Niners WR Bryant Johnson hopes for starring role against former team

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SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- Bryant Johnson would love to tell his San Francisco teammates exactly how to stop the Arizona Cardinals, whose uniform he wore for the past five seasons.

The 49ers' new receiver promises he would give up every nuance of the Arizona attack before the season opener.

That is, if the Cardinals' game plans hadn't already been pushed out of his head by the new schemes he's cramming to absorb by Sunday.

Johnson changed NFC West teams as a free agent last spring for the chance to be more than a number three receiver.

He spent the last four years behind Pro Bowl talents Anquan Boldin and Larry Fitzgerald, quietly providing an excellent tertiary target for Kurt Warner and Matt Leinart while always believing he was capable of more.

He'll get that chance against the Cardinals at Candlestick Park, although coach Mike Nolan still hasn't decided whether Johnson will start at split end alongside fellow newcomer Isaac Bruce.

Johnson missed three weeks of the preseason with a hamstring injury.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)