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From the Podium: John Johnson III talks being back on the field, DC Brandon Staley's philosophy

Rams safety John Johnson III held a video conference with local media Thursday afternoon, covering his thoughts about being back on the field after last season's shoulder injury and defensive coordinator Brandon Staley's philosophy, among other important topics. Here are some of the highlights and key takeaways from that virtual conversation:

"Luckily, I was pretty far along in the rehab process, so I was pretty stable."

  • The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic temporarily closed NFL team facilities across the country earlier this offseason, but Johnson said the shutdown – which began in mid-March and lasted through late May – did not negatively impact his rehabilitation of last October's season-ending shoulder injury.
  • According to Johnson, the only adjustment was having to find a different place to work out. At the time of the shutdown, he was mainly focused on building strength as part of that rehab process.

"The defense shouldn't be reactive. We should be the hammer."

  • When asked about how aggressive Staley is being with the defense, Johnson cited this as his mindset for the unit.
  • As for how aggressive Staley will be specifically with the defense, Johnson pointed to Staley's previous NFL coaching stops in Denver and Chicago and to "just picture what they were doing, but with better guys."

"They came in ready to go."

  • Rookie safeties Terrell Burgess and Jordan Fuller have made a strong first impression on Johnson.
  • When asked what stood out about each of the newcomers individually, Johnson mentioned Burgess' versatility and quickness and Fuller's length and ability to cover sideline to sideline.

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