Bill Belichick impressed with DL Anthony Johnson

Bill Belichick impressed with DL Anthony Johnson

New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick went out of his way to talk about defensive lineman Anthony Johnson, signed as a free agent after being a reserve who played in seven games with Miami as a rookie in 2014.

Belichick said he was impressed when Johnson came in for a workout this offseason, and surprised him by how much weight he had dropped.

“Honestly, I didn’t even recognize him when we brought him in for a workout,” Belichick said, via

“I looked at him and said, ‘Do we have the right guy here?’ ”

“I like to categorize myself as a silver-back gorilla,” Johnson said. “Just go out there and be ferocious and just play.”

“He’s kind of gone in the other direction from being a big guy and really trimming down and his skills are different,” Belichick said. “He’s faster. He’s quicker. He’s obviously lighter. Doesn’t have as much power, but he was an interesting guy. He was a good player coming out of college, an interesting workout, and a guy that’s a lot different than most of our other interior defensive lineman, so we thought in signing him that his skills might complement some of the other players that we have,. We’ll just see how that plays out.”