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Bengals Defensive End Michael Johnson Is "Clearly Bigger" Nearing 280 Pounds

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CINCINNATI, OH - NOVEMBER 27:  Colt McCoy #12 of the Cleveland Browns runs from Michael Johnson #93 of the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium on November 27, 2011 in Cincinnati, Ohio.  (Photo by Tyler Barrick/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OH - NOVEMBER 27: Colt McCoy #12 of the Cleveland Browns runs from Michael Johnson #93 of the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium on November 27, 2011 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Tyler Barrick/Getty Images)
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Cincinnati Bengals defensive end Michael Johnson has noticeably gained weight, according to Geoff Hobson with Bengals.com, who writes that:

he's clearly bigger than last year's 267 pounds and there is some belief he's hit 280. At 6-7, Johnson had a big start last year (he gave Browns Pro Bowl left tackle Joe Thomas all he could handle in the opener), but got worn down with some nagging injuries while leading the defensive line playing nearly 70 percent of the snaps.

Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis recently admitted that they're looking to reduce Johnson's overall snap totals to prevent him from wearing down like last season:

"He plays so hard. He played more snaps than anyone on our defensive front," Lewis said of Johnson. "We have to continue take some snaps off his plate so we can get that high level all the time. (Fanene and Rucker) took some (snaps), but not as many as we thought at the end of the day. Michael played through injury, he just kept playing, which showed how tough he was."

One could make the assumption that Johnson is gaining weight (mass really) with the understanding that he'll have less snaps, feeling fresher later during the season, possibly becoming more productive with more energy. Johnson recently said that he and Carlos Dunlap could be the one of the league's best defensive end tandems in the league.

Johnson is entering the final year under contract.