November 18, 2015

Highlighted Year: Harvey Johnson, 1949

Guard/Linebacker/Placekicker, New York Yankees

Age:  30
4th season in pro football & with Yankees
College: William & Mary
Height: 5’11” Weight: 210

Johnson was chosen by the Brooklyn Dodgers in the sixth round of the 1943 NFL draft but served in the US Navy during World War II and signed with the Yankees of the AAFC afterward. He played tackle, guard, fullback, and linebacker for the Yankees, although he was primarily known for his placekicking. Johnson connected on 6 of 8 field goal attempts in 1946 and 7 of 8 in ’47, when he led the league with 49 extra points out of 51 attempts and scored a career-high 70 points. He also rushed for 63 yards in 1946 and caught a total of three passes for 25 yards.

1949 Season Summary
Appeared in all 12 games
[Bracketed numbers indicate league rank in Top 20]

Field goals – 7 [1]
Most field goals, game – 1 on seven occasions
Field goal attempts – 15 [1]
Field goal percentage – 46.7 [2]
PATs – 25 [5]
PAT attempts – 25 [5]
Longest field goal – 40 yards vs. San Francisco 10/23

Interceptions – 1
Int. return yards – 1
Int. TDs – 0

Field Goals – 7
PATs – 25
Points – 46 [7]

Postseason: 1 G (AAFC First Round Playoff at San Francisco)
Field goals – 0
Field goal attempts – 0
PATs – 1
PAT attempts – 1

Yankees went 8-4 to finish third in the AAFC and qualify for the playoffs. Lost First Round playoff to San Francisco 49ers (17-7).

Following the merger of the AAFC with the NFL in 1950, Johnson, along with many other members of the Yankees, was assigned to the New York Yanks. He chose to coach high school football instead but came back as a linebacker and placekicker in 1951 for one final season, making good on 6 of 14 field goal attempts and all 31 of his tries for extra point. Overall, in four AAFC seasons Johnson kicked 22 field goals out of 38 attempts (57.9 %) and was successful on 147 of 149 extra points, including a streak of 133 straight. Johnson’s total of 213 points ranked sixth in AAFC history. He went into pro coaching, first in Canada, where he led the minor league Kitchener team to four championships. Johnson later joined the Buffalo Bills of the new AFL in ’60 at the behest of his former college teammate Buster Ramsey, who was the new club’s first head coach. Johnson remained with Buffalo for many years, serving as interim head coach twice, in 1968 and ’71, and also in the front office.


Highlighted Years features players who were consensus first-team All-League* selections or league* or conference** leaders in the following statistical categories:

Rushing: Yards, TDs (min. 10)
Passing: Yards, Completion Pct., Yards per Attempt, TDs, Rating
Receiving: Catches, Yards, TDs (min. 10)
Scoring: TDs, Points, Field Goals (min. 5)
All-Purpose: Total Yards
Defense: Interceptions, Sacks
Kickoff Returns: Average
Punt Returns: Average
Punting: Average

*Leagues include NFL (1920 to date), AFL (1926), AFL (1936-37), AAFC (1946-49), AFL (1960-69), WFL (1974-75), USFL (1983-85)

**NFC/AFC since 1970