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From defense to special teams, Bills DE Darryl Johnson working to be consistent and provide value

Darryl Johnson Bills Lions
Posted at 7:30 PM, Aug 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-17 19:30:50-04

ORCHARD PARK, NY (WKBW) — Entering his third season as a Buffalo Bill, defensive end Darryl Johnson is continuing to prove why he deserves to be on the 53-man roster.

"I just come to work every day, right foot forward, and am trying to get better every day," Johnson said. "That's my goal, trying to be consistent day in and day out."

"When I see him at practice I tell him, 'Every day you come out here, come out with a chip on your shoulder'," defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier added. "You need to show people you deserve to be here. He's practiced that way, he's held his own, and has done a really good job each year."

Johnson was a 7th round draft pick in 2019 and has seen action in 31 regular season games. He's part of a defensive line that's the deepest it's ever been following the return of several 2020 starters, offseason additions, and draft picks. At 6'6" and just over 260 lbs., Johnson is one of the taller defensive ends on the team and has worked with some of his new teammates to better his game.

"I look at Greg [Rousseau] and the things he does well, and he takes things I do well. Same with Efe [Obada] who's a stronger dude," Johnson said of his teammates. "I try to take something from everybody and add it to my game in the way I know how."

With a lot more competition on the D-line, Johnson spent the offseason working on the little things that'll make him stand out. He trained with Chip Smith in Atlanta, GA - working with him twice a week where he learned different moves and learned how to take advantage of his length.

"I think my rushing angles have gotten a lot tighter, I'm trusting my speed a lot more," he said. "I still have some things to work on but it's all coming together. I'm just trying to prove every day I can rush the passer."

Johnson showed his ability in the team's first preseason game against the Detroit Lions, where he finished with two tackles and a sack. He's also showing his versatility as a key member of the special teams unit. Before camp began, GM Brandon Beane talked about how important it was for guys to be able to play in more than one phase of the game. Johnson has taken that to heart and has shown just how strong he is.

"It's rare to have a defensive end sprint down on kickoffs and blowing people up the way he does," Frazier said. "This year, he seems to be on course. We like where he is and we just gotta keep giving him opportunities."

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