It may have taken some time to get the opportunity, but eventually it happened.
2021 saw Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Buddy Johnson play very few defensive snaps in his rookie season. Despite being inactive for the first 11 games of the season, Johnson got his chance in Week 13 against the Baltimore Ravens, when Robert Spillane dealt with an ailing knee. The following week, Johnson would get another chance with Spillane placed on the team's Reserve/COVID-19 List.
Each opportunity received was one well-earned, as Johnson prepared diligently for the chance to play. Though his contributions did not register on the stats sheet, he played his part in helping the Steelers clinch a playoff spot.
With a year under his belt, Johnson can look to gain the most snaps on defense this upcoming season. Even with the signing of Myles Jack and Mark Robinson from this year's NFL Draft, Johnson remains one of the few linebackers on the roster with a traditional, hard-nosed style, reminiscent of former linebacker Vince Williams. Considering the challenges he overcame to get his chance to play, it should only motivate him to go for much more.