Jets cornerback Trumaine Johnson took ownership of his 2018 struggles and is looking forward to a fresh start with new head coach Adam Gase.
"Last year was last year and that was my fault for sure," Johnson said after Wednesday's practice during voluntary minicamp, according to the New York Post's Brian Costello. "A clean slate is definitely good for me."
Johnson was one of the Jets' biggest free-agent signings last offseason when he joined New York on a five-year, $72.5 million deal. But even though he led the team with four interceptions, his 2018 season was a disappointment.
He missed five games due to a quadriceps injury and was benched by then-head coach Todd Bowles for the team's season finale for a "coach's decision" for missing a practice and being late to meetings during that week.
Johnson apologized to the team afterward, telling reporters, "Not being out there. Never quit on this team, especially not me. It's never been me. ... It's a bad look, and I can own up to that."
But with a new coaching staff, Gase has seen a lot out of Johnson early on.
"I see a guy that at least since I've been here, that the last three weeks he's been locked in, worked hard in the weight room," Gase said. "He's worked hard on the field the last couple of days."
Perhaps it has to do with new Jets defensive coordinator Gregg Williams. He worked with the St. Louis Rams in 2015, Johnson's best statistical season when he recorded seven interceptions, 17 passes defensed and 71 combined tackles, all career highs.
"I'm excited," Johnson said, according to Newsday's Al Iannazzone. "He's an aggressive coach, for sure. He's a players' coach. He's one of those coaches that demands respect, for sure. He's one of those coaches that you'd like to run through a wall for. It's going to be really nice for us."
With Johnnson anchoring the Rams' secondary, they allowed the seventh-fewest yards to opposing wide receivers in 2015.
"Probably about three or four years ago there was a point where you didn't like throwing to his side," Gase said. "You knew there was a chance he was going to get his hands on the ball. That was still in the back of my head when we played them last year. I know when he sees something he recognizes, he's going to go and he's going to try to make a play on the ball."
Perhaps with Johnson, Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye, the Jets' secondary can be just as strong, if not stronger.