Pre-Camp Reads: Looking at LB Derrick Johnson

Over the next few weeks, we will be taking a closer look at players on the Chiefs roster

After re-signing with the Kansas City Chiefs this past offseason, linebacker Derrick Johnson returns in 2016 as the longest-tenured player on the team, a feat he only shares with punter Dustin Colquitt.

The Chiefs selected Johnson with the 15th overall pick in the first round of the 2005 NFL Draft. Johnson won the Mack Lee Hill Award given to the finest rookie on the team after his first season.

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In his 11 seasons in the league, Johnson has been named to the Pro Bowl four times. Johnson was named a first-team All-Pro after the 2011 season and a second-team All-Pro after the 2015 season. In 2011, Johnson won the Derrick Thomas Award as the team's most valuable player. The 2015 All-Pro honor was especially remarkable as Johnson missed nearly the entire 2014 season after rupturing his Achilles in Kansas City's Week 1 game against the Tennessee Titans.

This offseason, Johnson explained that even with 11 years in his league under his belt, he rarely changes how he goes about his business to get ready for training camp.

"For myself, you kind of do the same thing," Johnson said back in May. "It's been working, so what is it, if it's not broke, don't fix it? It's one of those things where I take care of my body all the time as far as getting chiropractic work or massages, making sure I'm in shape. When you get out here on the field, that's when injuries start happening if you're not in shape and you're trying to stretch and do something that your body's not ready for. My body's ready for this pounding of football."

SEASON REVIEW

2015 was another outstanding season in the career of Johnson.

After missing nearly all of 2014, Johnson returned to lead the defense with 116 (95 solo) tackles and he also recorded 4.0 sacks.

Johnson made franchise history against the Green Bay Packers on Monday Night Football during Week 3 last season, when he recorded the 999th and 1000th tackle of his career.

Johnson broke the record with a tackle of running back James Starks midway through the third quarter.

"It's going to speak for itself," Johnson said of the record. "It's going to answer the questions if you're questioning if I'm tough, if I'm consistent and if I'm reliable. It's a blessing just to get to that point where you say, 'Man, I have a chance to be at the top of that list.'

Currently, Johnson holds the franchise's tackle record with 1,101 career tackles and is only the fourth player in Chiefs history to reach the 900-tackle plateau.

HOW HE FITS

Johnson shares the leadership role in the Chiefs linebacker room with both Justin Houston and Tamba Hali, who he has played next to since Hali was drafted to the Chiefs in 2006, just one year after his own draft selection.

Chiefs Linebackers

#

Name

Ht.

Wt.

Age

Exp.

College

52

Adams, Tyrell

6-2

228

24

1

West Georgia

57

Alexander, D.J.

6-2

233

24

2

Oregon State

55

Ford, Dee

6-2

252

25

3

Auburn

91

Hali, Tamba

6-3

275

32

11

Penn State

50

Houston, Justin

6-3

258

27

6

Georgia

56

Johnson, Derrick

6-3

242

33

12

Texas

59

March, Justin

6-0

222

22

2

Akron

46

Massaquoi, Jonathan

6-2

264

28

4

Troy

90

Mauga, Josh

6-1

245

28

7

Nevada

54

Moses, Dezman

6-2

249

27

5

Tulane

62

Mulumba, Andy

6-3

260

26

3

Eastern Michigan

52

Nicolas, Dadi

6-3

235

23

R

Virginia Tech

62

Smith, Terrance

6-2

235

23

R

Florida State

53

Wilson, Ramik

6-2

237

23

2

Georgia

51

Zombo, Frank

6-3

254

29

7

Central Michigan

2016 OUTLOOK

In 2016, his 12th year in the league, Johnson will look to build upon an All-Pro 2015 season and further cement himself in Chiefs record books as one of the franchise's greats.

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