Johnson enjoying Rams' new defensive scheme

Trumaine Johnson (Getty Images)

ST. LOUIS — Rams cornerback Trumaine Johnson is a big fan of new defensive coordinator Gregg Williams’ attacking and aggressive scheme.

“I love it,” Johnson said. “I’m big and I’m physical. It plays right in this defense.”

The 6-foot-2, 208-pounder is an anomaly among the St. Louis cornerbacks, a group that got smaller this offseason with the additions of second-rounder Lamarcus Joyner (5-8, 184) and sixth-rounder E.J. Gaines (5-10, 190).

But how Williams utilizes the University of Montana remains to be seen, but the cornerback has tried to prepare himself for whatever will be asked of him in his third NFL season.

“With Gregg Williams he has an aggressive defense,” Johnson said. “It’s attitude. It’s being more aggressive. Be that lock-down corner we need. It’s everything. Being a cornerback.”

Also being a leader in the secondary as one of the veterans.

With as young as the Rams are in the defensive backfield, after the release of Cortland Finnegan this offseason, the third-year guys like Johnson, Janoris Jenkins and Rodney McLeod have taken on more responsibility as leaders.

“It’s a challenge at times, but I’m a vet, one of the oldest guys in the room now,” Johnson said. “I have a lot of guys looking up to me, so I have to get on my ‘A’ game every day.”

The California native started 12 of his 16 games last season. He led the Rams with three interceptions, after snagging two as a rookie in 2012, was second on the team with 11 passes defensed and finished fourth with 67 tackles. He also recorded one forced fumble.

The Rams are counting on their two starting corners, the 24-year-old Johnson and 25-year-old Jenkins, to take a big step forward in their third seasons.

How that duo performs in 2014 will go a long way toward how strong the overall defense is. Johnson’s experience has helped him so far in training camp.

“The game is coming a lot slower for me this year,” Johnson said, “so I’m just taking advantage of it.”

You can follow Nate Latsch on Twitter at @NateLatsch or email him at natelatsch@gmail.com

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