Kevin Johnson looking forward to AFC North competition

New Browns DB training in Arizona during COVID-19 pandemic

Daryl Ruiter
March 26, 2020 - 4:53 pm
Kevin Johnson has agreed to a contract with the Cleveland Browns

Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

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CLEVELAND, Ohio (92.3 The Fan) – Kevin Johnson grew up in Maryland a Baltimore Ravens fan.

As one of the newest members of the Browns secondary, Johnson will face them twice in 2020.

“I’m really excited about playing in that division,” Johnson told Bull and Fox in an exclusive interview Thursday afternoon on 92.3 The Fan. “I played the Baltimore Ravens a couple of times already in my career so every time we play a team like that, it’s kind of special for me. I’m excited about it.”

The Bengals are expected to take Joe Burrow No. 1 overall. He’ll have A.J. Green to throw to. The Steelers will see the return of Ben Roethlisberger, who has JuJu Smith-Schuster. Reigning NFL MVP Lamar Jackson and the Ravens saw Mark Andrews emerge last year to Pro Bowl status.    

Suffice it to say, Johnson and his teammates in the secondary are going to have their hands full this fall.

“I’m looking forward to going up against all of them, every single last one of them that I get a chance to go against, I’m going to give them my best. Going against receivers, it’s about how you play, how you execute your assignments and your techniques and play ball your style.”

Johnson, who likely will slide into the nickel role vacated by veteran T.J. Carrie, is among 11 players brought in so far this offseason by executive vice president of football operations and general manager Andrew Berry.  

“As far as the moves they’ve made, I’m excited about them,” Johnson said.

“I feel like the Browns were a really good fit as far as me coming in with a new coaching staff, a new culture that I really believed in. [It’s] A new opportunity kind of for everybody on the team to come out with a new team, to be able to compete and win, and push for the playoffs.”

Johnson explained why he feels he is a perfect fit for Joe Woods’ new defense in Cleveland.

“Just the type of player they’re looking for,” Johnson said. “I’m that type of player who can be versatile, play inside, play outside and I just think I can be effective in those schemes. The schemes he was describing to me and were they have me playing at, I think I can fit that mold very well.”

The former 16th overall pick 2015 NFL Draft by Houston Texans believes Woods’ background as a former player will benefit him significantly in 2020.

“Just the new culture, new ideas, the defensive scheme I will learn,” Johnson said. “I believe in that. His defensive backs background, for me seeing it through those same eyes and kind of agreeing with all the movement he’s making back there I just really believed in it and it’s where I wanted to be.”

As the nation and sports world comes to a screeching halt, Johnson has been spending his time in Scottsdale, Arizona with two other NFL defensive backs trying to stay football ready.

“We just train every day,” Johnson said. “We just train and do our consistent routine we’ve been doing the past three years. We’ve still been able to get it in so it’s not really affecting us in that way.”

The Browns were scheduled to begin their offseason program on April 6. With NFL facilities closed, the likelihood of seeing it completely wiped out, including OTAs and the June minicamp, is a real possibility.

“It’s a unique situation but the one thing about it is that everyone in the league going through the same thing so we’re all going to have a clean slate. It is what it is. I’m going to be ready to play whenever it’s time to play football.”