Johnson getting more comfortable with the Bills

May 31, 2018 - 9:45 am
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The Buffalo Bills were busy during the 2018 NFL Draft, adding eight new players to the roster to get ready for the 2018 regular season.

The team addressed numerous positions of need during the draft process, including the depth of the secondary. Buffalo made two picks to shore up the secondary depth, taking safety Siran Neal in the fifth round (154th overall) and cornerback Taron Johnson in the fourth round (121st overall).

For the past several weeks, the rookies have been in Buffalo getting acclimated to their new home, while also getting acclimated with the team and the playbook. Right now, the Bills are in the middle of Phase 3 of organized team activities, where the players can get some valuable time to prepare for the season. Teams are allowed to run some 7-on-7, 9-on-7, and 11-on-11 drills during this phase, but no live contact is permitted.

For Johnson, this process has helped him out with getting back to football and getting him integrated with the defense in Buffalo.

"It's been great getting around the [veterans] and just trying to compete, getting into that football mode again," Johnson said with Howard Simon and Jeremy White on Thursday morning. "It's a big learning curve for me. I'm trying to learn all the plays and make sure I'm out there doing what I'm supposed to be do, but overall I feel like I'm going to be solid. I'm gonna get it down."

The newest Bills cornerback was taken in the fourth round of the draft out of Weber State, where he recorded 172 total tackles, 48 passes defended, two forced fumbles, two sacks and six interceptions in his four seasons with the Wildcats.

There is a chance that Johnson can slot in as a nickel corner with the Bills, as he's a good fit for a zone coverage scheme, which Sean McDermott and Leslie Frazier use a lot of. But in the meantime, Johnson is taking things one day at a time, getting comfortable with his new teammates at One Bills Drive.

"Day-by-day, I'm getting more comfortable," Johnson said. "Just learning what my teammates want me to do. The safeties are a big influence on me with what I have to do each and every down. I'm getting more and more comfortable, and by the time training camp comes, I'll have it down."

Johnson joins a Bills secondary that went through some major changes last season. The Bills added safeties Micah Hyde and Jordan Poyer via free agency, while selecting cornerback Tre'Davious White in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft out of LSU. All three had a major impact with the defense last season, and are going to be pieces to the puzzle for the long-term success of the secondary.

As Johnson continues to get used to life on the field at the NFL level, he's appreciative of the help and guidance he has received from his fellow teammates in the secondary.

"Tre'Davious has helped me tremendously," Johnson said. "Basically just making sure I know what I'm doing. If I'm on the field, he'll correct me with something before the play even starts. Same with Jordan Poyer and Micah. They're definitely influences on me because when I'm on the field with them, they make sure I'm doing the right thing so I don't make them look bad."

On the day he was drafted by the Bills, Johnson said during his conference call with the media that he had no contact with the team leading up to the draft. However, he cleared that up on Thursday, saying that he did talk with the Bills before getting drafted back in April.

"It wasn't that I had no contact with them because I had talked to them at the Senior Bowl for a good [amount of] time," Johnson said. "I talked to the whole coaching staff, and they seemed to really like me. Until [the NFL Draft], I hadn't hear anything from them. I was kind of surprised just because I hadn't heard from them in a really long time."

You can hear Johnson's entire interview with Howard and Jeremy below:

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