Why Jaylon Johnson doesn't see running with Bears' second team as problem

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Why Johnson doesn't see running with Bears' second team as problem originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

Matt Eberflus surprised many last week when he had budding star cornerback Jaylon Johnson running with the second team during the Bears' fourth OTA practice. Eberflus told reporters the decision was "nothing to read into," and cornerbacks coach James Rowe praised Johnson for meeting the standard.

Johnson knew he would have to prove himself to the new regime in Chicago. So while the 23-year-old admits running with the twos "bugged him," he's not too concerned with what almost certainly was a momentary "demotion."

"I don’t see it as a problem,” Johnson told "The Jim Rome Show" on Wednesday. “I don’t want to say it didn’t bother me. But at the end of the day, it’s not anything I’m going to give too much energy to. I feel like it's one of those things where I know what I can do. And if I’m not mistaken, they know what I can do as well.

"I don't think it's a matter of my ability. They have their reasons for why they do what they do. They are the coaches of the team. I'm not going to challenge that. At the end of the day, I know who I am right now. I know where I'm building to. Right now, I'm just keeping the main thing the main thing. Just trying to get better with the reps that I get and just moving forward from there. I don't see it as a problem."

Rookie Kyler Gordon and Kindle Vildor ran with the first team during that practice while Johnson was with the twos.

Having Johnson on the second team was noteworthy, but Eberflus said he's pleased with what he has seen from Johnson so far.

"I like what I see," Eberflus said. "I mean, he's moving around really good. His change of direction is nice. He's got really good hands. As you know, he's got good size. So now just really looking at his coverage ability, and it's in a good spot. And it's in a really good spot. So we're just working with him and again trying to assess his skills, and we'll coach him as we go."

More likely than not, this is a case of a new staff challenging one of its best players to meet their standard, or they simply are trying to get a feel for where Johnson's skills best fit their system.

Johnson is one of the Bears' best defensive players, and there's little reason to expect he won't be starting come Week 1.

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