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David Johnson a Throwback Jack-of-All-Trades

Posted Aug 10, 2014

Whether he’s playing fullback or tight end, David Johnson is a solid fit for the Chargers.

Fans of the NFL are becoming more and more enamored with tight ends that more closely resemble wide receivers.  However, Chargers fans are quickly learning that in new tight end David Johnson, the team has a quiet dual threat.

At 6-2, 260-pounds, Johnson, who signed with the Chargers in March, considers himself a “throwback” tight end.  While he enjoys hauling in passes from quarterback Philip Rivers, a common sight in training camp, Johnson equally loves working as a blocker becoming an extension of the team’s offensive line.

“(Blocking) is what I’ve always done,” Johnson said.  “It’s good to work with the offensive line because if we work well together, the run game is going to be really good.  It’s always good to be able to do a lot of things from fullback, tight end and make sure the run game’s going well.”

As a member of the tight end group, Johnson was eager to get to work prior to the start of camp.  Since then, he’s had nothing but positive things to say about his teammates.

“It’s been great,” he said.  “We have a real great room and I’m just excited to be in there and work with those guys.  I think we’re going to be good.”

The former Pittsburgh Steeler saw his first Chargers action in Thursday’s preseason game against the Dallas Cowboys.  He made a big impact, springing a pair of pivotal Branden Oliver runs, including a touchdown. With one game and three weeks of training camp under his belt, Johnson feels good about his and the team’s progress.

“Right now we’re at that point where we had our first game so we can see where we’re at,” he said.  “Now it’s about improving and taking that next step.  We’re trying to get everything together and make strides throughout this preseason to get ready for the first (regular) game of the season.”

Head Coach Mike McCoy was satisfied with Johnson’s play Thursday night, but even more pleased with how he can flex from a tight end to fullback.

“He did a nice job,” McCoy said.  “He missed one block early on but we made yards on the play.  I think with position flexibility of moving him around, it’s a nice pickup for us.  (It’s nice) to have that guy who can do a little bit inline, move him around and also do some things in the backfield.  Position flexibility is key for that spot.”

Next up for Johnson and the Chargers is Friday’s game against the defending Super Bowl Champion Seattle Seahawks. While playing the champs can be a daunting task, Johnson sees the game as another opportunity grow together.

“We’re just looking forward to getting better.  There are some things we need to do like finish strongly and finish drives.  That’s what we’re looking forward to doing.  Just finishing (drives) and coming out and getting better each week.”

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