Derrick Johnson sees pros and cons of facing a rookie quarterback

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The Chiefs get a chance to face rookie quarterback Deshaun Watson on Sunday night. Linebacker Derrick Johnson explained the challenge of facing Watson during a Friday visit to the PFTPM podcast.

“There’s pros and cons to going against a rookie,” Johnson said. “The con is he’s still young, he’s still learning so he’s gonna have some mistakes. Hopefully we can capitalize off those mistakes but the pro about that is he’s getting better each week and hopefully when we come down there it’s not the week for him to get better. We respect him. He’s earning his respect every week he steps on the field. So a young guy like that my hats off to him, he’s doing a great job right now.”

The Chiefs will indeed try to keep the rookie from doing a great job in what will be his fourth start. Twelve years ago, Johnson was a rookie who wasn’t thinking about playing as long as he has.

“The way I took it on [was] by trying to have success in this league is to conquer where I was in that moment,” Johnson said. “Meaning be the best player I can be as my first year and getting better as my second and third and fourth and so on. But you look back, it adds up. So I’ve done a great job by playing and being in the moment and I’m still doing it to this day so hopefully I can keep playing at a high level.”

Here he is, 13 seasons in and he’s not thinking about the future.

“I take it year by year,” Johnson said of the remainder of his career. “I don’t wanna put a number on it but if I am at the middle of my career or at the end of my career, I’m probably at the end of my career for sure. But I’m still playing at a high level so we’ll take it year by year but I have no aspirations of retiring any time soon right now.”

The Chiefs have aspirations of continuing what has been a very successful start to the season, with a 4-0 start that has left them as the only unbeaten team in the league. It won’t get any easier; after facing the Texans, the Chiefs host the Steelers for a 4:25 p.m. ET showcase game, travel to the Raiders on a short week, and then host the Broncos on Monday Night Football.

That’s four straight weeks of games to be played on the biggest stages the sport has to offer. If nothing else, the experience will get the Chiefs ready to play on an even bigger stage that arrives in January.