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Chiefs Banking a Shift to the Middle Ignites Johnson


From: Pro Football Weekly

With injuries decimating their linebacking corps, the Chiefs opted to shift LB Derrick Johnson from the outside to the middle prior to the Week 14 game at Denver. But while the team suggests the move was made to insert life into the defense, we hear that it was more like a sign of desperation.

It’s true that Johnson has shown flashes of brilliance since coming to K.C. as a first-round pick in ’05, but he has failed to sustain the high level of play that many expected from him coming out of college. From what we hear, the Chiefs hope that by giving Johnson added responsibility in the middle, it will trigger a positive response in the fourth-year veteran that will make him a better overall player.

Also, since MLB Pat Thomas wasn’t exactly shining as a starter, it injects a heavy dose of talent at an integral defensive spot. How Johnson performs in the remaining weeks likely will determine whether or not he remains in the middle in 2009.


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