July 22, 2021
Charlotte, North Carolina, USA
Boston College Eagles
THE MODERATOR: We'll take questions for Zion.
Q. You just heard Coach speak about the team, the situation, going through the pandemic year. What was the craziest part for you to go through this past year? What was cardboard -- how did you take the cardboard fans? What are you looking forward to the most?
ZION JOHNSON: I mean, I would have to say for me, my family usually goes to every game. I mean, they did in 2019. With the pandemic, last season, they weren't really able to go to as many games, we had the cardboard fans. That can actually affect you.
But I also think that our team did a great job of handling that and making the sacrifices necessary to go out and win when we needed to.
Even with the cardboard fans, I think our guys did a great job of sparking that inner fire to go out and play to their maximum potential, so...
Q. In your practices with Phil behind you, what is it like blocking for him? What is the dynamic nature of Phil being a leader? How well do you guys jibe with each other?
ZION JOHNSON: It's awesome. Phil is a great leader, a great player. He's talented. He's a great guy. It's really awesome blocking for someone you know, even if everything is not perfect, he can scramble out the pocket, make something work, throw a bomb down the field.
Especially as a leader, he's grown as a leader. Just coming here last year. Now he's a big voice in our locker room. We love having him.
Q. Your offensive line has 126 aggregate starts. You went through some unusual situations in the pandemic. Last year Phil was under heat a little bit. How will the extra experience help you keep this guy over here standing up?
ZION JOHNSON: Oh, the experience will definitely help us. I think last season with the new offense, the new scheme, we weren't really masters of our scheme yet. We're still learning. We had guys moving positions.
But this season we're ready to come out and keep Phil upright and we're going to make sure that we do that. Alec, this next year, he's gotten so much better through the spring in every aspect. Ben has been doing a great job. Christian Mahogany, he's a young guard, he's doing a great job as well. Let's not forget Tyler. He's been doing a great job, getting better as a run blocker, as a pass blocker, as a leader. I think that's the biggest thing we've seen.
A lot of our guys up front, whether it's Christian, Alec, Ben, Tyler, even some of the young guys, are becoming better leaders not just to themselves but to other people on the team. They're leading other leaders. That's what we need in order for us to take that next step next year.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports