XFL 2020: Mic’d up Josh Johnson can’t seem to stop berating his own offensive coordinator

Matt McGloin, you’re off the hook for strangest mic’d up XFL tirade. At least McGloin’s now-infamous rant about the New York Guardians’ lowly offensive output in Week 2 came from a source of legitimate frustration. Conversely, there’s not much of an explanation — at least from afar — for L.A. Wildcats quarterback Josh Johnson lashing out at offensive coordinator Norm Chow after throwing his fourth touchdown pass during Sunday night’s 41-34 win over Tampa Bay. 

ESPN’s mics picked up Johnson saying on the phone, presumably to Chow, “Coach, y’all are doing way to much arguing and complaining. Call plays … stop it.” Johnson could then be heard saying “Dude talks himself out of touchdowns.” Here’s the clip, posted by the XFL on Fox Twitter account. 

The conversation is startling considering how well Johnson had been playing (288 yards passing, 4 TDs) but it also wasn’t the first time mics caught Johnson expressing his frustration towards coaches that day. Early in the game, after Johnson threw a pick on the first play from scrimmage, the quarterback could be heard telling telling someone on the phone — again, presumably Chow — to “calm down” multiple times. 

It’s worth clarifying again that these types of conversations do happen on the sidelines all the time — we just don’t get to hear them like we do now. However, ESPN color commentator Joey Galloway didn’t go so far as to say those types of conversations were normal. It’s definitely strange given the outcome of the game. But there were likely other conversations between Chow and Johnson that led to those caught by microphone. What Chow or Johnson have to say about these moments, if anything, later on will be interesting. 

In any case, this is another moment that makes the XFL compelling television, regardless of whether anyone is right or wrong to say what they’re saying. 

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