John Johnson: Rams teammate Eric Weddle 'a genius'

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  • By Jelani Scott NFL.com
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The 2018 season proved to be wildly successful for the Los Angeles Rams, and John Johnson III is already looking ahead to how the team can build on that success in 2019.

In an appearance on Total Access on Monday, Johnson touched on some of his team's most interesting developments in 2019, including the addition of Pro Bowl-level talent to help retool the defense, most notably fellow safety Eric Weddle.

"He's just a genius. I haven't seen anybody like him," said the 23-year-old Johnson of the savvy veteran. "I haven't been in the league long but I know he's a special one and I'm excited to see what we can do. Not just how it can make me better but I'm excited to see what he and I can do for this whole defense."

Weddle, 34, signed with the Rams after being released by the Ravens in March. During his 12-year career, he has been named to six Pro Bowls -- 2011, 2013 and 2014 with the Chargers and 2016-18 with the Ravens -- and was the NFL interceptions leader in 2011.

As a starter in 2018, Johnson started in all 16 games and contributed 119 tackles and 11 pass deflections. His biggest highlight of the season came in the NFC Championship Game when he intercepted Drew Brees in overtime to help push the Rams past the Saints and on to Super Bowl LIII.

During his TA appearance, Johnson was also asked to reflect how the team has been able to refocus after falling to the New England Patriots 13-3 back in February. His response indicated a team that is dead set on getting back to the big game in 2020.

"I wouldn't say it's amnesia but I do think we turned the page. This is a new team. We lost guys, we got free agents, rookies, undrafted free agents; this is a whole new team," he said. "We got to start fresh, we know what it takes to get there, we know we have to do more to win it.

"I think it's just turning the page, starting fresh but it's definitely a little more fuel to lead up to this season, for sure."

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