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Danno 05-20-2013 08:21 AM

Tom Johnson seeks new position with Saints
 
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Moss Point's Tom Johnson seeks new position with Saints

By GARY ESTWICK Special to the Sun Herald


METAIRIE -- Moss Point native Tom Johnson spent his first two seasons with the Saints securing his role as a contributor, a defensive tackle that could be relied on to come off the bench and make plays.Johnson said this week he's ready for a new position in the Saints' new defense, and he's ready for his role to expand."I want to be a starter over here," Johnson said. "That's just what it is. I feel like as long as I come out and do me, and continue to grind, it's going to happen."I've been here two years now. The only person holding me back is me."His goal this summer is to earn a starting job in Rob Ryan's new 3-4 defense where he is slotted to play right defensive end.

...The defense's switch from a 4-3 scheme, Johnson said, will allow him to showcase more of his pass-rushing skills. He won't miss the double teams he faced when he played nose tackle. Instead, he plans to relish the one-on-one pass rushing opportunities he'll get against guards from the right side.

"Last year, I had two sacks. This year, I'm looking for six sacks," he said. "Last year, I had 30 tackles. This year, I'm looking for at least 35-40 tackles. I've got a couple of number; they're not really jumping off the board or anything, but that's the goal, and I'm trying to exceed that as the season progresses."So far, Johnson said he and his defensive teammates have taking a liking to Ryan, who replaced Steve Spagnuolo after one horrific season as Saints defensive coordinator. The Saints allowed 7,042 yards during the 2012 regular season, setting a NFL record in futility.

Jordan led the Saints with eight sacks. Smith was second (six).Ryan has served as defensive coordinator for Dallas, Cleveland and Oakland. Last season, he mentored a Cowboys unit which despite a rash of injuries improved from 23rd in the NFL in team defense to 14th."Man, everything about that man is exciting," Johnson said. "I'm looking forward to the season. He comes with an energy. There's an energy in his confidence.


Read more here: Moss Point's Tom Johnson seeks new position with Saints | Sports | The Sun Herald

dizzle88 05-20-2013 08:27 AM

Re: Tom Johnson seeks new position with Saints
 
Gotta respect a guy like a Tom Johnson, getting to the NFL the hard way and just pushing himself to outplay the starter

I hope he can become a constant contributor in the 3-4, all the talent is there and just like everyone he has to fight for the spot

Crusader 05-20-2013 09:36 AM

Re: Tom Johnson seeks new position with Saints
 
Love the attitude. Even if he doesn't reach his goal of becomin a starter he will be breathing down someone elses neck forcing that person to step up and thus making the team better.

FinSaint 05-20-2013 10:46 AM

Re: Tom Johnson seeks new position with Saints
 
You have to like Tom... seriously I mean you have to like him - it's mandatory! ;-)

But in all seriousness, I see the starters at DE being Hicks and Jordan with Johnson, Coleman, and Smith (if he survives the last cut) providing the rotation and depth.

I do hope Johnson can be become a starting caliber DE for the Saints, but at the same token, I do hope Hicks and Jordan become an impact pair at DE and stay healthy enough to start all of the 19 games for the Saints.

Seer1 05-20-2013 11:33 AM

Re: Tom Johnson seeks new position with Saints
 
Hicks, Jordan, Johnson, Coleman, Smith, Bunkley, Jenkins... If these guys show the skills they have, we won't be seeing them standing with their hands on their hips sucking air in the fourth quarter this year.

Danno 05-20-2013 11:33 AM

Re: Tom Johnson seeks new position with Saints
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by FinSaint (Post 503676)
You have to like Tom... seriously I mean you have to like him - it's mandatory! ;-)

But in all seriousness, I see the starters at DE being Hicks and Jordan with Johnson, Coleman, and Smith (if he survives the last cut) providing the rotation and depth.

I do hope Johnson can be become a starting caliber DE for the Saints, but at the same token, I do hope Hicks and Jordan become an impact pair at DE and stay healthy enough to start all of the 19 games for the Saints.

I've been a big fan of his for a while now. I'm sure we're gonna rotate guys in and out all season long. I'd imagine TJ would get quite a bit of playing time as that 3rd/4th DE.

Rugby Saint II 05-20-2013 12:55 PM

Re: Tom Johnson seeks new position with Saints
 
Another guy who comes to work and brings a winning attitude.........competition is a good thing. With the talent that we have we can rotate our DEs throughout the game.....keeping them fresh and hopefully productive.

halloween 65 05-20-2013 01:46 PM

Re: Tom Johnson seeks new position with Saints
 
I hope this works out and he becomes a run stuffing sack master, it would please the he!! out of me. Oh and by the way Smith will start out with the lb.'s and he should. He might even beat Vilma out, wouldn't that be something!!

homerj07 05-20-2013 05:03 PM

Re: Tom Johnson seeks new position with Saints
 
Right attitude - that really helps

QBREES9 05-21-2013 09:35 AM

Re: Tom Johnson seeks new position with Saints
 
The more you do the bigger your role.


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