Lions coach Matt Patricia highlights the value of joint practices ahead of first session with the Patriots. Justin Rogers, The Detroit News
Allen Park — Detroit Lions rookie defensive tackle P.J. Johnson was back on the practice field on Wednesday, one day removed from getting the boot following a minor scuffle with Patriots offensive lineman James Ferentz.
Johnson showed a lack of maturity with his actions on Tuesday, but openly recognized his error, taking accountability for the mistake and vowing to be better going forward.
"I’ve got to do a better job of controlling my emotions," Johnson said after Wednesday's practice. "I can’t do anything that costs the team yards or be getting kicked out of practice. I left the D-line room vulnerable on the field, so that’s something I’ve got to mentally get stronger with, controlling my emotions."
Johnson didn't elaborate on the specifics of what set him off, other than to say he thought something unnecessary happened.
After being ejected by coach Matt Patricia, Johnson had a long, lonely walk from the farther of Detroit's two practice fields back to the locker room. As he made his way to the facility, he said he experienced immediate regret for losing his cool.
"I should have just chilled out and calmed down," Johnson said. "It wasn’t that serious."
Once in the locker room, Johnson said Patricia reminded him that players need to have a team-first mentality and those actions aren't team-first.
"I just was too into the moment and you can’t be too into the moment," Johnson said. "You have to breathe and think everything through, and that was just something I did wrong in the moment."
Johnson, a seventh-round pick out of the University of Arizona, is competing for a job on Detroit's deep defensive line.