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Tamba Hali and Derrick Johnson Begin Offseason As Playoff Winners For First Time Ever

There’s a different vibe as Chiefs start their ’16 offseason workouts


The Kansas City Chiefs selected Derrick Johnson in the 2005 NFL Draft, and a year later in 2006, they selected Tamba Hali.

Over the past 10 seasons, the two have served as leaders for the Chiefs defense together, and they will continue to do so in 2016.

On Monday morning, Hali and Johnson showed up to the University of Kansas Hospital Training Complex to begin offseason workouts, but this time, they entered with an entirely different vibe than that of the past 10 seasons.

This year, the two 30-somethings begin offseason work as playoff winners.

"It just gives us more confidence," Johnson said of having the playoff win finally under their belt. "Everybody has had their perfect plan, but when you get through the season, it's the time to put that together chemistry-wise and put it all together and see if we can do what we did last year even more and win a championship."

Hali agreed with his fellow linebacker.

"I think the guys understand what it takes to get there," Hali said. "After getting that win, we realize once we are in, we can get the job done. It's only a month left of football and you have to really dedicate that month to football and nothing else."

Hali and Johnson began this past offseason as unrestricted free agents, and that came with reasonable uncertainty as to their futures with Kansas City.

But once Hali finished his deal to return for 2016 in early March, Johnson said he was one of the very first to hear from his friend and teammate.

"He got his deal done before mine, so when he called me, he said, 'You have to hurry up and get it done," Johnson explained. "I'm like, 'I'll make sure to make that happen,' just because all I know is the Chiefs, and this organization is matched to none."

The Chiefs came to terms with Johnson on March 10.

"It's just top of the line and first-class from Mr. Hunt on down," Johnson added. "The way they handled me and have taken me since 2005, the fans are the best fans in the world and I'm happy I'm still a Chief."

Now with deals taken care of, the two have begun work with taking that next step forward already in sight.

"I think our guys believe that we can get this done and guys are excited and they understand what's at stake," Hali said. "It's a challenge and we all look forward to it. It wouldn't be right if it weren't a challenge.

"Playing 24 games in a year, New England [has done it] probably every year for the past 10 years. We have to be able to get that done here with our organization."

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