When the Jets signed cornerback Trumaine Johnson, they knew they acquired one of the top cornerbacks in the NFL. However, Rams head coach Sean McVay, who coached Johnson for one season, believes the Green & White are receiving more than meets the eye.
"He's a special player. I think the one thing about Trumaine is he's one of those rare athletes that has the size and the rare ball skills," McVay said at the NFL Annual League Meeting. "But then he can come up and bump you and he can play off with vision. He's one of those players that really fits into any sort of system and is that true corner that influences and affects the game in a variety of ways.
"He was voted captain by his teammates last year, so you know you're getting a guy that'll come in and be the right kind of guy in the locker room. Hate to lose him, but very fortunate to have that year with Trumaine. Wish him nothing but the best and you guys are getting a great one in him."
Johnson provides a boost and veteran presence to a young secondary with safeties Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye, both of whom showed promise as rookies. Jets head coach Todd Bowles said this group, which consists of Johnson, Morris Claiborne, whom the Jets re-signed, Buster Skrine, Adams and Maye, is the most athletic and versatile secondary he's worked with since being hired as head coach.
"The rapport that needs to exist between the corners and safeties based on some of the coverage concepts that Coach Bowles like to implement is big," McVay said. "I think that'll be imperative and paramount in terms of their success. Being able to add a player like that is only going to make the Jets more difficult to go against, so good luck to Trumaine. Hate seeing tough defenses like that as an offensive mind."
Bowles credited Johnson's versatility to play in different schemes as something that attracted the Green & White to their new corner. With the trio of Johnson, Claiborne and Skrine, Bowles said they're going to be deployed based on matchups.
"The Jets have a done a great job in free agency and any time I talked to Coach Bowles, he's looking for cornerbacks," ESPN's Sal Paolantonio said. "He's looking for as many corners as he can possibly get. He was a secondary player in the National Football League. That's where he comes from, that's where his bread is buttered."