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After Missing Rookie Year, Johnnie Troutman "Hungry" to Prove Himself

Posted Apr 3, 2013

Johnnie Troutman missed his entire rookie season due to a pectoral injury suffered before the draft. Now he is looking forward to making an impact for the 2013 season.

Johnnie Troutman knew the situation going into the 2012 NFL Draft.

The offensive guard suffered a pectoral injury in April and had surgery to repair it prior to the draft.  Many NFL experts predicted had it not been for the injury he would have been an early round selection, but since the chances of him contributing his rookie season were slim at best, he fell to the fifth-round.

Now that he’s healthy, he has a chance to prove that it was great value for the Bolts to draft him as the 147th overall player selected.

“I think I definitely would have gone higher than the fifth round if I didn’t get hurt,” he said. “But that’s neither here nor there at this point.  God has a plan for me, and I’m going to roll with it and do what I have to do.  I feel healthy and that I’m physically able to do what I need to do now.

Troutman did not see the field last season save for a 21-day window in November when he was designated a “Returned to Practice” player from the “Reserve-Physically Unable to Perform” list.  At the end of those three weeks, however, he was placed back on the “Reserve/Non-Football Illness” list. Still, Troutman relished his first taste of professional football helping build his hunger to be ready for the 2013 season.

“It most definitely felt good to get out there and put the shoulder pads on for those few weeks,” he said. “I love to play this game, so that was a good experience to get out there and play with guys who have played in this league and have game experience.  I got to move around a little bit with the pads on, and it definitely made me hungry to get back on the field.”

A 6-foot-4, 330-pound guard, Troutman had a standout career as a Penn State Nittany Lion. He started his final three seasons at Penn State, a span in which he didn’t allow a single sack and was a 2011 All-Big Ten honorable mention selection. He was also named the team’s Richard Maginnis Memorial Award winner for exemplifying spirit, dedication and commitment to the program.

Even though he missed his entire rookie season, Troutman doesn’t feel like he is behind the rest of his offensive line teammates..

“It’s a big difference for me this season coming back healthy, but everyone is learning a new system so everyone is on an even playing field,” he said. “So this is probably the best opportunity I could have to be a starter, which is something I want to do.  I like the situation I’m in and I feel good.”

Regarding the change in coaching staff, Troutman is high on  new offensive line coach Joe D’Alessandris.

“He’s a real to the point guy,” he said. “He won’t BS you.  He’s a real technical guy which I like.  He’ll make sure you’re doing all the little things right. My college coach was a technical guy the same way and I like that.  If you do the little things right that will take care of the big things and it will only help you get better.”

A year ago, unaware he would suffer an injury  robbing him of his entire rookie season, Troutman’s focus and motivation never faltered  and is grateful for where he’s ended up. .

“When I got hurt, it was a freak accident,” he said. “I couldn’t have thought something like that was going to happen.  But I can’t let that affect me moving forward.  Things happen.  But I’m happy to be here in San Diego and about the opportunity they’ve given me.  It feels good to have the support of my teammates and the fans. We have great fans here.  So I’m ready to go out there and perform on the practice field and try to win a starting job. I want everyone to know they got their money worth investing in me.”


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