Safety John Johnson III wasn’t with the Browns last year when they lost to the Chiefs in the Divisional Round of the AFC playoffs. He was in Green Bay that weekend, playing his last game with the Rams before departing the franchise that drafted him in free agency.
But Johnson has been around Cleveland long enough to get a sense of how his new team views going back to Kansas City for Week One of the 2021 season.
“That’s the last one from last year, it’s going to be the first one from this year so there’s definitely a little — it’s a vindictive vibe, you know,” Johnson said on Tuesday, via Daryl Ruiter of 92.3 The Fan. “We definitely want to get back at those guys but, you know, I always want to win the opener regardless of who it is so that’s what we got to go out there and do.”
Johnson noted he’d reviewed the film of that playoff loss to Kansas City and came to the conclusion that the Browns “weren’t far off” — including the fourth-and-1 pass from Chad Henne to Tyreek Hill that sealed the game late in the fourth quarter.
“That wasn’t an unstoppable play,” Johnson said. “I think that type of play you just got to see it coming, you know, when Tyreek goes in motion and he’s in the position where he can beat you to the flat, especially that down and distance, I think that’s just something you got to like alert the whole defense before it happens.”
Johnson’s done that type of thing before, having served as Los Angeles’ defensive signal-caller. As a talented young safety, Johnson should be a key piece to taking Cleveland’s defense to the next level.