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Count Zarth
08-03-2011, 09:55 AM
Good article...he came to camp with a gut though.

http://www.kansascity.com/2011/08/02/3053537/chiefs-johnson-seeks-to-build.html

ST. JOSEPH | Under searing heat, Derrick Johnson outruns his fellow Chiefs linebackers during the daily sprints at practice. He pumps iron as enthusiastically as anyone in the weight room.

And now, with Mike Vrabel’s retirement, Johnson, as elder statesman of the Chiefs defense, also takes charge in the meeting room.

“You can never be complacent,” said Johnson, who is coming off a long overdue breakout season in 2010. “That’s one thing I’ve learned being a veteran in this league, going into my seventh year. You can never get comfortable. That’s the good thing about football, you’re never at the very top.”

A year ago, he came to camp with little assurances. Johnson, the club’s first-round draft pick in 2005, had lost his starting inside linebacker job to Demorrio Williams in 2009 and was consigned to nickel situations and special teams.

Johnson never sulked or lashed out publicly. He sent a reminder of what kind of playmaker he could be by returning two interceptions for touchdowns in the 2009 season finale at Denver. After dedicating himself to an arduous offseason program, Johnson reclaimed his starting position last year with a solid play in training camp and in preseason games.

Then he led the Chiefs with a career-best 147 tackles and was rewarded with a five-year contract extension that included a $15 million guarantee

“Things happen in life where you’ve got to respond,” said Johnson, 28. “And I think I responded well, and it made me a better player. You’ve got to remember how you got to the point where you’re at now, and it takes a strong-minded person to handle success. We’ll see this year how I handle success.”

Last year, Johnson constantly spoke of playing with a chip on his shoulder and gave a preview of what the season might be when he made 13 tackles and caused a fumble that set up a Chiefs touchdown in the season-opening win over San Diego.

The big plays kept coming. Johnson returned an interception for a touchdown against Jacksonville. His sack and strip of Matt Hasselbeck was a key play in the Chiefs’ win at Seattle.

And Johnson was voted AFC defensive player of the week after making a career-best 17 tackles, batting four passes and keying on St. Louis running back Steven Jackson in holding him to 67 yards in a win at St. Louis.

But Johnson left a lot of big plays on the field. At least four interceptions slipped through his hands, including certain touchdown returns at Indianapolis and against Jacksonville, another drop against the Jaguars and one against Buffalo.

Those missed opportunities haunted Johnson and exasperated the Chiefs’ coaching staff.

“If he catches the ball, we probably score a lot more points,” said defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel. “Derrick has a knack for pass coverage. He has a knack for reading the quarterback and reading routes and getting to where the ball is going to be. And now all he has to do is catch it.”

Johnson, who spends time catching passes from the JUGS gun as well as participating in tip drills, can’t explain the botched interceptions.

“I dream about those every day,” Johnson said. “I’m working on my hands … it’s not that I can’t catch the ball. I’m a good athlete, and I can catch the ball. You just have to seize the opportunity when it comes to you.”

Johnson, like all of his teammates, did not have the benefit of a formal offseason program because of the lockout, but he reported to camp as fit as ever.

“I was pushing myself to the limit every day,” said Johnson, who worked out his alma mater, the University of Texas. “Outside working out, doing drills, working out until you feel your chest hurts … and still going, going that extra rep or finishing a drill.”

Then it was time to study game tape.

“It’s not always physical,” he said, “because everybody can run fast and jump high in this league. It’s the mental aspect of the game. Watching more film, anticipating plays, making big plays for this team.”

Despite his watershed season, Johnson refuses to shed the chip from his shoulder. Had Johnson hung onto a few of those potential interceptions, it might have been enough to cap his comeback season with a selection to the Pro Bowl. Now, that omission will serve as the chip on his shoulder in 2011.

“You want to do the best you can individually,” Johnson said, “but our main goal is a team goal to get to the Super Bowl, to win the Super Bowl. You can’t judge yourself off the Pro Bowl, I know that, but that is one of my goals.

“I’m not going to slow down on the field. I’m always going to keep a chip on my shoulder. You have to. This league is too big for you to think you’re all that.”

Count Zarth
08-03-2011, 09:59 AM
As fit as ever...with no definition in his muscles at all. Yeah.

http://cache2.asset-cache.net/xc/120186883.jpg?v=1&c=NewsMaker&k=2&d=77BFBA49EF878921E86F5CE8BE5D78FBDABC65420B5D42061EE4D3376F7AD99EA6BFE86BD65A8490

kysirsoze
08-03-2011, 10:00 AM
Too bad Haley mishandled him so badly. I just wish we had a coach that could motivate him. Oh well.

Count Zarth
08-03-2011, 10:04 AM
Too bad Haley mishandled him so badly. I just wish we had a coach that could motivate him. Oh well.

Haley did a good job with DJ.

I don't like him reporting to camp with a gut, though.

JASONSAUTO
08-03-2011, 10:06 AM
Haley did a good job with DJ.

I don't like him reporting to camp with a gut, though.

he has looked that way since day 1. hasnt made any difference before

TheGuardian
08-03-2011, 10:11 AM
he has looked that way since day 1. hasnt made any difference before

Yup. DJ is never going to look like Marvcus Patton. I don't care either. He just needs to continue to play like he did last year, or even up just a notch.

OnTheWarpath58
08-03-2011, 10:15 AM
Yup. DJ is never going to look like Marvcus Patton. I don't care either. He just needs to continue to play like he did last year, or even up just a notch.

Exactly.

Where the fuck you been, by the way?

TheGuardian
08-03-2011, 10:21 AM
Exactly.

Where the **** you been, by the way?

Had a national competition to win so training took over my life for a while.

Plus this lockout shit made me as disinterested in football as I had ever been since 4th grade.

Reerun_KC
08-03-2011, 10:23 AM
:thumb::thumb:Had a national competition to win so training took over my life for a while.

Plus this lockout shit made me as disinterested in football as I had ever been since 4th grade.

Welcome back.

JASONSAUTO
08-03-2011, 10:23 AM
Had a national competition to win so training took over my life for a while.

Plus this lockout shit made me as disinterested in football as I had ever been since 4th grade.

you won?


If so congrats man... good to see you back

OnTheWarpath58
08-03-2011, 10:24 AM
Had a national competition to win so training took over my life for a while.

Plus this lockout shit made me as disinterested in football as I had ever been since 4th grade.

Understand completely. I was the same way.

TheGuardian
08-03-2011, 10:25 AM
you won?


If so congrats man... good to see you back

Thanks Jas.

Yeah I won my weight class and had the second best coefficient. And I blew out my quad on my second squat, but training went well enough to give me some room. I still left a lot on the table but I qualified for worlds so I'll make it up there.

Demonpenz
08-03-2011, 10:27 AM
having a gut means that there is more padding there when someone sticks their helmet right in there to block you. I know when I played it got alittle old just having my exposed glistening six pack just get hit over and over messing up what was ab perfection before football.

JASONSAUTO
08-03-2011, 10:31 AM
Thanks Jas.

Yeah I won my weight class and had the second best coefficient. And I blew out my quad on my second squat, but training went well enough to give me some room. I still left a lot on the table but I qualified for worlds so I'll make it up there.

awesome good luck

TheGuardian
08-03-2011, 10:36 AM
awesome good luck

Thanks bud.