Chiefs news for 9 May 2019
Also, Johnson knows this team, or at least the Chiefs teams that included one of his favorite players, fellow Longhorns product and former inside KC linebacker Derrick Johnson (no relation). As Gary Johnson prepared for his pro future, he leaned on Derrick Johnson, the Chiefs’ career tackles leader who last week signed a one-day contract to retire with his original team. Their position and college connect the Johnsons.
“We talked once or twice a week,” Gary Johnson said. “That’s my mentor, my favorite linebacker ever.” Derrick Johnson’s advice upon learning Gary would be headed to Kansas City was to arrive with a free mind and determined work ethic, and the Chiefs newcomer relished having an advocate.
“Not many guys have a chance to talk to someone like Derrick,” Gary Johnson said. “I soaked in as much as I could.”
The contract year typically means that NFL players will attempt to elevate their game to maximize their value as a free agent. The Chiefs have several players who will play during their contract year in the 2019 season. Which of those players will step up in the biggest way and earn a big extension in Kansas City or elsewhere?
“We have signed Derrick Johnson to a one-year contract,” tweeted the official Twitter account of the Kansas City Chiefs Wednesday. “The franchise leader in tackles will retire as a Chief. Congratulations, Derrick Johnson!”
“It’s official now, the new chapter begins,” Johnson said on his personal Twitter page. “I can’t thank the Chiefs’ organization enough for rolling out the red carpet for my retirement. God has really been good to me over the years, to say the least. Thanks to the coaches, players and Chiefs fans for an amazing dream come true.”
A four-time Pro Bowler, Johnson started his professional playing career in the NFL when the Chiefs drafted him with their No. 15 overall pick in the first round of the 2005 NFL Player Draft. Johnson followed it up by playing 13 seasons in Kansas City where he became the organization’s leader in tackles in franchise history with a career-total of 1,151 tackles in his 169 career-starts and 182 career games while playing for the Chiefs.
LB Jamie Collins
Collins would be the most impactful signing for the Chiefs to make in the coming days of free agency. The Browns have gotten the bottom of the barrel effort out of Collins, but if you go back and look at his tape with the Patriots, he looks like an entirely different player. Going to an organization with less dysfunction, and a familiar coach in Brendan Daly could be the boost he needs.
Collins has some versatility to his game and has played all three linebacker spots in a 4-3 defense. I think that he’d probably be utilized best as a strong side linebacker for the Chiefs, but having the ability to play in multiple spots is huge for depth purposes. In 16 games during 2018, Collins had 104 total tackles, four sacks and one interception.
Right now the Chiefs linebacker group doesn’t look great on paper. They’re likely hoping that better coaching can get some better play out of what is mostly the same group of guys. Adding Collins to the mix would at least allow fans to feel a little better about the group as a whole.
Linebacker – Gary Johnson (Texas), Darius Harris (Middle Tennessee):
The linebacker position is one where the Chiefs have room for an undrafted rookie to grab a spot, unless they add someone else in free agency. Anthony Hitchens, Damien Wilson, and Dorian O’Daniel are safe bets to make the roster. Some feel Reggie Ragland may not be a good fit for Steve Spagnuolo’s system, but he’ll get the chance to prove it. With other depth options being Ben Niemann, Ray Davison and Jeremiah Attaochu, there could be at least one spot for the taking. Both of these prospects have the ability to make a run at that spot, although Harris’s chances aren’t as certain due to a shoulder injury.
Way-too-early prediction: Whoever has the best preseason makes the cut, with the other going on the practice squad.
Kansas City Chiefs: Will Kansas City’s Awful Defense Doom the Team Again?
The Kansas City Chiefs didn’t lose the AFC Championship Game because the NFL’s overtime rules aren’t fair. They lost to the Patriots because the team’s defense was a dumpster fire.
There have been numerous changes to that defense in the offseason. There’s a new scheme and coordinator in Steve Spagnuolo’s 4-3. There have been numerous personnel additions, including edge-rusher Frank Clark, safety Tyrann Mathieu, cornerback Bashaud Breeland and rookie safety Juan Thornhill.
There have been losses as well, though. Longtime defensive stalwart Justin Houston is in Indianapolis now. Dee Ford’s in San Francisco. Steven Nelson’s in Pittsburgh. And Eric Berry is just…gone.
The Chiefs are a different defensive team, but that doesn’t mean they are a better defensive team. And unless they are, the hot mess that is the Tyreek Hill situation could be the least of Kansas City’s problems.
The list in question is from ESPN, who published their latest power rankings Wednesday. ESPN determined their rankings using a method “composed of a predicted offensive, defensive and special teams efficiency, as measured by expected points added per play.” The Chiefs came out on top with a projected win total of 10.3 and an 80.3 percent chance of making the postseason, due in part to the youth movement the team has gone through on defense.
“The major defensive acquisitions (safety Tyrann Mathieu and end Frank Clark) are 26 and 25, respectively,” wrote Adam Teicher of ESPN. “Similarly, the Chiefs’ other significant defensive additions should have their best football ahead. That should help resuscitate a unit that had relied on older players such as Eric Berry and Justin Houston, both 30 and recently released by Kansas City.”
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS: Dustin Colquitt, P. I mean, if you’re the punter for the Chiefs, you’re going to be as lonely as I was most Friday and Saturday nights in high school. But in my defense, I got really good at Mario Kart. And Colquitt at least gets to hold on field goals and extra points, so he’s making a contribution.
2. A simple plan for handling Hill
1. Suspend Hill for six games next season. It can be easily justified, and the Elliott case offers a road map. He was suspended for six games despite a remarkably flawed NFL investigation, but the courts still upheld the suspension because the league’s CBA gives Goodell unprecedented power.
2. Don’t sweat the appeal. Hill likely would push back against any suspension. So what? Brady and Elliott both did, and look where it got them.
3. Rely on the evidence. The audio itself warrants a suspension.
Not for the possible abuse of Hill’s son, which Hill rebuts in the recording. I’m dealing strictly with the domestic violence aspect and clear threat everyone can hear. That alone should be enough to suspend Hill.
Morning Bowl of (T)Weeties:
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