Derrick Johnson

Dominant Defense

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The Chiefs have not had a dominant defense since the 1990’s.  Since then, the Chiefs have had one of the worst defense in the NFL.  They have been consistently ranked one of the worst defenses in the NFL.  Right now things could be changing for the Chiefs.  The Chiefs have a great young nucleus of players on defense.

             The defensive line is probably the weakest tier of their defense.  However, this could be changing really soon.  They already have a couple good young defensive ends in Tyson Jackson and Allen Bailey.  Jackson is a great run stuffer, but for him to be considered a great defensive end he needs to rush the quarterback better.  Allen Bailey is a second year player who has a chance to be an elite defensive end.  He has the elite athleticism and elite strength, but has yet to put all of his skills together on the field.  Bailey is going into his second year and I expect a jump in his production this year.

The two wild cards on the defensive line are Jerrell Powe and Dontari Poe.  Jerrell Powe is a second year player who looked good in limited action last year. Powe sat most of last year because the coaching staff wanted him to digest the playbook.  Powe has the potential to be a good nose tackle in the NFL and could be the tone setter on the Chiefs defense.  Dontari Poe on the other hand is going to be a rookie this year.  He has the most upside of anyone on the team.  He is a 6-4 350 defensive lineman.  He has the rare ability to be a 3 down lineman.  If he reaches his potential he should play defensive end on 1st and 2nd down then moving to nose tackle on third down passing situations.

The linebackers are the playmakers of the Chiefs defense.  The Chiefs have Derrick Johnson at inside linebacker.  Derrick Johnson is an All Pro and the leader of the defense.  He was the Chiefs best defensive playmaker last year.  Jovan Belcher the other inside linebacker is a solid player.  He doesn’t make many spectacular plays, but doesn’t make many mistakes.  He should be replaced as a starter.  Brandon Siler the back up inside linebacker could eventually emerge as a starter.  However, it all depends on how he returns from his torn achilles. The Chiefs outside linebackers are Tamba Hali and Justin Houston, they have a chance to be one of the best combo of outside linebackers in the NFL.  Tamba Hali is already an All Pro pass rusher registering 10 sacks or more for the past 3 years.  Justin Houston is an up and coming player in the NFL.  He has a chance to be even better then Tamba Hali.  He has the potential to be a 12 to 15-sack guy for a very long time. However,  The Chiefs must add depth at outside linebacker.

The secondary is probably the best tier of the defense right now.  They have Brandon Flowers, Stanford Routt, and Javier Arenas at cornerback.  This group of cornerbacks has to be considered one of the best units in football.  Flowers is a great cover corner for the Chiefs who is also good against the run. Routt is a great number two corner and should excel playing next to Brandon Flowers.  Javier Arenas is a good nickel corner and all around player.  He is good in run support and can even rush the quarterback.  Not to mention a great special team player for the Chiefs.  At safety their starters are Kendrick Lewis and Eric Berry.  Eric Berry is returning after his ACL tear last year.  He is arguably the most important player on the Chiefs defense.  He is the biggest game changer on this defense.  Kendrick Lewis is a good safety for the Chiefs and makes some good plays for them.  Furthermore, he is a stabilizer for the Chiefs on and off the field and should be a starter for many years to come.Connor Willsey / Sam Young


Pro Bowlers

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Leading the team with 126 tackles, Johnson was voted into the Pro-Bowl, along with fellow linebacker Hali.

Good news for Kansas City fans came out tonight. While our team might not be playing football into January, we will still have players to watch that will be representing the Chiefs at the 2010-2011 Pro Bowl. Yes, Kansas City fans, two Chiefs players from your beloved team were given the Pro Bowl honors and will be traveling to Hawaii:  Tamba Hali and Derrick Johnson.

Although both were integral parts of the Chiefs’s defense, they had very different roles when it came game time. For Hali, the man was a pass rushing machine. He gave teams all kinds of fits, becuase of his speed coming off the edge and his superior hand to hand tactics (watch him warm up, it’s insane). This has led to a team leading 12 sacks and countless holds by offensive linemen that aren’t always included in the stat line. I know if Hali was running full speed at me, I would probably pass out. He’s a pretty scary-looking guy.

12 sacks and too many holding calls produced to count.

While Hali was voted in because of his ability to get to the quarterback, Johnson was voted in because he was the overall leader of the defense. Johnson not only led the team in tackles, with 126, he also was the defensive play caller and was in charge of making the correct audibles when he saw something he didn’t like at the line. Chiefs fans have been given the delight of watching Johnson mature before their eyes.

For me, I can’t help but wonder if Eric Berry, Tony Moeaki, and Jamaal Charles weren’t injured. Not only would we have potentially had 5 pro-bowlers, we might have still been playing into January-as a team.