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Some Big Plays for Chiefs LB Derrick Johnson After 3rd Team Demotion

If not for a blocked punt that resulted in a Kansas City Chiefs touchdown, LB Derrick Johnson may have had the play of the game last week with a 70 yard interception return inside the five yard line.

On Sunday, he aided in an Oakland Raiders three and out with a sack on JaMarcus Russell.  Actually, it was more like a smothering than a sack.  Coming through the middle, DJ beat a Raiders lineman and did his best flying squirrel impression on Russell.

In two weeks, that's two game-altering plays.  Of course, neither was the difference in the game but, again, it's a team effort.

Earlier this year, former Chiefs LB Zach Thomas said this should be DJ's best position.

"This is going to be his best scheme," Thomas said.  "It's definitely weakside linebacker-friendly. It can exploit the talent that he has.  Everybody knows how talented and fast he is. If he gets this down where he's not thinking, just rolling around and just having fun and he knows what to do, he'll be a great player in this scheme."

DJ himself said he's more comfortable in his role.  He related it to his days at Texas when he was the best linebacker in college football.

As we've previously said, the current regime has no ties to him so there's pressure on him to perform this season to earn an extension from a team that has, at least to this point, avoided giving out long-term contracts (save for Matt Cassel).

Through two games, DJ has contributed to a couple of big plays that helped turn the momentum in the Chiefs favor.  Now, there's something to be said for playing a complete game, but the early returns on DJ are better than what I expected.