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jAZ
06-17-2005, 10:55 AM
"There is little debate that Derrick Johnson is already the Chiefs best defensive player."

"Without a doubt, he has the opportunity to be one of the games very best outside linebackers."

"heís already ahead of every other linebacker on the roster including Bell"

"heís probably the best defensive player to come out of the 2005 NFL Draft"

"He ... executes the plays with a flawless style that Iíve not seen since Bobby Bell played linebacker for the Chiefs. "

"Johnson appears to be that special kind of player who comes along every ten years."


http://story.scout.com/a.z?s=63&p=2&c=388361

DJ Will Be a Special Player for the Chiefs


DJ might be the best Chiefs linebacker since Bell. By Nick Athan Publisher
Date: Jun 17, 2005

With OTAís completed this week, the Kansas City Chiefs begin three days of their annual mini-camp for veterans, rookies and free agents. Beginning today the Chiefs will start the journey that they hope ends in Detroit next February. Itís already clear the defense will be better in 2005 and a rookie might be the one who gets them to the Super Bowl.

Normally the excitement for a Chiefs mini-camp is hardly anything to write about. But with an amazing off-season by Kansas City, one that has landed them the likes of linebackers Kendrell Bell and Derrick Johnson, secondary mates Patrick Surtain and Sammy Knight; one canít feel anything but optimism for this unit.

What the Kansas City Chiefs have managed to do in one short off-season is completely rebuild their horrific defense. Thatís not an easy task; especially when you consider the fact they had only $4.3 million to work with at the start of free agency.

So today some of those high-profile free agents and draft picks will be on the field the next three days trying to take what theyíve learned in OTAís and show the rest of their teammates that they mean business in 2005.

In watching all the OTAís this past month its clear to me and everyone else watching; that there is a different attitude on this team. The players on defense are focused, they are certainly more aggressive and the overall speed has been nothing short of impressive. But one player has stood out more than any other.

At the top of the list is the aforementioned Derrick Johnson. Without a doubt, he has the opportunity to be one of the games very best outside linebackers. High praise for a rookie whoís never stepped foot on the field but heís already the teams best cover linebacker. Heís the only one in OTAís that has been able to stop tight end Kris Wilson. He has such instinctive skills that heís already ahead of every other linebacker on the roster including Bell.

However, heís still a rookie and anointing him as the next Derrick Thomas, as others have already done; is something that Iíll never do. Each has their own style and special skills. Thomas was an amazing pass rusher whereas Johnson is better in pass coverage. The knock on Thomas was the fact he could not take on blockers but he used that amazing speed to get around offensive tackles.

Johnson has more speed but heís nowhere near the pass rusher that Thomas was the peak of his career. But in this defense, he doesnít have to do that. Johnson instead uses his speed to key in on the ball carrier or receiver. He already possesses the ability to read plays in front of him and has a nose for the football.

In virtually every single practice, Johnsonís coverage skills drew the praise of defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham and the rest of the defensive coaches. Routinely on screen passes or flair passes to running backs, Johnson would be in the receiversí house before the ball made it into their hands. If they were allowed to hit in OTAís, Johnson would have been arrested for murder. He is so quick to the ball that if heís not slowed down or blocked at the point of attack, heíll make play after play.

But whatís most impressive about Johnson is that he makes playing football look so easy. He glides on the field and moves with an ease that makes me think heís already a seasoned veteran. Heís never out of place and always knows where heís supposed to be on the practice field. Thatís rare for a veteran let alone a rookie whoís never suited up for a regular season game.

So this weekend could be a key time for Johnson and his maturation. The spot light will be on him a little more since this will be his last chance heíll have to impress his coaching staff. It will also be the last time heís on the field until training camp. Even further itís the last time; heíll be able to show management that heís probably the best defensive player to come out of the 2005 NFL Draft and that he should be compensated with a contract worthy of those accolades.

From what Iíve seen, I canít argue with his thinking. The Chiefs stole him with the 15th pick because the rest of the NFL didnít think he could become a complete linebacker. Well, I have news for the 14 teams that passed on him; Johnson has what it takes to play at this level and be an impact player come opening day. There is no doubt heíll start for this football team and there is little doubt that he expects anything less of himself.

There is little debate that Derrick Johnson is already the Chiefs best defensive player. His teammates marvel at his skill level and confidence. Even more impressive is that Johnson believes and acts like he belongs on the field. He plays with a quiet confidence and does not have a swagger about him that would lead anyone to believe that he wonít lead by example. He just works hard, absorbs what the coaches are telling him and goes out on the practice field and executes the plays with a flawless style that Iíve not seen since Bobby Bell played linebacker for the Chiefs.

Johnson appears to be that special kind of player who comes along every ten years. Heíll lead by example and bring out the best in his teammates. Theyíll want to work as hard as he does and theyíll want to be on the field with him when they do battle against opposing offenses.

In short order, weíll see what he can do on the football field when the games really count. Between now and September 11th, Johnson just has to keep building upon what heís done thus far in OTAís and in the off-season. For the Chiefs, they need to get him signed well before training camp so he can lead them to the Promised Land in Motown in February.

Mr. Laz
06-17-2005, 10:56 AM
man, i hope so

Bootlegged
06-17-2005, 10:56 AM
Jiz and NAthan. There's a match made in heaven.

BigChiefFan
06-17-2005, 10:57 AM
I think anybody who has watched him play at the collegiate level believes he will be a great player at the NFL level... so yes I'm buying the hype.

Skip Towne
06-17-2005, 11:01 AM
He might pan out but he's no Rich Scanlon.

PastorMikH
06-17-2005, 11:02 AM
I hope all they are saying is true, but my first impression is that this is a media leak by his agent to help drive up his contract price.

buddha
06-17-2005, 11:02 AM
I thought he was the best overall player in the last draft and said so on this site. All of those "gurus" who said DJ ran around tackles were deluded. The kid was considered to be the best prep linebacker to come out of Texas since Tommy Nobis. He was a stud at UT from day one. How anybody could think he is anything but an impact LB is beyond me. He has the size, speed and instincts to be great in the NFL. I just hope he stays healthy. If he does, I think Athan's comments are right on target.

RedThat
06-17-2005, 11:11 AM
Sounds pretty optimistic. I wonder why Athan never quotes in on what the coaches say?

Brock
06-17-2005, 11:12 AM
I still can't believe the Chiefs got this guy at 15. :clap:

ptlyon
06-17-2005, 11:18 AM
The SB is in Detroit this year? Cool. Now off to orbitz to get my airline tickets.

Demonpenz
06-17-2005, 11:20 AM
I think DJ will be alright most of the games until the very last when he will make that one play, that one fumble that one INT that one sack that we need. The guy is a play maker. Throw out taking on blocks, angles to the ball all that shit the guy makes plays.

RedThat
06-17-2005, 11:20 AM
I still can't believe the Chiefs got this guy at 15. :clap:

Amazing isn't it? Before the draft, a lot of people we're projecting him to go in the top 5.

keg in kc
06-17-2005, 11:20 AM
Yes, I buy it, despite the source.

And he doesn't need to be a pass rusher that harkens memories of Derrick Thomas. That's what we signed Bell for. If Bell's healthy, we could have devastating outside backers, both capable of making game turning plays. Not to mention Pat Surtain. Or Sammy Knight. Or Greg Wesley. (yes, I said Greg Wesley)

RedThat
06-17-2005, 11:22 AM
I think DJ will be alright most of the games until the very last when he will make that one play, that one fumble that one INT that one sack that we need. The guy is a play maker. Throw out taking on blocks, angles to the ball all that shit the guy makes plays.

Yup. He is known for forcing fumbles.

tyton75
06-17-2005, 11:25 AM
I buy the fact that he is a special talent... but being the best on the squad right NOW, might be a little much

Dr. Facebook Fever
06-17-2005, 11:26 AM
Obviously hype is hype...it means nothing until the player proves it to be true. DJ gives us every reason to believe he'll be able to live up to his hype though. Only time will tell. I'm awful glad we got him though.

keg in kc
06-17-2005, 11:29 AM
Heís the only one in OTAís that has been able to stop tight end Kris Wilson.Got to say I really liked reading that, too.

God I hope he and Gonzo both stay healthy. I think Gonzalez + Wilson will = nightmares.

mlyonsd
06-17-2005, 11:31 AM
Nice thread jAZ, I share your skeptisim.

For this guy to already claim DJ is our best defensive player before he's even in TC is bull $hit at it's finest. That doesn't stop me from hoping he's right, but overloading the optimism at this point usually just brings disappointment IMO.

The note about Kris Wilson was good to hear though....let's hope he turns out to be what Saunders/DV had hoped for.

KC Dan
06-17-2005, 11:32 AM
I believe it, mmmmm.... koolaid! But, I really do believe the hype. He will be special.

Count Alex's Losses
06-17-2005, 11:34 AM
I'm so frigging pumped!

ptlyon
06-17-2005, 11:38 AM
For this guy to already claim DJ is our best defensive player before he's even in TC is bull $hit at it's finest.

You're just hung over. Drink the kool aid and hydrate will ya!!!

Ari Chi3fs
06-17-2005, 11:40 AM
im truly surprised that Cleveland and Romeo Crennell didnt choose him 3rd overall.

Mike in SW-MO
06-17-2005, 11:48 AM
He's a speed guy playing in pajamas right now.

He may be all that and more. But this level of practice plays right into his strong suit.

philfree
06-17-2005, 11:50 AM
It all sounds wonderful but how much did DJs agent pay Athon to write this article? Looks like they're trying to pump up the price to me.

PhilFree:arrow:

keg in kc
06-17-2005, 11:51 AM
It could come from the agent, but it could also help the Chiefs, too. Not necessarily in negotiations, but it makes them look like geniuses for drafting him, even if it was luck of the fall. This is exactly the kind of thing that an ego-driven guy like CP would stick in a scrapbook.

TRing
06-17-2005, 12:02 PM
He's a speed guy playing in pajamas right now.

He may be all that and more. But this level of practice plays right into his strong suit.
That is exactly right. He's fast but in "pajamas" he looks even faster. I think that is why all the hype is being thrown his way. But i do believe he is going to have a major impact on our defense and does have the skills to be a dominant force in this league for years to come.

RedThat
06-17-2005, 12:04 PM
im truly surprised that Cleveland and Romeo Crennell didnt choose him 3rd overall.

Cleveland needed help in a lot of areas. Them passing up on DJ doesn't surprise me at all. They needed any kind of help they could get. I guess they seem to think LBer was not a real position of weakness on that team as opposed to other positions. Too many good players we're hanging around when they picked at #3. Cleveland took the best player available. Fortunately, it wasn't DJ.

LiL stumppy
06-17-2005, 12:35 PM
I am excitind about this season.

Frankie
06-17-2005, 12:40 PM
Heís the only one in OTAís that has been able to stop tight end Kris Wilson.

Good news within good news.

RedThat
06-17-2005, 12:47 PM
I am excitind about this season.

Me too.

the Talking Can
06-17-2005, 12:49 PM
I missed it, I guess..has he done anything other then run around in shorts?

mlyonsd
06-17-2005, 12:52 PM
You're just hung over. Drink the kool aid and hydrate will ya!!!

Up at 4:45 this morning for my workout thank you.

And no, I didn't puke.

keg in kc
06-17-2005, 01:14 PM
Up at 4:45 this morning for my workout thank you.
You beat me by 15 minutes. I'm such a f*cking slacker.

Otter
06-17-2005, 01:23 PM
Someone slap me for getting pumped up for next season. I'm supposed to be too jaded at this point for this to happen.

ptlyon
06-17-2005, 01:27 PM
Someone slap me for getting pumped up for next season.

:spank:

keg in kc
06-17-2005, 01:28 PM
Someone slap me for getting pumped up for next season. I'm supposed to be too jaded at this point for this to happen.Aren't we all.

Cue the devil laughing from the shadows.

ptlyon
06-17-2005, 01:30 PM
Someone slap me for getting pumped up for next season.

And BTW - it is this season. Next season is next year.

Skip Towne
06-17-2005, 01:33 PM
Up at 4:45 this morning for my workout thank you.

And no, I didn't puke.
Will you two quit squabbling?

ptlyon
06-17-2005, 01:35 PM
Will you two quit squabbling?

Yes Dad. Wouldn't want you to pull over the car. :rolleyes:



:)

beer bacon
06-17-2005, 01:37 PM
It is not fair to say DJ is a better LB then Bell before they have put on pads. Bell excells at two things: rushing the pass and stuffing the run. Since OTAs mostly focus on passing, of course DJ is going to shine more then Bell. Bell is just mediocre or average at pass coverage while DJ even before the draft was being hailed as the successor to Zach Thomas in regards to LB pass coverage.

Bell will show his mettle once we put the pads on.

nmt1
06-17-2005, 01:37 PM
Is anyone buying into this hype?

No way, he was a Carl pick.

Otter
06-17-2005, 01:45 PM
And BTW - it is this season. Next season is next year.

What if I said the "upcoming" season? Aren't next and upcoming synonymous?

I'm only a hour away from beer thirty, leave me alone. :D

Thig Lyfe
06-17-2005, 02:10 PM
DJ... how the heck did we get him? I can't wait for the season to begin.

ptlyon
06-17-2005, 02:24 PM
What if I said the "upcoming" season? Aren't next and upcoming synonymous?

I'm only a hour away from beer thirty, leave me alone. :D

I should add a note why I wrote that. A friend of mine and I go around and around about that. If I say "next Saturday" (this being Friday), I mean next Saturday. He takes it as this Saturday, being that it is the next one which is tomorrow. I say tomorrow is "this Saturday" because that is the only one we are going to have this week.

We start that conversation at the bar and man do we have people in stitches.

buddha
06-17-2005, 03:17 PM
I get it, nothing that happens outside of games matters or is indicative of anything...check!:hmmm:

ptlyon
06-17-2005, 03:21 PM
"I have two words for you, 'Derrick Johnson'"

whoman69
06-17-2005, 04:34 PM
I still can't believe the Chiefs got this guy at 15. :clap:
You and me both. I don't remember how many times I said to those who thought we could get him without a 2nd rounder to move up, that it was a pipe dream.

tk13
06-17-2005, 04:47 PM
I believe it. I couldn't believe we landed him. I said more than once that I thought he would've been our best defensive player during the season last year... I don't think so now that we've added some guys like Surtain, but I think he has the potential to be as big of an impact player as anybody we've added this offseason. I think he was the best defensive player in the draft.

Thig Lyfe
06-17-2005, 05:18 PM
I believe it. I couldn't believe we landed him. I said more than once that I thought he would've been our best defensive player during the season last year... I don't think so now that we've added some guys like Surtain, but I think he has the potential to be as big of an impact player as anybody we've added this offseason. I think he was the best defensive player in the draft.

Gaah... my pants are gonna explode if we don't get to football season soon!