Bears CB Jaylon Johnson said the team has adopted a hard nose, attacking defensive under new HC Matt Eberflus.
“Definitely hard nose, flying around to the ball,” Johnson said on The Jim Rome Show. “Definitely a different culture that he’s (Eberflus) definitely implemented, really trying to drill into our heads really of how we want to play this style of football. Really attacking, really playing hard, recognize the ball, trying to call turnovers and that’s what the Colts had did really good over these last couple years that the defense really turned that ball over. So I definitely think you can get that vibe that we’re definitely going to be attacking.”
“I think the craft really builds consistency,” Johnson added. “I find that’s what separates guys in this league really is to be able to play at a high level over a long period of time. To be able to be consistent at it. Most people have a lot of athleticism and most people have God-given gifts, but if you don’t work the craft, then you’re not going to be able to make plays consistently week in and week out, and especially again, other guys that are working on their craft, you’re gonna be out-maxed. So, I mean, I never want to be in a position where I can’t handle an opposing receiver or I can’t handle an opponent. And I feel like studying my craft and really trying to perfect my craft mentally and physically I feel like gives me the edge outside of my athletic ability.”
Packers first-round WR Christian Watson has a surreal feeling now that he is working with QB Aaron Rodgers and wants to learn all he can from the veteran quarterback.
“He’s going to be making checks at the line, he’s going to be expecting you to be at a certain place on time, your head’s spinning a little bit, but you got to make sure you’re there doing everything right to be on the same page with him,” Watson said, via Pro Football Talk.“It was his first day being out there with us. When I saw him this morning it was weird just casually seeing him. Obviously, that’s something I gotta get used to, but it’s still crazy to be here and playing with him.”
The biggest on-field addition the Vikings made this offseason was signing OLB Za’Darius Smith to team up with Danielle Hunter and give Minnesota a pair of outstanding pass rushers. The hope is the two take attention away from each other and prevent teams from zeroing in on just Hunter.
“I think they’re going to help each other,” new Vikings OLB coach Mike Smith, who was with Za’Darius in Green Bay the past three seasons, said via the Athletic’s Chad Graff. “Both of those guys are veteran guys, known guys, known rushers, really good rushers. I know a lot about Danielle, obviously being in Green Bay and studying him for years. I think they’re going to help each other. I think they both play well off each other. They both bring a different kind of skill set when you watch them, but it’s good to have both of them. You’ve got to have two in this league to be successful.”
Smith adds he plans to move both edge rushers all over the formation to try and get better matchups.
“He’s getting to do it and he’s like a kid in a candy shop,” he said. “He gets to move around. Now he gets to understand that once you get everything built and once you learn all these protections why it’s so beneficial. You’ve got a really athletic guy, and most guards aren’t very athletic.”