Bears' Jaylon Johnson: Eberflus implementing 'different culture' on defense

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Jaylon Johnson anticipates 'hard nose,' 'attacking' defense originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

Chicago Bears cornerback Jaylon Johnson is entering his third year with the team and his first under new head coach Matt Eberflus, which means learning a whole new defense.

Johnson has some early impressions on his new coach's defensive approach.

"Definitely hard nose, flying around to the ball," Johnson said on "The Jim Rome Show" on Wednesday. "Definitely a different culture that he's (Eberflus) definitely implemented, really trying to drill into our heads really of how we want to play this style of football. Really attacking, really playing hard, recognize the ball, trying to call turnovers and that's what the Colts had did really good over these last couple years that the defense really turned that ball over. So I definitely think you can get that vibe that we're definitely going to be attacking."

Johnson practiced with the second-team defense during the Bears' fourth OTAs last week at Halas Hall while Kindle Vildor and rookie Kyler Gordon ran with the ones. Eberflus said that Johnson, who missed voluntary minicamp, was just getting back into action and that practicing with the second unit was "nothing to read into at this time."

The 23-year-old said the upcoming season is a big one for himself individually as well as for the team. To prepare, Johnson spent the offseason spending time with his family, focusing on his mental game and honing his craft. He said working on the actual craft of football is what helps many NFL players play well for a good portion of their careers versus players who don't spend enough time on their crafts.

"I think the craft really builds consistency," Johnson said. "I find that's what separates guys in this league really is to be able to play at a high level over a long period of time. To be able to be consistent at it. Most people have a lot of athleticism and most people have God-given gifts, but if you don't work the craft, then you're not going to be able to make plays consistently week in and week out, and especially again, other guys that are working on their craft, you're gonna be out-maxed. So, I mean, I never want to be in a position where I can't handle an opposing receiver or I can't handle an opponent. And I feel like studying my craft and really trying to perfect my craft mentally and physically I feel like gives me the edge outside of my athletic ability."

To work on the mental part of his craft, Johnson makes sure he's at peace by eliminating all the "B.S." that goes on in the world and keeping his support system strong.

"I feel like if you're not at peace in life, I don't think that you can go out and play the game freely and play the game at your highest level because your brain is cloudy, your mind is cloudy. You're not thinking about what you're supposed to be thinking about."

Last season, Johnson recorded 46 tackles, one interception and one forced fumble.

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