C.J. Gardner-Johnson explains exactly why Detroit Lions signed him [Video]
When the Detroit Lions acquired C.J. Gardner-Johnson, they weren't just looking for a stopgap safety. Gardner-Johnson's journey with the Lions in 2023 has been about much more than filling a roster spot. Despite spending a significant time on the injured reserve, his recovery and preparation for the playoffs exemplify his dedication. Now, as Detroit heads into their first postseason in years, Gardner-Johnson's leadership, infused with playoff experience and success, becomes pivotal.
What Did C.J. Gardner-Johnson Say?
While speaking to the media on Thursday, C.J. Gardner-Johnson emphasized a shift in mindset for the playoffs, focusing on the team's collective goal over personal accolades.
“More focus. Guys, this is a different season. We don’t care about how many records you’ve broke. That goes for both teams, teammates and opposing teams. Don’t matter what you did last week,” said Gardner-Johnson. “Some people got zero stats in the playoffs on this team.
“If you really look their stats up in the postseason, some of these guys have no stats in the postseason. In order to put it in the back of your mind, you have to really think about what’s the bigger goal? Stats, or to get to the next round? Matchups or get to the next round? I think, being a playoff vet, I’m just here letting you guys know that this [Explicative] is not gonna be easy,” Gardner-Johnson explained further. “Atmosphere different, air thicker, fans a little bit louder. Win or go home. It ain’t win, come back and game plan. It’s win or go home.”
Gardner-Johnson's words reflect his understanding of the Lions' ambition: not just to appear in playoffs but to aim for the Super Bowl.
“They brought me here to win the Super Bowl,” Gardner-Johnson said, when asked if the game against the Rams was a reason the team signed him. “They didn’t bring me here to make no [Explicative] playoffs.”
“I’m trying to get this championships. I’m trying to hang two more banners, f**k interceptions, he said. “I’ve already got enough of them. I’m trying to get some more.”
TL;DR (too long didn't read)
- C.J. Gardner-Johnson emphasizes the importance of focus and team goals over personal stats in playoffs.
- His experience and leadership are crucial for the Lions' young playoff-bound team.
- Gardner-Johnson views his role as integral to the Lions' Super Bowl aspirations, not just playoff participation.
The Bottom Line – Gardner-Johnson's Pivotal Influence in Lions' Playoff Quest
C.J. Gardner-Johnson's recent remarks underscore his critical role in the Detroit Lions' playoff ambitions. His focus on team success, seasoned playoff insight, and commitment to a Super Bowl vision exemplify why the Lions sought his talents. As Detroit prepares for a formidable opponent in the Los Angeles Rams, Gardner-Johnson's experience and leadership could be the catalyst that transforms the Lions from playoff participants to formidable contenders. His perspective reinforces the idea that for the Lions, this playoff run is more than a milestone; it's a stepping stone towards a loftier goal – a potential Super Bowl triumph.