Johnson on debut: 'Everything I wanted'

Johnson on debut: 'Everything I wanted'
November 7, 2013, 10:00 am
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(USA Today Images)

It was just an ordinary running play in the second quarter of a regular season game, but for Dennis Johnson, it was a lifetime in the making.

The 23-year-old running back took the first carry in his NFL career for eight yards on Sunday against the Colts and on the next play, busted through the line for 11 more.

“It felt good,” Johnson said on Monday. “It was everything I wanted. I mean, I’m playing in the NFL, what more can I ask for? It was my dream and I accomplished it.”

Johnson carried the ball eight times for 36 yards in his NFL debut, which came just six days after the Texans signed him off the Browns’ practice squad. Johnson spent the offseason with the Texans but was waived at final cuts after losing the job to Cierre Wood.

“I thought he did a really, really good job,” offensive coordinator Rick Dennison said. “Obviously we have great experience with him through OTAs and in the summer. He’s got a good burst and he looks fresh. We’ll just keep rotating him in. He gave us some good things. He’s a tough little kid. He’ll go up there and block you in pass pro and do everything that we need him to do. I really thought he did a good job, it’s just making sure he’s up to speed on everything.”

Johnson said he didn’t have family in the stands on Sunday but there were a couple of friends.

“I was just trying to win the game,” he said. “I was focused on the game. I wasn’t worried about the emotions going through my body at that time.”

Johnson came into Sunday’s game as the third running back after Arian Foster and Ben Tate. A back injury forced Foster out of the game after one series and Tate played through four cracked ribs.  

Dennison said Johnson has been working on his ball security, which was the issue with the rookie from Arkansas during his first go-around with the Texans. Dennison said there weren’t any issues with that on Sunday night.

Foster is still dealing with a back injury and Tate still has four cracked ribs, so there’s a chance Johnson will have plenty more opportunities.

“I’m a confident player,” Johnson said. “I play confident all the time so I feel like I have a place here on this team to make an impact.”

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