, 2007 Johnson told the New York Times that he suffers from amphetamine addiction, depression and headaches related to post-concussion syndrome and Second Impact Syndrome. He placed some blame on his former coach Bill Belichick for pressuring him to participate in full contact practice drills three days after suffering a concussion in an exhibition game against the New York Giants in August 2002. Johnson reported that during the drills, he suffered a second concussion, and he argues that Belichick asked him to participate against the advice of the team's head trainer. Belichick denies these allegations.[5] Some thought Johnson's revelation was suspect based upon a December 20, 2006 column in the Boston Herald where columnist Michael Felger said Johnson told him that he would have considered playing for the Patriots in 2006 had they asked (in the wake of a season-ending injury to linebacker Junior Seau).[6] However in a February 14, 2007 interview on the Dennis and Callahan Show on WEEI, Johnson claimed he wasn't being serious when he said that, and in fact stated he said it sarcastically.

The Boston Globe has reported that Johnson shows early signs of Alzheimer's disease. [7][8]

On January 28, 2009 he discussed his problems with concussions sustained during his pro football career and the impact it had on his life in a CNN article. He indicated he was very inactive for two years following his retirement, barely leaving the house, and described those as bad days. He describes himself as still occasionally suffering from anger, depression, and throbbing headaches. The implication is that he is feeling better recently; however, no details are provided. During his radio sports talk show on March 21, 2013, he was asked who was the ugliest wife in the NFL. He named Bianca Wilfork, wife of his former teammate Vince Wilfork. After receiving widespread criticism for his comment, including from Wilfork, Johnson issued an apology.[9][10]


On July 16, 2006, Johnson and his wife, Jackie, were both arrested after an alleged domestic violence incident at their home in Weston, Massachusetts, but refused to press charges against each other.[11] The couple divorced in December 2006.

He served as an adjunct professor for two years at Suffolk University in the Boston area.[12]

Sports Radio[edit]

He spent the 2005 season as a football analyst for Boston television station WBZ-TV, but resigned from the station in 2006.

Johnson currently serves as co-host of "The Triple Threat" afternoon show on KILT (SportsRadio 610) in Houston.[13]


Further reading[edit]