Buccaneers' WR Tyler Johnson Quotes 4.25.20
COURTESY OF TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS MEDIA RELATIONS DEPARTMENT
(On the thought of catching passes from Buccaneers QB Tom Brady and reuniting with Minnesota teammate Antoine Winfield, Jr.)
"It's going to be amazing. It's a very surreal moment. I saw [Antoine Winfield Jr.] get picked up yesterday [and] got a chance to call him, talk to him and congratulate him. We all know that right now it's back to business. We celebrate [and] we take these moments in, but the next day on, we move forward."
(On if thinks his skills best translate at the inside or outside receiver position in the NFL)
"Honestly, I feel like they're both pretty equal. I feel very comfortable in the slot and outside, as well. I know I have a lot to work on and I plan to work even harder. I'm going to continue working, but I still feel like both inside and outside are very equal and I'm very comfortable with both of them."
(On his relationship with Minnesota Head Coach P.J. Fleck)
"Coach Fleck is an amazing coach – a true player's coach and someone that you would definitely want on your side. He helps you not only become a better football player, but a better man, as well. Over the past three years of my life, I've been actually able to do those things. Whenever it comes to the football standpoint, he's a phenomenal coach. He knows what he's doing. He knows what he's talking about and having an extra coach in the receivers room – knowing that Coach Fleck coached in the league and played in the league as well, and has that type of knowledge – it all comes together, bits and pieces of it all come together. The way he shaped me to be a great man and a leader, it's definitely all going to pay off."
(On how playing the quarterback position in high school allowed him to see the game better as a wide receiver)
"It definitely helped me see the game different coming into college knowing I played quarterback in high school. Once I got to receiver, I [got] an understanding of the different timing that it takes for a receiver to actually get open. You don't get to realize that in high school at a young age [with] young football knowledge. You don't really understand other players and other coverages that you're going to see. Being able to just be around that, it helped my leadership skills, it helped my communication [and] my timing – all those small things that you don't really get to see on a day-to-day basis from a football player."
(On if going unselected until the fifth round after the production he had in college gives him a chip on his shoulder heading into his NFL career)
"Honestly this may sound crazy, but I feel like I already have something to prove. Once you make it to the next level, the highest level, you have to restart your entire journey. Nothing is guaranteed [and] nothing is given to you, so I'm just going to continue to go out here and work my tail off and help contribute winning to a great organization. And, I'm going to have fun doing what I do – that's pretty much what got me here. Why change now?"
(On developing the ability to compete well for the ball)
"I would have to give credit to Coach [Matt] Simon, our old receivers coach at the University of Minnesota. Honestly, he realized that my jumping ability was really high whenever the ball was in the air and he loved my body control, so whenever I was young, when I was a sophomore, at times I used to wait for the ball to come down. He used to yell at me [and] pound me. Then in practice it just became natural for me to – instead of waiting for the ball – go get the ball. Don't wait at all. That's a mindset that I've had since. The ball is going to come, but the first person that reacts to the ball and goes to the ball has the better chance of coming down with the ball. Over time, I've worked on it. We even did a lot of drills in practice where he'll have a bag [or] he'll have something to disrupt it, so you'll actually have to get over something to get up, have the right body control and come down with the ball."
(On what kind of leaders the Buccaneers are getting with him and Antoine Winfield Jr.)
"Coming into the league we're going to be rookies, but we're still going to be able to contribute. We're looking forward to helping the organization bring a winning attitude. We're looking forward to just going out there and leading by example – being vocal when it's needed and doing all the right things. That's where we come from and we're going to carry that on."
(On joining the Buccaneers wide receivers corps)
"It's going to be amazing. I can't wait. Watching those guys go up and make plays at any moment of the game, it definitely brings a lot to your game, especially with me being in the same room with them now. I'm going to be able to learn from them – learn how they do different things in releases, and break points, and attacking the ball. I'm going to be able to put bits and pieces together. I'm very excited."
(On what playing his final college game in the Outback Bowl at Raymond James Stadium)
"I loved playing out there honestly. I'm from Minnesota, so it gets cold in the winter, but being out there in the wintertime, it was definitely amazing, especially to get out there in the heat and to have nice weather. Going out here my plan is just to continue to get better as a player. That game was pretty much important to me because I knew it was my last game playing with my team – the guys I came in with. But personally, it wasn't very important to me. It was just another game. I don't tend to look at games like this one's personal or that one is personal because every game is personal, every game is different. So, going out there with the mindset that you want to win every battle is very important to me. I'm going to continue that mindset as it goes on."
(On his interaction with the Buccaneers)
"We had good communication with them throughout the entire process. This entire process is crazy for a player because you're going through so much. You're working out, phone calls, FaceTiming, and pretty much all that. With the Bucs, we had great communication the entire time. I'm blessed to be in the situation that I'm in. I give all glory to God. Honestly, he put me in the best situation possible. I'm very excited. I love and see what the organization is doing here. I can't wait to get into action with it."
(On joining a team with Super Bowl hopes and talent on both sides of the ball)
"It's amazing, man. Honestly, it's very amazing. Knowing I can bring a lot into this offense and I'm expected to bring a lot into this offense. Pretty much what I'm going to do is play my role. I'm looking forward to going out there and making plays. Whenever I have to block, I have to block. Whenever I have to catch the ball, I have to catch the ball. That's pretty much what's going into my mindset throughout this entire thing. Like I said, I'm just very excited and very blessed to be in this moment."
(On if not being able to run the 40-yard dash at the Combine played a role in where he fell in the draft)
"Yeah, so like you said, I've been working on my speed like crazy this offseason honestly. Whenever we got the news, I was pretty hurt, honestly, just because of all the work I put into this entire offseason. But at the same time, I've been praying heavy that God's going to put me in the best situation possible. Throughout the whole time, I never looked at it if it was a good thing or a bad thing. I knew that God would put me in the best situation possible for me as a person and as a player as well. Like I said, just going off of pretty much my entire life and working hard and being humble it's definitely going to go a long way. I think that's pretty much what was my mindset and that's going to continue going that way."