Jaylon Johnson previews 'hard nose,' 'attacking' Bears defense
The Chicago Bears have always been known for their dominant defenses. But they’re coming off a disappointing season where their secondary was among the worst in the NFL.
While the offense has been the national narrative’s focal point this offseason, the defense has undergone some big changes.
Not only are they learning a new scheme under Matt Eberflus, but they’re down some key starters along the defensive line in edge rusher Khalil Mack and defensive tackles Akiem Hicks, Eddie Goldman and Bilal Nichols. Although they have added some young talent, including cornerback Kyler Gordon and safety Jaquan Brisker.
But cornerback Jaylon Johnson promises a "hard nose" and "attacking" defensive philosophy under Eberflus, who is known for his intensity.
"Definitely hard nose, flying around to the ball," Johnson said on The Jim Rome Show last week. "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."
Johnson has spent the offseason building his craft — both from a mental and physical standpoint — in hopes of developing consistency, which he points to as key for long-term success.
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"I think the craft really builds consistency," Johnson said. "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."