Safety John Johnson has a bit of a unique perspective as a drafted defensive player for the Rams in that he's only known success.
This is a franchise that had a long playoff drought, but that's now over as the Rams have won back-to-back division titles for the first time since 1978 and 1979 — well before any of Los Angeles' current players (or its head coach, for that matter) were even born.
But even in these two seasons, Johnson recognizes that this upcoming postseason has a different feel than the last.
"Yeah, this time around we've got a bye now, so we can rest, watch the other teams play while we get ready," Johnson said on Thursday. "And just looking forward to it — it's a new year, so we'll see how it goes."
Having the bye week has allowed the Rams to get as healthy as possible for the playoffs. And while Johnson doesn't have any major issues, he's been grateful for the time to get into the best shape possible for a potential championship run.
"I feel good, but I could feel even better. So I'm just trying to get my body right, stay on top of those things, hydration — stuff like that," Johnson said.
And on the field?
"DBs, we're just working on small technique stuff, getting in and out of breaks and stuff like that. But nothing too crazy," Johnson said. "We're just trying to stay ahead of the curve and get ready for the game."
Johnson said he will monitor this weekend's playoff games, but won't be watching too closely. He said that the studying will come more when he's in the building with a specific opponent and a gameplan in mind.
"Definitely as just seeing how the game, how the flow is going to go," Johnson said. "Teams want to bring out different things for the playoffs, so I mean, I just want to watch as — just to get a feel, just to get comfortable. The TV copy — the announcers have different things to say about certain people. So I'm going to watch it as, I guess, kind of a mixture."
And in some ways, it does help that of the three teams the Rams could face in the opening round of the postseason — Chicago, Dallas, and Seattle — Los Angeles has faced two of them. Really, the only postseason team L.A. hasn't faced this year is Dallas, with Philadelphia and New Orleans being the two teams the Rams definitely will not see in the Divisional round.
"Yeah, I said it earlier, it's not really revenge but a lot of those teams beat us," Johnson said. "So, I mean, it's definitely going to feel good to play them again and have a chance to get back."
Clarence Dennis contributed reporting.