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C-Mac
04-25-2005, 11:31 AM
http://www.810whb.com/scripts/archives/getStory.asp?article=10072

Johnson to take challenge with KC head on
Rick Dean, The Capital Journal

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Derrick Johnson has heard the rap on him, the only possible negative anyone could find on a player whose college production at Texas earned him back-to-back All-American designations and the Butkus Award as the nation's top linebacker.

Though a solidly built outside linebacker at 6-foot-3, 242 pounds, Johnson acquired a reputation of running around blockers rather than meeting them head-on.

Even his new employer, Chiefs coach Dick Vermeil, says his first-round draft pick has adjustments to make before he becomes a force in the NFL -- something Kansas City needs him to do quickly.

"He had a good introduction to pro defenses last year with Greg (Robinson)," Vermeil said of his former defensive coordinator who coached the Longhorns' defense last year. "But he will have to learn to take on people instead of just skating and running parallel down the line of scrimmage.

"There will be a lot of times he's forced to gap hold and take on guards and tackles and centers, then ricochet and go make the play. He has not really been asked to do that within his scheme."

Just ask him, Johnson counters. He will blow people up whenever necessary.

"I've had moments when I've had to be very aggressive, and I've had my finesse times," he said. "Sometimes my speed and ability can overwhelm someone to where I can go over a block. But at the same time, if that doesn't work with the Chiefs, I can go through blockers. I have the strength, but sometimes I just use my speed a little more."

It is a combination that made Johnson attractive to NFL franchises looking for outside linebackers.

"When you stand 6-3 and weigh over 240 pounds, you're going to learn to (take on blockers) pretty well," Vermeil said. "He's a gifted athlete. He was a 10.5 100 (yards) kid in high school, a 48-foot triple jumper. He has tremendous athletic and movement skills. Now we have to incorporate those skills into our defensive fundamentals and scheme."

If that happens, the addition of Johnson, along with veteran free agents Patrick Surtain, Kendrell Bell and Carlos Hall, could make the sorry Kansas City defense something better than the NFL's next-to-worst unit in 2005.

"Knowing about all the players coming in with me is exciting," Johnson said. "It's going to be a defensive comeback mode. I'm just ready to be a part of that."

Rain Man
04-25-2005, 11:33 AM
Please don't train him to avoid the ball carrier and hit blockers. We've already got Kawika Mitchell for that.

BigChiefFan
04-25-2005, 11:35 AM
I'm glad he's got a chip on his shoulder. He's going to prove all the doubters wrong. I'm still in awe he's a Chief at 15.

TRR
04-25-2005, 11:40 AM
DJ is a playmaker. Let him stick to that. There aren't many LB's in the league that can take on a pulling Brian Waters, bounce off, and make the tackle. What good LB's have is the ability to avoid players like Waters, and still make a play on the ball carrier.

Mitchell would rather just run into Waters and fall down.

BIG_DADDY
04-25-2005, 11:41 AM
It will be exciting to see what he can do.

Chiefnj
04-25-2005, 12:03 PM
“So, we ended up drafting Derrick in anticipation of bringing a very quality football player here. I don’t know if he’ll be ready to line up and play in the league opener, but there’ll be a day he’ll line up and play a lot of football in Kansas City.”

“But I don’t know how long it will take him to end up making a strong contribution, but obviously he’s going to be on the roster and competing at that position with Scott Fujita.”


I wish Vermeil was a little more optomistic about the kid. Vermeil should have said "he's an exceptional athlete, he has some learning to do but I'm confident Gunther will unleash him and he'll be making big plays for us."

Rain Man
04-25-2005, 12:07 PM
I'm sure that Vermeil is trying to just create a team player, but at the same time it's frustrating to hear their gloomy prognostications about draft picks all the time. It's annoying.

Skip Towne
04-25-2005, 12:11 PM
Please don't train him to avoid the ball carrier and hit blockers. We've already got Kawika Mitchell for that.
I'm not sure our players get trained to do anything. For damn sure nobody trained Bartee to turn his head.

BigChiefFan
04-25-2005, 12:12 PM
“So, we ended up drafting Derrick in anticipation of bringing a very quality football player here. I don’t know if he’ll be ready to line up and play in the league opener, but there’ll be a day he’ll line up and play a lot of football in Kansas City.”

“But I don’t know how long it will take him to end up making a strong contribution, but obviously he’s going to be on the roster and competing at that position with Scott Fujita.”


I wish Vermeil was a little more optomistic about the kid. Vermeil should have said "he's an exceptional athlete, he has some learning to do but I'm confident Gunther will unleash him and he'll be making big plays for us."
It's just coach talk. He's letting it be known DJ isn't above going to work and that we need him to get in here and get started. He's also doing everything to keep Fujita's spirits up as well.

Count Alex's Wins
04-25-2005, 12:16 PM
The best thing about seeing him interviewed was he really appeared to be a sharp guy. The last thing we needed was a dumb defensive player.

jspchief
04-25-2005, 12:17 PM
I think you guys are reading the "take on blockers" thing the wrong way. I don't think coaches want anyone to actively seek out blockers and "take them on".

It's inevitable that a player will get caught up by blockers on occasion. That's where some of the concern is. DJ hasn't shown great skill at shedding those blockers. He also has a tendency to go around the blockers, which may work in college when you have above average speed, but might not work in the NFL where everyone is fast. Taking the long way to a tackle equals giving up yards in the NFL.

CoMoChief
04-25-2005, 12:26 PM
Gunther is gonna be on DJ's ass this summer in training camp, not because he's got bad habbits, but to install more of a Gun-like attitude before the season starts. Guns gonna beat the Greg Robinson read and react scheme out of him. Look for DJ to be the next Urlacher or Julian Peterson.

I am somewhat skeptical on DV's comments about DJ and whether he would start or not. DV says that he needs to learn scheme and so on, so he doesnt know how long that would take. DV can NOT pass up on his athletic ability and productiveness on the field. No other LB on our team has what he has athletic wise. DV BETTER start DJ on the opener. People everwhere across the nation are excited about us drafting DJ, and people are gonna want to pay money to see him play in the opener. If he doesnt start. DV is gonna hear an earful from all KC fans.
2005 Chiefs Defense:
LE-Eric Hicks (Crybaby Hicks better f*ckin do something this season.)

RE-Jared Allen (With one yr under Gun, should be awesome.)

DT-Lional Dalton (One year under our scheme, should improve - good run stuffer.)

DT-Ryan Sims (Time to live up to your "so-called" potential.)

LOLB-Derrick Jonhson (DV better start him, has tremendous productivity and athleticsim, speed, etc.)

MLB-Kendrell Bell (If stays healthy, will be a GREAT leader and playmaker. Great LB speed and rushing ability.)

ROLB-Shawn Barber (Chiefs are saying that theres a good chance hes back by the opener 100%, if thats true, we will have tremendous speed at our LB core. When in Philly playing next to Trotter, Barber was a stud. He just needs more support at the other LB positions (which we now have) to take the load off of him. Look for a Shawn Barber breakout year.)

CB-Patrick Sutain (What more can I say, he's one of the top 3 corners in the NFL. Hes an All Pro, so Id say he's proven himself pretty darn well.) Much better than a 2nd rounder dontcha think???

CB-Eric Warfield (Hopefully will do as good or perhaps better than last year. Teams will go to his side more now we have Surtain. Needs to mature and become a leader on defense. No more DUI's house arrests, etc. We have good LB's now so that should take the load off of our corners)

FS-Sammy Knight (Like I said with Surtain, what more can I say, he's proven himself as well. Former Pro Bowler, good hitter. He's a great ball hawk, not great speed but a nose for the ball makes up for it.)

SS-Greg Wesley (When healthy, is very effective in the secondary. You can't tell that when LB's arent filling gaps and corners are breaking down defensively. He's a great hitter, and has pretty good hands.)

Subs:
RE-Carlos Hall (Good pass rushing end, has great football ahead of him. MUCH better than a 5th rounder. Would like to see him battle it out with Hicks, but he's a RE and will do that with Allen. Why?, I dunno. Allen I think has more job security than Hicks.)

NCB-Alphonso Hodge (Haven't heard much of him before the draft. Lacks size, but from what I hear has great coverage skills and good speed. If there was a way he could be some kind of shadow guy in a nickle situation, I think hes speed will allow him to excel.

OLB-Scott Fujita (Was overshadowed by a TERRIBLE defense, but has good speed. Sometimes breaks down on tackling. Having DJ will only make him compete stronger.)

CosmicPal
04-25-2005, 12:35 PM
"He had a good introduction to pro defenses last year with Greg (Robinson)," Vermeil said... "But he will have to learn to take on people instead of just skating and running parallel down the line of scrimmage.


No he doesn't.

All he needs to do is utilize his speed to get to the QB like Derrick Thomas did his first couple of seasons.

All Johnson needs to do at this time is beget a persistent pass rush and make the QB hurry his throws and create sacks. We'll let the other guys on the defense worry about stopping the run and making those kinds of plays, but for now- utilize Johnson for what he does best, and that is to get after the passer.

Chan93lx50
04-25-2005, 12:41 PM
DJ is a playmaker. Let him stick to that. There aren't many LB's in the league that can take on a pulling Brian Waters, bounce off, and make the tackle. What good LB's have is the ability to avoid players like Waters, and still make a play on the ball carrier.

Mitchell would rather just run into Waters and fall down.

ROFL

Chan93lx50
04-25-2005, 12:42 PM
No he doesn't.

All he needs to do is utilize his speed to get to the QB like Derrick Thomas did his first couple of seasons.

All Johnson needs to do at this time is beget a persistent pass rush and make the QB hurry his throws and create sacks. We'll let the other guys on the defense worry about stopping the run and making those kinds of plays, but for now- utilize Johnson for what he does best, and that is to get after the passer.

I totally agree, why change a good thing?

jspchief
04-25-2005, 12:48 PM
No he doesn't.

All he needs to do is utilize his speed to get to the QB like Derrick Thomas did his first couple of seasons.

All Johnson needs to do at this time is beget a persistent pass rush and make the QB hurry his throws and create sacks. We'll let the other guys on the defense worry about stopping the run and making those kinds of plays, but for now- utilize Johnson for what he does best, and that is to get after the passer.

No offense, but that's a pretty naive viewpoint on how to use a LB.

And thats ignoring that "getting to the QB" is nowhere near what he did best. He only recorded 10 1/2 sacks in his four year career.

HemiEd
04-25-2005, 12:53 PM
It's just coach talk. He's letting it be known DJ isn't above going to work and that we need him to get in here and get started. He's also doing everything to keep Fujita's spirits up as well.


I agree with this opinion. :clap:

Tribal Warfare
04-25-2005, 01:57 PM
"I've had moments when I've had to be very aggressive, and I've had my finesse times," he said. "Sometimes my speed and ability can overwhelm someone to where I can go over a block. But at the same time, if that doesn't work with the Chiefs, I can go through blockers. I have the strength, but sometimes I just use my speed a little more."


This so totally rules :thumb: PBJ

tiptap
04-25-2005, 02:01 PM
Bush, not the politician, the OLB that was picked up in the beginning of coach V term. Fujita had to replace him in order to get some speed. You don't dismiss that help because you have newer and maybe better talent. You got to bring them all on the same page. And with the downhill type of play coach G wants you will see a good deal of substitution in the LB corp as well.