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Tribal Warfare
09-07-2010, 12:27 AM
Johnson gets start at linebacker for Chiefs (http://www.kansascity.com/2010/09/06/2203636/johnson-gets-start-at-linebacker.html)
By ADAM TEICHER
The Kansas City Star

Derrick Johnson’s career in Kansas City hasn’t yet been what he or the Chiefs hoped. But the inside linebacker and former first-round draft pick, buoyed by the news he will start Monday night’s season opener against San Diego at Arrowhead Stadium, is convinced that’s about to change.

“I think good things will still happen for me with the Chiefs,” Johnson said. “It’s (the last year of his contract) but I have a bright future here. The NFL is about seizing the moment. It’s about what you do right now. I’m ready for it.”

In what appeared to be an intense competition for the starting job on the weak side, Johnson beat out Demorrio Williams, who wasn’t happy about the news.

“They said Derrick is going to start out the first game,” he said. “I’m just going to come to work every day and do my job.”

Williams led the Chiefs in sacks in the preseason with three. Asked if he played well enough in the preseason to win the job, Williams said, “I don’t have to answer that question. You already know the answer to that question. What do you think?”

The Chiefs also appear to have selected Jovan Belcher over Corey Mays at the other inside linebacker position and Casey Wiegmann over Rudy Niswanger to be the starting center. Johnson, Belcher and Wiegmann were all working with the starters in the handful of plays the media was allowed to watch on Monday, the first day of practice in preparation for the San Diego game.

The Chiefs issued no depth chart. Coach Todd Haley wouldn’t address the starting lineup, saying only that the Chiefs were “a lot closer” to making the decisions about starters.

“I’ll go into it a lot more as we go forward,” Haley said.

“What I think is very critical for our team to understand is that I’d like to get it out of our heads, the coaches’ and players’ heads, about ‘first team’ and ‘second team.’ We’re going to need everybody. On each and every Sunday or Monday, whenever we’re playing, we’re going to need everybody to have some sort of impact.”

In light of his preseason sack total, Williams may be emerging as a pass-rush option for the Chiefs. Without mentioning Williams specifically, Haley said some players may have specialized roles that take them out of consideration as every-down players.

“I’m not worried about … depth on game days,” Haley said. “I’m worried about trying to have the best possible group out there each and every Sunday. That all of a sudden changes the landscape from the standpoint that guys that are playing more regular plays on offense or defense are going to have to have roles other places. If that means somebody behind them takes some of their snaps in order for them to do something else that they may do better than anybody else, that’s what we have to do. That’s what I’m as a head coach working really hard at. I want to make sure that’s the direction we’re going.”

Williams said he could be effective as an every-down player and stay fresh for pass-rushing situations.

“I’m a football player,” Williams said. “I want to be out there all the time. That’s why you train, why you work out, why you take care of your body, so you can play every play.”

Johnson has had mixed results since joining the Chiefs as their first-round pick in 2005. Former coach Herm Edwards was so frustrated in his final season in 2008 with Johnson that he moved him from outside linebacker to the middle in an effort to get better play.

Last year, Haley’s first, Johnson played mostly on passing downs, starting just three games. Haley talks frequently about getting consistent efforts from players, but Johnson’s have wildly fluctuated. Johnson was spectacular at times, never more so than in the season’s final game in Denver when he intercepted two passes and returned them both for touchdowns.

Johnson said his play in training camp and the preseason was more consistent than it’s ever been.

“I’ve been there every day,” Johnson said. “I’ve been consistent with my play. I haven’t been that way all the time before mainly because I haven’t been healthy. That’s my reason. I’ve been healthy now. I’m better than I’ve ever been, way ahead. No nicks, no dings. I’ve been taking care of my body. I’ve had none of those injuries where I’ve had to compensate and something else breaks down.”

Belcher, who joined the Chiefs as an undrafted free agent last year, said the coaches hadn’t told him he would start against the Chargers. Mays started 13 games for the Chiefs last season, his first in Kansas City.

Wiegmann was a seven-year starter for the Chiefs before leaving as a free agent in 2008. He played for the Broncos for two seasons before returning in the offseason.

Niswanger replaced Wiegmann as the starting center and they shared the position during training camp and preseason.

“You’ll have to ask the coaches that,” Wiegmann said about starting in the season opener. “I do what they tell me to do. I let the coaches make the decisions.”

BossChief
09-07-2010, 12:33 AM
Right on time, Adam.

As usual.

Buehler445
09-07-2010, 12:36 AM
I like the idea of no first and second string. I've thought that's the way it should be.

I'm against preconcieved ideas dictating gameplans. If you can beat a defensive allignment with a pass, pass the fucking ball, who gives a shit if you're a run first team or whatever. The way I think coaching should work is identify what will work in the situation. Don't bitch out and do the same thing over and over and try to "force your will". Do what it takes to beat the guy across from you.

/rant

I fully recognize that Haley will likely not do this and is just utilizing "coach speak". But still...
Posted via Mobile Device

mcaj22
09-07-2010, 01:03 AM
I hate this rotational 2 down LBer split time shit, it kills the momentum for these guys. And the guys subbing in are cold and expected to just fire it up in one (important) play? Come on.

Does Ray Lewis, David Harris, Nick Barnett, Karlos Dansby, etc ever come out of games every 2 downs? I can't think of another 3-4 team that does this to their LBers for nickel packages/pass rush situations versus run stop situations. Usually those ILB are 3-down players.

I think Demorrio Williams hits the nail on his head when discussing a full time linebacker roll. He maybe shitty, but only coming in for half the plays just doesn't cut it. I wish this team could just make up its mind on which guys to play and actually play them/stick with them.

BossChief
09-07-2010, 02:15 AM
I hate this rotational 2 down LBer split time shit, it kills the momentum for these guys. And the guys subbing in are cold and expected to just fire it up in one (important) play? Come on.

Does Ray Lewis, David Harris, Nick Barnett, Karlos Dansby, etc ever come out of games every 2 downs? I can't think of another 3-4 team that does this to their LBers for nickel packages/pass rush situations versus run stop situations. Usually those ILB are 3-down players.

I think Demorrio Williams hits the nail on his head when discussing a full time linebacker roll. He maybe shitty, but only coming in for half the plays just doesn't cut it. I wish this team could just make up its mind on which guys to play and actually play them/stick with them.

They did exactly that with Williams and Mays last year and they showed little to no improvement.

Now its the next guys turn in line to show what he can do.

I think the staff has made a decision that DJ has done enough to have earned his "run play/1st/2nd downs" and that him playing the nickle role last year effectively added to that means he will be given a chance at being a 3 down backer for us this year.

I just think Williams is mad because that guy isn't him.

nicelife2010
09-07-2010, 04:07 AM
totally agree with u

Count Alex's Losses
09-07-2010, 04:09 AM
Interesting that we're going into the year with two inside linebackers under 240 pounds.

Most 3-4 teams have at least one in the 250+ range.

tonyetony
09-07-2010, 05:56 AM
I'm glad Weis and Crennel came in and pulled Haleys head out of his ass.

Marcellus
09-07-2010, 06:08 AM
"I haven’t been that way all the time before mainly because I haven’t been healthy. That’s my reason. I’ve been healthy now. I’m better than I’ve ever been, way ahead. No nicks, no dings. I’ve been taking care of my body. I’ve had none of those injuries where I’ve had to compensate and something else breaks down.”

This is what discourages me. He finally wins his job back, at least for now, and he makes health an excuse for his poor play the last 5 freaking years.

Good Lord just shut up and play.

InChiefsHell
09-07-2010, 06:32 AM
Williams had a disappointing campaign in 2009, for sure. DJ didn't have a "stellar" year, but he made some really big plays when he was in. And those games were for real, not pre-season. Add to that the fact that this year Crennel is here, and I'm basically trusting that these guys know what they are doing. If DJ is the starter, it's because he's shown them something that Williams hasn't.

But it's not like Williams won't get some playing time, in fact I'm sure he'll get a bunch.

RedThat
09-07-2010, 06:37 AM
I don't think it really matters who the starters are.

I think the Chiefs are going to rotate some of their starters with the guys on the depth charts. don't be surprised to see D Wiliams or Stude in there on some downs. I see some of these guys playing 2 downs.

milkman
09-07-2010, 06:54 AM
I don't think it really matters who the starters are.

I think the Chiefs are going to rotate some of their starters with the guys on the depth charts. don't be surprised to see D Wiliams or Stude in there on some downs. I see some of these guys playing 2 downs.

Well look at you.


You're just a fountain of obvious shit this morning.

RedThat
09-07-2010, 07:02 AM
Well look at you.


You're just a fountain of obvious shit this morning.

Why look at you, did someone piss in your cereal this morning?

milkman
09-07-2010, 07:07 AM
Why look at you, did someone piss in your cereal this morning?

I'm all sunshine and roses this morning.

Can't ya tell?

SenselessChiefsFan
09-07-2010, 07:48 AM
I like the idea of no first and second string. I've thought that's the way it should be.

I'm against preconcieved ideas dictating gameplans. If you can beat a defensive allignment with a pass, pass the ****ing ball, who gives a shit if you're a run first team or whatever. The way I think coaching should work is identify what will work in the situation. Don't bitch out and do the same thing over and over and try to "force your will". Do what it takes to beat the guy across from you.

/rant

I fully recognize that Haley will likely not do this and is just utilizing "coach speak". But still...
Posted via Mobile Device

I disagree. I think Haley WILL do this.... THIS is what has made the Pats so successful. Guys do their jobs... and contribute where they can.

With Pioli, Romeo, and Weis.... the Patriot way will become the Chiefs way.

TheGuardian
09-07-2010, 08:00 AM
I hate this rotational 2 down LBer split time shit, it kills the momentum for these guys. And the guys subbing in are cold and expected to just fire it up in one (important) play? Come on.

Does Ray Lewis, David Harris, Nick Barnett, Karlos Dansby, etc ever come out of games every 2 downs? I can't think of another 3-4 team that does this to their LBers for nickel packages/pass rush situations versus run stop situations. Usually those ILB are 3-down players.

I think Demorrio Williams hits the nail on his head when discussing a full time linebacker roll. He maybe shitty, but only coming in for half the plays just doesn't cut it. I wish this team could just make up its mind on which guys to play and actually play them/stick with them.

Actually it doesn't kill "momentum". This isn't like offense where it's based on timing and such. Defense is about attitude for the most part.

Second, the Pats did this exact thing when they were winning super bowls. That's why they carried so many linemen and linebackers there. Guys were moved in and out based on roles and what they wanted to do defensively.

I think that Belcher earned a starting spot. I thought that Williams outplayed Johnson, but what I think will happen there is that you will see a combination of Williams/Hali/Studebaker coming from the outside on obvious passing downs with Vrabel sliding inside. This is a really nice combination of players IMO and gives us a lot of looks to present to the offense.

mcaj22
09-07-2010, 09:31 AM
Actually it doesn't kill "momentum". This isn't like offense where it's based on timing and such. Defense is about attitude for the most part.

Second, the Pats did this exact thing when they were winning super bowls. That's why they carried so many linemen and linebackers there. Guys were moved in and out based on roles and what they wanted to do defensively.

I think that Belcher earned a starting spot. I thought that Williams outplayed Johnson, but what I think will happen there is that you will see a combination of Williams/Hali/Studebaker coming from the outside on obvious passing downs with Vrabel sliding inside. This is a really nice combination of players IMO and gives us a lot of looks to present to the offense.


So hypothetically if DJ blows up a play on first down, does a little pumped up move after to get the crowd, his team and himself going, and then they make a stop on second down, in a defensive situation that we need, you are okay with pulling these guys on a 3rd down passing situation so Williams can come in and blitz the passer from the middle?

Because that's basically what this flop seems to be. Instead of DJ coming in on third downs to cover the pass, they are now bringing Williams in to rush the pass. So who is the ILB that stays on 3rd downs? Does Vrabel slide to the middle? Does Belcher or DJ stay to cover the pass?

I think someone is getting the short end of the momentum stick here, I just wish we could have a 3-down ILB to LEAD this team. Most 3-4 defenses are commanded by an ILB who never comes out of the game. Ever. I get that we don't have that, but we have young guys and a first round pick/talent LBer that should get that opportunity.

I guess momentum is a bad word, but I just don't see how a guy standing on the sidelines for the first two downs is expected to just come in and fire off the ball and have the same adrenaline as the guys already in there to rush the passer. I'm talking strictly pass rushers, I get the rotation of d-lineman to keep them fresh. But from a blitz-ers perspective, I think these guys should be more than 1 down specialists (Stude, Williams, etc).

Buehler445
09-07-2010, 09:41 AM
I disagree. I think Haley WILL do this.... THIS is what has made the Pats so successful. Guys do their jobs... and contribute where they can.

With Pioli, Romeo, and Weis.... the Patriot way will become the Chiefs way.

I get that, but inherently, it is difficult for coaches to let go of what they think works best. Belichick is the best I've seen at that (in the current era). Perhaps you look at Manning (come on, you know he runs the show in Indy). He looks to take advantage of the defense rather than establish some aspect of a game. But if a guy thinks that running on first down is effective, it's tough for him to take advantage of a mismatch in defensive alignment if it's there. It's a psychological thing. Just like you do what's easier sometimes instead of what is optimal.

I just can't wait to see the end of a system based approach in KC. You have to have some BAMF talent to force your gameplan on someone else. In today's NFL, if you have a great aspect of your game, you've probably neglected another.

ChiefaRoo
09-07-2010, 09:42 AM
So hypothetically if DJ blows up a play on first down, does a little pumped up move after to get the crowd, his team and himself going, and then they make a stop on second down, in a defensive situation that we need, you are okay with pulling these guys on a 3rd down passing situation so Williams can come in and blitz the passer from the middle?

Because that's basically what this flop seems to be. Instead of DJ coming in on third downs to cover the pass, they are now bringing Williams in to rush the pass. So who is the ILB that stays on 3rd downs? Does Vrabel slide to the middle? Does Belcher or DJ stay to cover the pass?

I think someone is getting the short end of the momentum stick here, I just wish we could have a 3-down ILB to LEAD this team. Most 3-4 defenses are commanded by an ILB who never comes out of the game. Ever. I get that we don't have that, but we have young guys and a first round pick/talent LBer that should get that opportunity.

I guess momentum is a bad word, but I just don't see how a guy standing on the sidelines for the first two downs is expected to just come in and fire off the ball and have the same adrenaline as the guys already in there to rush the passer. I'm talking strictly pass rushers, I get the rotation of d-lineman to keep them fresh. But from a blitz-ers perspective, I think these guys should be more than 1 down specialists (Stude, Williams, etc).

I think you're reading to much into it. I think the coaches will look at DJ and DWilliams as interchangable. Both can cover, both can blitz. DJ is faster and more athletic, Williams is tougher and has a knack for getting to the QB (in this defense based on the preseason). With no huddle Offenses and hurry ups around the league I doubt KC is fixated on who is in which package as it relates to these two guys.

I'd like to see a 3rd round pick on a LB next year to improve the unit.

TheGuardian
09-07-2010, 09:45 AM
So hypothetically if DJ blows up a play on first down, does a little pumped up move after to get the crowd, his team and himself going, and then they make a stop on second down, in a defensive situation that we need, you are okay with pulling these guys on a 3rd down passing situation so Williams can come in and blitz the passer from the middle?

Because that's basically what this flop seems to be. Instead of DJ coming in on third downs to cover the pass, they are now bringing Williams in to rush the pass. So who is the ILB that stays on 3rd downs? Does Vrabel slide to the middle? Does Belcher or DJ stay to cover the pass?

I think someone is getting the short end of the momentum stick here, I just wish we could have a 3-down ILB to LEAD this team. Most 3-4 defenses are commanded by an ILB who never comes out of the game. Ever. I get that we don't have that, but we have young guys and a first round pick/talent LBer that should get that opportunity.

I guess momentum is a bad word, but I just don't see how a guy standing on the sidelines for the first two downs is expected to just come in and fire off the ball and have the same adrenaline as the guys already in there to rush the passer. I'm talking strictly pass rushers, I get the rotation of d-lineman to keep them fresh. But from a blitz-ers perspective, I think these guys should be more than 1 down specialists (Stude, Williams, etc).

The entire defense gets momentum. Not generally one guy. You are just overthinking this. For example what if your run stuffer comes in and makes two awesome stuffs at the line or behind the line of scrimmage, and now the offense is in 3rd and long. Well do you keep him on the field even though he sucks in pass coverage? No.

The best pass rushing teams do it with a variety of people. Not 1 or 2 guys. I expect Williams, Hali, Stude, Vrabel, Gilberry, etc all to contribute to the pass rush. DJ has never been a pass rusher in his life. If DJ stays in the game on passing downs that is fine, but he better be dropping into coverage.

Sweet Daddy Hate
09-07-2010, 09:49 AM
Interesting.

boogblaster
09-07-2010, 10:09 AM
DJ the man in the middle .....

-King-
09-07-2010, 10:54 AM
I don't think it really matters who the starters are.

I think the Chiefs are going to rotate some of their starters with the guys on the depth charts. don't be surprised to see D Wiliams or Stude in there on some downs. I see some of these guys playing 2 downs.

Well look at you.


You're just a fountain of obvious shit this morning.

ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL

jspchief
09-07-2010, 11:00 AM
As much as I want DJ to succeed, I'm not sure I saw him win the starting job in preseason. Granted, I don't see them every day in practice, and can only speculate on assignments when they are on the field.

The thing that stands out to me is Williams' reaction to sliding down the depth chart (coming out like a man possessed) compared to the way DJ reacted to it last year (fetal position).

Ultimately, I'm not concerned about the "starter" label here anymore than I am with Jones and Charles, but I do want the best guy to be on the field.

buddha
09-07-2010, 11:02 AM
Six of one, half dozen of the other. NEITHER DJ nor Williams is good enough. This is like watching a pissing match between Cinderella's two step sisters. Who gives a damn? The Chiefs are running a defense predicated on having four good linebackers, and how many do we have? We average at best...that's it.

Dark Horse
09-07-2010, 01:12 PM
Interesting that we're going into the year with two inside linebackers under 240 pounds.

Most 3-4 teams have at least one in the 250+ range.

That is probably the only reason Mays was even considered over Belcher.

Mr. Laz
09-07-2010, 01:17 PM
I hate this rotational 2 down LBer split time shit, it kills the momentum for these guys. And the guys subbing in are cold and expected to just fire it up in one (important) play? Come on.

Does Ray Lewis, David Harris, Nick Barnett, Karlos Dansby, etc ever come out of games every 2 downs? I can't think of another 3-4 team that does this to their LBers for nickel packages/pass rush situations versus run stop situations. Usually those ILB are 3-down players.

I think Demorrio Williams hits the nail on his head when discussing a full time linebacker roll. He maybe shitty, but only coming in for half the plays just doesn't cut it. I wish this team could just make up its mind on which guys to play and actually play them/stick with them.
did you just compare our linebackers to lewis,harris,barnett etc?

are you mental?

if we had those linebackers we wouldn't rotate them either