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Chiefs' Derrick Johnson says his 2009 benching was harder than his Achilles injury

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An old friend popped up on the airwaves talking Kansas City Chiefs recently. Jason Whitlock, the former KC Star sports columnist, hasn't been heard around these parts in a while but he hosted The Herd and talked with Chiefs LB Derrick Johnson.

You may forget that DJ wasn't always an all-world linebacker. The Chiefs hired Todd Haley in 2009 and Haley promptly benched DJ for most of the season. He was a part time player and no one really knew why.

Talking to Whitlock about that situation, DJ said that time period was harder on him than his return from his Achilles injury this year.

"It was tough," DJ said. "It was one of those things where I had never been not playing, not starting. For a coach sit me on the bench or just let me play 15-20 plays a game, that was hard to take. Of course I was very healthy at the time. It was definitely a miscommunication type deal.

"I can say that Todd Haley's intentions were always right so it wasn't one of those things. Just a miscommunication with me and him. At the end of the day when he exited the building we were definitely on gerat terms so there wasn't anything with bad blood in there.

"I promise you that was a hard time for me. That was actually harder than popping my Achilles. To actually be healthy and ready to go but you're not getting put out there. That was a hard deal. But I actually learned from that situation and it actually helped my career. Right or wrong, it helped my career."

Click through to about the 26-minute mark here to listen to it.