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tk13
08-01-2005, 01:31 AM
http://www.kansascity.com/mld/kansascity/sports/football/nfl/kansas_city_chiefs/12272879.htm

Linebacker has people excited

JOE POSNANSKI
Kansas City Star

RIVER FALLS, Wis. — You never know with rookies. Take Chiefs rookie punter Dustin Colquitt. Some days Colquitt booms the ball all over the practice field; watching him punt is like watching fireworks. Some days, he hits ’em high, he hits ’em far, he hits ’em with some sort of crazy spin that punt returner Dante Hall still has not quite figured out. Some days.

Other days, though, it looks like Colquitt is kicking a football piggy bank filled with pennies. The ball flops, drops, twists in the wind and then falls straight down like it was shot out of the sky. Some days he looks like a Pro Bowler. Some days he looks like a pro bowler, lowercase, and you want to send him back to the lanes to pick up 7-10 splits.

“He’s inconsistent but good,” is how Chiefs coach Dick Vermeil explains Colquitt. That’s a pretty bizarre thing to say about a punter. Consistency seems to be a fairly important part of the whole punting game. If he’s inconsistent how can he be good? If he’s good, how can he be inconsistent?

Then, that’s how it goes with rookies, though. Inconsistent but good. You just never know. That’s why it is dangerous to get too hyped up about Derrick Johnson.

It’s too late of course. Everybody’s hyped. The Chiefs are hyped. The fans are hyped. The media, the cheerleaders, the bloggers, the joggers, the cloggers, guys playing Frogger, the grounds crew, the zoo crew, Tony DiPardo and the Kansas City Chiefs band — we’re all hyped. Well, first of all everybody is hyped because Chiefs president/CEO/general manager/key grip Carl Peterson got Johnson signed in the first week of camp. Most people seemed to think the negotiation would last a little bit longer, like, into the next decade.

Even more, everybody is hyped because Johnson is some kind of talent. Vermeil took a few moments to talk about Johnson on Saturday — this was before Johnson signed — and it looked like Vermeil might break down in tears. He was that excited. No, it’s not exactly news to see Vermeil cry, but it would be news if he cried over a rookie who hasn’t played one game yet. Vermeil tends to save his tears for the veterans.

With Johnson, though, Vermeil held nothing back.

“This guy is a true impact player,” Vermeil said. “He’s a 250-pound guy who can run like a cornerback. I mean, this guy is fast. We could put him in the slot and have him cover a receiver one-on-one. It’s crazy. I’ve seen a lot of athletes, but I haven’t seen many like Derrick Johnson. We just need to get him here.”

“So he has a chance to be an impact player right away?” we asked.

“With his talent,” Vermeil said, “he could be anything he wants.”

Well, now Johnson is coming, and they’re popping champagne bottles all over River Falls, and we’re going to find out who was right and who was wrong about this guy.

Everything pointed to Derrick Johnson being a top-five pick in this year’s NFL draft. There were some who thought he was the best talent in the draft. He’s big, fast, and has the perfect linebacker body. He commands respect. He plays with joy. At Texas, he won just about every major award a college defensive player can win. He won the Butkus. He won the Nagurski. He won the Sensibaugh. He won the Manumaleuga. OK, I made those two up. But he would have won them. Johnson’s senior year, he made 130 tackles. He forced nine fumbles (an NCAA record). One scouting service called him “one of the finest pass defenders ever to play linebacker in college.”

In a league where great linebackers can make all the difference, there was no doubt that Johnson was going to be one of the first players picked in the draft.

And then: Whispers. The NFL is all about whispers. One coach goes to the 3-4 defense, and suddenly it’s a mad stampede, everybody’s playing the 3-4. So, at some point, a scout said Johnson did not take on blocks. And he told two friends. And they told two friends. And so on. And so on. And after a while, the story started to take on its own life.

Scout 1: I hear Johnson doesn’t take on blocks. Pass it on.

Scout 2: I hear Johnson likes to build with blocks. Pass it on.

Scout 3: I hear Johnson was in New Kids On The Block. Pass it on.

On and on this went. It is true that Johnson is not big about taking on blocks. He prefers to go around them. He prefers to slide by them. He would dig under them if the rules allowed it. There were certain plays in college apparently where Johnson would look pretty bad — he would turn his back, do the twist, electric slide, anything to avoid the blocker. NFL coaches generally don’t like that. They like linebackers who will take on the blocker, knock him out of the way, crush the ball carrier.

And so, Johnson began to fall. And fall. The Chiefs felt so sure that Johnson would not make it to the 15th pick, they did not even have him on their scouting board. Only Johnson kept falling. Won’t take on blocks. Falling. Won’t take on blocks.

And the Chiefs picked him.

Like that, the Chiefs had one of the extraordinary talents in the draft. Don’t kid yourself: There were people with the Chiefs who were worried about the whole “won’t take on blocks” situation too. The Chiefs are not immune to the whispers. But they felt like they had to take the chance, and Johnson came out to the off-season practices and was so amazing that Chiefs coaches kept looking at each other as if to say, “How did we get this guy?”

Of course, he’s a rookie. And you never know with rookies. Johnson hasn’t faced the bigger, stronger, faster NFL players. He hasn’t gone through the Dick Vermeil two-a-day practice schedule. There are a million questions to answer. And hey, maybe the other teams were right about him. Maybe his reluctance to take on blocks will prevent him from becoming a great defender.

Then again, the Chiefs coaches and players and general manager seem willing to take the chance. In fact, they seem to be awfully happy. They have that look on their faces, the one kids get when they’ve gotten away with something.

“There are a lot of ways to play linebacker,” Peterson said. “All I know about Derrick Johnson is he gets to the ball, and he makes the play. I don’t care how he gets there. I don’t think of any our fans care how he gets there. He makes plays. I’ve been around football for a long time. And that’s good enough for me.”

Tribal Warfare
08-01-2005, 01:42 AM
I pumped my fist with joy while reading this article

KChiefsQT
08-01-2005, 01:43 AM
I liked that article... his humor is cheesy but it made me laugh... maybe cause i'm half asleep who knows?!

Tuckdaddy
08-01-2005, 01:48 AM
GO DJ!

tk13
08-01-2005, 01:49 AM
I liked that article... his humor is cheesy but it made me laugh... maybe cause i'm half asleep who knows?!
Don't lie, you're just a huge New Kids on the Block fan.

But yeah, that last paragraph was my stance all along when Merrill Hoge and everybody else was going nuts over DJ... the guy just makes plays. Sometimes his athleticism lets him get away with things other guys can't do. I think it'll transfer to the NFL level, we'll see. If nothing else, he can be a deadly pass rusher/coverage LB.

KChiefsQT
08-01-2005, 01:54 AM
Don't lie, you're just a huge New Kids on the Block fan.

But yeah, that last paragraph was my stance all along when Merrill Hoge and everybody else was going nuts over DJ... the guy just makes plays. Sometimes his athleticism lets him get away with things other guys can't do. I think it'll transfer to the NFL level, we'll see. If nothing else, he can be a deadly pass rusher/coverage LB.

yeah... he sold me before the draft. I have that ON-Demand shat on T.V. and they had clips of all the "prospected" first rounders and he by far looked like the toughest SOB out there, play after play. I was getting all excited... hoping... but never thought he'd actually drop into our laps. He's a stud.

Jumping on the DJ bandwagon!!

Rausch
08-01-2005, 01:57 AM
How many blockers did DT take head on?

I seem to remember him spinning off them, speeding around them, putting a move on them, and doing pretty much anything to make sure he WASN'T ****ING BLOCKED so he could emasculate the guy tossing the pigskin.

DT didn't take on blockers, he found ways to get around them. Very, very quickly.

I don't remember Jeff George (this one's for you JW) crying about DT taking on too many blockers. I remember reading about him saying "Do you have to come so fast every time?"

Screw being timid, I'm asking DJ to the prom...

SoCalBronco
08-01-2005, 02:37 AM
Go DJ..................................Williams.

RedDread
08-01-2005, 02:38 AM
Go DJ..................................Williams.

who?

trndobrd
08-01-2005, 04:03 AM
"He’s a 250-pound guy who can run like a cornerback. I mean, this guy is fast. We could put him in the slot and have him cover a receiver one-on-one."

That's something I would like to see...a 170 lb receiver soil himself.

ZootedGranny
08-01-2005, 04:16 AM
I'll get over the Chiefs winning the helmet toss game in Cleveland before I get past the shock of Derrick Johnson falling to the Chiefs.

He was the one guy in all of football that I wanted to be a Chief, even back to when he started his junior year. Before the draft I thought there was no way in hell that he'd fall past 10, let alone past teams like Dallas and San Diego. I rolled with Texas in NCAA Football just to use Derrick Johnson. Total stalkerazzi.

When New Orleans traded up, I was bracing myself for the gloating I'd have to endure from a Saints fan I know. When they took Brown, I knew that regardless of if we picked Thomas Davis or Derrick Johnson, I'd be happy.

Then the Panthers took Davis, and instead of immense joy, it was the sheer terror of knowing the Chiefs could **** this up. If ever the good ole boy word of mouth connection (that brought us guys like Sims and Siavii) was going to be in effect, I was hoping Greg Robinson would vouch for him.

The Chiefs decide to take nearly the entire 15 minutes when that card should've flown up to the podium at such force that it severed Tagliabue's hand. Nobody in the "expert" panel was talking about the Chiefs upcoming pick, and I'm watching the clock like Michael J Fox in Teen Wolf, every second taking forever. The countdown clock goes off of the screen, the signal that the pick is in and will be announced shortly...fade to commercial.

Now I'm thinking that the Chiefs are ****in up, and a trade down is in effect. I'm looking around DigitalTakawira's place pinpointing exactly what I'm going to shatter when anyone but Derrick Johnson is picked.

The draft comes back on, Tagliabue walks to the podium, and all I hear is "Derrick J..." The squeal I release is second only to when Kennison caught the pass on Bue against the Packers in overtime.

I can't wait to see the hell on Earth blank stare Drew Brees makes when he lazily throws a pass to Gates and Derrick Johnson snatches it out of the air and houses it. Or when Jake Plummer rolls out on a bootleg and has the ball punched from his bitch like hands.

It shall be BEAST WARS.

bringbackmarty
08-01-2005, 05:20 AM
sweet

KChiefs1
08-01-2005, 06:44 AM
It's embarassing to say this but I think I got a woody reading that article.

skky man
08-01-2005, 07:13 AM
I'm an OU fan so I didn't like DJ in college but damn the man can play football! I don't give a shit if he dodges every block and get's to the ball. He does it cuz he's that damn fast and has the God given ablity to do it. The play last year against OU when he ran down White to strip the ball impressed me a lot. Not that White was fleet of foot but that's hell of a lot of ground to cover!

Fried Meat Ball!
08-01-2005, 07:17 AM
Chiefs president/CEO/general manager/key grip Carl Peterson
I liked the article, but this made me laugh out loud... how many people here know what a key grip is, without looking it up?

dtebbe
08-01-2005, 07:19 AM
"He’s a 250-pound guy who can run like a cornerback. I mean, this guy is fast. We could put him in the slot and have him cover a receiver one-on-one."

That's something I would like to see...a 170 lb receiver soil himself.


I said that all last year. Just put a guy up there and knock the reciever right on his happy ass at the snap. Thing is, Dj could actually cover him when he got up :)

DT

Fried Meat Ball!
08-01-2005, 07:19 AM
It's embarassing to say this but I think I got a woody reading that article.
I think you should be embarassed by the fact that you're not sure...

ptlyon
08-01-2005, 07:23 AM
I liked the article, but this made me laugh out loud... how many people here know what a key grip is, without looking it up?

Anybody who has watched Doug & Bob McKenzie

SNR
08-01-2005, 07:56 AM
I think you should be embarassed by the fact that you're not sure...
ROFL

MOhillbilly
08-01-2005, 08:01 AM
i hope he gets the scheme down enough by game one to be an IMPACT player in more ways than one.
But the fact that he sighned this early in camp has me all giddy and shit.

BigRedChief
08-01-2005, 08:03 AM
The Chiefs decide to take nearly the entire 15 minutes when that card should've flown up to the podium at such force that it severed Tagliabue's hand. Nobody in the "expert" panel was talking about the Chiefs upcoming pick, and I'm watching the clock like Michael J Fox in Teen Wolf, every second taking forever. The countdown clock goes off of the screen, the signal that the pick is in and will be announced shortly...fade to commercial.

Now I'm thinking that the Chiefs are ****in up, and a trade down is in effect. I'm looking around DigitalTakawira's place pinpointing exactly what I'm going to shatter when anyone but Derrick Johnson is picked.

The draft comes back on, Tagliabue walks to the podium, and all I hear is "Derrick J..."


They were listening to offers to trade down for more picks. It was insane. Your the luckiest team on earth in my opinion that DJ dropped to you? Who are you going to get better with more picks? We need DJ right now, this year. This is probably the last year the window is open. With DJ in camp.....PBJ

KChiefs1
08-01-2005, 08:04 AM
I think you should be embarassed by the fact that you're not sure...

I'm positive now that my four inches of rage is at full attention! :)

RedThat
08-01-2005, 09:34 AM
GO DJ...........

YEAH THATS OUR DJ!

*Tuckdaddy, I edited your post. Couldn't resist. Sing with me now......GO DJ........YEAH THATS OUR DJ........GO DJ.......YEAH THATS OUR DJ....YEAH....YEAH

tiptap
08-01-2005, 09:36 AM
Is it too early to think about the opening game against NYJ? This was a team that last year had a better running game than the Chiefs. Curtis Martin is ever as good as Priest. And they did there running against Buffalo, NE and Miami TWICE and all of those teams played defense last year. They are limited in the passing game and this year they are asking Paddington to throw down the field more. (And the consesus is that like Green, his statistics are better in the middle, shorter routes, as to the outside downfield.) So this means that the defense will be facing a team looking to run the ball and contol the amount of time the Chief's offense is on the field (Denver's philosophy and a more versatile running game). Last year the Chiefs were pretty good at stopping 1st down plays for no gains or loss. Those plays tended to be between tackle runs. On second and third down though the offenses needed to make bigger plays so the passing and running plays to the outside showed up and the defense were making plays after the 1st down marker. This means that the LB corp was getting beat and this carried to the secondary that would also be getting beat. We are going to find out right away if the LB corp has improved with the NYJ in town. They ran efficiently to the left middle and right like the Chiefs two year ago but like the Chiefs of last year they lost their RT for this year and may shake up the running game. Nevertheless the LB corp is going to know early wheter they have improved.

Gaz
08-01-2005, 09:40 AM
I think you should be embarassed by the fact that you're not sure...

Oh, THAT one is out of the park.

xoxo~
Gaz
Loves to see a hanging curve lofted over the wall.

el borracho
08-01-2005, 09:48 AM
I liked the article, but this made me laugh out loud... how many people here know what a key grip is, without looking it up?
key grip = head schlep.

B_Ambuehl
08-01-2005, 10:16 AM
I'm looking forward to preseason to see who plays better between Johnson or Key Fox. You have to remember most of all this is hype. Anybody in the NFL can play at a high level if the circumstances are right...what separates a first string star from a guy cut in training camp is often nothing more then simple psychology.....how the player feels about himself, his confidence, and his role. The staff, media, etc. can influence that by a large margin.

Saul Good
08-01-2005, 10:20 AM
It worries me that he doesn't take on blockers. It also worries me that Trent Green doesn't take on blitzers.

J Diddy
08-01-2005, 10:43 AM
It worries me that he doesn't take on blockers. It also worries me that Trent Green doesn't take on blitzers.

Yeah, I mean what kind of team leader is that?

Bearcat
08-01-2005, 10:45 AM
At the draft party, everyone was so pumped as he fell further and further... but there was a voice in my head warning me not to get too excited (see: Boss Bailey falling to us twice last year).

It's the same with this season... I want to be optimistic to the point of blind homerism, but there's that nagging voice warning me not to spend $300 on tickets tomorrow morning....

BigRedChief
08-01-2005, 10:56 AM
At the draft party, everyone was so pumped as he fell further and further... but there was a voice in my head warning me not to get too excited (see: Boss Bailey falling to us twice last year).

It's the same with this season... I want to be optimistic to the point of blind homerism, but there's that nagging voice warning me not to spend $300 on tickets tomorrow morning....

Too late for me. $2K+ already spent.

J Diddy
08-01-2005, 11:01 AM
At the draft party, everyone was so pumped as he fell further and further... but there was a voice in my head warning me not to get too excited (see: Boss Bailey falling to us twice last year).

It's the same with this season... I want to be optimistic to the point of blind homerism, but there's that nagging voice warning me not to spend $300 on tickets tomorrow morning....

It's the devil, don't listen to him.

Chief Henry
08-01-2005, 11:17 AM
"He’s a 250-pound guy who can run like a cornerback. I mean, this guy is fast. We could put him in the slot and have him cover a receiver one-on-one."

That's something I would like to see...a 170 lb receiver soil himself.




He had a 130 tackles in one year and 9 forced fumbles....... :drool:

This guy could become something very special.

Saul Good
08-01-2005, 11:18 AM
At the draft party, everyone was so pumped as he fell further and further... but there was a voice in my head warning me not to get too excited (see: Boss Bailey falling to us twice last year).

It's the same with this season... I want to be optimistic to the point of blind homerism, but there's that nagging voice warning me not to spend $300 on tickets tomorrow morning....

Yeah. If Carl wasn't so savvy, he might have drafted Boss Bailey. That would have kept us from enjoying the talent of Junior Sciiave (Siave, Sciive, Saaive)...Now he's become a household name.

Donger
08-01-2005, 11:26 AM
I'm not sure that the news on Colquitt is very comforting. Is it commonplace for a rookie punter to be "inconsistent but good?"

Saul Good
08-01-2005, 11:39 AM
I'm not sure that the news on Colquitt is very comforting. Is it commonplace for a rookie punter to be "inconsistent but good?"

It beats consistently bad which is what we've had since Louie Aguiar had a couple decent years. Colquitt will be a huge improvement. There are very few punters in the NFL who are consistently effective. I still love that pick at the end of the 3rd round.

Ultra Peanut
08-01-2005, 12:36 PM
<img src="http://www.idearock.com/prensa_imaxes/djqbert2.JPG" style="width: 995px; height: 926px; border: 0" alt="" />

ZootedGranny
08-01-2005, 12:44 PM
I'm more of a Mix Master Mike fan.

6 or 7 years ago (man, wtf, time flies), Takawira and I went to see Mix Master Mike live up in Lawrence. It was insanely loud, and my ears were ringing for the next couple of days.

But on the way home, I got pulled over, and pulled over to the shoulder, which happened to be a slight slope. I'm looking in the mirror, looking for the cop, but I can't see him. I do see one walk to the window on the passenger side, and I ask him what he wants. He doesn't say anything, and then I realize I couldn't hear the cop knocking his flashlight on my driver's side window, because my eardrums had been obliterated by bass. Because of the slope, when I looked in my mirror, I was staring into darkness...the cop thought I was high as ****. I thought it was funny.

Ultra Peanut
08-01-2005, 12:56 PM
I'm more of a Mix Master Mike fan.

6 or 7 years ago (man, wtf, time flies), Takawira and I went to see Mix Master Mike live up in Lawrence. It was insanely loud, and my ears were ringing for the next couple of days.

But on the way home, I got pulled over, and pulled over to the shoulder, which happened to be a slight slope. I'm looking in the mirror, looking for the cop, but I can't see him. I do see one walk to the window on the passenger side, and I ask him what he wants. He doesn't say anything, and then I realize I couldn't hear the cop knocking his flashlight on my driver's side window, because my eardrums had been obliterated by bass. Because of the slope, when I looked in my mirror, I was staring into darkness...the cop thought I was high as ****. I thought it was funny.ROFL

Bearcat
08-01-2005, 01:30 PM
Too late for me. $2K+ already spent.

Wow, do you get to retrieve the tee after each kickoff?


There's nothing more I'd like to have than the ability to spend a crapload of money on tickets to the Chiefs and hopefully in a few years an NHL team. However, there's currently no deferment for "football season" for tuition. I checked.

BigRedChief
08-01-2005, 01:40 PM
Wow, do you get to retrieve the tee after each kickoff?


There's nothing more I'd like to have than the ability to spend a crapload of money on tickets to the Chiefs and hopefully in a few years an NHL team. However, there's currently no deferment for "football season" for tuition. I checked.

thats for 3 tickets only. You got 70K+ paying the same thing. Its getting to the point where they are going to price out the middle class.:cuss:

buddha
08-01-2005, 03:27 PM
I'll get over the Chiefs winning the helmet toss game in Cleveland before I get past the shock of Derrick Johnson falling to the Chiefs.

He was the one guy in all of football that I wanted to be a Chief, even back to when he started his junior year. Before the draft I thought there was no way in hell that he'd fall past 10, let alone past teams like Dallas and San Diego.

Great post, btw...and I completely agree. I was one of the legion of folks who dared to dream that somehow we would end up with this kid. I have to admit that I figured King Carl would have to trade up to have a shot... nobody could have believed that such a talented kid would be there at KC's pick.

Screw filling needs...sometimes guys are just too damn good to pass up. There will be plenty of teams who will rue the day they passed up on DJ in the last draft.

As for the "won't take on blockers" nonsense...PULLLLEEEEASE??? All he did was attack quarterbacks, running backs, etc.

He is a damn good player.

Toad
08-01-2005, 10:49 PM
[QUOTE=ZootedGranny]
I can't wait to see the hell on Earth blank stare Drew Brees makes when he lazily throws a pass to Gates and Derrick Johnson snatches it out of the air and houses it. Or when Jake Plummer rolls out on a bootleg and has the ball punched from his bitch like hands.
QUOTE]

Great post!

That was better reading than the article- and I loved the article.

Nice work!