Johnson, striving for a doctorate at Washington University in St. Louis, carries a full schedule of classes. He gets up at 5:15 a.m., writes a radio sports show, announces it at 8 a.m., goes to class until noon, practices, then goes back to school. He has already had offers of jobs as a chemical engineer; when he finishes school, he hopes to combine pro football and chemical engineering.
"Sometimes it's hard to concentrate on football with finals coming up, or on finals with a game like this coming up, but I manage to keep them separate," he says.
His thesis for his doctorate is on the flow characteristics of polymer plastics. Ryan seems a bit ahead of him here, at least. Ryan's master's thesis was entitled "Regularly Branched Coverings and an Application to Blaschke Products with Certain Boundary Characteristics"—which sounds vaguely like a plan for covering sideline passes.
This Sunday when the Cardinals and Browns meet in St. Louis, math and chemistry will be temporarily forgotten. But the game's outcome will still depend mostly on which quarterback has done his football homework.