I recently interviewed, Antonio Knight, who is the defensive backs coach at Jackson State where he coached cornerback, Domonique Johnson, for two years. Film review is obviously a big part of evaluating NFL Draft prospects. However, it is helpful to gain some insight into the mental make-up or character of a player by discussing his career with someone who has worked closely with him. The following is a summary of our discussion:
Denis Krusos: What type of person is Domonique Johnson?
Coach Knight: Domonique adapts well to a variety of situations. He gets along with different personalities and as a result fits in well with teammates. He is laid back and will go the extra mile for you.
Denis Krusos: Describe the type of coverage you asked Domonique to perform mostly?
Coach Knight: We played primarily off-man coverage with a little zone. Domonique worked all summer on press coverage and has become much more comfortable with it. He reached the point where he was comfortable to play press coverage in a game.
Denis Krusos: What is his greatest strength in your opinion?
Coach Knight: His closing speed. He can reach another gear with the ball in the air and close.
Denis Krusos: What does he need to work on?
Coach Knight: Domonique needs to be more aggressive with his tackling. He is willing to tackle, but needs to work on tackling.
Denis Krusos: Tell me more about his practice and film review habits?
Coach Knight: Domonique consistently has good practice habits. His film study habits have improved, but he could put more time in this area.
Denis Krusos: How does Domonique respond to coaching?
Coach Knight: He listens very well and follows instructions. In fact, you have to be careful or precise with your words and description of a technique because he will literally follow your instructions to the t.
Denis Krusos: How important is football to Domonique Johnson?
Coach Knight: Football is very important to him. He works at it everyday and wants to play in the NFL. He is close to his mother and he understands that this is an opportunity to help her.
Denis Krusos: Why did Domonique leave Missouri?
Coach Knight: The head coach at Missouri did not like that Domonique pledged a fraternity. His dedication was questioned and we have not seen that.
Denis Krusos: What type of receiver gives him the most trouble?
Coach Knight: I would say a small, quick receiver is the bigger challenge.
Denis Krusos: Is he capable of playing safety?
Coach Knight: Domonique did have to play a couple of games for us at free safety due to injuries. I believe he could play safety because he runs well and has some size.
Denis Krusos: How is he on special teams?
Coach Knight: Domonique volunteered to play on special teams. He has covered kick-offs and punts. He has been a gunner and is a willing special teams performer. We took him off returning kick-offs because we did not want him taking a cheap shot.
Jackson State cornerback, Domonique Johnson, will be playing in the Under Armour Senior Bowl. Fans can see the All-SWAC corner in action at this prestigious all-star game on Saturday, January 24th (televised by the NFL Network, 7 PM ET).