Dionte Johnson (David Maxwell/Getty)
Dusty Wittig brings in the next rookie interview for AZRedReport.com. It’s Arizona Cardinal fullback Dionte Johnson’s turn as he chats with Wittig in this exclusive Q&A. The former Buckeye tells Wittig about idolizing his father, his goals for the upcoming season and why he is looking forward to playing against San Francisco twice this year.
Click here for the insiders only portion of Dionte Johnson's interview, where he talks about his NFL father, his minicamp experience and more.
Dusty Wittig: Who were your favorite teams and players growing up?
Dionte Johnson: My father, Pepper Johnson, was my favorite player. Before I even knew anything about football I was going to his games. My favorite teams were what ever team he was on and also the Green Bay Packers because of Brett Favre.
DW: What is your favorite non football activity?
DW: At what point in your career did you realize that you could play in the NFL?
DJ: It’s always been something I thought was realistic. My dad and grandfather both played and I thought I had a great chance because of that. When I got to high school and halfway through college I realized I was pretty good and that I could make it.
DW: Who was your biggest football and non football influence growing up and why?
DJ: My biggest football influences were my father and my uncle. My uncle didn’t play football, but he was always at every one of my games. He would be the one pushing me and telling me that I wasn’t doing well enough and that I could be better. I would always play to impress him.
My biggest non football influence would be my mother. She was always in my corner and she would always be the loudest one screaming for me.
DW: What are your goals for the upcoming season?
DJ: The first thing is to learn all the plays, so when I am out there I’m not second guessing anything. Next thing is to be doing what I can to compete and improve my game. I have been running so much and working out hard to be in shape so I can do things with a 100 percent effort.
DW: Is there an upcoming game for the 08 season that you are in particularly looking forward to playing in?
DJ: Playing San Francisco two times this year will be interesting. My old teammate Larry Grant got drafted by them in the 7th round. It will be fun to go up against him linebacker versus fullback. He knows my moves and I know his and it will be great to compete against him twice a year.
DW: What are you planning for your first NFL paycheck?
DJ: I don’t really have any special plans. I think I will save it so I can take a trip next off season or something like that.
DW: Is there a veteran on the team who has eased your transition from college ball?
DJ: All the running backs have helped me a lot. Fullback Tim Castille has been there and been a big help by familiarizing me with the plays. If I had to pick one guy I would pick him.
DW: What is the biggest challenge you will face in NFL ball that you didn’t have to deal with in college?
DJ: Making sure I know everything. Back in college I didn’t have to know everyone else’s position and responsibilities as well as I am going to have to in the NFL. Now I need to know everything about the routes, blocking schemes, and what the other guys are doing. The biggest thing is just extending my football knowledge.
Click here for the insiders only portion of Dionte Johnson's interview, where he talks about his famous father, his minicamp experience and more.