Player Diary: Michael Johnson

It's been good. I like playing, that's for sure. That's what I came here for – to play. But I'm just trying to play my role on this team and step in when I need to and am supposed to.

As a player, whenever you get in the game or get an opportunity, it's best to capitalize because the coaches take notice of things like that. You can't just make a play and then fade away. You have to keep on producing so that's what I try to do whenever I get the chance.

I never really worried if and when I'd get my chance to play. From day one, I knew I was on the team as a rookie and all I needed to know was that I back up these two guys (Gibril Wilson and James Butler) and whenever one of them goes down and can't play, I go and play. That's really how I looked at it the whole time.

Now that I'm getting a chance to start a couple games, I feel like I've played pretty well. Everyone always feels like they can do better but I do think that I did pretty well. The fact that I have those two starts under my belt helps me out a lot. That makes me feel a lot more comfortable with the guys when I actually do step into a starting position.

I think I can start in this league on a permanent basis. Most definitely. I think everybody should feel the same way. I feel like I can go play and start. Our four safeties, we all call ourselves starters. Coach told us we're all starters because we can be up at any second. We all prepare the same way.

I love it when I'm in there and playing. Some of the plays it's just like a blackout. I don't know exactly how to describe it, but you're just playing ball and your adrenaline is pumping. You see the play in front of you and you know you're going to make it. Then the next thing you know you're already getting up from the play. You made the play and it feels like it was your adrenaline that did it for you. It really happens that quickly. I think that's one of my upsides, just being out there playing ball.

I'm confident that I can do the job back there in the secondary but it helps to know my teammates seem to be as well. They took me in well as a rookie and told me not to worry about any mistakes I make in practice. They'd tell me to make mistakes now so that I wouldn't make them in the game. They kept me up and I'm cool with everybody, so that helps for sure.

I'm a whole lot better now than I was when the season stated. The playbook was a challenge for me. Learning multiple positions obviously took more time but now I think I can basically play any position in the secondary. I'm not saying that I'd be the best man for it, but I could play any position back there.

I've been playing free and strong safety. This week (against Philadelphia) I'll be playing free. There are different things and different techniques you need to learn for each position, but I think I can handle them both the same right now.

The strong safety has the final call. So whatever the strong safety says goes. But both safeties have to be on the same page. At free safety it's more about reading the backfield flows and things like that. You're actually more like a linebacker there.

We're getting down toward the end of the season but I still feel pretty good. I've only started two games and played special teams all year. I'm pretty sure there are a lot of other guys in here that are banged up a lot more than I am.

I like to watch myself on tape. I'm real critical of myself. I'm always watching the film and asking myself, ‘what are you doing?' I think I'm one of my toughest critics. You always grade yourself harder than other people do.

I think the coaches like the way I play ball. I think they would like me to be more vocal and communicate more with other guys on the field. We don't make many mistakes but they really want us to lock it down.

We've had some tough losses this year. The first two losses we took those, but the other two we felt like we could have won. But those are over now. We're 8-4 now. We just want to get into the playoffs. Once you're in the playoffs, you're in the playoffs. If you win out, you win. It's win or go home at that point.

I don't know for sure how far this team is going to go; I can't predict the future. But our main objective is to win the Super Bowl. We're trying to win the big one. I'm not a fortune teller or anything like that so I don't know. But I feel like it's a realistic goal, very realistic. We have plenty of weapons.


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