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Jarret Johnson was befuddled when asked whether he’s put any thought into how much longer he wants to play football.
“You trying to get rid of me? What’s going on here?” he said, drawing laughter from reporters.
To Johnson, it’s not even a question. The 29-year-old outside linebacker says he feels better this year than in the past.
Jarret Johnson Likes Pagano’s Aggressive Style Right Click for Full Screen Option
And he could be in store for a resurgent season after his sack totals dropped from six in 2009 to 1.5 in 2010.
“Shoot, I feel good, had a great offseason, you know, [am] a lot stronger this offseason than I was the year before,” the nine-year veteran said. “So, we’ll see.”
The Ravens drafted Sergio Kindle in 2010 with the plan of using him to help support Johnson. But when Kindle fractured his skill and was sidelined for the year, the starter was left without much backup.
He hardly took a play off, which eventually took a toll on his body.
Johnson was also coming off offseason shoulder surgery last year, which meant he spent more time rehabbing with 10-pound weights than building strength by bench-pressing like he normally does.
Now healthy, and with Kindle returning to action, the veteran should get more relief.
“We’re not used to coming off the field, so if we get to a situation where these guys can contribute, and we’re able to roll guys – even though we’re not used to it and I’ll probably try to wave them off the field – it is beneficial,” Johnson said.
During 11-on-11 drills Saturday, fellow linebacker and good friend Terrell Suggs teased Johnson about his lack of sacks.
“C’mon J.J. we’re gonna share responsibility this year!” Suggs called out from across the line.
The Ravens’ 27 team sacks last year was the fewest in franchise history. Suggs recorded 11, so more help from Johnson on the opposite side would be a boost.
“Well, Terrell is always trying to steal sacks,” Johnson said, inciting more laughter. “No, I mean, everybody wants to get sacks. That’s what it’s all about, but I don’t worry about it too much. I’m just going to do my thing.”