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Top Quotes | Austin Johnson's First Media Availability as a Charger

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On what led to his decision to join the Chargers:

"Amazing defense. Amazing coaches. Great area to play in. There weren't any negative things about the organization at all. You really can't go wrong by choosing the Chargers. It's just a really good defense that I wanted to be a part of."

On 'putting forth a career year' last season with the Giants:

"I just felt more comfortable being around that defensive group that we had last year. The defensive line had a lot of good guys. I was able to thrive in that defense and just have fun. That was my main thing."

On if the defensive scheme used by the Giants last season is similar to the scheme utilized by the Chargers:

"For sure. I feel like it's a little bit different, but it's just different guys, as well. You have to see who is around you and get used to it, then just go from there. Hopefully, I can get comfortable with it really fast."

On playing the Chargers last season and what about his performance in that game 'might have appealed to' Head Coach Brandon Staley:

"I think that it was in December. I think it was a very one-sided game. I had fun in that defense. We were just going out there and playing. They ran the ball on us pretty good, but I feel like we were kind of stout. Like I said before, I was having fun with the group of guys that were out there on the field, and I think that you could tell that with how I played."

On his versatility across the defensive front:

"Last year, I played predominantly nose [tackle], 0 [technique]. I played a lot of positions. I ended up playing a 5 [technique], 4i [technique], inside of the tackle and outside of the tackle, just all over the place — and I felt comfortable doing that stuff. I feel like it's very easy for me to adapt to whatever position that I need to be out there. Wherever they want to put me, that's where I'll play."

On what he can contribute to the unit's run defense:

"Being stout in the middle. Making plays. Running sideline-to-sideline. I feel like if you watch how I played last year, that will give you a very good answer about how I play and how I can help in that aspect."

On 'the expectations' that Staley and the rest of the coaching staff put forth regarding how he will be utilized:

"No real expectations. We didn't talk specifically where they want me, but like I said before, I love being versatile, love being moving around and playing different positions, and just changing it up on the offensive line. I look forward to hopefully doing that."

On his preferred spot along the defensive front:

"Wherever they want to put me, that's where I'll play. I'll do whatever they ask of me. That's the kind of guy that they're going to get. There's no real preference to any position, honestly."

On if he has had a prior relationship with any other players currently on the Chargers roster:

"I don't think so. I don't really recall. But, hopefully, I'm not wrong [laughter]. Off the top of my head, I don't really recall anybody from the Chargers."

On joining a defensive front that features Chargers OLBs Joey Bosa and Khalil Mack:

"It definitely frees everybody else up. Obviously, on pass downs, those guys are definitely going to be targeted, featured and looked out for. It definitely helps everybody else on the field, especially along the interior. Can't wait to see how that goes."

On the benefit of playing alongside DL Sebastian Joseph-Day, who played in Staley's scheme in 2020 with the Rams:

"I love to hear about everybody's experiences playing in certain defensed and how they would do certain things. That's one of the cool things about going to a new team and a new place and new people, you get to pick their brain and constantly, year after year, you put that into your game, and keep on learning and adapting. I feel like it'll be very cool to pick his brain. He's a very smart dude. I can't wait to do that."

On QB Justin Herbert's 59-yard touchdown pass to WR Jalen Guyton last season against the Giants:

"That's never a good feeling, watching the ball in the air when you can't do anything about it [laughter]. It was a cool play — at the time, it wasn't, but now, it's a very good play. I like it [laughter]."

On if becoming teammates with Herbert is 'a good thing':

"Absolutely. No question."

Browse through photos of one of the Chargers new additions along the defensive line, six-year vet, Austin Johnson

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