How did things change when Chip Kelly came into the building?
Damaris Johnson: With Chip, he was just different than Andy. I’m not here to bash anybody, but I would just say he was different. His philosophy was different. He was a guy who thought that his offense would win the game more than his players would. He felt like he could take a guy like LeSean McCoy and put somebody else in who was still good.
The thing about it was we still went 10-6 in Chip’s first year and made the playoffs. A lot of people disliked certain things that were going on, but Chip still had results. As far as his philosophy, it was just different. A lot of those guys who played for Andy Reid for so many years found it hard to transition to Chip.
He was a smart guy, and he was a good coach, but I felt has strategy was more fit for a college setting. Especially because you’re dealing with grown men who have kids and this is their livelihood. It was just different.
After you left Philly, you had a solid season with the Houston Texans in 2014. How did you feel about your bigger role, what were some things you liked about their offense, and what were some things you liked about your time there?
Damaris Johnson: I knew going into my third year with Philly that I was going to get cut after the preseason. I was just out there trying to put my best foot forward for other teams to notice. When I got picked up by the Texans, it was great. I started in the slot the whole year. I got to play alongside future hall of famer Andre Johnson on one side, DeAndre Hopkins on the other side, and Arian Foster in the backfield.
I’m from Louisiana so it was great being closer to home and getting some good food. That year was great, I got to play in all sixteen games. It was a great experience just to be out there and be accountable knowing I had to produce every week. I was the third or fourth option every week so I tried to take advantage of every opportunity.
Who were some of the toughest cornerbacks you faced off against and why?
Damaris Johnson: The toughest guys that I have faced personally might not be the best in the league. In my rookie year, we played the Cleveland Browns, and I had to play against Joe Haden. I felt like he had everything. He would challenge you at the line, he was physical, and he had good ball skills.
When I was in Houston, we played the Buffalo Bills and Nickell Robey-Coleman. The guy who made the play on the missed pass interference call in the NFC Championship [laughs]. I was actually at that game because Kurt Coleman, former Eagles safety, was playing for the Saints and got me tickets.
Robey-Coleman is just like a gnat though. He’s all over the place, he’s tough, he’s physical, and he plays with that chip on his shoulder. Every down I played against Haden and Robey-Coleman, I knew there were no plays off, and I had to come with my best every time.