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Jets’ Jermaine Johnson feels he still has more to prove after breakout season

After a disappointing rookie season in which he was used as more of a rotational player, Jets defensive lineman Jermaine Johnson set out to make some changes.

Johnson went into this past offseason with a chip on his shoulder, determined to regain the dominant form he showed at Florida State, where he took home the ACC Defensive Player of the Year award.

With a new number and renewed confidence, the former first-round pick carried his big offseason over to training camp and preseason action, earning himself a bigger role alongside star DT Quinnen Williams in Gang Green’s loaded defense.

While this season didn’t quite go as planned for the team, Johnson was able to put together a breakout campaign of his own.

He was a difference-maker for the Jets, finishing second on the team with 7.5 sacks and seven passes defended. He also recorded 55 tackles, 16 quarterback hits, 11 tackles for loss, a fumble recovery, and his first career pick-six.

Johnson certainly caught the attention of his teammates as he turned himself into a star alongside them and showed everyone why the organization traded up to grab him in the 2022 draft.

“The growth from last year to this year is incredible,” Williams said. “You can see how confident he felt with the game-changing plays he made week in and week out. I’m excited to play with him in the future, we can be one of the best dynamic duos in the league for years to come.”

Gang Green’s defensive line certainly has some scary potential next season and beyond with those two playing alongside each other.

While Johnson feels he’s already established himself as one of the top defensive ends in football, he still knows he has plenty left to prove to the Jets and the rest of the league after just one big campaign.

“I think if you ask anyone in the NFL from staff to players just based off the film, I’m a problem,” he said. “But I haven’t proved anything, what I did has been done, I haven’t done anything after that. I’ve just got to stay humble and work as hard as I’ve ever worked to get myself to the Pro Bowl next year.”