Not surprisingly, Johnson had plenty of diplomatic praise for Jimmy Raye. Quite surprisingly, he was not so kind or diplomatic to Alex Smith.
"Jimmy Raye is one of the best football coaches that I've ever been around," Johnson said at his first press conference Thursday, as quoted by San Jose Mercury News.
The 49er Faithful figure either he's just being nice, or else he's got a strange definition of "ever been around".
Johnson emphasized that he's not going to use any different a playbook than did Jimmy Raye, but that 49ers fans could expect to see different personnel on field, a more structured approach, and better execution.
"I kind of correlate it to two women wearing the same dress,’’ Johnson told the Mercury News. “You have football plays, you have an offense, but you can have two women wearing the same dress and they look totally different."
Sounds like perhaps this guy has been checking out NBC Bay Area's "Who wore it better?" slideshows! There really are quite a few meaningful life allegories in those fashion snapshots of the Kardashians, Milanos, and Barrymores.
Johnson was surprisingly less flawless and more fierce in his remarks about quarterback Alex Smith. "I think Alex has played OK," Johnson told the Sacramento Bee. "He has not played great. And that's why I think our offense has not played to that level. But in saying that, we have to give him a better opportunity as coaches to make sure that he is successful."
Johnson said he still had not decided whether he would call plays from upstairs, as did Jimmy Raye, or call the plays from the 49ers sideline.
The play-calling thing had better get sorted out by this weekend. On Sunday, the 49ers have their first indoor away game at the Georgia Dome, and those giddy, 2-1 and in first place Atlanta fans will be none too quiet about it.
Joe Kukura is a freelance writer who kind of correlates football with two Gold Rush cheerleaders wearing the same spanky pants and they look totally different.