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Derrick Johnson quietly demoted

Chiefs linebacker Derrick Johnson has been a productive player since being selected in the first-round of the 2005 NFL Draft, but far from dominant.

Like many Chiefs fans, the new Kansas City coaching staff wants more out of Johnson after they demoted him from the team’s starting lineup during Week One against the Ravens. 

It’s not like Kansas City is deep at linebacker, especially after releasing Zach Thomas.  The team started Demorrio Williams and Corey Mays at inside linebacker, and rotated Johnson into the mix.

Johnson has taken the news well, supporting the coaching decisions, and speaking about the improvements he needs to make, even returning an interception 70 yards against the Ravens.

The demotion is a sign that Johnson isn’t in G.M. Scott Pioli’s long-term plans as the organization transitions to a 3-4 defense. 

Johnson is a free agent at the end of the year, and could still be an attractive piece for a 4-3 team needing a young player with plenty of starting experience.

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13 Responses to “Derrick Johnson quietly demoted”
  1. jermely says: Sep 15, 2009 4:39 PM

    Lets go get him in FA Raiders :)
    We need him at OLB..
    OLB
    Thomas Howard
    MLB
    Kirk Morrison
    OLB
    Derrick Johnson
    Young linebacking corp that could wind up being VERY VERY dominant..

  2. killwithme says: Sep 15, 2009 4:48 PM

    if you’re going to report this, you might make some kind of attempt at getting it right…
    he was demoted to 3rd string on the depth chart before the 4th pre season game. This news is now going on it’s 3rd week.

  3. leatherneck says: Sep 15, 2009 4:52 PM

    Let’s see how he played against the Ravens.
    3 tackles, 1 pass defensed, 1 interception returned 70 yards.
    Yeah, he sucks. He is just not good enough to play for the Chiefs. They’ve got about 40 guys they could play who could do better than that.
    /sarcasm
    Chiefs entering self-destruct mode.

  4. Mikvogell says: Sep 15, 2009 4:54 PM

    Don’t think you’re 100% accurate on this one.
    While they have demoted him and expect him to rise to meet their expectations… I don’t believe that this is any sort of sign of his long-term plans with the team. This is a similar motivational tool as was used with Dwayne Bowe early on in training camp.
    Frankly, if you do some looking on PFT itself, you’ll find that according to Larry Fitzgerald, Haley as his coordinator was hardest on those who had the most talent and potential to excel.
    While, the front office and coaches have maintained that any and all pieces of the team are up for review and removal- there are no sacred cows- to infer that this move has anything to do with long term plans is frankly, pure speculation on your part.

  5. steve_chiefs says: Sep 15, 2009 5:05 PM

    i agree with killwithme
    just cause they demoted him doesnt mean he’s not in the future plans…did you not see what they did with d-bowe. There trying to push him to make more plays. and it works. he got a 70-yard int return.
    and dont dare comment about derrick johnson being a raider. thats gives me a sick feeling in my stomach.

  6. moral-authority says: Sep 15, 2009 5:05 PM

    Another overpaid, overrated Long Horn!

  7. geeshums says: Sep 15, 2009 5:17 PM

    Buffalo Bills should go after him to cover Ben Watson and Kevin Faulk who killed them

  8. nosferatu says: Sep 15, 2009 5:32 PM

    Wow, can anyone play in KC? Have fun making a run at Lions level futility Chiefs Fan.

  9. NoFootballtalk says: Sep 15, 2009 5:52 PM

    I think the Eagles should try to sign him. Their OLB’s have been average at best. Although Akeem Jordan is pretty good at times

  10. sullijo says: Sep 15, 2009 6:03 PM

    Dear KC,
    Another great 1st round LB choice.
    Love,
    Percy Snow

  11. rockotica says: Sep 15, 2009 6:19 PM

    dj has reached his max potential, which is being an average tackler/coverage guy, somewhat injury prone lb who fads more than he stands out. he can can gets INTs, but he’s not worth first round $ and pioli won’t give him what he’s looking for this time around. but while he’s here this year im waiting to be impressed!

  12. SaintsBucsPanthersSUKK says: Sep 15, 2009 9:56 PM

    Derrick Johnson should become an Oakland Raider. :)

  13. mnmaverick says: Sep 16, 2009 7:34 AM

    It was like Dick Vermeil said, “It’s time to take the diapers off.” Oh wait, that quote was for Larry Johnson. Well, same story.

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