Bumped. Many thanks to Fooch for sharing his perspectives. -BN
Hey guys, this is Fooch from Niners Nation. I posted this as a comment in your Mike Johnson front page post, but a FanPost might get it a few more eyeballs. I'll also post a FanShot at Niners Nation to get some comments from 49ers fans over there. There are mixed opinions on Johnson so definitely compare this with what other folks have to say. Also, feel free to fire away with any questions and I'll be happy to try and answer them as best I can. I think Mike Johnson got a bit of a raw deal in San Francisco under Singletary and wish him nothing but the best down at UCLA.
It's hard to judge Mike Johnson based on his year as OC with the 49ers. The general belief (not 100% substantiated) is that he was sort of held back by Singletary who wanted the more smash-mouthed philosophy. There were times the offense seemed to open up, but then the next week it would be a bit more contained.
I'll probably end up paying some attention to UCLA in 2011 just to see if Mike Johnson makes an impact. I think he could be a talented OC, but it's hard to tell because of the circumstances of his time in San Francisco.
As far as the Reddit information here, the 49ers stuff is fairly accurate. He specifically stated he spent his year off (before coming to SF as QB coach) studying spread offenses. That kind of stuff struggles at times in the NFL, but more and more colleges seem to be going to the spread option offense in some form or fashion.
As far as the WRs, Jerry Sullivan was entrenched as the WR coach when Johnson came to SF so it's hard to tell how much involvement he had with the receivers during his time here outside of his play-calling role.
As for his time as QB coach, he was coach in 2009 and the first few weeks of 2010 before being promoted to OC. The 49ers QB situation has been very much in flux and as with everything else about 2010, it's hard to really give him a negative or positive grade for his work in SF. I'm not saying he was bad or good, but rather that nobody can say with any certainty how exactly he performed. It's sort of a cop-out, but the crazy coaching situation in SF leads to that.