We are excited to welcome Joe Blewett to our team at Turn On The Jets, where he is predominantly going to focus on film breakdowns. Today, he starts off with the Jets biggest offseason acquisition to date, cornerback Trumaine Johnson. Make sure to give Joe a follow on Twitter…
One thing you will notice a lot throughout this review is Johnson’s awareness/aggressiveness and tackling ability in both the run game and getting onto WR’s picking up YAC. Here (field side cb/bottom of screen) jumps quickly on the hitch in the slot, wraps up and limits any YAC.Here Johnson is playing press as the boundary CB (bottom of screen). Johnson played mostly on the left side of the field unless playing a top flight WR where he would follow in man. Johnson rarely got beat deep, here mirrors WR 9 route and doesn’t commit vertically until WR does.
Johnson (bottom) is in a curl/flat zone in this cover 2 zone. Johnson got criticized for being a “bend but don’t break CB” but was also hurt by his aggressiveness at times. Will explain over the review and in the end wrap up. Here leaves his deeper responsibility too quickly because he thinks the QB is going to the swing route immediately but then doesn’t give the deep 1/2 safety time to get on the vertical route. Needs to play the deeper routes first.
This looks small but its very important and things I love to see especially in a 6’2 corner. Johnson (top of screen on field side) is in man. WR runs a dig, check out Johnsons acceleration/hip fluidity/feet from facing outward to inward and at full speed in two steps.
Here we see both aggressiveness and Johnson being conservative. Johnson in man on the top of the screen on the WR in the back of the offset stacked WR set. Conservatively playing the WR in man with his hips open to run vertically, with only his peripherals on him. But playing the Qb aggressively, having his eyes on him ready to jump the throw. Plays this really well.Always nice to have corners who can tackle, especially on the Jets with teams primarily attacking them to the edges because of their OLBS. Not many corners can consistently make tackles (especially on RB’s). Here Johnson makes the 1v1 tackle on Hyde. Nice form and wrap up.
Small but important with playing in a division with the Patriots who run many rub and clear out concepts. 49ers run a flat-7 concept with the corner route being the clear out route for the boundary WR. 3rd and 7, Johnson plays this perfectly coming overtop not underneath.
Johnson (top of screen) is playing off-man on the field side. Here we see some of the “bend but don’t break” and it hurts him. Gives the WR too much room and opens up to run vertically/starts backpedaling too early on 3rd and 8. Giving up the catch on the curl.
Bad holding call here on Johnson. Might have gotten away with it if he let go of Smith’s shoulder/entire upper body when he flipped his hips towards the sideline.Again, Johnson is always willing to get his hands dirty. A very efficient tackler and always has some pretty good form.
There are positives of the “bend but don’t break coverage” that Johnson plays in off man coverage (for the most part). Here on the top of the screen in off man on the boundary WR. Perfectly mirrors the slug route and doesn’t bite on the inward break. Johnson rarely gets beat deep.
One of, if not my favorite play of the review. RB gets hit in the flat, Johnson takes away the outside lane but the inside DB takes a bad angle. RB cuts upfield and Johnson stops on a dime then shows awesome effort to dive and make the tackle. Have to LOVE seeing plays like this.
Bucs run a diagonal inn concept from the inverted slot formation to the boundary side from an empty set. Winston might be a little late throwing the ball here after the WR clears the LB but nice drive on the ball and PBU for Johnson in off man coverage.
Johnson is in his curl/flat zone. Johnson passes off on the WR’s slant as he notices the QB going to the flat. Burst to the flat and forces the RB to drop the ball leading to the INT.
Evans runs a sluggo and Johnson (in off man on the bottom of the screen) plays conservatively which is whats needed vs a sluggo. Evans then works back to the ball and sideline when Johnson is fully committed vertically.
Going to see a decent amount of this with the Jets this season (unless the Jets decide to press Johnson all the time/play much more man then they did last year). Johnson plays soft zone coverage and gives up the easy first down (bottom of screen).
Johnson (bottom of the screen is beat by Evans in press). Personally don’t like press coverage with a free release and here is why. Johnson reacts to Evans hesitation move outside which TJ reacts to and thats when he lost the snap. Cant let a big body have a free release inside.
One of the TD’s Johnson “gave up”. Johnson is in off man coverage on the bottom of the screen vs Evans. Johnson plays the post really well, keeping light on his feet/not reacting to any hesitation. Winston gets 5/6 seconds to throw and Evans clearly pushes off to get space.
Johnson is in a zone coverage here we he had help to the inside. Plays a little too soft in the zone allowing the QB to find Floyd in the soft spot. But Johnson shows nice burst and makes an awesome play punching the ball out of Floyd’s hands.
Looks like Johnson was in zone here because of his “zone turn” but he was actually in man coverage in a cover 1 look. Johnson uses his peripheral vision to see/feel the WRS route while looking at the QB. Once the QB cocks back to throw you see Johnson react. PBU is the result.
Johnson (off the screen to the left) comes up as the RB bounces the run. Quick processing speed/smarts allows him to make this play. As he comes up the DB is being kicked the the outside. Instead of colliding with them Johnson goes underneath and dives for the tackle.
Johnson (bottom of screen on boundary) is in man coverage in the cover 1 look. Johnson plays too far off (loves to use the shuffle technique instead of traditional backpedal) shuffling 5+ yards away. Giving the WR plenty of space on the hitch. Then misses the tackle gives up YAC.
Johnson (off-screen to right) has picture perfect tackling form here. Closes the gap, stays low, light on feet, head is up. Then tucks head along side of runners thighs, wraps up and drives his feet until RB is down. Awesome to consistently see from a CB.
Like I’ve said earlier, teams will rarely beat Johnson deep. Here in a cover 3 look with deep 1/3rd responsibility shuffles while looking at QB (why he is sometimes susceptible to curls/digs/stops/comebacks etc) Once he knows QB going deep he forces WR to sideline leading to Johnson being in better position and the INT.
Johnson (boundary CB on bottom) opens up his hips too early to run deep. The WR cuts inward on the dig (crease concept) and Johnson has to make a near 300 degree turn to match the WRS route and falls down after WR makes contact. Could have given up a TD here.
Rams in a cover 1 defense. Johnson on top of screen is in man coverage. Again starts backpedaling too soon. Hard to stop any backward cutting route when you’re 5+ yards off, especially when the QB/WR have good timing.
Play that caused Johnson to miss two games was a dirty one. Johnson comes in from the left side to attempt to contain the read option. The FB doesn’t get a clean bloc on Johnson, as Johnson is turned around the FB purposefully looks and then rolls up on Johnsons legs.
Johnson (bottom of screen) is in man in the cover 1 look. This is were his aggressive playing style hurts him. As he is on the WR he is looking into the backfield to try to see if Cam is throwing it so he can jump it. He losses the WR as he breaks outward on the corner route.
This was one of the only plays Johnson was beat deep, a weird snap to see from him. Here in man on the bottom of the screen, is super passive in coverage. As the WR is in full sprint, Johnson is slowly back pedaling and reacts hard to the hesitation as the WR blows by him.
“Who says Petty cant be a starting QB, he has potential”. Johnson reads Petty is throwing the hitch the entire time. If this ball is on target its an easy pick 6, quick feet from Johnson.
Rams show a cover 3 or cover 1 defense and drop into a cover 2 tampa defense. Johnson (bottom of screen,field side) has deep 1/2 responsibly. Jets run a 9-seam concept to that side. Johnson is in a tough spot but tries to play one route instead of being conservative and play both.
Another example of Johnson’s tackling ability. The hitch is usually a quick hitter for a first down but is also a route the picks up a lot of YAC. As Peake turns to run upfield Johnson closes the gap and wraps up until Peake goes down.
Johnson plays this smoke screen perfectly. Most of all screen takes time to develop and teams need to attack to stop it from developing. As soon as Johnson (bottom) recognizes it he attacks and makes the tackle.
Hard to ever beat the perfect throw. Here Rams in a cover 1 man. Johnson is in man on Parker on the bottom of the screen. Parker runs a out route, Johnson could have taken a slightly less aggressive angle to try to undercut it but this would have been a really hard play to make.
Rams in a cover 3 zone. Johnson on the bottom of the screen dropping back into his deep 1/3rd zone until he recognizes the TE cut outwards on the out route. Johnson smoothly makes a 180 transition and plays the route perfectly.
Johnson again quickly recognizes the WR screen and makes the tackle. Teams are going to have a tough time running WR screens this year vs the Jets on Johnsons side.
Another really nice play on a screen from Johnson (at the top of the screen). Avoids the lineman cut block and is still able to make the solo tackle on the 270 pound TE.
Johnson (top of screen) is in man coverage. Patriots run a drive concept on the boundary side. Johnson plays it well as he comes overtop the TE’s dig instead of underneath which would have given the WR a ton of room. Johnson’s speed shows here.
Rams in cover 3 on 3rd and 10. Johnson (top of screen) plays the first down marker here. Shuffles back to the marker, locks his eyes on Ryan the entire time and as soon as Ryan looks that way/cocks back and WR cuts he drives hard to get in position to make the PBU (if on target).
Falcons run a outside zone to the boundary side. Johnson (top of screen) gets past the much smaller WR’s block while looking at the RB and wraps up the RB for the tackle.
Rams show another cover 1 or 3 defense then drop into a Tampa 2. Johnson (bottom of screen) again shows good awareness leaving his curl/flat zone to make the quick tackle on the wr on the out route.
Interesting defensive look. Rams are in a tampa 2 zone with a deep safety playing deep free. Johnson shows great awareness in zone coverage, deep 1/2 responsibility. Leaves his zone as he notices the QB’s drop and sees the open seam route.
Rams again in another cover 3 zone. Johnson (bottom of screen) is dropping back into his zone. Notices the QB looking to his side and the WR cut back on the stop or sloppy comeback. Johnson makes his way back to contest it.
In conclusion, Johnson is a top 10-15 type of cornerback and the Jets paid premium money. Just like QB, any CB who is in the top 15 will be the next high paid corner. Johnson is both effective in press man (in which he usually gives a free release) and in zone for two reasons. One he is able to use his hips and burst to react to receivers routes when in off zone coverage. Secondly his presence in the run game will be felt more when he is zone coverage because he is able to see the run coming and react/aggressively attack the runner. Mostly played on the left side of the field but when the Rams played vs top flight WR’s he will follow the WR all over the field. Jets played about 60-40 zone to man last year so the fact that Johnson played much more zone then man doesn’t worry me but he definitely can play both. Will be intersting to see how much zone or man the Jets play. Bowles would like to play more man but its risky with the Jets lack of pass rush, with zone obviously being much more safe.
Strengths – Good fluid hips, footwork, strength, acceleration, aggressive in the run game, consistent tackler, awareness, smart, ability to contest ball in air, pins WRs to sideline, bend but doesn’t break as he rarely gets beat deep, size, shuffles instead of backpedals even in man allowing him to be extremely aware even in man coverage, great eyes in terms of keeping his eyes in backfield or on QB while in coverage.
Weaknesses – Opens hips to run vertically too soon giving up short passes often, want to see less free releases in press man coverage, struggles to disengage blocks at times, trust eyes too much and will take risk if he thinks he knows where the QB is going with the ball, stares into backfield for too long at times in man coverage and can lose the WR at times.
Photo Credit: NewYorkJets.com