S John Johnson III (10.28.21)

On how a QB releasing the ball quickly for short passes impacts a defense, specifically Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger, and if the unit has to do something differently schematically:

“I do not think you have to do things differently. I think you just have to be aware of it. Our coach made a big point about it is not a week where you want to jump things. You just kind of want to be aware of it so you can catch, tackle and limit those yards after catch. Like you said, he is on a record-breaking pace for getting the ball out so it is definitely something we have to be aware of.”


On if the Browns CBs have to play more man coverage when facing a QB like Roethlisberger who is able to get the ball out quickly:

“I would not say that, but I think it is just more sticky. Even if you are playing zone coverage, you have to be ready to break on the ball. Schematically, I do not think anything will change. You have to be ready for the ball to come out quick. Sometimes the pressure is not going to get there, and the D line knows they have to get their hands up and try to bat balls down. It is just a little different type of week for us.”


On speaking earlier this season about remaining focused on doing their jobs and not jumping routes and if that helped result in his interception against the Broncos last week:

“It was just going through my progression at safety. If the No. 2 receiver ran a seam, I have to take it. I kind of thought that is what he was going to run, but he kind of broke it down – chop, chop, chop – it was a dig and that is not my route at all. Like you said, it was one of those moments where I had to understand that I am a deep player and I have to stay deep, and he ended up throwing me the ball.”


On if he grew up watching Roethlisberger and Roethlisberger’s career, especially since it could be the QB’s last game in Cleveland:

“I definitely grew up watching him. He has had a great career and a lot of success. A lot of ups and downs. He has been that guy for all I remember. It will be an amazing game. This is a division game. I know he wants to win badly, but we do, too. We are going to try to spoil his party and go from there.”


On if things ramp up for the team during Steelers week or if the sense is the same for all division games:

“I am new to this division, but like you said, any division game, I remember in the NFC West we had some tough battles out there. Definitely this game, I feel like it is a different vibe. I have not gotten the chance to play the other [AFC North] teams yet, but I can just feel it. In my DMs, ‘It is Steelers week. Get your mind right.’ I’m like, ‘OK.’ Definitely a different vibe. Two tough teams up north, it is cold and it is going to be fun.”