Philadelphia Eagles: An interview with wide receiver Damaris Johnson

Philadelphia Eagles, Damaris Johnson #13 (Photo by Hunter Martin/Philadelphia Eagles/Getty Images)
Philadelphia Eagles, Damaris Johnson #13 (Photo by Hunter Martin/Philadelphia Eagles/Getty Images) /
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Damaris Johnson #13 of the Houston Texans (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)
Damaris Johnson #13 of the Houston Texans (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images) /

We always hear about ‘the Patriot way’ and you played under Bill Bellichick for a very short time. Talk to us about what it’s like to play for Bill and what their system is like.

Damaris Johnson: It’s weird because when you hear about the Patriot way you think that Bellichick is a drill sergeant and there is a ton of structure, but it’s not that way. It’s honestly almost the opposite of that.

We had a meeting at 10 am so I got there at 9:55 to be there early. I’m watching Brady and all the big names to see when they’re going to show up. It’s like 9:57, 9:58, and then 9:59, and no one is there. Then, at like 9:59 and 30 seconds, people started to come into the meeting.

The Patriot way from what I experienced is really laid-back. You know what you’re getting yourself into and that you just need to do your job. You need to know your responsibilities, be accountable,  go practice hard for about two hours, get your job done, study, and go back. Everyone thinks that Bellichick is always yelling, but guys knew what they had to do and that if they couldn’t do it then they would find someone else who could.

How tough was it to hang up the cleats and retire?

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Damaris Johnson: It was conflicting. I was in Tennessee in my last year after I left New England. I thought I was having a good camp, but I got released.

Teams will release a veteran guy because they can get a younger guy with a similar ability at a cheaper price. It wasn’t anything really with my ability but they needed the cap space.

After that, I realized that I played for four years. I was an invested player. I had just had my second son. I felt great that I was able to play for four years.

I didn’t have any ‘what-ifs’ because I played at the highest level. I competed and succeed at times. I gave it my all. I just realized it was time to move onto the next chapter of my life.

Who’s your favorite wide receiver to watch and who do you think is the best in today’s NFL?

Damaris Johnson: It’s hard to say who’s the best because they’re so different. If I had to point out a couple, it’s a tie between Julio Jones and DeAndre Hopkins. Julio Jones is a beast and a physical specimen. He’s fast and he’s tough. For Hopkins, have you ever seen that guy miss a pass? I played with him for an entire season, and I don’t think I saw him miss one pass from preseason to the last snap of the regular season. Cornerbacks know the ball is coming, but they just can’t stop him.

I do love to watch Tyreek Hill, Odell Beckham Jr, and Keenan Allen. I love Tyreek Hill because he’s a smaller guy like me. It’s not easy as it looks to break off of routes like he does with his speed. He can also make contested catches.