Q&A: Pittsburgh Steelers | Steven Johnson

I recently sat down with Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Steven Johnson to discuss both his professional and personal journey.


Steven Johnson attended Strath Haven High School in Wallingford, Pennsylvania, where he led the state of Pennsylvania with 114 tackles and was also selected for the All-State Team his senior year.

Johnson had a significant knee injury during prep school, tearing his ACL and LCL. Despite what could have been a career ending setback for Johnson, he used his faith for motivation to recover and received a walk-on invitation at the University of Kansas where he played and made a significant impact for the team.

In 2012, Johnson was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Denver Broncos where he played three seasons followed by a season with the Tennessee Titans. Johnson is currently an active inside linebacker with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The Interview

What motivated you to become an NFL football player?

Steven: Football has been in my blood since a very young age. I’ve been playing contact football for 23 years now, it is and has been a passion of mine since the first time my father took me on to a football field.

Did you participate in other sports in high school?

Steven: I played basketball and ran the 100m and 200m in track and field.

Who was your biggest influence in your youth?

Steven: My father and grandfather before he passed away. When I was 5 years old, my dad would take me outside and run me through football drills. This was when I discovered that I wanted to be a football player. My grandfather was a true inspiration to me and was the first person in my life to ever tell me that “I can make it.”

The most influential moment(s) in your life?

Steven: I did not start all four years of high school and in 2005, my senior year and first year as a starter, I lead the state of Pennsylvania in tackles. 114 total.

What has been your biggest sports accomplishment thus far in your career?

Steven: Overcoming a significant injury and earning myself a scholarship in college, and then of course being named a captain for my college team. Also, leading the Big12 in tackles during college and earning a spot to the 53 with the Denver Broncos.

What is the best advice you were ever given?

Steven: My grandfather always told me to “never let anyone tell you that you can’t do anything.”

Is there one player that you emulate your game after?

Steven: Growing up I admired Brian Dawkins.

Do you have a personal motto or saying that you live your life by?

Steven: There are quite a few actually. “Faith Motivated”..that came about during my 2nd year in the league and which I also named my foundation after. The Faith Motivated Foundation.

Throughout high school I always reminded myself “impossible is nothing”, “grind no matter what” and “hard work forever pays.”

What would be the ultimate achievement of your career?

Steven: To be a Pro Bowl Inside Linebacker.

Is there one or two things that you currently do in training that are keys to your success?

Steven: Stretching is most definitely a key element to my training. I also discovered ARPwave which has made some of the most significant recovery times for me during training.

Do you have a favorite vacation destination?

Steven: Playa Del Carmen, Mexico and the Caribbean

In 2014, Johnson founded The Faith Motivated Foundation. The Faith Motivated Foundation's is involved with as many communities as possible. Activities include visiting local hospitals, participating in Boys and Girls club events, delivering meals to the homeless, sharing faith with families around the country, and speaking and volunteering at various camps. Since inception, Steven's foundation has been involved with such organizations in Denver, CO, Nashville, TN, Philadelphia, PA, San Francisco, CA, Lawrence, KS, and Dallas, TX. The Faith Motivated

Foundation Website: www.FaithMotivated.org

Follow Steven Johnson on social media:

Twitter: @SMJ2852

Instagram: @SMJ2852

Rackfest Page: @Steven Johnson

Jennifer Mamajek

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