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.