Q&A with Joe Johnson

Here is how defensive end Joe Johnson answered questions from the media after the final practice of the Packers' June minicamp:<p>

Q: So far, what are your impressions of Green Bay?

Johnson: "There's a family atmosphere within this organization and that's very important to success. You have to have that to be a successful organization."

Q: Do you feel that the Packers have what it takes to get to the Super Bowl this year?

Johnson: "Oh, yeah, definitely. I don't think this team will settle for anything less than winning the championship. That's the only goal we have in mind, that's to win the Super Bowl, not get any farther in the playoffs than we did last year."

Q: Did you do any lobbying to help the Packers land Hardy Nickerson because you two have the same agent?

Johnson: "That's an individual decision. I know Hardy. If he wants to talk to me or has any questions, I'm definitely open to those questions. But, you know, it's totally up to the individual. I'm here for him if he needs to come to me. But he's a grown man, so I'm sure he made the decision himself."

Q: What does Nickerson bring to the locker room?

Johnson: "He brings that veteran leadership to the locker room, that experience, some of the things you can't coach. Some of the things where you have to be on the field and playing for a number of years to understand and be able to show and teach others under you. He has been through a lot of things that some players may be going through, or may be going through in the future. That's going to be the difference of what he brings in here."

Q: With the signing of Nickerson, do you see that as the final piece of the puzzle to a championship defense?

Johnson: "Definitely. I believe so. You know, we have veteran leadership all throughout the defense. It's a matter of the veterans stepping up and playing their role, and the younger guys stepping up and doing the same. It's going to take the entire roster as well as all the coaches to make this thing happen."

Q: What are your impressions of the defensive line?

Johnson: "We have a lot of versatile players on the line between me, Vonnie (Holliday), Kabeer (Gbaja-Biamila), Cletidus Hunt, Gilbert (Brown) ... we have a lot of interchangeable parts. We'll be able to move around and create some distractions for a lot of people."

Q: Do you feel any pressure as the ‘savior' of the defensive line?

Johnson: "Pressure? There's no pressure. I've played this game for years, all (my) life. To play in high school, then college in front of hundreds of thousands, than in the NFL on Monday night in front of millions, the whole country ... I mean there is no pressure. It's a matter of doing what you do and doing it at a certain level. And working to get better at what you do. Everything else takes care of itself."

Q: Are you tickled with this defense and the veterans, like Nickerson, Darren Sharper, Tyrone Williams, LeRoy Butler and Vonnie Holliday, that are in each position?

Johnson: "The veteran leadership is going to be very important down the line, like Week 12 when things get tough, or players get injured and whatnot. You need that. It's not a matter of what happens, but a matter of how you react to what happens. That veteran leadership will be very important to how we rebound off adversity."


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