Chargers rookie Zion Johnson feeling no pressure in 1st training camp

COSTA MESA — What, Zion Johnson worry?

“At the end of the day, I’m just out here playing football,” said Johnson, a 22-year-old offensive lineman who was the Chargers’ first-round draft pick (17th overall). “It’s definitely different going from college to the NFL, but at the end of the day, I’m still an offensive lineman and my job is still to block people.

“I’m glad to do my job every day.”

Maybe he should be nervous or worried or concerned. After all, he has one of the most important jobs on the squad. He’s got to create time and space for quarterback Justin Herbert to work his magic in the pocket and for running back Austin Ekeler to dart through the opposing defense.

There is a great deal of responsibility on his mammoth shoulders.

If there is pressure to perform at a high level as a rookie, it’s difficult to tell.

“I don’t,” Johnson said when asked if he’s feeling any pressure in his first NFL camp. “I’m playing football. I love the game. I want to win. I want to be here. I want to win the games. I don’t feel the pressure. There may be some, but at the end of the day I’m just playing the game with my teammates.”

Perhaps it has helped Johnson’s transition from Boston College to the Chargers to have veterans such as center Corey Linsley and guard Matt Feiler, two linemen who have pretty much seen it and done it all during their careers, toiling alongside him in the trenches and serving as mentors.

It also could be helpful to have followed in the rather large footsteps of Rashawn Slater, a second-year tackle from Northwestern, who excelled last season after he was drafted in the first round in 2021. Slater has stood where Johnson has stood, and it remains fresh …read more

Source:: Los Angeles Daily News

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