Bademosi makes special-teams plays

Posted Oct 30, 2012

Johnson Bademosi has been one of the Browns’ standout special teams players through the first half of the 2012 regular season.

Cleveland Browns rookie defensive back Johnson Bademosi took an offseason message from the coaching staff to heart and turned it into a spot on the team’s 53-man roster coming out of training camp.

Bademosi was an undrafted free agent from Stanford University and made his way onto the roster through his contributions on special teams for coordinator Chris Tabor.

“They were very transparent from the beginning saying, ‘Hey, rookies, hey, undrafted free agents, if you want to make this roster, you’re going to have to become great friends with the special teams coach,’” Bademosi said. “(We) became very close and I was almost annoying just being next to him the whole time. It was very clear.

“I did play a lot of special teams at Stanford. I loved it. I had a great coach in D.J. Durkin, who I believe is at Florida now. He showed me a lot of things and taught me a lot of things and I came here and I’m learning a lot more things.”

At the start of the fourth quarter in Sunday’s 7-6 win over San Diego, Bademosi made a play on special teams that pinned the Chargers back inside their five-yard line.

On fourth-and-19 from San Diego’s 43-yard line, Reggie Hodges punted the ball 40 yards and Bademosi caught it at the Chargers’ three-yard line. The Chargers ended up punting the ball back to the Browns after the ensuing drive stalled at their 42-yard line.

“Reggie put the ball in a great spot and had great hang on it,” Bademosi said. “It put me in a good position to make a play there, so I was kind of just playing off of him.”

Bademosi leads the Browns with 10 special teams tackles and has made seven solo stops in punt and kick return coverage. His ability to break through blockers has caught the attention of coach Pat Shurmur.

“He’s big; he’s fast and he’s been productive, so, each week, the teams that we play watch him on tape and he continues to show up,” Shurmur said. “I think that was a terrific play. It’s rare that you catch the punt like he did. That was a big-time play because it was hard for the returners to do it. Him running down, turning around and doing it is even more difficult. He’s youthful and he’s working hard at it. He loves to play the game. That kind of energy is infectious. It really is and I tend to watch him out there.”

Bademosi credited his success with his preparation, as well as his teammates and coaches.

“I put them in position to make plays; they put me in position to make plays,” Bademosi said. “I wouldn’t be able to do anything I’m able to do if our kickers and punters weren’t putting the ball in great position. I’m so well-prepared coming into the game from my write-ups to knowing situational stuff.

“I’m just going to play to the whistle. Nothing dirty, but it’s going to be a fight. A lot of the matchups I get are one-on-one or two-on-one. If you put one guy on me, I’m going to beat him. If you put two guys on me, I’m going to try and beat them too. I’m not going to make it easy for them.”

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