View Full Version : I Didn't See This Whitlock Article Posted

04-26-2005, 07:05 PM
I can longer say he doesn't write anything positive. He gives Carl his due.

Good job, Peterson and Hunt


There is reason for concern. The last time I was this pleased with Chiefs general manager/president Carl Peterson was shortly after the Oakland Raiders hoodwinked the Chiefs into acquiring Chester McGlockton.

OK, so there will be no 16-0, Super Bowl proclamations emanating from this column space. But we will take a few moments to congratulate Peterson and owner Lamar Hunt on a marvelous offseason. There is reason for ample optimism.

Texas linebacker Derrick Johnson, despite his unfortunate association with Greg Robinson, was the absolute right draft pick at No. 15. The Butkus Award winner, two-time All-American wasn't supposed to last 15 picks on Saturday. He was supposed to go in the top 10.

He slipped because teams looked past his gaudy statistics, his tremendous size (6 feet 3, 243 pounds), uncanny athleticism, lightning speed (sub-4.7), crowded trophy case, big-play capability and instead concentrated on what he didn't show in college.

He never demonstrated a consistent willingness to take on blockers at the line of scrimmage. The knock on Johnson is that he's an undisciplined, finesse linebacker. He cherry picks and sidesteps, looking for highlight hits and turnovers.

To a degree, Chiefs head coach Dick Vermeil acknowledged, Johnson was “coached that way” at Texas.

What that means is that Johnson was one of the nation's top high school recruits in 2001 and an unbelievable athlete when he hit the college campus. When he signed with Texas, I'm sure Mack Brown and his coaching staff looked at Johnson's 10.5 100-meter speed and 48-foot triple-jump range and assured Johnson that he would be completely turned loose in Texas' defense.

The Longhorns didn't sign Johnson so he could take on blockers. They signed him so he could make tackles, run sideline to sideline, create turnovers and give Herbstreit and Corso someone to hype. In college, that's a weak-side linebacker's job. The back-side linebacker is — by design — the most dangerous defender on the field.

Johnson probably didn't get a lot of coaching in college. “You just go make plays, baby,” was more than likely the extent of Johnson's college coaching. That's not a knock on Mack Brown or Greg Robinson. When a kid is that big of a freak, that much of a man among boys, you're best served by taking the restraints off of him.

“He's the most productive linebacker in the draft,” Peterson said.

Vermeil hinted that the Chiefs will try to reel in Johnson's freelance tendencies. The NFL is all about “gap control,” particularly now that everyone wants to be Bill Belichick and win with a team concept rather than riding a few superstars.

“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,” Vermeil said of Johnson. “First he's going to have to learn the scheme. You do so much more in pro football than you do in college. … It takes time to develop.”

Vermeil is right and wrong. What I love about Johnson is he brings an intangible to the Chiefs defense that all of Kansas City's offseason defensive acquisitions bring. Johnson, like Patrick Surtain, Kendrell Bell and Sammy Knight, is a playmaker with a proven resume. You don't have to guess whether Johnson can make big plays. You just have to turn on any game film.

“It's part of how he plays the game,” Vermeil said. “He makes big plays.”

Johnson can't make big plays standing on the sideline next to Vermeil.

“I hope he does line up for the opener,” Peterson said.

Johnson should. Vermeil indicated that Johnson will compete with Scott Fujita for a starting spot. The Chiefs don't play their outside linebackers strong and weak. They line them up right and left. Johnson could play either side.

I love the pick. I love all the additions to Kansas City's defense. Peterson aimed for proven performers who have shown an ability to make big plays, and that's exactly what he got, which is exactly what the Chiefs needed.


04-26-2005, 07:08 PM
There are rules aganist posting Whitlock stuff when people might not be able to bash it. It is only acceptable to post Big Sexy material if we can follow up with fat jokes, claims of "playing the race card," and other micelaneous bashing.

I hate to break it to you, but you're likley to be banned for this.

go bo
04-26-2005, 07:13 PM
yeah, we should ban big sexy and myrtle hoge and all the other derrick johnson bashers too... :harumph: