April 26, 2013

Stoops On Lane Johnson

On Lane Johnson’s position changes:
“From (defensive end) to tackle it was easy for him. He is a great athlete and a big guy. We could tell within a couple of practices this is going to fit in perfectly. I said to him right then, ‘you watch, you’re going to be a first or second-round draft choice,’ within the first week or so.”

On Johnson making the jump to a top 10 pick:
“(I was) not really surprised, because we all knew. We have seen him run our gassers and our three-trippers over and back over. He is in front of the D-Ends and the D-Lineman by 10 to 15 yards every day. So we knew as soon as they would test him they are going to be shocked at what his upside is. Here is a guy that has only played tackle for two years, and so when they so him run and change direction… So I was not really (surprised) to be honest with you. We knew, I should say, let me preface that maybe not the fourth pick. But we knew that he would jump up to a first round pick. When his projection was second round we said, ‘Wait a minute. This guy is better than that.’ We knew it.”

On Lane fitting in with Chip Kelly’s offense:
“Absolutely. Lane can go all day. He is as well conditioned and trained an athlete we have ever had here. I will be surprised if he ever needs spelled out. Lane can go every snap. He is used to that and he has been trained to do that.” 

On what games stood out in Johnson’s college career:
“About any game you watch of ours. He was always consistent and very good. He went against some highly-rated defensive ends a year ago at Texas that everybody talked about, and he blocked them about as well as anybody could. I don’t want to just label that game, but through the year no one worked him. He was great against everybody.” 

On the development of Johnson’s raw talent:
“I do believe that he is raw, but he is incredibly talented, smart and has been taught well by his coaches. I feel like he will be ready to take it on immediately. He gets better naturally the more he does it.” 

On Johnson’s ceiling as a player:
“I don’t know. I don’t have any idea. But he is not close to it right now and he is really good right now.”

On whether or not Johnson would have found playing time had it not been for injuries:
“I don’t doubt that. We have been pretty good at finding our players’ strengths, talking to them and moving them to them.” 

On Johnson’s improvement over last season:
“It is hard to gauge. He was always good, so it is kind of hard to gauge. Naturally, the more you do something the better you get at it and he continued to get more consistently better and more comfortable it what he was doing, and I am sure there is more to come. 

On if Johnson resembles any player Stoops has seen before:
“No. I am not much on comparing players. I don’t like to do that. They are all different.”