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Saints defensive back C.J. Gardner-Johnson strives for growth in year three

Saints defensive back C.J. Gardner-Johnson wants to take his game to the next level in year...
Saints defensive back C.J. Gardner-Johnson wants to take his game to the next level in year three.(Edwin Goode, WVUE-FOX8 (custom credit))
Updated: Jun. 21, 2021 at 10:30 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) -When it comes to trash-talking in the NFL, a new star has been born.

And he wears #22 for the Saints.

C.J. Gardner-Johnson is so good at getting under the skin of his opponents, he’s gotten them ejected from games. However, Gardner-Johnson knows he can’t just be a talker on the field, he has to perform, which he has.

“Take the talking out of it, watch the film,” Gardner-Johnson said. “When I understand what’s going on my teammates and I, we play ten times better. "

That understanding came last season for CJGJ and it opened up his game.

“When they told me to just go out there and play football and relax,” Gardner-Johnson said. “A lot of people play this game be out there all tight. I’m me. So when they say, relax-slow down , just understand what you doing. That’s when I found my groove: not when I started making plays, but when I understood what I was doing within the defense. "

As he heads into his third years, he knows exactly what the next step in his journey will entail

“It’s about brining your teammates with you,” he said. “How can you bring the next guy so he can grasp that same meaning because think about it, everybody don’t play this game for long. So it’s about plugging and playing. It sounds cliche, but in reality you plug and play because you have to figure out. You plug your mind into this game. You plug your feelings into this game, your emotions. So you have to understand how do you take that jump from year one to year two, mentally? Year two to year three, mentally, physically how can I bring them along?”

The Saints defense is certainly hoping that he can in 2021.

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