Ten years into his professional career, Lance Johnstone still has the fire of a young, ascending player. While his role may have changed, he remains a feared pass rusher with game-changing skills.
At first, he was unsure about the Minnesota Vikings
' decision to limit his playing time during his tenure there before signing with Oakland, trying to make him more effective when they need him most—on obvious passing downs for the opposing offense. Now, after having his playing time cut by about 20 snaps per game from the peak of his career, he knows he can still be productive without being on the field for nearly every defensive play and he knows he might have to pace himself throughout the season.
It's a philosophy that has helped him amass at least seven sacks in six of his 10 years in the NFL.
"You know the pace of the season so you're not wasting a lot of energy to get through the practices," he admitted. "(During) the game you've got to go full speed. Then you've got to take care of your body, get into a little routine where you're not letting stuff compile."
With 70 quarterback takedowns under his belt, he has been able to force 21 fumbles. He has also amassed double-digit sack totals in four of his last eight seasons.
Johnstone talks about quarterback Philip Rivers and the San Diego Chargers: